In an article published on June 7, 2017 by regulatory news provider Chemical Watch, editor Kelly Franklin reported that nine non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have filed an objection to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) decision to deny the NGOs’ petition against the use of perchlorates in food packaging. The organizations are: Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Breast Cancer Prevention Partners (BCPP), Center For Environmental Health (CEH), Center For Food Safety, Center For Science In The Public Interest (CSPI), Clean Water Action, Environmental Working Group (EWG), and Improving Kids’ Environment (IKE). The NGOs had filed the petition in 2014, asking the FDA to ban certain perchlorates in sealing gaskets for food containers and in antistatic agents in food contact articles for dry foods, as well as to generally prohibit the use of perchlorates in antistatic agents in food contact articles (FPF reported). In May 2017, the FDA rejected the NGO petition, concluding that the requests regarding perchlorate use in antistatic agents lie outside the scope of a food additive petition (FAP) and that the provided data were insufficient to challenge current rules on perchlorate use in food packaging (FPF reported). The request regarding perchlorate use in sealing gaskets was fulfilled by the FDA, however in response to an industry petition claiming that the substance is no longer used for this application.

The NGOs now demand a formal evidentiary public hearing before an administrative law judge to challenge FDA’s decision and to receive an independent judgement on the case, Franklin informed. The NGOs argue that FDA’s denial of the petition “is based on a flawed interpretation of the law and the science.” Further, the NGOs claim that the FDA “grossly underestimated the extent to which perchlorate migrates from packaging” and highlight the agency’s “failure to account for the accumulating body of evidence that perchlorate poses a risk of irreversible harm to the fetal and infant brain.”

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Kelly Franklin (May 7, 2017). “NGOs challenge U.S. FDA decision on perchlorate in FCMs.Chemical Watch