A new report by the Natural Resources Defense Council has exposed loopholes in regulations that allow food companies to put secret and potentially toxic ingredients in food you or your loved ones may be eating. Normally the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tries to put regulations into place to protect the consumer, but with little to know real results. It has now been uncovered that a designation put into place 56 years ago is allowing thousands of potentially toxic ingredients into different foods on the market.
The Generally Recognize As Safe regulation or GRAS is a regulation the allows companies to use their own staff and scientists to conduct testing on the additives in question. It is believed that the testing being done at these facilities are biased or are being conducted in a way that will automatically equal an outcome in favor of the company which is clearly a conflict of interest.
Through this regulation companies are exploiting a loophole and pouring potentially dangerous chemicals in sports drinks, cereals, candy and more. This new revelation is picking up around the web and it begs the question; how much of the food we buy is actually safe for consumption?
Natural Resources Defense Council health scientist Tom Neltne has said that Americans should be able to confidently say their food is safe, but sadly there is no guarantee because this safety oversight by food manufacturers and federal agencies has been hidden from public scrutiny. The NDRC believes the title Generally Recognized As Secret would best suit the GRAS loophole.
Back when the regulation was first introduced, there were only 800 chemical additives on the market. Companies had to go to the FDA and request permission to use an additive in food. Once the request was received the FDA tested the chemicals, and would then notify the public about the use of the chemical and ask for their feedback. A far cry for the process carried out with the 10,000 chemical additives on the market today. This loophole makes the law all but null and void.
The FDA recently found that artificial trans fats contribute to nearly 7000 deaths per year, when they had been in use since the early 1900’s. If there are secret toxic ingredients put in your food, how long would it take the FDA to identify and ban it from being used?
The Natural Resources Defense Council says its findings are likely going the tip of the iceberg. Since scientific work and GRAS findings are not disclosed to the public the results are difficult to track. The NRDC has spent over a year reviewing trade journals and speaking with food additive specialists to find and identify the 56 companies that commonly make their own determinations regarding their additives.
Companies may have been getting away with putting toxic ingredients in the food this nation consumes, but this study may bring the FDA realize their lack of regulations with chemical additives may be affecting you and your family’s health negatively.
By Sarah Wright