public health

Promotes the health of all farmers, workers, and consumers by addressing the health impacts of food production, processing, packaging, labeling, distribution, marketing, consumption, and disposal.


 

Measure

Advocate against chemical inputs in our food that are harmful to public health


Background Information

Our global industrial food system is heavily dependent on toxic chemicals and synthetic inputs that pose threats to our health, especially children’s. While the US food regulatory system is one of the country’s oldest consumer product regulatory systems, there arecorporate loopholes and regulatory flaws that compromise our grocery products and our public health. For example, Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA) is a preservative used in the US that is a known carcinogen and banned in Europe and Japan. Brominated Vegetable Oil (BVO) is a compound used in sodas to prevent separating during distribution.  BVO was originally patented as a flame retardant for plastics but has been added to soft drinks in the US for decades in, although it is banned for consumption in Europe and Japan. A third example, rBGH, is a genetically modified hormone administered to cows to increase their milk production. Despite widespread opposition from scientists, farmers and consumers, the US FDA currently allows dairy cows to be injected with rBGH, although its use is currently banned in the EU, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada.

As another example, Phthalates are chemical compounds used primarily to add plasticity to substances such as vinyl flooring or synthetics. Recent studies have found found high concentrations of phthalates in powdered cheese mixes, including from company’s advertising organic products. Adverse health effects of phthalate exposure include infertility, genital birth defects, and learning and behavior issues. Phthalate exposure is especially harmful for young children, the largest consumer group for boxed macaroni and cheese, particularly for lower-income families.


The Food Bill