The Center for Food Safety (CFS) recently filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Food and Drug Administration over its food additives policy that allows the food industry much broader say over which substances fall under the agency’s list of “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) ingredients.
The CFS is concerned that the new notification process will allow potentially hazardous additives entering the nation’s food supply. The lawsuit cites three examples: Volatile Oil of Mustard (a potential human carcinogen), Olestra (an indigestible compound that can cause adverse reactions), and Quorn (a fungus-based meat substitute that can cause dangerous allergic reactions).
The lawsuit wants the agency to revert back to the traditional process where manufacturers were required to formally petition the FDA to approve a new food additive as GRAS, based on published studies.
“It has been 15 years since FDA handed authority to determine GRAS status over to the corporations it is meant to regulate,” said Andrew Kimbrell, CFS executive director. “FDA has an obligation to provide the regulatory scrutiny the public deserves.”