Thank you for contacting me about the use of per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) in food packaging.
I know that PFAs constitute a group of thousands of chemicals that are widely used in consumer and industrial products and that a number are already banned or highly restricted. I would like to reassure you that the UK is a Party to the Stockholm Convention, which has already agreed restrictions on the use of certain PFAS, and there are also restrictions in place under the REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) regulation.
I know that at the end of the Transition Period the UK will put in place its own domestic chemicals regulatory framework and existing restrictions under REACH will be brought into UK law. The UK’s commitments under the Stockholm Convention will also continue to apply. I am encouraged that future UK decisions to control the environmental and human health impacts of substances will be taken under our independent regime and will be based on rigorous assessment of the scientific evidence, including looking at approaches taken by chemical regimes across the world.
Finally, I am aware that my Ministerial colleagues are working to improve the understanding of the emissions and risks of PFAS in the UK, and how these chemicals are managed will be considered in the forthcoming Chemicals Strategy. The Food Standards Agency also regularly reviews new information on PFAS and will be considering the upcoming review of the European Food Safety Authority’s latest scientific opinion on PFAS in food by the Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment. I look forward to reading the Chemicals Strategy and the Committee review on this issue.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
Sally-Ann Hart MP