Contact: Kathryn St. John (202) 249-6513
Flawed Study Wrongly Questions Product Safety
WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 4, 2011)
On March 2, the journal Environmental Health Perspectives published a study suggesting that many forms of plastic packaging can potentially release endocrine active substances. The American Chemistry Council's Plastics Division, whose members include the nation's leading producers of plastics materials, issued the following statement:
Every day, modern plastic packaging plays a critical role in helping to prevent foodborne illness and reduce spoilage from farm to shelf to table-but not before these materials are demonstrated to meet rigorous government safety standards. In the United States, all plastic packaging intended for contact with foods and beverages must meet the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's stringent safety requirements before it may be used.
The types of "test tube" testing methods employed in this study must be viewed with caution. By design, they do not reflect the complexity of the body and are not capable of providing information on actual risk to humans. A proper evaluation requires consideration of many factors and few of these were considered in this study. In fact, some common foods show endocrine activity in limited tests such as this one.
In addition, the study's authors neither identified the substances alleged to migrate from food packaging, nor did they provide any information on the amounts of substances that allegedly migrated.
As a result of these significant limitations, this report cannot be considered a reliable source. Consumers can continue to have confidence that the plastic food packaging on the market today meets stringent Federal safety requirements.
ACC's Plastics Division
Plastic Foodservice Packaging