California Evaluates Food Packaging Under its Safer Consumer Products Program


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The safety of substances used in food packaging has been in the spotlight for at least a decade now due to a wide range of factors, from improved analytical techniques to environmental concerns to increased media scrutiny and more aggressive attacks by nongovernmental organizations. In some cases, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other governmental agencies have determined that previous risk assessments supporting regulatory clearances of a food contact substance are no longer sufficient. However, in other cases, companies and local jurisdictions are banning food packaging and food packaging materials that FDA and the European Food Safety Authority have determined do not present health or safety concerns based on current use.

Some of the actions taken by states due to these concerns include, Washington State, California, and Connecticut, which are evaluating ways to reduce exposure to pre- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). More specifically, the Connecticut Interagency PFAS Task Force identified potential legislative opportunities to reduce PFAS exposure, such as requiring all water bottlers in the state to test their products for PFASs and requiring PFAS content product labeling. States from Vermont and Maine to Oregon and California have passed bans on single-use plastic bags.[1] In other words, safety and environmental concerns regarding food packaging are taking a prominent position. 

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