Researchers from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have reportedly disclosed in a presentation that sampling showed high levels of per- and polyfluoroalykyl substances (PFAS) in food, including meat, fish, leafy greens and chocolate cake. The researchers presented the findings at a conference hosted by the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry in Finland. An FDA spokesperson reportedly told the Associated Press that the agency thought the contamination was “not likely to be a human health concern.”

Studies finding PFAS in drinking water have prompted legislation, including proposed federal legislation, to ban the use of the material in packaging. The Maine legislature has passed a bill that would prohibit the use of PFAS in food packaging sold within the state; if signed by the governor, the law would take effect in January 2022 and would ban PFAS-containing packaging within two years of the state’s Department of Environmental Protection determining that safer alternatives are “readily available in sufficient quantity and at a comparable cost.” The bill would also ban the sale of food packaging containing phthalates.

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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.