The Government Accountability Office is lobbying for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to receive greater authority over food packaging. Moreover, the Government Accountability Office believes the U.S. Food and Drug Administration should be granted the power to take certain actions concerning the food packaging used in supermarkets and restaurants. According to a Government Accountability Office report, food packaging and processing can introduce non-food substances that can pose significant health risks. For example, greaseproof takeout paper containers and metal can linings often leach harmful chemicals into food products. One 2021 study found that some plastic products were leaching toxic chemicals under “realistic use conditions.”
Right now, even if new data shows that a particular product is posing a considerable health risk after the FDA approved its usage, the FDA cannot order companies to submit to a re-evaluation of the safety of the packaging products. Food safety experts suggest that the FDA commissioner directs the governmental agency to track the last pre- and post market reviews for all food contact substances and permit the FDA to identify substances that could necessitate a new post market review. Health experts have raised their concerns about certain food product packaging that contain substances that contribute to severe negative health effects, such as hormone disruption and thyroid disease.
Starting in 2000, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has been able to halt the use of three kinds of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) used to greaseproof food packaging. The Environmental Protection Agency has already warned that these PFAS chemical compounds may pose a greater danger to human health than regulators previously thought.
Unfortunately, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not have the legal authority to force food packaging manufacturers to provide any data on substances’ safety and the extent of their use in their packaging products. The Government Accountability Office stated that the FDA needs this information to determine the urgency of conducting postmarket reviews to safeguard the public. So far, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not issued a statement concerning these recommendations.
Americans are often exposed to PFAS when they use fast-food wrappers, nonstick pans, or certain types of cosmetic products. Once someone has been exposed to PFAS chemicals, the chemicals enter the bloodstream and remain in the body indefinitely. These chemicals contaminate organs leading to severe, adverse health effects, including liver disease, thyroid disease, developmental disabilities in babies, and many types of cancer. These toxic chemicals can be passed from mothers to their unborn babies. The health consequences of exposure to PFAS will depend on the amount of exposure, the type of chemical, and at which stage of development the person was exposed.
Have you or a loved one been harmed by a product? You may be qualified to file a lawsuit to recover monetary compensation for your injuries, medical treatment, lost earnings, and other damages.
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