In an article published on July 31, 2017 by the International Business Times, Pritha Paul informed that democratic New York senator Chuck Schumer has asked the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to investigate on the use of phthalates in food packaging due to their potential adverse effects on human health. The senator referred to a study published in 2016 that found a link between high fast food consumption and increased urinary phthalate levels (FPF reported). Schumer also cited studies that have associated exposure to phthalates with adverse health outcomes such as preterm birth (FPF reported) and increased insulin resistance (FPF reported). In his press conference, Schumer stated: “We know phthalates are harmful, there is no question about that. The question is when they are in the wrappers, in the plastic, in the cups, does it get into the food and hurt us.” He pointed out that phthalates have been banned in products such as children’s furniture and baby bottles, yet they are continuously used in food packaging. For these reasons, he is calling on the FDA to conduct a study to “help determine the safety of phthalates in food packaging” and if found harmful, “ban them in the packaging.”

In March 2016, a group of U.S. non-governmental organizations (NGOs) submitted a petition to the FDA asking the agency to prohibit 30 ortho-phthalates in food contact uses (FPF reported). The FDA has not yet acted on the request.

Read more

Pritha Paul (July 31, 2017). “Is fast food packaging harmful? Chuck Schumer wants FDA to investigate.International Business Times

CBS New York (July 30, 2017). “Schumer calls for FDA probe on dangers of phthalates in fast food packaging.

Sharon Crowley (July 30, 2017). “Schumer calls on FDA to investigate fast food packaging.Fox 5

Chemical Watch (August 1, 2017). “Senator calls for U.S. FDA investigation of phthalates in FCMs.