Friday, September 5, 2008

Serving Up ... Toxics???

Americans eat 90 acres of pizza a day, and consume more than 16 billion quarts of popcorn each year. Those hungry folks could be getting a hidden side order of perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs), compounds within certain grease-proof coatings that come out whenever those packages break down.

You may find PFCs in anything that’s made to repel grease, such as pizza, popcorn and French fry containers. A carcinogen, they now show up in more than 98 percent of Americans’ blood, and in 100 percent of 293 newborns tested by scientists in a recent study. Worst of all, these compounds never break down – they’ll stay in our soil, our water and our bodies indefinitely.

That’s why Sierra Club California and its labor and community-group allies have worked so hard to pass Senate Bill 1313. SB 1313 sets a safer standard for controlling these toxic compounds in food packaging, to protect California families from the risk of cancer.

It hasn’t been easy so far. We’ve had a lot of strong opposition from the chemical industry. Ignoring multiple studies,manufacturers of these chemicals argue there isn’t enough scientific evidence tying PFCs to cancer. They also say it will be too hard to stop using these chemicals.

Too hard? Burger King already phased out PFCs from its containers… in 2002.

We urge Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to sign SB 1313 into law. California families should be free to think about what’s in the food they eat, not what’s around it.

Read this July 2008 LA Times story to learn more

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