A peer-reviewed article published online June 12, 2013 in the scientific journal Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety focuses on FDA’s chemical risk assessment procedures for food additives (Maffini et al. 2013). The authors from the PEW Charitable Trust, Washington DC compared a 1982 Scientific Committee on GRAS Substances (SCOGS) report with scientific expert opinions compiled during PEW-hosted expert workshops in 2011. The article discusses 9 areas of concern, where expert opinions of both the 1982 report and the 2011 expert workshops overlapped. All areas of concern address issues in FDA’s current chemical risk assessment methods, based on contemporary scientific expert knowledge, including: toxicology test guidelines, tools used to predict health outcomes, conflict of interest in manufacturers’ decisions, lack of a post-market re-assessment strategy, and lack of a definition of harm.The report summarizes suggestions how these improvements can be integrated into FDA practice.


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.

Read more (added July 11, 2013)

FDA falling behind food additives safety assessment. PEW Charitable Trust, Food Additives Project article. 10 July 2013.