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California Out Front of FDA in Banning Food Additives


Following the lead of the E.U. in 2008, California is close to enacting legislation that would ban additives that may have deleterious health effects.  The list includes Red Dye #3, Titanium dioxide, Potassium bromate, Brominated vegetable oil and Propylparaben.


The California Assembly has voted for AB 418, and a companion Bill is awaiting passage in the California Senate.  Assemblyman, Jesse Gabriel, Chair of the Committee on Privacy and Consumer Protection, stated, “It’s unacceptable that the U.S. is so far behind the rest of the world when it comes to banning dangerous additives.  Is it not too much to ask food and beverage manufacturers to switch to the safe alternative ingredients that they already use in Europe and so many other nations around the globe?”


Brian Ronholm, Director of Food Policy at Consumer Reports, stated, “This Bill helps close a troubling loophole in the FDA oversight of food chemicals that has allowed them to remain in food products despite recent studies documenting the threat they pose to our health.”


Scot Faber, Senior Vice President for, Government Affairs at the Environmental Working Group, an activist organization stated, “For decades, the FDA has failed to keep us safe from toxic food chemicals.”  He added, “The chemical companies keep exploiting the loophole that allows the use of food additives that have not been adequately reviewed for safety by the FDA.  The FDA consistently fails to reassess chemicals even in the light of new science.  The food and confectionery industries know that the review process of the FDA is broken.”  He concluded, “In the absence of federal leadership, it’s up to states like California to keep us safe from dangerous chemicals in candy, cookies and other foods enjoyed by our families.”


Inaction and susceptibility to political pressure as demonstrated by the FDA is further justification to establish a separate Agency dedicated to food safety and nutrition.