Buyer Beware: More Toxic Chemicals Headed for U.S. Food, Products

There are thousands of new chemicals being produced each month. These new chemicals are added to the estimated 10,000 synthetic and industrialized chemicals already existing in U.S. processed foods, and well over 80,000 chemicals, many of which end up in U.S. cosmetics, personal care products like shampoo, and cleaning and other household products.  Several hundred of these chemicals have been linked in scientific research studies to health-related issues–some of them serious.  The risk becomes compounded when one considers that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been permitting big food and big chemical corporations to do their own testing for new chemicals added to the U.S. food supply, sans any requirement for outside independent safety testing, and regulatory oversight of chemicals in cosmetics and personal care products is virtually nonexistent.  Given all the problems related to reeling in chemicals of concern that have been going on for the past few decades one might think things could not get worse, but since the new administration took office, that is certainly shaping up to be the case…

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Here is an at-a-glance breakdown of the new administration’s rulings so far on toxic chemicals that will effect the U.S.

-Proposed deep cuts to Food and Drug Administration programs designed to review food chemicals and keep our food safe

-Reversed a ban of a pesticide linked to brain damage…See: EPA chief met with Dow CEO before deciding on pesticide ban

Delayed clean air rules designed to reduce mercury emissions

-Proposed to mothball a program designed to protect farm workers from pesticides

-Proposed to gut the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget, including cutting EPA funding for pesticide reviews by 20 percent

-Proposed a slashing of programs to protect kids from lead

-Proposed new rules for industrial chemical reviews, including reviews of legacy chemicals.  In particular, the new rules will allow the agency to ignore some of the ways in which our families are exposed to toxic chemicals, including “legacy” chemicals released into the environment decades ago, chemicals included in some household products like cosmetics, and chemical exposures deemed ‘too small’ to matter.

 

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Solutions:  Read the ingredients labels on all food and products before tossing them into your cart.  Choose certified organic food and products whenever possible, or make your own meals, drinks and snacks (as well as personal care and cleaning products) using fresh, nontoxic ingredients.  Additionally, consumers can check out the guides to cosmetics, cleaners, produce and packaged foods that can help them steer clear of dangerous chemicals