By Rob Verkerk PhD, ANH founder, executive & scientific director, ANH-Intl and ANH-USA

Some 10 days ago we launched our PFAS campaign in the USA. One of the major focuses of the campaign has been to put some real heat on the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as the key agency monitoring so-called "forever chemicals", otherwise known as poly- and per-fluoroalkyl substances or PFAS, in humans and in the American food supply. 

Data from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed these incredibly pervasive and persistent chemicals were present in the vast majority of human blood samples tested as part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) as early as 1999. By 2017-18 blood contamination among Americans was shown to be "almost universal".  The response of IS agencies has been nothing short of lackadaisical with regard to taking decisive regulatory action that will reduce human exposure and seems to have been intent on concealing from the US public the true extent of the problem.

The Biden Administration has paid lip service by saying it will take “significant action to accelerate efforts to prevent PFAS release and expand PFAS cleanup and remediation to safeguard human health and protect the environment”. But the Administration is, so far, miles away from an outright ban. We think this is because such a ban would have to be accompanied by an admission to the American public over the true scale of the problem with these chemicals. A group of up to 12,000 distinct compounds with intractable carbon-fluorine bonds that have been associated with a wide range of conditions from cancer, altered immune (including autoimmune) and thyroid function, liver disease, lipid and insulin dysregulation and associated weight gain, kidney disease, and adverse reproductive (fertility) and developmental outcomes. 

Given the CDC findings from NHANES, we were very surprised by the FDA’s findings over PFAS in the American diet.

Results from the FDA’s Total Diet Survey cited as recently as May this year revealed that only 3% of fresh and processed foods sampled were contaminated with PFAS. These were primarily seafood samples.

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has long recognised problems with US drinking water supplies, but has consistently suggested contamination is localised around PFAS manufacturing sites owned by companies like Dupont and 3M. 

But on Wednesday, the US Geological Survey reported finding detectable PFAS in 45% of US municipal tap water. Another ray of support for our hypothesis that irrigation water could be a potential source of contamination of horticultural crops. Not to mention mosquito control and other pesticides, something our friends in the Maryland Pesticides Action Network are leveraging to push for a ban in their state.  

The pilot study that provided the impetus for our Ban PFAS campaign came about after we decided to test the FDA's viewpoint that all fresh foods should be clear of PFAS. We chose one archetypical, healthy vegetable crop – kale – and tested double the number of samples tested by the FDA over 3 years, 8 instead of 4. Frankly we were shocked by the results we got from one of the most respected labs in the country, Eurofins.

We’re now building strategic alliances with other campaign groups with a view to forcing the EPA to impose a ban on PFAS as a category, and, as a watch dog with concerns over the FDA’s effectiveness and transparency, we’re raising funds to do further testing of fresh foods.      

>>> Find out more about our campaign and download a copy of the ANH-USA study report

New campaign video

To keep up momentum in our campaign, we've just launched a new, extended video. Please watch and share it as widely as you can. The video is narrated by New York based Dr Ron Hoffman, one of the most respected integrative medicine physicians in the US, also President of ANH-USA. 


Rob Verkerk PhD joins Dr Ron Hoffman on his Intelligent Medicine podcast

Dr Hoffman was so taken by the immensity of the PFAS problem, he took time out of his Independence Day break to record an interview with me (Rob Verkerk) given I'm leading the scientific work and campaign. The podcasts are in two sections.

Part 1 - The Hazards of “Forever Chemicals” and How To Help Get Them Banned

Part 2 - The Hazards of “Forever Chemicals” and How To Help Get Them Banned, Part 2


>>> Find out more about our campaign and download a copy of the ANH-USA study report

Selected media reports on ANH PFAS campaign


The Guardian
New York Post
Fox 11 Los Angeles
PFAS Project Lab, Northeastern University
PFAS Central
The People’s Voice TV
Planet Today
Awesome Capital
Chemical Free Life
Web Today
Sustainability Awakening
Sunny 106.9
Flip Board
Similar Worlds
Total News
World Energy Data
Climate News Now

International coverage:

The EU Times
Independent News
Les Actualités
Tech News Today
La Lettre de la Tribu
The Aegis Alliance
Sinhala News
News Directory 3
UFO Space
RETE Ambientalista

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