Tell the FDA: Keep toxic phthalates out of our food!
Phthalates (pronounced THAL-ates) are a class of hormone-disrupting chemicals that have been linked to birth defects, asthma, learning disabilities, and allergies. Clearly, they don’t belong in food.
And yet, the US Food and Drug Administration explicitly allows 30 different phthalates to be in our food. The FDA actually calls them “food additives.”
Food is the number one source of childhood exposure to phthalates. That’s because phthalates are added to many of the materials that come into contact with our food, from the plastic gloves that food workers wear, to plastic equipment used in the processing of food, to the packaging our food is sold in. Phthalates easily leach from these materials into our food, and from there, they get into our bodies.
Despite the evidence showing harmful health effects, the FDA allows 30 different toxic phthalates to be used in food handling equipment and packaging. Recently, several organizations submitted a petition to the FDA asking it to stop allowing these phthalates to be used as food additives. If successful, the petition could lead to a new rule making it illegal to sell phthalate-contaminated food, which would be a big victory for our children’s health.
Please submit a comment to FDA urging the agency to withdraw its approval of 30 different phthalates as food additives.
"I strongly support the petition asking FDA to withdraw its approvals of 30 ortho-phthalates as food additives in food contact articles.
Phthalates are linked to reproductive harm, especially genital birth defects in baby boys, as well as learning and developmental disabilities, and asthma and allergies.
Phthalates can leach out of food-contact products. They can be eaten, breathed in, or absorbed through the skin. Children are especially vulnerable to exposure from putting phthalate-containing products in their mouths. Phthalates also cross the placenta and can enter breastmilk, exposing young children prenatally and through breastfeeding.
Some of these phthalates are already banned in toys in the United States, so why should they be permitted in food? Please put an end to allowing food to be sold in the U.S. that is contaminated with chemicals already restricted due to their toxicity. Remove your agency’s approval of these harmful chemicals as legitimate food additives.
I urge you to protect children’s health by limiting the phthalates in our food."