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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 legislation which calls for the prohibition of azodicarbonamide in baked goods; and
WHEREAS, azodicarbonamide is not a necessary additive^in baked goods and Subway Restaurants have already introduced a new ingredient to take its place; now, therefore
BE IT RESOLVED that the Mayor and Members of the City Council urge the City of Chicago and its producers in the food industry to avoid using azodicarbonamide in food products for the safety and wellbeing of individuals; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the City Council, through its Committee on Health and Environmental Protection conduct hearings to investigate the potential dangers of azodicarbonamide in food products; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we encourage all consumers of baked goods and food products in the City of Chicago to use caution when purchasing items made with the additive azodicarbonamide due to the associated health risks and concerns set forth in the preamble of this Resolution.