American Academy of Pediatrics Warns against Toxic Phthalates in U.S. Food Supply: Statement

Environmental Health Strategy Center and the Coalition for Safer Food Processing & Packaging
News Releases

Statement from Patrick MacRoy, deputy director of the Environmental Health Strategy Center and coordinator of the Coalition for Safer Food Processing & Packaging, on the American Academy of Pediatrics Policy Statement on toxic chemical additives in food: 

July 23, 2018—“This important statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) sounds the alarm about the toxic soup of chemical additives that are lurking in the U.S. food supply, many of which are added with only the assurance of safety from the manufacturer and no formal U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) review.

“The statement particularly highlights the dangers of phthalates, toxic industrial chemicals that are often used to soften materials used in food manufacturing like plastic and rubber. When food comes into contact with those materials throughout the supply chain, these toxic chemicals easily leach into our food. In fact, research shows that here in the U.S., food is our number one source of exposure to phthalates. Laboratory testing we commissioned reflected how ubiquitous these toxic chemicals are in food, finding in 2017 that 29 out of 30 cheese products tested contained phthalates—including 10 out of 10 boxed macaroni and cheese powders. 

“This is a silent public health crisis: Strong science has linked exposure to these chemicals to infertility, ADHD, and obesity. A U.S. government study discovered in 2014 that up to 725,000 American women of childbearing age are exposed each day to levels of phthalates that could harm a developing fetus.

“Studies have also shown that vulnerable communities are exposed to higher levels of these toxic chemicals, making this an issue of environmental justice. It’s long past time to get these toxic chemicals out of the U.S. food supply. 

While we support AAP’s call for congressional action, there is no reason that industry can’t start solving this problem and providing our children with safer food now. Since the FDA is asleep at the wheel, we’re calling on food manufacturers to take notice of this warning from the AAP and protect the health of kids and families by finding and eliminating any and all sources of phthalates in food.”

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The Coalition for Safer Food Processing & Packaging​ is a national alliance of nonprofit organizations concerned about human health, food safety, and social justice who are working together to persuade major food manufacturers to identify and eliminate phthalates and other chemicals of high concern from the American food supply. 

The Environmental​ Health Strategy Center works for a world where all people are healthy and thriving in a fair and healthy economy. We protect public health by fighting for​ ​safe food and drinking water, toxic-free products, and good green manufacturing jobs.