The US health regulator, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), has upheld its initial denial of a citizen petition seeking a ban on certain chemicals used in plastic for food packaging.

The petition, which was filed in May of 2022, requested the FDA to ban eight ortho-phthalates and revoke the prior approved uses for five other ortho-phthalates due to alleged safety concerns.

What are ortho-phthalates and their use in plastics?

Ortho-phthalates, commonly known as phthalates, are chemicals utilised in plastic products to enhance their durability. The use of ortho-phthalates, also known as phthalates, in plastic products has been a subject of concern due to potential safety issues.

In 2022, a citizen petition was submitted to the FDA, urging the regulatory body to take action against the use of specific ortho-phthalates in food packaging. The petition claimed that these chemicals raised safety concerns and posed potential risks to consumers.

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FDA’s reconsideration

After careful consideration, the FDA has decided not to grant the petition’s request for a ban on the specified ortho-phthalates used in food packaging.

The health regulator stands by its original denial, indicating that the current approved usage of nine phthalates in food packaging production will remain unchanged.

The FDA’s decision to uphold the allowance of nine phthalates in food packaging production was met with mixed reactions from various consumer safety advocacy groups, who argue for stricter regulations and alternative packaging materials to ensure public health and environmental safety.