FDA Should Follow Trans Fat Move with Safety Reviews of 1,000 other Chemicals in Food
WASHINGTON (June 16, 2015) – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration took action today that all but bans the use of trans fats in foods, which studies have linked to heart disease.
Erik Olson, director of the Health and Environment Program at the Natural Resources Defense Council, made this comment:
“We applaud FDA’s decision restricting unhealthy trans fats—it is the right one to protect public health and is long overdue. But just like trans fats, manufacturers have self-certified over 1,000 other chemicals as safe that may be in our food—without FDA review or approval. That puts public health at risk. FDA should do its own safety reviews of these chemicals and provide more transparency so the public can learn whether we are eating potentially harmful chemicals, and what actions the agency is taking to make sure that our food is safe.”
In 2014, NRDC issued a report “Generally Recognized as Secret” showing that manufacturers have overused an exemption in a 1958 law for common ingredients "generally recognized as safe" or "GRAS" to self-certify more than 1,000 chemicals as safe for use in food. NRDC called for FDA reforms to protect public health. The report is here: http://www.nrdc.org/food/safety-loophole-for-chemicals-in-food.asp