In an article published on July 27, 2016 by the news provider Food Chemical News, editor Joan Murphy reports on the court case of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the Center for Food Safety, Breast Cancer Fund, and three other NGOS, against the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) concerning the use of perchlorate in food packaging. The NGOs had submitted a petition to FDA in December 2014 asking the agency to ban the use of potassium perchlorate in sealing gaskets and sodium perchlorate monohydrate in antistatic agents (FPF reported). The FDA was required to respond to the petition within six months, however it missed the June 2015 deadline. In March 2016, the six NGOs filed a lawsuit against FDA for failure to act on the petition (FPF reported).
The NGOs and FDA now filed a joint motion to suspend the court case until March 2017, when the FDA foresees to reach a final decision on the issue. The FDA noted that the petition requires them to analyze “multiple sets of data and extensive scientific literature” as well as to consult with experts from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Therefore, the FDA expects that reaching a final decision might take longer.
On a related matter, the Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI) filed a petition to FDA in May 2016 asking the agency to “amend [its] food additive regulations to no longer provide for the use of potassium perchlorate as an additive in closure-sealing gaskets for food containers because this use has been abandoned.” If the FDA follows this demand, one request of the NGOs’ petition would be fulfilled.
Joan Murphy (July 27, 2016). “Court asked to stay perchlorate food packaging case until March 2017.” Food Chemical News
Emily Field (July 11, 2016). “FDA hits back at enviros seeking perchlorate ruling.” Law360
Federal Register (March 16, 2015). “Natural Resources Defense Council et al.; Filing of food additive petition.”
Federal Register (June 30, 2016). “Society of the Plastics Industry, Inc.; Filing of food additive petition.”