If you think the plastics industry shouldn’t be allowed to contaminate our food with toxic chemicals, we need you to let the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) know you disagree with its recent decision taking the chemical industry’s side on this.
Last month, the FDA refused to ban phthalates (pronounced THAL-ates), a type of petrochemical used in packaging that leaches into food and causes serious harm to human health. No matter how careful you are about what you eat, your food likely contains phthalates because the FDA allows these chemicals to be used for producing and packaging food.
Phthalates are linked to birth defects, infertility, and miscarriage. They can also harm children’s brain development, leading to reduced IQ and attention and behavior disorders. Babies and young children are most vulnerable to harm from phthalates and suffer the greatest exposure since they eat and drink more per pound of body weight. And people of color in all age groups, as well as economically insecure people, face disproportionately high levels of exposure to phthalates, placing them at heightened risks of serious health problems from phthalates.
We still have an opportunity to push back. The FDA is required to accept feedback from the public, and we need to make our voices heard. Tell the FDA its decision threatens public health by ignoring the overwhelming science that these chemicals are dangerous.
Given the well-established — and growing — body of scientific studies linking phthalate exposure through food and drinks to serious health harms, Earthjustice and our partners asked the FDA to ban phthalates in food packaging and production materials in 2016. After years of stalling by the FDA, Earthjustice and our partners sued to force an end to the agency’s harmful inaction. The FDA had ample time and overwhelming evidence that allowing phthalates to get into our food is causing life-altering harm to people’s health — but when compelled to finally make a decision, it chose to let corporations keep adding these toxic chemicals to our food.
We deserve better from the agency charged with ensuring our food is safe from toxic chemicals. Urge the FDA to reconsider this disastrous decision and ban phthalates from food packaging.