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Safety

Safety Of Food Additives Questioned

by Britt E. Erickson
April 14, 2014 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 92, ISSUE 15

FDA and the public are in the dark about the safety of hundreds of ingredients in food because companies are allowed to self-approve chemicals as “generally recognized as safe” without sharing safety data with FDA, concludes a report from the advocacy group Natural Resources Defense Council. NRDC points out that companies have a financial interest in getting favorable safety results, yet firms are allowed to use their own employees to conduct safety testing. The report finds that some companies have deemed their chemicals safe for use in food despite potentially serious allergic reactions or adverse reactions when used in combination with common drugs. Companies have also proposed using amounts of chemicals in food that are higher than company-established safe levels, the report says. To address the need for unbiased safety research on food ingredients, the food industry and Michigan State University have teamed up to establish the Center for Research on Ingredient Safety. The MSU-based center was announced last week to coincide with the release of the NRDC report.

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