BY MICHAEL RICONDA
Pearl River – State Sen. David Carlucci met with local businesswomen Diane Banta and Phyllis Damiano to announce his support for a resolution banning the chemical azodicarbonamide from being used in food products.
The chemical, which is commonly used in plastics, floor mats and shoe soles, is also a common additive in mass-produced bread. However, concerns have been raised recently about its safety after a World Health Organization report linked its consumption to asthma and other respiratory problems.
“In New York, we can’t wait around for the federal government to drag their feet,” Carlucci said. “In New York, there is no reason why cheap food should be dangerous food.”
Banta and Damiano’s baked goods shop Baked Angels began as an all-natural bakery and has vowed not to use azodicarbonamide in its products. Though Baked Angels is the only local shop which has explicitly promised to end its use of the chemical, Carlucci expects the movement to gain momentum.
Carlucci is pushing for a statewide ban on the chemical, which the FDA has deemed safe in limited amounts. The legislation has been in the works for a year, but has only recently begun to receive attention with a similar decision by Subway to discontinue its inclusion of azodicarbonamide in its bread.
On a federal level, New York is also leading the way in restricting the use of azodicarbonamide. U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer is pushing a similar bill which would ban the chemical throughout the country.