I almost titled this post: Does the FDA Test and Validate the Safety of the Additives Found in Our Foods?
To both questions, the answer is an unqualified “No”!
The truth of the matter is that no one is looking out for you, the consumer, and your health; you are responsible for your own health. Mainstream food companies are concerned with profits, or making the most desirable (and hopefully addictive) product out of the least expensive ingredients that have nothing to do with you the consumer’s health.
Respected food quality guru Marion Nestle writes in her blog, Food Politics, about a recent study concerning food additives published in JAMA Internal Medicine, a very respected medical journal. It turns out that the FDA has very little involvement as to if food additives are labeled GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe).
So who decides if a food additive is safe to eat? The manufacturer.
• The manufacturer gets to decide if they want to tell the FDA about a food additive.
• The manufacturer gets to decide if they want to conduct studies funded and designed by their own scientists or convene a “panel” populated by their own “experts” to review the safety of a food additive.
• The manufacturer gets to decide if the food additive is safe or not.
The FDA pretty much accepts what it is told by manufacturers, because, as I’ve noted before in this blog, the FDA’s mission is not necessarily to protect the American populace from unscrupulous manufacturers peddling poisons and calling them food or medicine, but to promote and protect the American industry innovation.
The FDA does not have the scope to do its own testing of the thousands of food additives currently on the market; it must rely on the manufacturers themselves to tell it if there is a problem with a substance. As Marion Nestle says, ” As long as not too many people roll over dead after eating foods with new additives, nobody will ever have a clue whether the additive is safe.”