Key findings from the Centers GRAS scientist investigation

Key findings:

  • Food companies repeatedly turn to a handful of scientists to determine whether new food additives can be deemed “generally recognized as safe,” and avoid a rigorous pre-market government safety review.
  • Consumers regularly eat foods with added flavors, preservatives and other ingredients that are secretly added by companies and not reviewed for safety by regulators.
  • Several scientists who routinely review food ingredients for their safety did similar work for Big Tobacco.
  • Ten scientists have been paid to serve on three-quarters of the 379 expert panels convened to review the safety of food ingredients over the past 17 years.
  • Critics say they worry that scientists who depend on the food industry for income may be less likely to contest the safety of ingredients companies hope to market.
  • Scientific consultants dispute accusations that they are conflicted, arguing instead that they are the most qualified and most experienced scientists for the job.