Perfluorochemicals in Food Packaging and Drinking Water

(318 Ratings)

Produced on: April 24, 2017

Course Format On Demand Audio

Taught by


Course Description

Time 62 minutes
Difficulty Advanced

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (“PFASs”) have been used on food contact materials since the 1960s as a grease barrier because the substances are resistant to heat, water, and oil. The EPA launched a voluntary industry stewardship in 2006 due to concerns about the impact of PFOA and long-chain PFASs on human health and the environment. In 2016, the EPA established a lifetime health advisory level for PFOS and PFOA in drinking water. FDA regulations further specify which PFASs may be used on food contact paper. A recent study by Silent Spring Institute raised increased public attention about PFASs and PFAS-replacements in food contact papers.  

This program, led by attorneys Frank Citera and Kaitlyn Maxwell, will provide an overview of perfluorochemicals, how they are regulated in food contact materials and drinking water, and the reactions to the Silent Spring Institute Study, including a California Bill that seeks to restrict the use of fluorinated chemicals in food packaging materials. 

Learning Objectives: 
  1. Identify what PFCs, PFOS, PFOA, and PFAS are
  2. Discuss the following areas:
    • Reduction efforts by the industry
    • EPA’s PFOA Stewardship Program
    • EPA’s Health Advisory for PFOS and PFAS in Drinking Water
  3. Understand the evolving action at the FDA level
  4. Address the study by Silent Spring Institute on PFASs in Fast Food Packaging
  5. Analyze the reactions to Silent Spring Institute Study 


Francis Citera

Greenberg Traurig, LLP

Francis A. Citera is Co-Chair of the firm's Products Liability & Mass Torts Litigation Group and Co-Chair of the Chicago Litigation Practice. Frank has over 30 years of experience defending toxic tort actions, and other complex litigation in both federal and state courts. He has tried many cases to verdict, including an action by the Government to enforce a unilateral administrative order, an allocation case among potentially responsible parties, and a complex product liability, wrongful death case. He has been described by Legal 500 as being "renowned for his toxic tort and product liability work."

Frank defends class actions for companies from virtually all industries and business sectors. He has been an architect of strategies to defeat class certification and has obtained favorable results across the country on a host of claims, including mass tort, product liability, unfair competition, consumer protection, and breach of contract/warranty claims. He regularly handles multi-state consumer class actions and often serves as national coordinating counsel for companies facing multidistrict and overlapping class action proceedings. 

Frank also counsels clients on risk management and product safety matters for both consumer and industrial products. In this capacity, he has been responsible for matters pending before various federal and state agencies and committees regulating the importation and sale of goods in the United States, including the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the National Transportation Safety Board, the Food and Drug Administration, the United States House Energy and Commerce Committee, the State of California Department of Justice, and the Illinois Attorney General's office. In connection with these efforts, Frank counseled clients on crisis management and crisis communications. He has participated in a briefing before the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce and its Subcommittee on Oversights and Investigations regarding the safety of certain products intended for children. Frank has written and spoken extensively on class action litigation, product safety issues, and claims for medical monitoring.

Frank is also an experienced appellate lawyer, having argued many appeals in state and federal appellate courts. Additionally, Frank has substantial experience in bankruptcy litigation, having represented debtors-in possession in a broad range of disputes, as well as lenders, landlords, and trade creditors in bankruptcy litigation matters.

Kaitlyn Maxwell

Greenberg Traurig, LLP

Kaitlyn R. Maxwell focuses her practice on general environmental and energy matters. Her work includes litigation of major contamination cases under the hazardous waste and Superfund laws.


Robin E.

Even though this is not my area of practice, I really enjoyed this program. A great deal of information was packed into a single hour.

Gerald C.


Dave D.


Paula G.

Excellent slides.

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