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Record #: R2014-523   
Type: Resolution Status: Failed to Pass
Intro date: 7/30/2014 Current Controlling Legislative Body: Committee on Health and Environmental Protection
Final action: 5/20/2015
Title: Call for Committee on Health and Environmental Protection to hold hearing(s) to investigate potential dangers of azodicarbonamide in food products
Sponsors: Cardenas, George A., Balcer, James, Pope, John, Lane, Lona, Thomas, Latasha R.
Topic: COMMITTEE/PUBLIC HEARINGS - Committee on Health and Environmental Protection
Attachments: 1. R2014-523.pdf
Related files: R2015-407

WHEREAS, the City of Chicago, more specifically the Department of Public Health, is responsible for the protection of consumers' health and safety, including the consumption of food; and

WHEREAS, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration allows the chemical compound azodicarbonamide as a bleaching and dough agent in flour at levels up to 45 parts per million; the two compounds, semicarbazide and urethane, are formed as azodicarbonamide breaks down during the baking process; and

WHEREAS, azodicarbonamide is also used in the manufacturing of plastics such as electronics, window and door gaskets, padded floor mats, and rubber shoe soles; and

WHEREAS, in 1997 the World Health Organization released the Concise International Chemical Assessment Document 16 which states that azodicarbonamide can induce asthma and skin sensitization in humans at workplaces where azodicarbonamide is manufactured or used; and

WHEREAS, in a 2003 review by the European Food Safety Authority, semicarbazide has been linked to serious health risks in laboratory animals, including fetal death; cleft palates, skeletal deformation and other birth defects; cancer; damage to brain and kidneys; and

WHEREAS, the FDA has agreed that further studies are required to continue to evaluate the safe use of azodicarbonamide and semicarbazide in food; and

WHEREAS, the United Kingdom has banned azodicarbonamide due to the Health and Safety Executive identifying azodicarbonamide as a respiratory sensitiser (a possible cause of asthma); azodicarbonamide is also banned in Singapore and not permitted in Australia or New Zealand; and

WHEREAS, azodicarbonamide has been found in over 500 food products in the United States including Pillsbury Dinner Rolls , Little Debbie products and Wonder Bread; and

WHEREAS, recently a group of 98,000 protesters have signed a petition convincing Subway Restaurants to remove azodicarbonamide from use in their bread; and

WHEREAS, the state of New York is considering leg...

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