Sarah Kavanagh and her little brother were looking forward to the bottles of Gatorade they had put in the refrigerator after playing outdoors one hot, humid afternoon last month in Hattiesburg, Miss. But before she took a sip, Sarah, a dedicated vegetarian, did what she often does and checked the label to make sure no animal products were in the drink. One ingredient, brominated vegetable oil, caught her eye.More info
Director, Food Additives , The Pew Charitable Trusts
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Thomas G. Neltner is the director for the Food Additives project, an initiative examining the strengths and weaknesses of the current U.S. federal regulatory system as it pertains to the safety of chemicals commonly added to food. by The project evaluates the adequacy of the underlying laws, policies, and science used to determine the potential risks posed by those substances.
Mr. Neltner was most recently the director of training and education at the National Center for Healthy Housing -- a national Organization dedicated to creating healthy and safe homes for children through practical and proven steps. His prior positions include founding executive director of Improving Kids’ Environment, assistant commissioner of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management’s Office of Pollution Prevention and Technical Assistance, founding vice-president of the Environmental Management Institute, founding president of the Indiana Recycling Coalition, adjunct professor at Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs, and a chemical engineer for Eli Lilly and Company. He has served as the co-chair for Sierra Club’s National Toxics Committee, a board member for the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable, and a litigator on a number of successful lawsuits with at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Neltner is the author of a number of journal articles, including "Navigating the U.S. Food Additive Regulatory Program," "National Healthy Homes Training Center and Network: Building Capacity for Healthy Homes," "Lead Dust as Solid Waste: A New Legal Strategy for Achieving Lead Safety," and "Civil Rights Action on Combined Sewer Overflows in Indianapolis." He has testified before the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on lead contamination in consumer products and received a number of awards that includes the national Lead-Star Award and election as a fellow for the National Institute of Hazardous Materials Managers.
Neltner holds a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from the University of Cincinnati and a Juris Doctor from Indiana University. He is a certified hazardous materials manager and certified healthy homes specialist. He is authorized to practice law in Indiana, the District of Columbia, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
"Grocery shoppers examining colorful packages bearing long lists of hard-to-pronounce ingredients might take comfort in the belief that those substances were deemed safe by the government. But that's not the case. Over the past 15 years, the vast majority of new ingredients added to U.S. food never received a safety determination from the government."More info
The Food Additives Amendment of 1958 is the foundation for the U.S. food additive regulatory program, which oversees most substances added to food. This article is a comprehensive review of the program, and includes original analysis of pre- and postmarket safety standards for various categories and subcategories of substances and their uses.More info