The Washington Post reports that over the years, more and more additives, like preservatives and flavorings, have been included in processed foods, and the Food and Drug Administration still doesn’t have tabs on many of them.
There once was a certification system for safe foods that the FDA managed, but that has gone by the wayside as a voluntary system has been used.
The FDA also managed an oversight program that reviewed food companies’ research to determine the safety of food additives. However, rules were introduced that allowed companies to self-determine that a food additive was Generally Recognized as Safe, or GRAS. This ruling didn’t require companies to share their research with the FDA.
From The Washington Post:
“The FDA has received thousands of consumer complaints about additives in recent years, saying certain substances seem to trigger asthmatic attacks, serious bouts of vomiting, intestinal-tract disorders and other health problems.”