In a blog published on July 2, 2014 by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Maricel Maffini, senior scientist at the NRDC, criticized that the FDA fails to address cumulative effects on brain development. She states that the prevalence of neurodevelopmental disorders has increased between 1999 and 2011 according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Maffini states in the blog that exposure to chemicals during brain development is a common cause of neurodevelopmental problems. While the U.S. Food Additives Amendment of 1958 requires the FDA to consider cumulative effects of different substances in the diet, the chemical-by-chemical approach taken by the FDA makes it hard to gain a big picture of chemicals causing damage to brain development and other biological endpoints. Maffini criticizes that the FDA has not established a method allowing to group chemicals based on their biological effect. She suggests for the FDA to “overhaul the way chemical safety assessment is done in the US”.
Maricel Maffini (June 2, 2014). “Overloaded: approaches to assess cumulative effects of food additives on brain development.” Switchboard- Natural Resources Defense Council blog.