Read the full article by Laura Reiley (The Washington Post)
“Some of America’s favorite restaurants have just committed to taking something off consumers’ plates.
Restaurant Brands International, which owns Burger King, Tim Hortons and Popeyes, announced plans late Wednesday to phase out these chemicals in its food packaging worldwide by 2025. Chick-fil-A announced a similar commitment Wednesday evening on Twitter to phase out these chemicals in packaging by the end of this summer.
The companies’ embrace of doing more to stamp out chemicals is in response to a just-published investigation by Consumer Reports that detailed how they found toxic chemicals in a majority of the food wrappers and packaging from chain restaurants and grocery stores that they tested.
These chemicals, called PFAS, short for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are used in hundreds of products to make them resistant to heat, water, oil and corrosion. They are sometimes called ‘forever chemicals’ because they are resistant to breaking down naturally in the environment and can remain in people’s bodies for years. PFAS from grease-resistant food wrappers can seep into food and contaminate soil and water when packaging reaches landfills.
Consumer Reports tested multiple samples of 118 food packaging products from major restaurant and grocery chains, including paper bags for french fries and wrappers for hamburgers, as well as paper plates and molded fiber bowls for salads. The organization found PFAS chemicals in more than half of the food packages tested.
Although frequent exposure to these chemicals, even at low levels, has been linked to a growing list of health problems, including immune system suppression, lower birth weight and increased risk for some cancers,the Food and Drug Administrationhas not issued any guidance or set limits for the chemicals infood packaging, said Michael Hansen, senior scientist at Consumer Reports.
Denmark set a limit of 20 parts per million to protect public health, and California’s ban on these chemicals in food packaging, which goes into effect in 2023, requires levels below 100 ppm.”…