Food Additives Need More Scrutiny

Alan L. Johnson

According to the article "American Academy of Pediatrics' advice to parents to avoid specific ingredients could impact CPG sales" By Elizabeth Crawford,

The American Academy of Pediatrics is calling on FDA to undertake “urgently needed reforms” to the current regulatory review process for food additives to limit the risk of adverse health effects that correlate with the use of some colorings, flavorings and ingredients added to foods as well as some chemicals in packaging.

In fact the AAP elaborated in regards to FDA oversight:

Regulation and oversight of many food additives is inadequate because of several key problems in the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. Current requirements for a “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) designation are insufficient to ensure the safety of food additives and do not contain sufficient protections against conflict of interest. Additionally, the FDA does not have adequate authority to acquire data on chemicals on the market or reassess their safety for human health. These are critical weaknesses in the current regulatory system for food additives. Data about health effects of food additives on infants and children are limited or missing; however, in general, infants and children are more vulnerable to chemical exposures.

The AAP brings up a very good point around children and their vulnerability to chemical exposures. According to the article the GRAS designation has largely been influenced by industry and third-party toxicological research has been scarce or even missing. What will happen is yet to be seen, but consumers continue to place more and more pressure on companies and the government alike in upholding and defining standards to keep children safe.

Reality Changing Observations:

Q1. Do you have a sense of what products you use are toxic or not?

Q2. What is your opinion on government oversight of the chemicals in the consumer products we and children consume?

Q3. Is there anything you could do today to show support for removing hazardous ingredients from the shelves of your local stores?