The legal framework Congress created in 1958 has not kept pace with science and the food industry, essentially limiting the Food and Drug Administration's ability to effectively regulate chemicals added to food.Full Story
Food Additives Project
The nation’s food supply has changed dramatically since 1958 when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) established its program to regulate chemicals added to food. Over that time, Americans have significantly increased their consumption of processed foods, which often contain large amounts of chemical additives, yet concerns have been raised by industry and consumers alike that the FDA’s regulatory science has not kept pace.
The Pew Charitable Trusts’ Food Additives Project objectively considers the science and potential risks posed by chemicals that food manufacturers include in their production. We begin by conducting a thorough review of published data and research to determine whether there are scientific or regulatory gaps in the FDA food additive program. As part of this review, the Food Additives Project will also undertake a thorough analysis of the federal “Generally Recognized as Safe” (GRAS) program, which allows a manufacturer to convene a group of experts to assess the safety of a chemical and permit it to be added to food without involving the FDA. In addition, the Project will evaluate how the FDA responds to recent scientific research that identifies potential health risks from food additives.
The Food Additives Project, working with toxicology experts from academia, will conduct a comprehensive assessment of the FDA’s regulatory oversight of chemicals added to food and will publish a series of peer-reviewed articles and reports on key issues and, when warranted, disseminate recommendations for improving the FDA’s review process.