The Food and Drug Administration Program and Food Additives Essay

The Food and Drug Administration Program and Food Additives Essay

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The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act of 1938 was passed not long after the accidental deaths of 100 people who consumed an untested version of a popular drug. It turned out that an additive in the drug was responsible for the poisoning of the 100 individuals. This new law was developed in the interest of the consumer and focused on ensuring that people knew exactly what was in the products they purchased, and that the ingredients were safe. As the food industry has grown into a multi billion-dollar industry, the task of ensuring all ingredients are safe for consumption has become a bit more complicated. The law has been amended over the years in an attempt to address the thousands of new additives that have been developed. A result of attempting to streamline the process has been that companies are permitted to add certain types of ingredients to foods without premarket approval from the overloaded Food and Drug Administration. To put it simply, there are substances in our food that are completely unknown to the FDA (Nicole, 2013).

In depth regulation of food additives began in 1958 when Congress passed the Food Additives Amendment to the FD&C Act of 1938. This amendment required premarket approval of additives, and established safety standards. The amendment had the FDA rule how safe a product was, without consideration of benefits in order to truly keep the safety of the customer priority (FDA, 2011). The 1958 amendment also included the Delaney Clause, which bans any ingredient that has been shown to cause cancer in animals or humans at any dose. A separate amendment in 1960 required premarket approval for all color additives, synthetic and natural (Wirth, 1984). The FDA regulates colors separately from other additives. ...


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...gerous substances are studied, such as nanomaterials, and that no substances are allowed to “slip through the cracks.” Anyone can petition the FDA with concerns about a GRAS substance, color additive, or food additive. The most important thing to realize is that citizen action has been the most effective means for bringing about change and bringing awareness to the public.



Works Cited

Beil, L. (2011). The color of controversy. Science News, 180(5), 22-25.

FDA: No link between food colorings and hyperactivity in most children. (2011). Harvard Mental Health Letter, 28(1), 8.

Gleason, S. (2011, March 29). Artificial Food Dyes Scrutinized By FDA. Wall Street Journal - Eastern Edition. pp. D1-D2.

Nicole, W. (2013). Secret Ingredients. Environmental Health Perspectives, 121(4), A126-A133.

Wirth, D. A. (1984). FDA on Food Additives and Salt. Environment, 26(1), 3.

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