Worrying Presence Of Plastics In Fast Food

By Reuters
Worrying Presence Of Plastics In Fast Food

Consumer Reports has alleged that plastics retain a 'widespread' presence in food despite the health risks, and called on regulators to reassess the safety of plastics that come into contact with food during production.

The non-profit consumer group claimed on Thursday that 84 out of 85 supermarket foods and fast foods it recently tested contained 'plasticizers' known as phthalates, a chemical used to make plastic more durable.

Phthalate Levels

It also alleged 79% of food samples in its study contained bisphenol A (BPA), another chemical found in plastic, and other bisphenols, though levels were lower than in tests done in 2009.

Consumer Reports claims none of the phthalate levels it found exceeded limits set by US and European regulators.

It also alleged there was no level of phthalates that scientists confirm is safe, but that does not guarantee the safety of foods you eat.


Health Problems

Phthalates and bisphenols can disrupt the production and regulation of estrogen and other hormones, potentially boosting the risk of birth defects, cancer, diabetes, infertility, neurodevelopmental disorders, obesity and other health problems.

Consumer Reports claimed Elevated phthalate levels were found in products such as burgers, nuggets and fries.

'Overdue And Essential'

"That tells us that, as widespread as these chemicals are, there are ways to reduce how much is in our foods," said James Rogers, who oversees Consumer Reports' product safety testing.

The consumer group said a reassessment by the US Food and Drug Administration and other agencies of the risks of plasticizers is 'overdue and essential.'