Conflict of Interest for Safety of Food Additives

As consumers, we rely on the government to ensure that the food we purchase from the grocery store is safe.  The FDA examines food additives and labels them as GRAS or “generally recognized as safe.”

A new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that many of the experts who decided on the safety of food additives were actually employed by food additive manufacturers.  In fact, one out of every five food safety evaluations was performed by these employees.  Additionally, 13% of the evaluations were conducted by a consulting firm that worked for the food manufacturer while the rest of the evaluations were completed by firms hired by food manufacturers. Furthermore, the same experts were used repeatedly; one person was on the expert panel in 44% of the evaluations.

Obviously, this is a conflict of interest. It raises questions about the regulatory process and the safety and regulation of our food.  These expert panels cannot be impartial when they have ties to the food additive industry. Based on this data, it seems like an overhaul of the food additive regulatory process is neede

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