Regulation of food products in the United States
Food additives: FDA announces restrictions on the use of certain phthalates in food packaging for the U.S. market
The Food and Drug Administration has issued a regulation governing the use of food additives in packaging in contact with food sold in the United States. Expressly, the FDA has revoked approvals for using 23 phthalates in the U.S. food industry.
Phthalates are chemicals used in plastic products to make the material soft and flexible. The Food and Drug Administration considers food additives, phthalates are linked to several endocrine, reproductive and brain health problems. What makes them a health risk to U.S. consumers is the high rate of contact contamination, to the point where packaged food products that have undergone processing or handling have a high likelihood of containing phthalates.
This is a significant change in direction, considering that the FDA has never had legal thresholds limiting the concentration of phthalates in food or its processing equipment in America. Concerning phthalates still permitted in the U.S., the agency said it wants to verify their safety and potential health risks while also accepting input from U.S. citizens with scientific data.
Safety of food products for sale in the U.S.
FDA guidelines: Consumer reports play an active role in ensuring the safety of food sold on the U.S. market
The U.S. food market has changed over the years, and the use of phthalates in food contact packaging has also evolved. The FDA has analyzed many samples of fast food packaging and food contact items (such as gaskets, tubes, and conveyor belts): the results of these studies suggest that phthalate use in food packaging in the U.S. is limited and that consumer exposure to phthalates is decreasing, although it is significantly higher than the European average. However, U.S. citizens may have access to information that is not always made public. As a result, the FDA is allowing the public to submit reports regarding phthalates so that new safety assessments of food products available on the U.S. market can be initiated.
For more information, read the official communications released by FDA: https://www.fda.gov/food/cfsan-constituent-updates/fda-limits-use-certain-phthalates-food-packaging-and-issues-request-information-about-current-food