Tags: food | packaging | chemicals | harmful

Food Packages Harmful to Health, Scientists Warn

By Nick Tate   |   Thursday, 20 Feb 2014 12:52 PM

Artificial chemicals used in the packaging, storage, and processing of foodstuffs have been found to be harmful to human health, according to a new warning from environmental scientists.

In a commentary published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, medical experts call for more research into the impact of synthetic chemicals — such as formaldehyde, bisphenol A, tributyltin, triclosan, and phthalates — leaching into processed and stored foods that comprise a large proportion of many Americans' diets.

Frankenfoods, Protect Yourself From the Hidden Dangers Now

"Whereas the science for some of these substances is being debated and policy makers struggle to satisfy the needs of stakeholders, consumers remain exposed to these chemicals daily, mostly unknowingly," the scientists said, noting the number of known chemical substances used in food-packaging products exceeds 4,000.

Although some of these chemicals are regulated, people who eat a lot of packaged or processed foods are chronically exposed to low levels of these substances throughout their lives, and may suffer ill effects because most are not inert and can leach into the foods we eat, they said.

The researchers argued the widespread use of synthetic substances in food packaging, storage, processing, or preparation equipment  "is a cause for concern for several reasons." Among them:
  • Toxic chemicals, such as formaldehyde — a cancer-causing substance — are legally used in plastic bottles used for fizzy drinks and melamine tableware.
  • Chemicals known to disrupt hormone production are also present in such products, including bisphenol A, tributyltin, triclosan, and phthalates.
  • Potential cellular changes caused by such chemicals, including the capacity to disrupt hormones, are not even being considered in routine toxicology analyses, which "casts serious doubts on the adequacy of chemical regulatory procedures," they said.
"Since most foods are packaged, and the entire population is likely to be exposed, it is of utmost importance that gaps in knowledge are reliably and rapidly filled," they urged.

Frankenfoods, Protect Yourself From the Hidden Dangers Now

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