Dear MoveOn member,
No matter how careful you are about what you eat, your food could be loaded with toxic chemicals called phthalates.1
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is considering a petition, filed by Earthjustice and several partner organizations, asking the agency to withdraw its approval of all 30 phthalates (pronounced THAL-ates) currently allowed as food additives. And the deadline for the public to weigh in expires in just weeks.2
Phthalates are a class of hormone-disrupting chemicals that have been linked to severe genital birth defects in boys and to other reproductive health problems. They're also linked to deficits in child IQ, developmental delays, and other learning disabilities.3
It's hard to avoid phthalates because they're used in many of the materials that come into contact with our food—from the plastic gloves that food workers wear, to plastic equipment used in processing food, to the plastic packaging our food is sold in. Phthalates leach out of these materials and seep into our food, ending up in all of our bodies.4
Despite powerful scientific evidence of the harmful health effects of these chemicals, the FDA still allows the use of 30 different toxic phthalates as "food additives," meaning that they can be used in food-handling equipment and food packaging.5
—Eve Gartner, Earthjustice
1. "'Safer' chemicals in plastics may be hazardous to kids," CBS News, July 9, 2015
2. "Filing of Food Additive Petition; Reopening of Comment Period," Federal Register, August 8, 2016
3. "Prenatal exposure to common chemicals linked to lower IQ in children," CBS News, December 11, 2014
4. "Concern over chemical ingredients is growing," Raconteur, August 9, 2016
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