Target: Acting Commissioner Dr. Stephen Ostroff, Food and Drug Administration
Goal: Prohibit harmful chemicals from our food
Harmful chemicals enter our bodies at every meal. They are sprayed on our produce as pesticides. They are in the packaging in which we buy our foods. They are in food preservatives and flavor enhancers of common food items. They are also on the tableware on which we eat our food. The Center for Disease Control reports that there are traces of 29 different pesticides found in the average American’s body.
Formaldehyde, a known carcinogen, is often used to manufacture plastic bottles and melamine tableware. Melamine is a flame-retardant chemical that has been linked to kidney failure and cancer and can easily seep into our foods. Aluminum can manufacturers routinely use BPA on the inside of cans to prevent rusting. BPA has been linked with health issues such as behavior problems, asthma, and kidney and heart disease. Phthalates are compounds used in food packaging that have been linked to increased insulin resistance and heightened diabetes risk for women.
Companies began including additives in food soon after World War II to facilitate the manufacturing and packaging processes. As a result today, breakfast cereals may contain BHT, a product used in embalming fluid and jet fuel; A “healthy” veggie burger’s main ingredient may be MSG; Most food colorants are mainly derived from coal tar and contain lead and arsenic. Propylene glycol alginate is a food thickener which can also be found in automotive anti-freezes and airport runway de-icers. This is just a small sample of the extensive list of chemicals added to our food.
Chemicals and pesticides are not needed to produce food. In 2014, U.S. organic farmers produced $30 billion worth of pesticide-free food. Unfortunately, washing your fruits and vegetables is not likely to reduce the amount of pesticides. Most pesticides are absorbed through the root and distributed throughout the plant. Agro-chemical companies are now genetically engineering food crops to produce the pesticides themselves. The EPA may set limits on the amount of each pesticide on a food item, but it does not limit the number of different pesticides that can be on the food. Pesticides can have a cumulative effect on health both in the immediate and long term.
By signing the petition below, you will urge Acting FDA Commissioner Ostroff to prohibit chemicals from our food.
Dear Acting Commissioner Ostroff:
Please act today to prohibit harmful chemicals from our food supply. The addition of chemicals to the foods we eat is detrimental to our health and must be banned. Nobody should consume a chemical that is carcinogenic or that is also found in anti-freeze.
Organic food production is a viable and safer alternative. Pesticides and chemical additives lead to increased health problems in both children and adults. The marked increase in diabetes, cancer, and other debilitating diseases can be directly linked to harmful chemicals and pesticides found on and in our foods.
I urge you to prohibit the harmful chemicals and pesticides from being used in food production. Reducing the amount of harmful chemicals and pesticides that the American people consume will be beneficial to our health and the health of future generations. Please take action to ban the use of industrial chemicals and pesticides in our food.
Photo Credit: Tarasov_VL