Jun 05, 2019

FDA Report Finds PFAS in Some Food

The FDA found levels of PFAS in some meats and seafood

The FDA found levels of PFAS in some meats and seafood

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found substantial levels of a class of industrial compounds in some grocery store meats and seafood and in off-the-shelf chocolate cake. The news comes off of more levels of PFAS being found in drinking water.

Levels in the meat and fish tested over the federal advisory levels for the compounds, called per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS.

According to Michigan Radio, a federal toxicology report cited links between high levels of compounds in people’s blood and health problems. However, it was not certain if the compounds were the cause.

“The agency thought the contamination was ‘not likely to be a human health concern,’” said Tara Rabin, an FDA spokeswoman June 3. “Even though the tests exceeded the sole existing federal PFAS recommendations for drinking water.”

The agency considers each discovery of compounds at a case by case basis. This includes the kind of food, contamination level, frequency of consumption and latest scientific information, Rabin said.

There are approximately 5,000 varieties of PFAS, according to Michigan Radio. DuPont created PFAS in 1938 and put it into use for nonstick cookware.

The federal toxicology review last year said “the compounds are more dangerous than previously thought, saying consistent studies of exposed people ‘suggest associations’ with some kinds of cancers, liver problems, low birth weight and other issues.”

According to Michigan Radio, the compounds have been called “forever chemicals” because they take thousands of years to degrade, and some even accumulate in people’s bodies.

The U.S. EPA established a “health threshold of 70 ppt for two-phased out forms of the contaminant in drinking water.”

“I know there are people who would like us to move faster,” said Andrew Wheeler, EPA Administrator Monday at the National Press Club. “We are addressing this much faster than the agency has ever done for a chemical like this.”