Chemicals in Pizza Boxes Might Give You Cancer


Health advocates are urging the FDA to ban even more chemicals


Experts determined that chemicals in pizza boxes might give you cancer. This is why the FDA decided to revoke its approval of using three grease-proofing agents used to coat food containers and wrappers such as pizza boxes or microwave bags of popcorn.

However, many manufacturers have already stopped using these chemicals but under FDA’s new ruling any manufacturer who still uses them will have to stop or it will be breaking the law.

The rule has been published on January 4 in the Federal Register and it became effective starting the same day.

The Trade Association of The Plastic Industry which represents more companies that are producing perfluorinated chemicals claims that the chemicals ruled by the FDA are not used in products which come in contact with food.

All these grease-proof chemicals were used in pizza boxes, pet food bags, fast-food packaging and microwave popcorn bags. By coating the packages with these chemicals the grease was prevented from leaking through them.

The FDA’s ruling is a result of a petition submitted in 2014 by a coalition of cancer and child protection advocacy groups.

Two members of the coalition – the Environmental Working Group and the NRDC – Natural Resource Defense Council claimed that the FDA needs to revise more of the chemicals that come in contact with our food both when making the food or just touching the food.

According to the EWG FDA’s actions come ten years after the EWG together with other advocacy groups have ringed the alarm bell regarding the use of these chemicals and five years after the chemical companies have stopped producing them. As a result the FDA does nothing against the usage of about 100 chemicals similar to the ones prohibited on January 4.

Ken Cook argues that it is not acceptable for the FDA to take over ten years to realize the danger imposed by the chemicals used in food packaging and only ban three of them – exactly the ones which are not even produced anymore.

On the other side NRDC’s Health Program director Erik Olson declared that the recent ban is an important first step toward an improvement of food health but only a first step. Another at least seven related chemicals are believed to cause cancer, based on reports of the National Institutes of Health.

Besides that, the coalition has issued another petition to the FDA to ban six dangerous food additives.

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