The FDA announced that grease-proofing substances containing Per and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) are no longer being sold by manufacturers for food contact use in the U.S. market. The completion of the voluntary market phase-out of these substances used on food packaging paper and paperboard, eliminates the primary source of dietary exposure to PFAS from authorized food contact uses.

To protect public health, in 2020, following a post-market safety assessment, the FDA obtained commitments from manufacturers to cease sales for food contact use in the U.S. of grease-proofing substances that contain certain types of PFAS. The announcement marks the fulfillment of these voluntary commitments. In addition, the FDA has confirmed that other manufacturers have voluntarily stopped sales of other food contact substances (which contain different types of PFAS) intended for use as grease-proofing agents in the U.S.

Grease-proofing substances are applied on paper and paperboard packaging to prevent the leaking of grease and oil, and for water-resistant properties. The substances containing PFAS were applied to fast-food wrappers, microwave popcorn bags, take-out paperboard containers, pet food bags as well as other similar types of packaging. While the original commitment letters received by the FDA from the manufacturers state that paper and paperboard products containing these food contact substances could take 18 months to exhaust the market supply from the last date of sale, most of the companies have exited the market prior to their original phase-out date. In addition, the FDA says it is working toward a validated analytical method that would allow it to monitor the market for these food contact substances in food packaging.