WASHINGTON, DC (PRNewswire-USNewswire) — The following was issued today by the National Wooden Pallet and Container Association:
With less than a month left to his 30-year career in the U.S. Senate, Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) took the time to fire off a letter to Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Margaret Hamburg urging the agency to notify "food manufacturers, transporters and retailers inspected by the FDA that plastic pallets containing decaBDE are inappropriate for use in scenarios that may bring decabromine into contact with food."
"I understand that several million of these plastic pallets contain the fire retardant Decabrominated diphenyl ether (decaBDE)," Dodd advised the FDA. "DecaBDE is known to leach out of plastic, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is concerned about the possible negative health and environmental impact resulting from exposure to the chemical. The EPA cites studies demonstrating that decaBDE persists in the environment, and exposure may cause cancer and negatively impact brain function."
Dodd recommended the FDA "Develop and disseminate education and training materials for FDA inspectors to enable them to identify plastic pallets that contain decaBDE, recognize scenarios of use that may bring decaBDE into food contact, and be provided clear guidance regarding enforcement and reporting requirements."
Dodd also advocated "that companies that use or receive product shipped on plastic pallets that contain decaBDE should take steps to eliminate possible contamination of food in hydro-cooling and wet room operations."
In his letter, Senator Dodd referenced "A report soon to be published in Environmental Health Perspectives, the peer-reviewed journal of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, find that one in ten samples of butter purchased from a Dallas grocery store had PBDE (polybrominated diphenyl ether) levels more than 135 times higher than the average of the other nine samples."
"Americans need assurance that the food they buy from their markets is safe to consume," said Dodd in his letter to the FDA. "This requires accountability throughout the logistical chain — from farmers, to suppliers, to the shipping of containers that transport food... This is critical because in the past several years, U.S. food manufacturers have begun using plastic pallets for the transport and storage of a variety of foods, including fresh fruit and vegetables."
The entire letter by Senator Dodd to FDA is available to read on the website of the National Wooden Pallet and Container Association (NWPCA) at www.palletcentral.com
SOURCE: National Wooden Pallet and Container Association
ORLANDO, Fla. (iGPS) — In a letter to the U.S. Department of Justice and Florida Attorney General’s Office, Intelligent Global Pooling Systems (iGPS Company, LLC), operator of the world’s first pallet rental service to provide all-plastic pallets with embedded radio frequency identification (RFID) tags, is calling for a formal investigation into the misleading and abusive trade practices of the wood pallet industry. Today’s actions by the wooden pallet industry that spread false and misleading information about the safety of plastic pallets epitomize the reckless and disreputable character of the industry.
"Asking a politician in his final minutes in office to submit a letter, such as the letter former U.S. Senator Christopher Dodd sent to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration at the obvious request of the wooden pallet industry, is cynical and disingenuous," said Bob Moore, Chairman and CEO of iGPS. "There is not a morsel of truth in former Senator Dodd’s letter. Either the Senator was purposely misled or he decided to do a friend a last-minute favor by repeating spoon-fed mistruths and scare tactics," Moore said.
"Senator Dodd’s last-minute move is puzzling in light of his recent vote for the landmark Food Safety Bill recently passed by Congress. As part of that bill, the Congress specifically expressed its concerns about wood pallets and the risk they pose to the nation’s food supply. And unlike Senator Dodd’s last-minute gamesmanship, the Food Safety Bill was the subject of more than a year’s worth of debate, testimony and hearings, all done in a transparent and responsible fashion.
"Those reading Senator Dodd’s letter should ask themselves the following questions: Was Senator Dodd aware of a series of independent tests that showed that up to 30 percent of wood pallets contain E. Coli and Salmonella, just to name a few of the deadly pathogens that are commonly found on wood pallets? Was Senator Dodd aware that millions of important drugs were recalled in 2010 because of wood pallet contamination? Was Senator Dodd aware that wood pallets were responsible for some of the worst and most deadly fires in the nation? Frankly, Senator Dodd should be ashamed of leaving office in this fashion," Moore added.
"This is just another regrettable example of the cynical and scurrilous tactics on which the wooden pallet industry has relied. The correlation could not be clearer: as more companies abandon wooden pallets for cleaner, safer and smarter alternatives, the more outrageous and desperate the wooden pallet industry’s behavior has become. This reprehensible behavior is a blemish on the entire logistics industry. Instead of devoting its billions of dollars to addressing the well-publicized shortcomings of wood pallets, the wooden pallet industry instead abuses our political system in an attempt to fend off innovation and competition," Moore concluded.
Unlike the wood pallet industry, iGPS has made a major investment to improve the safety of our supply chain. iGPS’ unique technology, including four embedded RFID tags in each pallet, enables manufacturers and growers to track shipments through the supply chain and implement quick safety recalls when necessary.
iGPS is also setting a new standard in pallet hygiene, as its pallets are easily cleaned, do not absorb fluids that can cross-contaminate food and never require treatment with toxic pesticides or fungicides, like TBA. In fact, iGPS’ pallet is the world’s only rental pallet to receive Food Equipment Certification from NSF International, the foremost testing and certification authority with respect to food-related equipment.
iGPS’ pallet provides shippers and receivers with measurable sustainability benefits, as well. An independent life cycle analysis has documented that iGPS pallets are dramatically better for the environment than both one-way and multi-use wood pallets on every commonly-measured metric, including global warming, ozone layer depletion and ecotoxicity. Over the course of five years, iGPS customers have cumulatively prevented the destruction of nearly 750,000 trees, saved 750,000 gallons of fuel and saved over 16 million pounds of greenhouse gas emissions.