Nutella and many other products contain the most harmful phthalate DEHP

According to Ferrero: Even if previously, Nutella contained tiny amounts of phthalates, now it does not contain any more. Regarding its high content of carbohydrates and fat, just do not consume in excess, like many other foods.

[1] Not satisfied with being a very fatty and very sweet food (see article here), Nutella also contains the most dangerous phthalate: DEHP. Ferrero acknowledges that this phthalate is present in Nutella but states that the amount is too small to have an impact on health.

What is phthalate DEHP?

Phthalate DEHP is a chemical substance that increases the flexibility of plastics. Phthalates are found in flexible plastic packaging such as food trays, sachets, plastic films, etc.

They migrate from packaging into the product, says a toxicologist at the Federal Office for the Environment in Germany. This is how we find it on our sandwiches when we eat Nutella.

Report The packaging that kills (Arte)

Nutella contains phthalate: What are the effects of phthalates like DEHP?

Phthalates are hormonal disruptors that cause disruption inducing in particular sterility in humans. It is estimated that in the industrialized countries a man produces half as much sperm as his grandfather did at the same age. Phthalates are also suspected of being carcinogenic.

In 2008, after conducting a study on in vitro testes development, INSERM stated that phthalates were “deleterious for the establishment of male reproductive potential in humans”. This substance acts even before birth on the development of the fetus of the pregnant woman.

The German Federal Office for the Environment has studied 600 children and finds that 100% of them have traces of phthalates, 5 of which are important. The study adds that in 20% of them phthalates are in toxic quantities. She believes that if we take into account “the cocktail effect” of these different substances, 80% of children would absorb too much.

The European Commission has already banned the use of DEHP in the composition of children’s toys since 1999 and planned a total ban in 2012.

There are several other chocolate spreads, without palm oil, already available commercially. And bio, as a bonus.

The NGO ClientEarth has launched a legal procedure against the European authorization given to recycling companies to use plastic containing DEHP, an endocrine disruptor of the phthalate family.

In June 2016, the European Commission accepted the request by three plastic recycling companies to use DEHP, despite opposition from MEPs. Today, ClientEarth, an environmental organization composed of militant lawyers, asks him to reconsider this decision, through a procedure open to NGOs.

ClientEarth has called for an “internal review” at the Commission, a preliminary phase before a lawsuit. “The Commission now has 12 weeks to respond, and if its response is not satisfactory, we will take the case to the EU Court of Justice,” said the NGO.

Dangerous products

Phthalates are additives that make plastics more flexible, especially in textiles, cosmetics, paints and furniture. Some of these substances are endocrine disruptors and have been classified as toxic to human reproduction by ECHA, the European Chemicals Agency.

Measures have therefore been taken at European and French levels to limit their use, particularly in toys and medical equipment. Since 2015, DEHP has been one of the products whose use is subject to an authorization procedure.

Incomplete request

The request for authorization accepted by the Commission “is incomplete”, argues Alice Bernard, a lawyer of the NGO. “This creates a terrible precedent and renders meaningless the authorization procedure, our first dam against toxic products,” she said.

According to the NGO, business demand did not contain enough information, and did not provide the required proof that the benefits of using the substance outweighed the risks, while there were “safer alternatives” economically viable and technologically feasible.

In a resolution adopted in November 2015, the European Parliament asked the EU executive not to grant this authorization, valid until 2019, to the three recycling companies concerned, in particular because of the reproductive toxicity of this substance. .

It is a “clear message to the Commission that once again it has demonstrated the carefree attitude that endocrine disruptors can have in allowing the recycling of DEHP”, said the MEP French green girl Michèle Rivasi.

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