Gravitas Summer 15

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66 | GRAVITAS MAGAZINE As you walk the aisles of the supermarket, selecting items to check off your grocery list, the basic assumption you make is that the food lining the shelves has been reviewed and approved by the Food and Drug Administration, and thus safe. You would be mistaken. e majority of A mericans are unaware of the disturbing realities of our food supply and the sweet poisons lurk ing beneath the surface. e food we consume on a daily basis is hiding a dirty lile secret, and it's all in the additives. Shock ingly, companies are given the authority to review their own ingredients to determine whether they are safe. Due to a legislative loophole that defies logic, companies are able to give their products a stamp of approval without them ever crossing the desk of an FDA official. ough they have recognized the gaping hole in the system that is supposedly designed to protect the public, the FDA still appears unable to offer a new solution. "We simply do not have the information to vouch for the safety of many of these chemicals," said Michael Taylor, FDA Deputy Commissioner for Foods, in an inter view with e Washing ton Post. "We aren't saying we have a public health crisis, but we do have questions about whether we can do what people expect of us." Generally Recognized as Safe Under the loophole, k nown as "generally recognized as safe," or GS, manufacturers are able to deem new additives as safe and bring them to market without providing any unbiased evidence to back up the claims. A lthough manufacturers are technically required to verif y the safety of ingredients through a team of scientific experts, it's easy for the experts to quick ly come to a consensus when they are on the company's payroll. ese "experts" are usually selected by the manufacturers and are given a financial incentive to get the products to market quick ly. In 1958, the A merican public was gravely concerned about preser vatives and additives in their food, so the first law regulating ingredients added to foods was passed. e law included an approval system that would require manufacturers to submit new ingredients to the FDA for a safety review before the products could hit the shelves. e problem arose when the FDA was consumed By Juliane Beard and Katherine Ferrara Johnson The high cost we're paying for the ingredients hiding in our food. Dirty Little Secrets A

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