Whole Foods Market said Tuesday it has eliminated packaging with a cancer-linked chemical from its stores.
The announcement came after advocacy groups Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families and Toxic-Free Future released a study that named Whole Foods as the worst of five grocery chains for packaging takeout food and bakery items in containers with PFAS, or polyfluoroalkyl substances. The groups found high levels of fluorine in five of 17 items tested at Whole Foods, and the presence of this chemical is a sign that they were likely treated with some type of PFAS. The chemical can be used to treat packaging so it doesn’t leak.
“Whole Foods Market introduced compostable containers to reduce our environmental footprint, but given new concerns about the possible presence of PFAS, we have removed all prepared foods and bakery packaging highlighted in the report. We’re actively working with our suppliers to find and scale new compostable packaging options,” Whole Foods spokeswoman Rachel Alkon told CNBC in an emailed statement.
3M, a manufacturer of the chemicals, did not comment to Bloomberg and wasn’t immediately available when CNBC reached out for comment. Previously, the company has said that the levels that tend to be found are safe.
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