Feeding Frenzy: 5 Harmful FDA-Approved Food Additives
In regulating food additives, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says it “can never be absolutely certain of the absence of any risk from the use of any substance.” Instead, the agency will use the “best science available” to determine “if there is a reasonable certainty of no harm to consumers when an additive is used as proposed.”
But who determines the “best science available,” and what happens when government agencies, research groups, or foreign countries find fault with an ingredient? The Center for Science in the Public Interest is a consumer advocacy group that provides information for public and policy use on topics such as food, the environment, health, and safety. The organization has charted food additives, classifying them in categories ranging from “safe” to “avoid.”
Only one of its “avoid” additives, cyclamate, is illegal in the U.S. The rest are fair game, and pop up in foods all the time. Even though some have been banned in other countries, and studies have found they can damage health, the FDA has not outlawed their use. Check out the following five “avoid” additives to judge for yourself.