Simply Health ME E45 – Review of the American Academy of Pediatrics July 2018 Food Additives and Child Health


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Food Additives and Child Health

The recent policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics


  1. To highlight emerging child health concerns related to the use of colorings, flavorings, and chemicals deliberately added to food during processing (direct food additives) as well as substances in food contact materials, including adhesives, dyes, coatings, paper, paperboard, plastic, and other polymers, which may contaminate food as part of packaging or manufacturing equipment (indirect food additives);
  2. To propose urgently needed reforms to the current regulatory process at the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for food additives.

The system is broken.

Many substances which are illegal in Europe are regularly added to products and food here.

E.g It’s not just BPA (Bisphenol A). substances that replaced BPA can be worse…. such as phthalates

BPA is estrogenic and linked to endocrine cancers

More than 10 000 chemicals are allowed to be added to food and food contact materials in the United States, either directly or indirectly,

Over 1000 of these were grandfathered in for use if used before 1958, (1958 Food Additives Amendment to the 1938 Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA)

These things are causing endocrine disruption and other adverse health effects


infants and children are more vulnerable to chemical exposures


The statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics does not address other contaminants that inadvertently enter the food and water supply, such as aflatoxins,metals including mercury, pesticide residues such as DDT, but these are also concerning. The paper is focused on food

The things discussed in this paper

Bisphenols (BPA)  which are used in the lining of metal cans to prevent corrosion


  • Estrogenic, endocrine disruption
  • Obesogenic


  • Neurodevelopmental issues  

Phthalates, which are often used in adhesives, lubricants, and plasticizers during the manufacturing process

  • Obesogenic, insulin resistance


    • Affects fetal development with regards to reproductive system
    • Epigenetic changes with relation to carbohydrate and fat metabolism

Perfluoroalkyl Chemicals (PFCs), which are used in greaseproof paper and packaging

  • Decreases response and efficacy of vaccines
    • Reduced immunity
    • Linked to thyroid issues
    • Endocrine disruption
    • obesity issues
    • Decreased birth weight

Food Dyes- Linked to ADHD

Perchlorate- an antistatic agent used for plastic packaging in contact with dry foods with surfaces that do not contain free fat or oil and also present as a degradation product of bleach used to clean food manufacturing equipment

    • Linked to thyroid issues
    • Contributes to neonatal hypothyroidism

What can you Do right now?

  1. Talk to you Pediatrician
    1. Wash hands before eating and wash fruits and veggies which cant be peeled
    2. Prioritize fruits and veggies in no packaging
    3. Do not microwave any food / formula / breast milk in plastic
    4. Avoid putting plastics in dish washer
    5. Use glass or stainless steel
    6. Look bottom of plastics. Avoid plastics numbers: 3 (phthalates), 6 (styrene), and 7 (bisphenol/BPA). If the packaging says “Bio-based” or “Green ware”, it is made of corn and is OK.
    7. Avoid processed meats, especially if pregnant

Additional compounds of concern discussed in the accompanying technical report include artificial food colors, nitrates, and nitrites.

  • Nitrates and nitrites affect thyroid function
  • Cause cancer

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