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FDA Announces PFAS Used in Grease-Proofing Agents for Food Packaging Are No Longer Sold in the U.S.

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced on February 28, 2024, that Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) are no longer being sold for use in grease-proofing agents for food packaging in the U.S. market. Following a post-market safety assessment completed in 2020, three manufacturers voluntarily agreed to phase out sales of certain short-chain PFAS that contained 6:2 fluorotelomer alcohol (6:2 FTOH). A fourth manufacturer had stopped selling such products in 2019. At that time, there were 15 Food Contact Notifications (FCNs) held by the four manufacturers that contained 6:2 FTOH.  

FDA also confirmed that other manufacturers voluntarily stopped sales of other food contact substances (which contain different types of PFAS) intended for use as grease-proofing agents in the U.S. 

The completion of the voluntary market phase-out of these substances used on food packaging paper and paperboard eliminates the primary source of dietary exposure to PFAS from authorized food contact uses, FDA stated in the February 28th press release. 

FDA’s announcement concerning these products was preceded by the action of other manufacturers to voluntarily withdraw long chain (C8) PFAS products in 2011, and to Agency revocation of the food additive regulations authorizing the remaining uses of these long-chain PFAS in food packaging in 2016 (see 81 FR 5, January 4, 2016, and 81 FR 83672, November 22, 2016). As of the date of the revocations, long-chain PFAS cleared by the regulations were no longer being used in food contact applications sold in the United States.   

FDA also stated that it was working towards a validated analytical method that would allow the Agency to monitor the market for PFAS in food packaging.