The California legislature is considering a bill to make the state the first in the nation to ban perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) from restaurant food wrappers and containers. The bill proposes that food providers “shall not serve, sell, offer for sale, or offer for promotional purposes prepared food or fast food in, on, or with take-­out foodservice ware or packaging that contains a fluorinated chemical.” The bill has been referred to the Committee on Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials and set for hearing on April 25, 2017.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), scientists do not have enough information to evaluate the health effects of exposure to per-­ and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)—a group of materials to which PFCs belong—although some studies have allegedly shown that PFAS may affect the growth of fetuses, decrease fertility and interfere with normal hormonal function, among other possible effects. Exposure to PFAS from consumer products such as fast­-food wrappers and containers, microwave popcorn bags, pizza boxes and candy wrappers is “usually low,” CDC findings reportedly show, especially when compared to possible levels of exposure from contaminated drinking water or eating fish caught in contaminated waters.

 

Issue 630

About The Author

For decades, manufacturers, distributors and retailers at every link in the food chain have come to Shook, Hardy & Bacon to partner with a legal team that understands the issues they face in today's evolving food production industry. Shook attorneys work with some of the world's largest food, beverage and agribusiness companies to establish preventative measures, conduct internal audits, develop public relations strategies, and advance tort reform initiatives.

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