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NGOs move to sue US government over perchlorate

A consortium of non-government organisations is escalating its attempts to force the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to take action on banning– perchlorate – from food packaging.

Perchlorate has been approved by the FDA for use as anti-static agents in plastic packaging for dry food like flour, beans and rice.

The six-party NGO coalition up is being led by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Center for Food Safety. The NRDC argues that ‘perchlorate impairs hormone production critical to brain development and poses a health threat, particularly to fetuses, infants and children.’

On 31 March the two lead advocacy organisations announced they had filed a writ of mandamus in the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to compel the regulator to act.

Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of the Center for Food Safety, says: ‘Perchlorate is primarily used in rocket fuel. There is no reason the FDA should allow a chemical like this in or on food products. It is irresponsible, illegal, and indefensible for the FDA to continue withholding a response to our petition when human health is at stake.’

The NRDC filed a similar writ on 18 February to compel the FDA to take action restricting perchlorate in human drinking water. The NGOs’s campaign against their use in food contact plastic began in December 2014, though the FDA neglected to respond to the groups’s initial petition within the allocated six-month period.

This article comes from Food Contact World, which provides exclusive news and analysis on developments in digital print trends, markets, and technologies.