Will FDA Acquire Greater Authority Over Food Contact Chemicals?


With increased concern over the persistence of “forever chemicals”, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has recommended that FDA request Congress for authorization to gather information on the presence of persistent chemicals including per and polyfluorinated compounds (PFASs) in food packaging.


U.S. Representatives Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Chellie Pingree (D-ME) requested that GAO report based on concerns resulting from recent studies.  The report included the comment:- “Thousands of food contact substances are available for use in manufacturing, packaging and transporting food.  These substances are used in food wrappers and the lining of metal food cans.  Some of the substances may, by themselves or in combination, contribute to adverse health effects including thyroid disease and hormone disruption.”


The GAO recommended that FDA request specific legal authority to compel companies to provide information needed to reassess safety of these compounds.  The FDA was urged to track dates of reviews for all food contact substances to identify compounds that require post-market evaluation.