STATEMENT: FDA says PFAS completely phased out of U.S. food packaging

Media Contacts
Danielle Melgar

Former Food & Agriculture, Advocate, U.S. PIRG Education Fund

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced Wednesday that Per and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) used to “grease-proof” food packaging are no longer being sold in the United States.

For decades, companies that create food packaging have applied substances containing PFAS to paper and paperboard packaging to prevent the leaking of grease and oil, and for water-resistant properties. You could find PFAS in fast-food wrappers, microwave popcorn bags, take-out paperboard containers and pet food bags, among other packages. 

Health experts say research suggests that PFAS, which are nicknamed ‘forever chemicals’ because they resist breaking down in the environment, may be linked to a variety of health issues, including problems with growth and development, reproduction and some forms of cancer.

In response to the FDA’s announcement, U.S. PIRG Education Fund’s Food and Agriculture Advocate Danielle Melgar released this statement:

“PFAS and food go together like oil and water — they don’t. Our lunch shouldn’t be wrapped in toxic chemicals. When virtually all Americans have PFAS in our bodies and expectant mothers can even pass PFAS to their babies, there’s no time to waste in eliminating ‘forever chemicals’ wherever possible. We applaud the FDA’s announcement and this critical progress in wiping this absurd threat from our plates.”