The FDA has had a lot of fish to fry recently, with offenders ranging from companies infecting customers because of irresponsibility, to virus outbreaks traced back at popular restaurants. The administration did find, however, the time to try a preventive approach, with three nation-wide used chemicals banned by FDA.
- The chemicals in question are diethanolamine salts, pentanoic acid, and perflouroalkyl
- They are used to keep cardboard and paper packaging from getting grease damage
- Microwave popcorn and pizza are some of the foods that come in contact with the chemicals most often
- Birth defects and cancer are linked to the three chemicals
- Multiple health advocacy groups insisted on the ban of the dangerous substances
Basically, what the three chemicals do is to prevent paper or cardboard food containers from getting water or grease damage from the food inside.
Also known as perfluoroalky ethyl food-contact substances, or simply FCS, the trio was banned by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration because multiple groups advocated against their continued allowance to be used in contact with food.
Some of the health centered groups that petitioned for the removal from public use of the three chemicals are the Breast Cancer Fund, the Children’s Environmental Health Network, the Center for Food Safety, and the Center for Environmental Health.
In 2010, the FDA conducted a study which proved that the diethanolamine salts, pentanoic acid, and perflouroalkyl substances are responsible for improper fetal development, as well as causing issues in newborns. Additionally, the study also reported the chemicals to by relatively highly carcinogenic.
Despite the study ranging back to 6 years ago, it was only this year that any measures were taken to remove the three chemicals and their derivates from public use.
The main reason given by the United States Food and Drug Administration for finally banning the highly harmful chemicals was that there was no proof that they *didn’t* lead to serious health issues.
In the report, the Agency states that in the absence of data to prove that the chemicals aren’t harmful, they conclude that the reasonable certainty that the chemicals cause no harm is gone, and so the chemicals are banned.
No mention is made, however, about their own previous study which proved 6 years ago that the chemicals were indeed highly carcinogenic and impeded infant and fetal development.
The new legislation has been in place since January 4th, but the parties that use the substances have 30 days to adjust to the new system before having to entirely give up the chemicals. Additionally, complaints and hearing requests can be submitted until February 3rd.
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