The U.S. FDA rejected a petition to ban perchlorate from food, a chemical known to impair brain development in infants. Perchlorate is both a naturally-occurring and man-made chemical used in the production of rocket fuel, missiles, fireworks, flares, and explosives. The substance is present in bleach and some fertilizers. Perchlorate is approved for use in packaging for dry foods such as baby rice cereal, flour, and spices.
The FDA approved its use in 2005, since then the amount that infants and toddlers ingest has increased significantly, and more types of food have become contaminated. Health and environmental organizations have petitioned the FDA to ban the chemical as a food additive, pointing to the fact that it impairs infant brain development. And this not only affects infants but the fetus in utero.