Chairman Krishnamoorthi Calls on FDA to Protect American Children and Families from Harmful Chemicals in Food Packaging

Jan 10, 2022
Press Release

Washington, D.C. (January 10, 2022)—Today, Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy, sent a letter to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requesting information about its regulation of phthalates, dangerous chemicals commonly found in food packaging and processing materials.  Phthalates can cause significant health problems, including fertility and reproductive issues in adults and behavioral and cognitive development issues in children.

 

“FDA is tasked with ensuring the safety of our nation’s food supply, but over multiple administrations the agency has fallen short in protecting vulnerable Americans from the pernicious effects of foods contaminated with phthalates,” Chairman Krishnamoorthi wrote.  “FDA must not allow these dangerous chemicals to continue to hurt American families.”

Congress and federal agencies have taken some steps in recent years to address the use of phthalates in common goods, but more must be done to eliminate the risk to children and families.  Eight phthalates are now banned at concentrations of more than 0.1% in children’s toys and child care articles, and the Environmental Protection Agency recently designated five phthalates as high-priority substances for risk evaluation.  Despite this progress, FDA regulations still allow 28 different phthalates to be used in food packaging and processing materials.

 

Communities of color are disproportionately harmed by exposure to these dangerous chemicals.  According to a 2019 study that examined racial disparities in maternal phthalate exposure, pregnant Black women have greater phthalate exposures than pregnant white women, which is associated with poorer birth outcomes and creates health disparities that cascade from one generation to the next.

 

In today’s letter, Chairman Krishnamoorthi requested that FDA provide information about the steps it has taken to evaluate the dangers posed by phthalates and its efforts to ban these dangerous chemicals from use in food packaging and processing materials.


Click here to read the letter to FDA.

 

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117th Congress