News Reports on Pizza Box Safety are Misleading to the Public

1/12/2016

By Stewart Holm, Chief Scientist, the American Forest and Paper Association.

Recent news reports on the health and safety of pizza boxes have failed the public, creating undue worry and giving a bad rap to products that help safely deliver the food we eat.

While the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has banned the use of three grease-proofing agents in pizza boxes, news reports fail to acknowledge that U.S.-based manufacturers stopped using these agents in pizza boxes over four years ago. Today’s headlines would lead you to believe changes currently are needed in pizza boxes, as this critical information was left out of most stories.

The FDA even went on to say exposure from any remaining products on the market “will not impact public health.”

On Jan. 5, 2016, the FDA issued a final rule revoking authorization of three grease-proofing agents – known as long-chain perfluorinated compounds or “PFCs” – that were formerly used in products like pizza boxes, prompting a flurry of news reports. The move is in response to certain health and environmental group calls for action, although it is little more than formality since manufacturers voluntarily stopped using these materials as of Oct. 1, 2011.

AF&PA members are committed to making safe products that consumers can trust; this includes complying with FDA regulations and reasonable requests for voluntary action and only using materials that are considered safe for food packaging. In this instance, our industry led by acting years in advance of a rule issued by FDA.

More information about the issue is available on the FDA’s website:
http://www.fda.gov/food/ingredientspackaginglabeling/packagingfcs/notifications/ucm308462.htm
http://www.fda.gov/Food/NewsEvents/ConstituentUpdates/ucm479465.htm

Head to AF&PA's website to view the original article.

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