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Food Ingredients

U.S. pediatricians group calls for tougher food additive regulation by FDA

by Cheryl Hogue
July 29, 2018 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 96, ISSUE 31

 

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Credit: Shutterstock

To protect children’s health, the U.S. Congress urgently needs to reform FDA’s regulation of food colorings, flavorings, and other additives, the American Academy of Pediatrics says (Pediatrics 2018, DOI: 10.1542/peds.2018-1408 and 10.1542/peds.2018-1410). The group calls for strengthening or replacing the current system, which allows most chemical additives to be used without FDA approval if a company designates them as “generally recognized as safe.” This doesn’t ensure that food additives are safe for children, the academy argues, and FDA doesn’t have authority to obtain data on these chemicals or reassess their safety. Congress should change this situation, the academy contends. It also calls for FDA to require labeling of additives for which there are limited or no toxicity data and that the agency has not reviewed for safety. The Grocery Manufacturers Association says FDA already has authority to challenge improper marketing of an ingredient as generally recognized as safe and to remove products containing it from the food supply.

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