A new report by the Food Packaging Forum, a non-profit based in Switzerland, has identified over 3,200 potentially harmful chemicals that can be found in food packaging. The report is the product of an analysis by an international group of scientists who reviewed over 1,200 scientific studies measuring a variety of chemicals found in food packaging, tableware, reusable food containers, and processing equipment. The report notes that two-thirds of the chemicals identified were not previously known to be in contact with food. The study also reports that little is known about the effects of many of these chemicals on human beings.
But what is clear, according to the report, is that many of these chemicals are ending up in our bodies. Pete Myers, co-author of the report and chief scientist of Environmental Health Sciences, noted that “[t]he mix of chemicals is just too complicated to allow us to regulate them safely.” And the ones that have been studied include known human toxins such as phthalates and the “forever chemical” PFAS, which are known to cause a host of health problems, including cancer.
And what has become crystal clear over the past few decades of research on this topic is that the need for complete transparency and understanding of the chemical cocktail surrounding and infusing virtually every food item we consume on a daily basis is critical to human health, well-being, and survival. The more research done, the more concrete becomes the stark reality that the food container industry is gambling with the health, safety, and well-being of virtually every human on the planet. For more information on this topic, check out the Food Packaging Forum’s interactive database on chemicals of concern. And if you believe you have been harmed by exposure to phthalates or “forever chemicals” you should contact an experienced law firm right away to explore your rights.