In an article published on May 4, 2017 by regulatory news provider Chemical Watch, editor Kelly Franklin reported that on the same day the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced an amendment to its food additive regulations, revoking the use of potassium perchlorate (CAS 7778-74-7) in sealing gaskets for food containers. This action responds to a food additive petition (FAP) by the Plastics Industry Association, filed based on the claim that the substance is no longer used by the industry. Those adversely affected by this final rule may file an objection until June 5, 2017.
At the same time, FDA denied the requests voiced in the petition filed in 2014 by several non-governmental organizations (NGOs) (FPF reported). This petition asked to revoke a threshold of regulation (TOR) exemption for the use of sodium perchlorate monohydrate (CAS 7791-07-3) in antistatic agents in finished articles in contact with dry foods, and to prohibit the use of perchlorates in antistatic agents in food contact articles in general (FPF reported). FDA concluded that these requests are “outside the scope of a FAP,” and further that the dietary exposure resulting from the use allowed by the exemption does not exceed exemption criteria. Also, the data provided in the petition were deemed insufficient to challenge the current regulations on the use of perchlorates in antistatic agents.
Erik Olson, health program director at the non-profit organization Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) commented that FDA’s decision on the NGO petition “ignores the science and the law,” although “FDA has all the evidence it needs” showing that perchlorate is a “public health threat.” Perchlorate may damage brain development (FPF reported), and rising perchlorate levels in food were recently suggested to be due to its allowed use in food packaging (FPF reported). Olson further added that the NRDC will be looking into legal options to challenge FDA’s decision. Objections may be filed until June 5, 2017.
Kelly Franklin (May 4, 2017). “U.S. FDA revokes potassium perchlorate FCM authorization.” Chemical Watch
Tom Neltner (May 7, 2017). “FDA refuses to ban toxic chemical used in baby food packaging.” EcoWatch
Federal Register (May 4, 2017). “Indirect Food Additives: Polymers – A rule by the Food and Drug Administration on 05/04/2017.”