CFS endorses DeLauro’s Toxic Free Food Act
The Center for Food Safety today endorsed a bill introduced by House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., that would require the Food and Drug Administration to overhaul the FDA process for determining the safety of chemicals used in the food supply.
FDA currently allows food manufacturers to designate various chemicals as “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS), without FDA review or public notice, but the Toxic Free Food Act would require FDA to make the industry’s chemical food additives subject to FDA approval.
When she introduced the bill on June 4, DeLauro said, “American families deserve to trust that the food in our stores and supermarkets is safe. The current notification system for ‘generally recognized as safe’ erodes the public’s trust in food safety. The food industry is designating new ingredients as GRAS to take advantage of this loophole so they can rush new chemicals to market with no oversight. Those that choose to notify FDA of their new substance get to supply their own, company-funded science and keep it away from the eyes of the public. This approval process must be mandatory, transparent, and independent in order to maintain the trust of American consumers. We need to close the GRAS loophole.”
“The Toxic Free Food Act will make FDA take charge of food safety instead of the industry,” said Jaydee Hanson, policy director at CFS.
The Toxic Free Food Act is also supported by the Environmental Defense Fund, Environmental Working Group, Center for Science in the Public Interest, Consumer Reports, Healthy Babies Bright Future, Defend our Health, Earthjustice and Breast Cancer Prevention Partners.
“None of us should have to worry about the safety of our food,” said Environmental Working Group Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Scott Faber. “But, for too long, the FDA has let the food and chemical companies decide whether toxic-forever chemicals like PFAS (per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances) are safe to eat. The Toxic Free Food Act will put the FDA in charge of food safety, not the food and chemical companies.”
“This bill does an excellent job of correcting the problems and loopholes associated with the current GRAS system, which essentially allows the industry to determine the safety of substances added to food without informing the FDA,” said Director of Food Policy at Consumer Reports Brian Ronholm.
“For far too long, food manufacturers have secretly introduced new chemicals into our foods without providing the FDA or the public with any safety data,” said Executive Director and President of Center for Science in the Public Interest Peter Lurie. “The Toxic Free Food Act of 2021 is an important step in providing the FDA with the information needed to keep dangerous chemicals out of our foods.”
Environmental Defense Fund Chemicals Policy Director Tom Neltner said, “The bill would direct FDA to fix the most significant flaws with the agency’s Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) Rule that allows companies to secretly decide on the safety of chemicals in our food – without the agency’s review or the public’s knowledge.”
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