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FDA Files Food Additive Petition to Ban Benzene and Three Other Solvents

FDA Building

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published a notice of filing for a food additive petition that proposes amending certain food additive regulations to remove four solvents: benzene, ethylene dichloride, methylene chloride, and trichloroethylene. The food additive petition was submitted by the Environmental Health Defense Fund, the Breast Cancer Prevention Partners, the Center for Environmental Health, the Environmental Working Group, and Lisa Lefferts.

The petition proposes that FDA amend the following regulations to remove the use of the four specified solvents: 

  1. 21 Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.) § 172.560, “Modified hop extract,”
  2. 21 C.F.R. § 172.710, “Adjuvants for pesticide use dilutions,”
  3. 21 C.F.R. § 173.230, “Ethylene dichloride,” 
  4. 21 C.F.R. § 173.255, “Methylene chloride,”
  5. 21 C.F.R. § 173.290, “Trichloroethylene,” and
  6. 21 C.F.R. § 173.315, “Chemicals used in washing or to assist in the peeling of fruits and vegetables.”

The Federal Register notice announcing this action can be found at 89 FR 1857-1858 (January 11, 2024). Comments on the filing notice are due by March 11, 2024.