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Congress should finish the job and protect us from PFAS in food packaging

When Congress returns to DC next week for just a few weeks of legislative activity, they have unfinished business: getting toxic PFAS banned in food packaging materials.

Congress can – and must – protect us from toxic chemicals in food packaging

Among the many items on the Congressional to-do list is a measure to ban PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) from use in food packaging. Communities from Alaska to Florida and Hawaii to Maine are paying millions to clean up pollution from these toxic “forever chemicals” that have contaminated drinking water in every state. 

In August, Representative Debbie Dingell (MI-12) and 77 members of the House of Representatives sent a bipartisan letter to Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Frank Pallone (NJ-6) and Ranking Member Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-5) urging them to keep a bipartisan Senate amendment in the final FDA bill that bans PFAS in food packaging. 

We were happy to work with our state partners to help amplify Rep. Dingell’s letter for key state delegations.  

Similar policies at state and corporate levels already exist. We can do this! 

Eleven states have acted to ban these chemicals in food packaging. Leading companies, including McDonald’s, Starbucks, and Whole Foods, have committed to phasing PFAS out of their packaging. But we need Congress to act to protect all of us.  

In a major victory for our campaign, thanks to Senators Maggie Hassan (New Hampshire) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee included a bipartisan amendment to ban the use of PFAS in food packaging in the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Landmark Advancements Act (FDASLA) that it reported out in June. 

As the chairs and ranking members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the Senate HELP Committee work out (“conference”) the differences between their two bills, we are working to make sure that this common-sense bipartisan measure stays in the final bill.

Organizations and activists across the country have reached out to their senators and representatives to highlight this opportunity to keep our food containers safe from PFAS. 

 Though the Congressional to-do list for September is large, we’ve already waited too long for federal action on this toxic problem. Congress must take action.

Your voice can make a big difference! Join us in taking action. 

We’ve made this simple online form for you to contact your representatives and senators to let them know that Congress should prioritize this common sense action to protect us all from PFAS by ending its use in food packaging.