How safe are the additives that make your food tastier, thicker, more vitamin-filled or less likely to spoil? It depends on how much you trust the companies that make those additives. A study out today Wednesday finds that the scientists who judge the safety work for the additive manufacturers or for consultants they've hired.
To understand the scope of the issue, it helps to know that 43% of the 10,000-plus food additives in use are considered so safe they're exempt from Food and Drug Administration supervision. They are called Generally Recognized as Safe. The GRAS list includes things like carnauba wax, modified food starch, caffeine, monosodium glutamate, gum arabic, mineral oil and rosemary.