McDonald’s – get rid of toxic PFAS

LDA McDonald's Collage

LDA is a proud member of the Mind the Store campaign, which put out this recent report on toxic PFAS in food packaging at fast-food chains. PFAS chemicals are used to make materials grease and water-resistant. These chemicals are also harmful to our health and are nicknamed “forever chemicals” because they do not break down.

The testing indicated that companies like McDonald’s are using PFAS in some packaging including their Big Mac container as well as their small fry and cookie bags.

That’s why LDA and our partner groups send this letter asking McDonalds to ban toxic PFAS. We strongly urge McDonald’s to swiftly adopt a public policy to ban PFAS in all McDonald’s food packaging and food-contact materials.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated that: “Some studies have shown that PFAS exposure may affect growth, learning, and the behavior of infants and older children; lower a woman’s chance of getting pregnant; interfere with the body’s natural hormones; increase cholesterol levels; affect the immune system; and increase the risk of cancer.”  These risks are not acceptable.

The good news is that some quick-service companies like Cava, Chipotle, Freshii, Panera Bread, Sweetgreen, and Taco Bell have announced action to get rid of PFAS chemicals in food packaging. We are asking McDonald’s to join these companies and take action on PFAS now.

General PFAS Resources:

Find out if your state has any PFAS protection laws or upcoming bills

Story of Alabama community with PFAS in their drinking water

Environmental Working Group’s Tap Water Database and their interactive PFAS map

National McDonald’s week of action

LDA’s Healthy Children Project Dark Waters panel discussion

National PFAS Contamination Coalition

Here are some Mind the Store resources for companies:

Guide for quick-service restaurants (pdf)

Guide for grocery chains (pdf)

Sample PFAS-free options (pdf)

Picture of Tracy Gregoire

Tracy Gregoire

Tracy Gregoire is the Healthy Children Project Director for the Learning Disabilities Association of America, and is a long-time advocate for children’s health.

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