(NEW YORK) – The American Academy of Pediatrics says that chemicals in food additives such as food coloring and preservatives for children are bad and that parents should limit their exposure to processed foods, according to a new study released this week
The report, published in the journal Pediatrics, also said that parents should avoid heating up food in plastic containers, as the released chemicals can be harmful to children. The report covered research into chemicals used to treat food packaging such as BPA used in resin coatings to prevent metal corrosion, and chemicals used to seal paper or cardboard.
BPA can cause hormones in the body and cause fertility problems, according to the report, and PFCs can reduce immunity, metabolism and cause developmental problems. The report also reviewed studies that demonstrated that decreased intakes of food dyes could be associated with improved symptoms of attention deficit / hyperactivity disorder known as ADHD. However, there is not enough evidence for a clear link between the two.
"Potentially harmful effects of food additives are particularly important for children, according to the AAP, and children are more sensitive to chemical exposures because they eat and drink more than adults, and they continue to grow and evolve," the statement said.
Some chemicals used in the packaging or consumption of chemicals Preparing foods is governed by the FDA generally recognized as safe, which means that any substance added to foods must be FDA reviewed Unless the substance is widely recognized by recognized experts as being sufficiently safe the conditions of its intended use. "
The academy states in its policy statement that many of these substances were submitted for approval because they were" generally accepted as safe "in the 1
The American Pediatric Council for Environmental Medicine Dr. Leonardo Trasande said there were "critical weaknesses" in the regulation of chemicals that are added to food and the government does not do enough to make sure all Che safe foods are added to food.
"As paediatricians, we are particularly concerned about significant gaps in the data on the health effects of many of these chemicals on infants and children," said Trasande in a statement.  ABC News Chief Medical Correspondent Jennifer Ashton said that the effects of chemicals like BPA have been known for years, but that the American Academy of Pediatrics report did not see the best available evidence on additives and chemicals in food containers to raise awareness of the problem.
"I think we all need to eat from the farm, not from the factory, we have to try to minimize our consumption of processed foods, and in general the containers tend to be a problem if you use glass instead of plastic Do not heat these things unless it's glass and limit the processed foods. " Ashton said on Good Morning America .
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that families eat more fresh fruit and vegetables and less processed meat Avoid microwaved foods in plastic and try to avoid putting plastic in the dishwasher.
The Food and Drug Administration declined to comment on the report, but one spokeswoman said that they would review it as part of the evidence on the subject. Press spokeswoman Megan McSeveney said in a statement that the agency is investigating whether substances are harmful when used as intended, even if they are used in the "generally accepted as safe" or in the packaging or manufacturing process.
"Food safety is at the heart of the agency's mission to protect and promote public health for our nation's consumers, and we take our commitment to consumers and industry seriously, to FDA for important food safety guidelines of our country, including the safety of substances in food, "said McSeveney in a statement.
You said so too The FDA has the power to review substances that are considered safe, when new information is available, or when consumer habits have changed. For example, in 2015, the FDA found that scientists no longer consider partially hydrogenated food grade oils safe, which means that they can no longer be added to products without a specific exception. The FDA also issued warning letters to companies producing caffeine-containing alcohol products such as Four Loko in 2010, after the agency determined that adding caffeine to these products did not meet the requirements to be considered safe. The manufacturers have taken these products off the market.
"FDA regulations that authorize the use of food and color additives can specify the types of foods in which they can be used, the maximum levels to be used, and how they should be identified on food labels, where justified "The FDA monitors the extent to which Americans consume new additives and results from new safety investigations to ensure that the use of an additive remains within safe limits," McSeveney said in the statement.
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