Schumer calls on FDA to investigate fast food packaging

- There are new concerns over the chemicals used in fast food packaging and their potential impact on your health.

Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) is now calling on the Food and Drug Administration to launch a formal investigation into the health consequences of chemicals used in food packaging.

He claims that many studies show kids who consume fast food regularly had dangerous levels of phthalates in their body.

Phthalates are used in plastics to make them more flexible.  Some phthalates have been linked to health issues, both developmental and reproductive.

People can be exposed to phthalates if they eat or drink food that's come into contact with containers made with these chemicals, according to Schumer.

Doctor Robert Glatter works in the Emergency Room at Lenox Hill Hospital. He said the health concerns center on children and pregnant women.

Some of these types of chemicals are already banned in toys and baby bottles.  Senator Schumer wants the FDA to expand the ban to include fast food packaging.

“There are substitutes for phthalates that are not harmful and can be used in packaging and that's what we want the FDA to look at,” he said.

The American Chemical Council represents companies in the chemistry business.  It responded to the concern about phthalates by saying that food packaging is already reviewed by the FDA and is also done again before new materials are allowed on the market.

It is estimated that about 50 million Americans eat fast food every day.

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