Manufacturers get to decide whether food additives are safe or not.
• Manufacturers get to decide whether to bother to tell the FDA the additives are in the food supply.
And if they do volunteer to inform the FDA (and many do):
• Manufacturers get to decide who sits on the panels that review the evidence for safety.
In reading the study, it seemed to me that:
• As long as not too many people roll over dead after eating foods with new additives, nobody will ever have a clue whether the additive is safe.
• The regulatory gap has spawned an entire enterprise of GRAS consultants and GRAS consulting firms who are in the business—presumably lucrative—of providing the scientific documentation the FDA needs to determine additive safety.
Some of the consultants need to do a better job. The FDA raises enough questions that about 15% (my estimate) of the requests would be denied.
The good news: If the FDA sees the safety documentation, it does its job.
But what happens to the rejected additives? Or the ones that don’t get voluntarily sent to FDA?
Nobody really knows (think: caffeine in alcohol drinks–the FDA had no idea).
We need a better food safety system in this country and conflicts of interests in GRAS additive approvals are a good place to start.
CASE IN POINT:
Want to lose weight, ward off diabetes and still drink something that tastes sweet and fizzy? Grab a diet soda!
Artificial sweeteners, whether sucralose, stevia, aspartame or any of the other increasing number of ingredients being added to this category, are being linked to just as many negative health problems as sugar, in its many forms, according to a new review of five years’ worth of research.
People who drink diet sodas perceive them as healthy and then overeat other unhealthy foods.
animal studies have also shown that artificial sweeteners interfere with your body’s production of a hormone called GLP-1. It’s a hormone that regulates your blood sugar levels and your feelings of satiety
15 percent of children consume artificial sweeteners. Ironically, increases in consumption of these sweeteners has increased in lock-step with obesity rates over the past 40 years.
The bottom line? The healthiest diet drink for you is water.
Source: food politics in Nestle’s forthcoming book Eat Drink Vote: An Illustrated Guide to Food Politics
Source: Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism