The Center for Science in the Public Interest today charged that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s process for overseeing food additives is illegal.
“Consumers are being exposed to potentially dangerous chemicals that industry self-certifies as safe for use in foods, with little or no scrutiny from the Food and Drug Administration,” the consumer advocacy group said in a press release that accompanied comments the group filed with the agency.
Center for Public Integrity reported this week how a legal loophole created in a 57-year-old law allows the food industry to determine whether additives can be deemed “generally recognized as safe,” or GRAS, and avoid a rigorous pre-market government safety review.
A second Center for Public Integrity story, published today, details how the food industry repeatedly turns to the same small group of scientists to evaluate the safety of food additives they hope to market. Many of those scientists have done similar work for the tobacco industry, the investigation shows.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest argues in its 80-page filing with the FDA that the agency cannot fulfill its obligation to protect public health. The group notes that the current food additive safety system allows food companies to add new flavors, preservatives and other ingredients to foods and beverages without even telling the FDA.