In an opinion piece published through the news agency Reuters, the journalist Toni Clarke argues that there are signs that the U.S. Food Drug Administration (FDA) may review its food additives rule, after participating at the Reuters Health Summit. The summit took place May 6-9, 2013 in New York uniting executives and officials from the healthcare industry and state agencies. The recent cases of industrial chemicals in food containers and water bottles, and caffeinated energy drinks have pointed to gaps in the U.S. regulatory system and given rise to exerted pressure upon the agency, according to the opinion piece. In the article FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg is quoted saying it may be “time to […] answer questions in new ways because of advances in science and technology. Currently the U.S.’ regulatory system requires the FDA to prove the hazard of a chemical in order to remove it from the market. Research by the Pew Charitable Trust, which is to be published by the end of May 2013, has shown that 3’000 chemicals have been used by industry as substances generally recognized as safe (GRAS). FDA does not need to be notified about the use of such GRAS substances. According to the article, the FDA has rarely made use of its option to challenge such declaration and these substances continue to be used without publicly available data on applications and potential exposure.

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