In an article published June 28, 2013 in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) weekly newspaper FDA Week, Tom Neltner comments that the FDA should cooperate with the U.S. Environment Protection Agency (EPA) to regain a grip on Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) substances. Tom Neltner, food additives director of the Pew Charitable Trust, is co-author of a study on FDA’s food additives safety assessment, previously reported on by the FPF. The study criticizes the GRAS notification program and advises a revision of the guidance on adverse effects to include behavior, endocrine disruption and sensitivity. Neltner states in the article that the agency’s reliance on the GRAS notifications program “ties FDA’s hands” and limits its ability to effectively evaluate chemical safety. According to Neltner, it is very difficult for the FDA to set priorities in its chemical risk assessment, as it lacks information and “does not have clear authority to require additional toxicity tests”. Yet, the EPA has the necessary authority, and cooperation between the two agencies could improve food safety.

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FDA week

FPF article "FDA’s food additives risk assessment under scrutiny"


Maffini, M. V., et al. (2013). "Looking Back to Look Forward: A Review of FDA’s Food Additives Safety Assessment and Recommendations for Modernizing its Program." Comprehensive reviews in food science and food safety 12(4): 439-453.