New study shows that microwaving plastic food containers can be harmful to children

With growing evidence that some chemicals found in food colorings, preservatives, and packaging materials may harm children’s health, a new American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) policy statement calls for urgently needed reforms to the U.S. food additive regulatory process. According to the statement in the August 2018 Pediatrics, “Food Additives and Child Health” (published online July 23), some currently allowed chemicals may best be avoided--especially for children.

An Increasing number of studies suggest some food additives can interfere with a child’s hormones, growth, and development, according to the policy statement and accompanying technical report. Some may also increase the risk of childhood obesity, rates of which have tripled since the 1970s. 

The United States allows the use of more than 10,000 additives to preserve, package, or modify the taste, appearance, texture, or nutrients in foods. Many were grandfathered in for approval during the 1950s, and roughly 1,000 additives are used under a “Generally Recognized as Safe” designation process that doesn’t require U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval. 



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