Earlier this year, researchers from The Pew Charitable Trusts co-authored an article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine which looked at financial conflicts of interest that frequently occur in food additives safety reviews (which determine what additives are granted “Generally Recognized as Safe” status).
“The co-authors find that out of 451 GRAS determinations made between 1997 and 2012, 22 percent were made by an employee of an additive manufacturer. More than 13 percent were made by an employee of a consulting firm selected by an additive manufacturer, and more than 64 percent by an expert panel selected by a consulting firm of an additive manufacturer.
In addition, the article finds that of the 290 panels convened, at least one of 10 individuals was selected to serve on 225 (78 percent) of them. Only 65 (22 percent) panels did not include one of the 10 individuals most frequently selected.”
This is particularly important to keep in mind when Big Food — and its many front groups — defends controversial additives by pointing to their “GRAS” status.