FDA Announces Final Rule to Ban Chemicals in Pizza Boxes

The FDA announced it plans to ban three chemicals used in pizza boxes, as well as other food packaging.

According to a Food Safety News report, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced it plans to publish a final rule banning three chemicals used in pizza boxes and other food packaging. The action is in response to a petition from a number of organizations, and FDA said it will ban three specific perfluoroalkyl ethyl types.

Perfluoroalkyl ethyl is used in food contact substances that act as oil and water repellents for paper and paperboard, which comes in contact with aqueous and fatty foods. According to FDA, new data show the toxicity of substances structurally similar to these compounds that demonstrate there is no longer a reasonable certainty of no harm. The final rule will take effect 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.

The food additive petition process includes a 30-day period to file objections by any person who is adversely affected; FDA's Dec. 31 announcement said stakeholders could submit objections starting Jan. 4.

"The FDA's ban is an important first step — but just a first step — toward improving the safety of our food supply. Now it should act on our petition to ban the seven other chemicals we believe — and government agencies such as the toxicology program at the National Institutes of Health have found — cause cancer," said Erik Olson, director of the National Resource Defense Council health program.

Food Engineering magazine reported that the revocation responded to a petition filed by the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Center for Food Safety, the Breast Cancer Fund, the Center for Environmental Health, Clean Water Action, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, the Children's Environmental Working Group, and Improving Kids' Environment.

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