Big Pharmaceutical Companies Don’t Want You to Watch This Video and Neither Does Your Grandma
The FDA Doesn't Really Know If Our Food Is Safe
This article was written by Marygrace Taylor and provided by our partners atPrevention.
Even if an ingredient in packaged food sounds weird and unpronounceable, it must be safe because the FDA monitors that kind of stuff, right? Apparently not. Last week, the Grocery Manufacturer's Association, which represents big food and drink companies, unintentionally exposed just how messed up our food system is after it announced it would grant the FDA access to the database the industry uses to determine whether an ingredient is safe...because, amazingly, the FDA didn't already have that seemingly crucial information.
By law, food ingredients are regulated as additives unless the ingredient is "generally recognized as safe" (GRAS). And though you'd think the FDA would be the one determining whether an ingredient is safe, that important task is actually left entirely up to food manufacturers themselves. Of course, the FDA has long had the power to question an ingredient's safety and even take action if the ingredient proves harmful. But by that time, someone somewhere has probably already gotten sick from eating it.
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That the FDA now has access to manufacturers' safety information will presumably mean more transparency in our food system. That's something we should give the GMA credit for, says Marion Nestle, Ph.D., M.P.H., author ofSafe Food: The Politics of Food Safety.
Still, no one would blame you if you started staring down the ingredients on boxed cookies or mac 'n' cheese with a skeptic's eye, knowing that the FDA hasn't analyzed the ingredients to ensure they're safe.
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