Toxic FDA-Approved Food Additives

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The
Food
and
Drug
Administration
(FDA)
recently

reiterated

its
official
disapproval
of
any
nonpharmaceutical
use
of

cannabidiol

(CBD),
a
non-intoxicating

cannabis

compound
with
significant
therapeutic
attributes.
In
the
world
according
to
the

FDA
,

CBD

is
not
a
safe
substance
and
it
is
not
a
legitimate
dietary
supplement

and,
therefore,
we
shouldn’t
buy,
sell
or
consume
food
or
beverages
containing

CBD
.
But
unregulated

CBD
-infused
ingestibles
are
just
a
mouse
click
away
for
anyone
who
can’t
make
it
to
their
local
gas
station
or
community
market.

CBD
has
the
potential
to
harm
you,”
the

FDA

declared,
noting
that
is
it
“has
seen
only
limited
data
about

CBD

safety
and
these
data
point
to
real
risks
that
need
to
be
considered
before
taking

CBD

for
any
reason.”


The

FDA
’s
precautionary
overreach
with
respect
to

CBD

contrasts
sharply
with
its
lax
policy
toward
chemical
poisons
such
as
arsenic,
which
is
an

FDA
-approved
food
ingredient.

And
arsenic
is
just
the
tip
of
an
immense
toxic
iceberg.
About
3,000
out
of
the
10,000
chemicals
on
the

FDA
’s
list
of
approved
food
additives
have

never
been
reviewed

for
safety
by
the

FDA
.
The
list
includes

several
known
carcinogens
.

Many
of
these
compounds
were
“grandfathered
in”
without
fanfare
because
they
were

widely
present

in
food
prior
to
the
passage
of
the
1958
Food
Additives
Amendment
(FAA).
This
amendment
sought
to
allay
public
concern
about
the
increased
use
of
chemical
additives
in
processed
food.

A
major
loophole

While
the
ostensible

purpose

of
the

FAA

was
“to
prohibit
the
use
in
food
of
additives
which
have
not
been
adequately
tested
to
establish
their
safety,”
the
amendment
included
a

major
loophole
,
whereby

commonly
used
substances
that
the

FDA

deemed
“generally
recognized
as
safe”
(GRAS)
prior
to
1958
would
be

exempt

from
the
new
law
.

The
GRAS
system,”
which
the

FDA

still
uses
to
determine
food
safety,
relies
on
a
voluntary
process
that
enables
manufacturers
to
assess
health
risks
and
decide
whether
an
additive
is
benign
or
bad
news.
Manufacturers
under
the

GRAS

system
can
“establish
a
scientific
consensus”
by
creating
specialized
expert
panels
for
the
purpose
of
reviewing
a
substance.
These
“experts”
can
include
members
of
the
company’s
staff
or
consultants
with
undisclosed
financial
conflicts
of
interest.

Once
an
expert
panel
rendered
its
verdict,
a
manufacturer
could
simply
notify
the

FDA

about
the

GRAS

determination

if
the
manufacturer
felt
so
inclined.
Notifying
the

FDA

about
a

GRAS

determination
was
completely
at
the
manufacturer’s

discretion
.
In
other
words,
the
responsibility
for
determining
an
ingredient’s
safety
was
now
up
to
the
manufacturer
rather
than
the

FDA
.
This
dubious
arrangement
spared

FDA

officials
the
hassle
of
having
to
conduct
resource-intensive
testing.

Here
are
some
examples
of
harmful

FDA
-approved
ingredients
that
have
poisoned
the

U.S.

food
supply:

High
Fructose
Corn
Syrup
(HFCS)

In
February
2012

Nature

published
an
article,

“The
toxic
truth
about
sugar,”

which
discussed
several
substantial
concerns
about
the
adverse
health
effects
of
sweetener
additives,
including
sugar’s
lack
of
nutritional
value
as
well
as
its
pernicious
role
as
a
factor
“responsib[le] for
metabolic
diseases
[and] toxic
effects
on
the
liver.”
Sugar’s
high
abuse
potential,
its
association
with
cognitive
decline,
and
its
potential
link
to
cancer
were
also
cited.

“If
international
bodies
are
truly
concerned
about
public
health,
they
must
consider
limiting
fructose

and
its
main
delivery
vehicles,
the
added
sugars

HFCS

[High
fructose
corn
syrup] and
sucrose

which
pose
dangers
to
individuals
and
to
society
as
a
whole,”
the

Nature

authors
stated.

High
Fructose
Corn
Syrup
(HFCS)
is
a
sweetener
made
from
corn
starch.
The

FDA


considers


HFCS

to
be

GRAS
.
But
exposure
to

HFCS

is
highly

controversial

for
several
reasons.

HFCS
-infused
products
like
sodas
typically

exhibit

“higher
than
expected”
levels
of
fructose.
(The
fructose
levels
in
these
drinks
are
often

not
disclosed
.)
While
glucose
is
readily
absorbed
by
the
body
via
the
actions
of
insulin,

fructose
generates
insulin
resistance
.
This
means
that


HFCS

can
trigger
increased
triglyceride
production,
leading
to
a
variety
of
illnesses
associated
with
obesity
and
metabolic
syndrome
,
such
as
hypertension,

diabetes
and
cardiovascular
disease
,

abnormal
increases
in
body
fat
,
and

nonalcoholic
fatty
liver
disease
.

Obesity
also
increases
the
risk
of
developing

several
types
of
cancer
.
A
team
of
scientists
from
Cornell
University
and
several
other
research
institutions

found

that
ingesting

HFCS

promoted
the
growth
of
intestinal
cancer
cells
in
mice,
to
cite
but
one
example.

According
to

Bart
Hoebel
,
a
Princeton
psychology
professor
who
specializes
in
the
neuroscience
of
appetite,
weight,
and
sugar
addiction,
“Some
people
have
claimed
that
high-fructose
corn
syrup
is
no
different
than
other
sweeteners
when
it
comes
to
weight
gain
and
obesity,
but
our
results
make
it
clear
that
this
just
isn’t
true,
at
least
under
the
conditions
of
our
tests.”

Another
research
group
led
by
former

FDA

scientist
Renee
Dufault,

found
mercury
present
in
almost
half
of
the

HFCS

samples

they
collected
in
2005.
Despite
the
fact
that
Dufault
alerted
her
superiors
to
the
findings
she
got
no
response
and

no
action
was
taken

by
the

FDA
.

The

FDA

also
seems
unperturbed
by
the
widespread
contamination
of

HFCS

with

glyphosate
,
a
synthetic
pesticide
developed
and
aggressively
marketed
as
Round-Up
by
Monsanto
for
genetically
modified
corn
and
other
crops.
The
International
Agency
for
Research
on
Cancer
classifies
glyphosate
as
a
probable
human
carcinogen
.”
In
October
2018,
the

FDA

released
a

report

detailing
residues
of
this
highly
toxic
pesticide
in
many
common
household
foods,
including
children’s
breakfast
cereals.


The

FDA

maintains
that
foods
contaminated
with
glyphosate
are
safe
to
consume
,
whereas

CBD

is
simply
too
dangerous
for
human
consumption
(except
when
given
to
children
with
refractory
seizure
disorders).

For
further
reading
on
high
fructose
corn
syrup,
see:

Nitrates
and
nitrites

Commonly

used

as
preservatives
or
color-enhancing
agents
for
processed
meats,
cheese,
and
fish,
nitrates
and
nitrites
were

among
the
first
GRAS
foods
exempt

from
the
Food
Additives
Amendment.
But
several
investigations
have
raised
serious
questions
about
the
health
effects
of
these
compounds.

In
2006,
the
International
Agency
for
Research
on
Cancer
published
a

report

that

classified
nitrates
and
nitrites
as
“probable
human
carcinogens.”

And
a
2009

study

published
in

The
American
Journal
of
Clinical
Nutrition

found:
“The
presence
of
nitrates
and
nitrites
in
food
is
associated
with
an
increased
risk
of
gastrointestinal
cancer
and,
in
infants,
methemoglobinemia
[a
blood
disorder].”

Furthermore,
a
2015

meta-analysis

of
49
nitrate/nitrite
studies
found
“high
intake
of
nitrites

resulted
in
an
elevated
risk
of
cancer.”
Other

studies

have
linked
consumption
of
nitrate-rich
cured
meats
to
an
increased
risk
of
childhood
brain
tumors
in
the
offspring
of
users.
Nitrates
and
nitrites
are
also

disguised
as
other
ingredients
,
such
as
“celery
powder,”
found
in
products
labeled
“natural”
or
even
“organic.”

“Many
unanswered
questions
and
data
gaps
about

CBD

toxicity
exist,”
the

FDA


alleges
.
Yet
there
are
numerous
peer-reviewed
research
papers
that
clearly
delineate
the
toxic
effects
of
nitrates
and
nitrates,
which
the

FDA
,
perversely,
still
consider
to
be

GRAS
,
while

CBD

is
officially
forbidden
in
food.

For
further
reading
on
the
toxicity
of
nitrates
and
nitrites,
see:

Artificial
colorings

Another
group
of
harmful
additives
is
camouflaged
by
the
umbrella
term
“artificial
colorings.”
You
can
find
artificial
coloring
in
just
about
every
processed
food
product

from
candy
to
sodas,
juices,
and
even
pickles.

A
2007

study

published
in

The
Lancet

examined
the
effects
of
artificial
colorings
on
children.
The
authors
found
that
consuming
artificial
colorings
and
preservatives
can
increase
hyperactivity
in
kids.
These
findings
prompted
the
European
Food
Standards
Agency
to

urge

manufacturers
to
remove
artificial
coloring
from
their
food
products.

Published
in
the

International
Journal
of
Occupational
and
Environmental
Health
,
a
2012
research

paper

by

UCLA

scientists
reported
that

“all
of
the
nine
currently

US
-approved
[food] dyes
raise
health
concerns
of
varying
degrees.”

Specifically,
they
noted
that:

  • “Red
    3
    causes
    cancer
    in
    animals,
    and
    there
    is
    evidence
    that
    several
    other
    dyes
    also
    are
    carcinogenic.”
  • “Three
    dyes
    (Red
    40,
    Yellow
    5,
    and
    Yellow
    6)
    have
    been
    found
    to
    be
    contaminated
    with
    benzidine
    or
    other
    carcinogens.”
  • “At
    least
    four
    dyes
    (Blue
    1,
    Red
    40,
    Yellow
    5,
    and
    Yellow
    6)
    cause
    hypersensitivity
    reactions.”

The

UCLA

researchers
also
asserted
that

these
dyes
“do
not
improve
the
safety
or
nutritional
qualities
of
foods.”

They
suggested
that
currently
used
dyes
should
be
removed
from
the
food
supply
and
urged
regulatory
authorities
to
“require
better
and
independent
toxicity
testing,
exercise
greater
caution
regarding
continued
approval
of
these
dyes,
and
in
the
future
approve
only
well-tested,
safe
dyes.”

The

FDA
’s
stance
on
artificial
colorings,
however,
remains
impervious
to
scientific
evidence
and
contemptuous
of
public
health.

For
further
reading
on
the
side
effects
of
artificial
colorings,
see:

Artificial
flavorings

“Artificial
flavorings”
is
an
umbrella
term
that

encompasses

700
different
synthetic
chemicals,
many
of
which
are
harmful
to
consume.
But
according
to
the

FDA
’s

Code
of
Federal
Regulations
Title
21
,

processed
food
manufacturers
aren’t
even
required
to
identify
these
ubiquitous
compounds
on
product
labels
.
“If
the
flavor
consists
of
two
or
more
ingredients,”
the
label
simply
may
state:
“All
flavor
ingredients
contained
in
this
product
are
approved
for
use
in
a
regulation
of
the
Food
and
Drug
Administration.”

Some
of
these
omnipresent
artificial
flavoring
substances

aren’t
even
listed

on
the

FDA

Food
Additives
list.
The

FDA

justifies
omitting
this
information
out
of
deference
to
certain
trade
groups,
such
as
the
Flavor

Extract

Manufacturers
Association
(FEMA),
which
“has
established
expert
panels
that
evaluate
and
make
determinations
on
the

GRAS

status
of
flavoring
substances.”


FEMA
,
however,
is

not
an
objective
third
party

research
group
dedicated
to
protecting
public
health.
It’s
a
trade
association
comprised
of

FDA
-appointed,
industry-friendly
“experts.”
Many
of
these
so
called
experts
are
actually

employees
of
the
manufacturer
,
and
as
such
may
bear
financial
conflicts
of
interest.
But
there
are
no
rules
mandating
that
the

FDA

must
prevent
such
financial
conflicts.
It
also
bears
mentioning
that
the
average

FDA

review
for
food
additives

takes

two
years

“but
some
drag
on
for
decades.”

Several
environmental
groups

successfully
sued
the

FDA

to
remove
seven
synthetic
food
additives
after

linking

these
substances
to
cancer
in
animal
laboratory
studies.

FEMA

protested
the
decision,
arguing
that
it
“demonstrates
a
limited
interpretation
of
animal
studies
and
cancer
by
failing
to
address
risk
or
relevance
in
humans.”

The

FDA

also
insisted
that
these
additives
were
safe,
even
though
it
acknowledged
that
“there
were
findings
of
carcinogenicity
in
animal
studies.”
In
the
world
according
to
the

FDA
,
there
is
insufficient
data
pertaining
to
these
synthetic
flavoring
substances
to
support
“a
finding
that
they
are
human
carcinogens
when
consumed
at
the
levels
of
intended
use.”


What
exactly
are
the
intended
levels
of
use
for
artificial
flavorings
or
additives?

How
are
consumers
supposed
to
access
relevant
information
if
these
substances
aren’t
even
included
on
ingredient
labels
for
common
products
and
are
nowhere
to
be
found
on
the

FDA
’s
own
Food
Additive
list?

And
why
is
the

FDA

so
quick
to
dismiss
animal
data
that
doesn’t
align
with
the
priorities
of
its
corporate
partners,
while
insisting
that

CBD

is
unequivocally
dangerous
based
on
dubious
extrapolations
from
animal
data?

For
further
reading
on
the
adverse
effects
of
artificial
flavorings,
see:

Artificial
sweeteners

There
is
nothing
healthy
about
diet
sodas
spiked
with
aspartame
and
other

FDA
-approved
artificial
sweeteners.
An
additive
found
in
many
processed
food
products,

aspartame
has
specifically
been

linked
to
cancer
.
A
2013
study
by
Austrian
scientists
found
that
consumption
of
aspartame
increased
the
risk
of
developing
non-Hodgkin
lymphomas
(NHLs)
and
multiple
myeloma
in
men.

A
subsequent

study

in

Nutritional
Neuroscience

classified
aspartame
as
a
“chemical
stressor

which
may
have
adverse
effects
on
neurobehavioral
health.”
This
report
and
several
others
have
linked
the
ubiquitous
artificial
sweetener
to
a
dizzying
array
of
side
effects,
including
seizures,

headaches
,
mood
disturbances,
and
reduced
mental
performance.”

A
2012

report

in
the

American
Journal
of
Clinical
Nutrition

found
an
“increased
risk
of
type
2
diabetes,
cardiovascular
disease,
or
the
metabolic
syndrome
with
higher
intake
of
diet
soft
drinks.”

Ironically,
weight
gain
is
another
adverse
side
effect
of
artificially
sweetened
beverages.

For
further
reading
on
the
adverse
effects
of
artificial
sweeteners,
see:

Sodium
benzoate

Sodium
benzoate
is
widely

used

as
a
flavor
enhancer,
preservative,
and
coloring
agent.
Found
most
often
in
carbonated
beverages
like
sodas,
it
has
been

linked

to
increased
risk
of
hyperactivity
in
kids.


Researchers
have

found

that
sodium
benzoate,
when
combined
with
Vitamin
C,
can
convert
to
benzene,
a
compound associated
with
cancer
development
.

The

FDA
’s
website
even

states
,
“Benzene
is
a
carcinogen
that
can
cause
cancer
in
humans.”

When
the

FDA

tested
samples
of
beverages
that
contained
sodium
benzoate
and
vitamin
C
in
2006
and
2007,
it

found

that
“a
small
number
of
products
sampled”
had
benzene
levels
higher
than
federal
safety
standards.

But
a
five-year

study

published
in
the

Journal
of
Agricultural
Food
Chemistry

found
benzene
concentrations
in
common
foods
and
drinks
with
more
than
20
times
the
maximum
contaminant
level
set
by
the
Environmental
Protection
Agency.

Rather
than
banning
sodium
benzoate
altogether
as
a
food
additive,
as
it
seeks
to
do
with

CBD
,
the

FDA

has
allowed
noncompliant
processed
food
manufacturers
to
reformulate
their
products
before
releasing
them
back
on
the
market
as
“safe.”

Can
anyone
explain
why
benzene,
a
potential
carcinogen,
is
allowed
to
remain
on
the

FDA
’s
list
of
“safe”
food
substances,
while


CBD


a
known
anti-tumoral
and
anti-proliferative
agent


is
not?

For
further
reading
on
the
side
effects
of
sodium
benzoate,
see:

Brominated
vegetable
oil
(aka

BVO
)


BVO

is
an
emulsifier
and
“clouding
agent”
commonly

used

in
sports
drinks
and
citrus-flavored
carbonated
beverages,
such
as
Gatorade,
Mountain
Dew,
Dr.
Pepper,
and
Fresca
(a
Coca-Cola
product).


Bromine,
the
main
component
of

BVO
,
is
a

poisonous
chemical
.
The
Centers
for
Disease
Control

recognizes

that
bromine-containing
compounds
are
“likely
to
cause
symptoms
such
as
nausea
and
vomiting
(gastrointestinal
symptoms).”
Bromine
toxicity
can
also

cause

“skin
lesions,
memory
loss
and
nerve
disorders.”

The
use
of

BVO

as
an
additive
dates
back
to
the
1930s.
When
Congress
passed
the
1958
Food
Additives
Amendment,

BVO

was
placed
on
the
generally
recognized
as
safe
(GRAS)
list.

But
in
1970,
the
Flavor
and
Extract
Manufacturers’
Association
(FEMA)

reviewed


BVO
’s

GRAS

status.
“At
that
time,
they
decided
that
there
was
insufficient
data
to
support
a

GRAS

claim,”
says
a
report
from

Food
Quality

&

Safety
,
a
scientific
journal
geared
towards
the
food
industry.

The

FDA

responded
by
temporarily
revoking

BVO
’s

GRAS

status
in
1970
and
requesting
that

FEMA

research
the
compound
more
diligently
in
animals.
Based
on
this
data,
the

FDA

made
an
interim
ruling
that
deemed

BVO

to
be
safe
in
drinks
at
amounts
up
to
15
parts
per
million.
However,
what
was
meant
to
be
an
interim

FDA

decision
has
never
been
revisited,
and

BVO
’s
approved
status
as
a
food
additive
remains
unchanged.



BVO

products,
incidentally,
are
banned
throughout
Europe
and
Japan.

For
further
reading
on
the
side
effects
of

BVO
,
see:

Ongoing

FDA

negligence

The
integrity
of
the

FDA

process
for
approving
food
additives
is
fundamentally
flawed.
The

FDA
’s
industry-friendly

GRAS

system
has
allowed
food
additive
manufacturers
to
rampantly
abuse
a
system
that
is
supposed
to
protect
public
health.
The
onus
to
prove
the
safety
of
a
food
additive
should
not
be
left
in
the
hands
of
the
additive
manufacturer.

A
2013

report

from
Pew
Charitable
Trust
found
that
“financial
conflicts
of
interest
were
ubiquitous
in
determinations
that
an
additive
to
food
was

GRAS
.”
Furthermore,
according
to
this
report:

“The
lack
of
independent
review
in

GRAS

determinations
raises
concerns
about
the
integrity
of
the
process
and
whether
it
ensures
the
safety
of
the
food
supply,
particularly
in
instances
where
the
manufacturer
does
not
notify
the

FDA

of
the
determination.”

The

FDA

has
neglected
to
address
these
concerns.
Federal
regulators
have
failed
to
complete
a
review
of

GRAS

substances
that
the

FDA

began
in
the
1970’s.
The
program
was
halted
due
to
limited
resources.
The

FDA

has
also
neglected
to
re-evaluate
the
safety
of
thousands
of
approved
compounds
even
when
new
findings
detail
potential
negative
side
effects.
Once
a
chemical
additive
has
been
approved
by
the

FDA
,
manufacturers
have
no
incentive
to
add
additional
toxicology
information
because
the

FDA

does
not
have
a
reassessment
program
in
place.
Nor
does
it
have
the
authority
to
require
additional
testing.

As
for
prohibiting

CBD

as
a
food
additive,
the

FDA

lacks
credibility
when
it
professes
great
concern
about
safety.



Janelle
Lassalle
is
a
cannabis
content
creator
and
passionate

CBD

advocate.
You
can
find

her
work

featured
in
a
variety
of
publications
including

Forbes,
Rolling
Stone

and

Leafly.



Copyright,
Project

CBD
.
May
not
be
reprinted
without

permission
.

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