Study Finds 175 Dangerous Chemicals in US Food Packaging

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

What you're putting in your shopping cart could be hazardous to your health (and we're not talking about the junk food).

Nowadays, the FDA and other non-profit groups are trying to get us to constantly think about what goes into our food, but have you ever thought about what your food goes into? The Food Packaging Forum recently did a study and found that over 175 hazardous and potentially carcinogenic or toxic chemicals are legally being utilized in food packaging and containers (foils, cans, storage containers, etc.) across the United States and Europe. The study concluded that these synthetic substances are released into the food at low levels, which are then ingested by the consumer on a daily basis.

“From a consumer perspective, it is certainly undesirable and also unexpected to find chemicals of concern being intentionally used in food contact materials,” the study’s authors stated.

While many of the chemicals are considered carcinogens, others can also affect the consumer’s reproductive levels, including common food coatings. According to Food Safety News, these chemicals are supposed to be properly controlled and progressively replaced by less-hazardous alternatives, but the chemicals used in the manufacture of food contact materials are regulated separately, so it may be a long time before we see changes in the chemicals within our food packaging.

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Joanna Fantozzi is an Associate Editor with The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter@JoannaFantozzi