Report: Industry Decides Food Ingredient Safety

By GARANCE BURKE | October 28, 2011

A new report has found thousands of ingredients that go into food have been classified as safe by private industry alone, without any government oversight.

The study published Wednesday found that since the early 1960’s, private companies and trade associations have classified as safe at least 3,000 ingredients with no federal scrutiny. The ingredients include everything from artificially synthesized chemicals to grape seed extract.

The peer-reviewed report published in the Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety journal draws on research funded by the Pew Health Group, the health and consumer safety arm of the nonprofit Pew Charitable Trusts.

The Grocery Manufacturers Association says the ingredients the industry uses are safe. But the group also says more transparency would help build consumer confidence in the safety vetting process.

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