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New Study Targets Fluorinated Grease-Proofing Agents Employed in Paper Packaging for Fast Food

  • Fluorinated chemicals are used in formulating food packaging paper and paperboard materials for their grease-repellent properties.

  • A recent study by the Silent Spring Institute, published in Environmental Science & Technology Letters, suggests that a substantial portion of the paper and paperboard used for fast food packaging contains certain fluorinated grease-proofing chemicals, including poly or perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).  The study, which has received extensive media attention (see e.g., here and here), implicitly suggests that the presence of PFAS in the food packaging poses some safety or environmental concern.

  • While the press coverage suggests a potential health concern for consumers based on this study, at least some of the news articles do reference a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) spokesperson who stated that FDA has carefully reviewed the science on short-chain compounds and has not identified any safety concerns.

© 2020 Keller and Heckman LLPNational Law Review, Volume VII, Number 45


About this Author

Keller and Heckman offers global food and drug services to its clients. Our comprehensive and extensive food and drug practice is one of the largest in the world. We promote, protect, and defend products made by the spectrum of industries regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the European Commission and Member States authorities in the European Union (EU) and similar authorities throughout the world. The products we help get to market include foods, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, veterinary products, dietary supplements, and cosmetics. In addition...