A major U.S. pediatrics association is warning that many chemicals used to colour, preserve or package food pose dangers to children and that the regulatory system must be overhauled to protect young people.
In a statement published on Monday, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says evidence is mounting about health risks, including obesity and hormone disruption, linked to commonly used chemicals found in everything from plastic wrap to metal cans and packaged food.
For many years, some food additives and chemicals used in packaging were deemed acceptable despite evidence they might be linked to health problems. Study in this area is a challenge because it is difficult to draw cause-and-effect conclusions about the role of chemicals in the development of a disease. But a growing volume of scientific research indicates many of these chemicals do seem to be linked to potentially serious, life-long health problems, said Leonardo Trasande, lead author of the statement and an associate professor at the New York University School of Medicine.