Food Packaging & Health

Phthalates

Phthalates are common plasticizers used in polyvinyl chloride (PVC), but migration from other types of food packaging has also been found. For some phthalates food is estimated to be the main exposure route, and food contact materials are likely a relevant source. Phthalates are legally used in food packaging, but their use is restricted in the EU.

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Gain weight because of endocrine disruption?

A study by scientists from the New York University’s School of Medicine published in September 2012 found elevated levels of a common food contact substance, bisphenol A (BPA), to be associated with a higher risk for being overweight in children and adolescents. The study used nationally representative data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) study collected in 6 to 19 year old US inhabitants. The study’s design does not permit conclusions regarding causation, however biological plausible explanations of how BPA may cause overweight or obesity do exist, making the study relevant and highlighting the need for further research.

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Lidl and Colruyt trial Eco-Score label

Retailers Lidl and Colruyt announce testing front-of-pack EcoScore label; uses life cycle assessment to estimate ecological footprint based on climate change, water use, land use, acidification; considers packaging recyclability; if test-phase successful Lidl will consider implementation in all its German locations

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Hazardous chemicals in European products: new SCIP database

European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) launches database of all notifications from EU companies of products containing Substances of Very High Concern (SVHCs); contains over 4 million article notifications from 6000 companies; includes articles such as food processors; Swedish Chemicals Agency launches pilot project to identify potentially hazardous chemicals early in product design process