In a perspective article published on December 20, 2017 in the peer-reviewed journal PLoS Biology, Maricel Maffini, independent consultant, and colleagues working at the non-governmental organization Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) argued that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is not able “to effectively manage the safety of hundreds of chemicals,” falling “short of fully enforcing its mandates [to ensure the safety of chemicals in food],” and that this failure “is putting our children’s health at risk.”
The authors summarized that “thousands of chemicals,” with chronic effects “woefully understudied” and health risks “inadequately assessed,” have entered the food system since 1958, when FDA was given its current authority to assess and regulate chemicals used in or contaminating food. The two areas of particular concern are the effects of chemicals “at low levels and during susceptible developmental stages.” A recent example used by the authors to illustrate the current regulatory gaps in managing chemical contamination in food in the U.S. is the case of thyroid disruptor perchlorate (FPF reported).
In a blog article published on December 20, 2017 by EDF Health, Maffini’s co-author Sarah Vogel emphasized that “protecting the most vulnerable from hazardous chemicals is a common goal that we should all be striving towards to build a safer and healthier future.”
Sarah Vogel (December 20, 2017). “We are what we eat: New paper outlines how the regulatory gaps in the US threaten our health.” EDF Health
Maffini, M., et al. (2017). “We are what we eat: Regulatory gaps in the United States that put our health at risk.” PLoS Biology (published December 20, 2017).