From energy drinks to granola bars to frozen and pre-packaged foods, secret ingredients are being added to our food with no scrutiny from the FDA. The FDA is apparently allowing manufacturers to police themselves.
In other words, what was once a decisive, more time-consuming process to get a food approved for consumption is now a much quicker process with less involvement from the FDA. Since 1997, the process has become voluntary, putting the onus on the manufacturer to certify their products as safe.
Five decades ago, Congress gave the FDA the responsibility of approving which additives went into our food supply. In that time, the number of additives has grown from 800 to more than 9,000.
As consumers, we are driving the market by buying more processed foods, diet products and other diet-supplemented items. It is estimated that we are eating more processed foods than ever before.
An unsettling example, reported by the Washington Post is the case of an Iowa company, Kermin, which produces a line of diet and sports drinks containing the chemical Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), which has been linked to “toxicity in the liver, kidneys and intestines”.
The president of the company’s human nutrition and health division says that the company chose not to participate in the FDA’s voluntary notification process because to do so might give away proprietary information. Kermin, along with other unscrupulous companies, continues to sell uncertified products to consumers.
The Center for Food Safety and the Grocery Manufacturers Association are two groups fighting for tighter government control where food additives are concerned. In fact, CFS earlier this year sued the FDA saying the agency had abdicated its responsibility where oversight is concerned.
As a result of the changes in 1997, most additives now debut without the FDA even knowing about them.
Source: Washington Post