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Should Food Additives Be Put Through More Rigorous Testing?

Posted March 24, 2009 12:00 AM by Jaxy

Going to the supermarket these days is a nightmare. Newspapers, websites, and television ads dictate what you should put in your mouths – and worse, what should be avoided. Hearsay makes you avoid products that will supposedly clog your arteries, give you cancer, or contribute to early onset of diabetes.

There is a lot of controversy over food additives and their effect on the body. I believe that people need to be better informed to make healthy choices for themselves and their families. In order to do that, however, I believe that there needs to be more testing of food additives before they are launched into products hitting the shelves in supermarkets near you.

Olestra

Years ago, before the high fructose corn syrup and monosodium glutamate controversies, olestra was approved by the FDA as a fat-based substitute for conventional fats. Olestra was used in potato chips, crackers and other snacks to make the product lower in fat and calories. Due to the possible side effects, such as abdominal cramps and the inhibition of vital vitamin absorption, it was required that olestra be labeled on the package. However, a few years later, the FDA announced that labeling was no longer required.

Despite the FDA's decision, Proctor & Gamble conducted their own studies showing olestra caused diarrhea and cramps amongst other symptoms. Since consumers didn't take a liking to olestra, olestra-containing chips have greatly diminished. During this time, the FDA had gathered more than twenty-thousand complaints about olestra. Although olestra may not be as prominent in chips, it may still wind up in your shopping cart because there isn't an adequate warning label.

Will More Thorough Testing Prevent Bad Additives From Leeching Into Food Products?

How do food additives like olestra leak into consumer products to later cause problems? There were extensive studies that lead to the approval of olestra by the FDA, and more that contributed to the FDA changing of the label requirement. Since olestra is used to reduce calories in a portion of food, it is theorized that people ate more portions and consumed more olestra, causing a bigger increase in symptoms than originally seen in the studies.

Should there be a more thorough testing of food additives? Should additives be tested for more variables? Would more testing and publication of studies reduce the confusion between customers and the products on the grocery shelves?

Resources:

http://www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/NEWS/NEW00524.html

http://www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/ANSWERS/2003/ANS01245.html

http://www.cspinet.org/new/200308011.html

http://www.cspinet.org/olestra/11cons.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olestra

http://cr4.globalspec.com/blogentry/8360/Behind-the-Controversy-Monosodium-Glutamate-MSG

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#1

Re: Should Food Additives Be Put Through More Rigorous Testing?

03/25/2009 1:16 AM

Excellent topic Jaxy thanks,

It has become known that rats are not a suitable substitute for humans in testing. What doesn't effect rats may be detrimental to humans.

Integrity of labeling would probably have the surest and most stabilizing effect on consumer confidence if we were re-educated truthfully on the ingredients and the side effects caused by food ingredients including food additives and what constitutes an additive. There is permissible labeling that is best described as virtuously challenged; this is a ridiculous manner for a health and safety chartered administration to demonstrate it's integrity.

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#2

Re: Should Food Additives Be Put Through More Rigorous Testing?

03/25/2009 2:05 AM

If testing is done rigorously, should not the FDA's practises be investigated?

I am under the impression that the right incentives will get an easier approval

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#3

Re: Should Food Additives Be Put Through More Rigorous Testing?

03/25/2009 6:06 AM

If I remember correctly the FDA is funded mostly by the companies it is SUPPOSED to be keeping an eye on. One of the few things the Federal Government should be paying for with our tax $$$$$$$ but isn't. Of course if the Feds were funding it the Lobbyist would just get their product pushed through. So were back to where we started.

What really needs to be done is a completely separate institution similar to Consumers Digest. I'm not sure how they stay in business since they don't take advertisements but they seem to make un-biased test on various consumer products.

Speaking of which how does Consumers Digest operate? They have to be making $ somehow. Or the magazine would have been around as long as it has.

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#5
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Re: Should Food Additives Be Put Through More Rigorous Testing?

03/25/2009 12:22 PM

Correct, the FDA is in it's original character functioning as mechanism to insure domestic producers maintain market dominance.

It's an illusion (sham) actually of the general public awareness that FDA is responsible for and looking out for the health and welfare of consumers.

FDA oversight regarding foo and is essentially the same in character (sham) as the PUC is for those industries which PUC has interests.

I am thoroughly convinced an effective mechanism for protection of public health concern should be in this administration's headlights an possibly incorporated as a government health care system administrative function.

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#9
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Re: Should Food Additives Be Put Through More Rigorous Testing?

03/25/2009 1:38 PM

One is hard put to think of a more corrupt organization, with as much power, and little regard for human life, than the FDA. It is their mandate to kill 5 million people a year. They are succeeding better than the Nazis did. The same human and chemical research that creates new food additives also creates new drugs to 'heal' the symptoms caused by the additives. I would not be surprised to hear of them approving Zyklon B. When the FDA says it is doing a study, it means they are collecting donations from any who want to have their drugs put on the market. Thankfully, they are greedy, so the price is high. Any notion whatsoever that they serve the public is absolutely false. It is simply a by-product of their masterful illusion. God forbid they should be an organization that seeks to improve public health. Obviously I despise them and would wipe them from the face of the earth, were it up to me. Food additives should be put through more rigorous testing, but by a competent organization, with a mandate to serve the public, and not the producers.

Chris

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#4

Re: Should Food Additives Be Put Through More Rigorous Testing?

03/25/2009 11:18 AM

Preservation of food,beverages is a long term need, ongrounds of storing for non seasonal use,transportabilty,ready to eat/drink etc.

Vast variety of support additives like flavours,tastes,preservatives,colours apart from main ingredients are being used in all most in all foodstuffs/beverages whether home made/street made/company made

1]These man made additives surely affect consumers to the extent of consumption levels,frequency and compatibility levels of ones blood chemistry.

2]All our inputs[liquids,solids,pastes] have an influnce on our metabolism ,whether the extra portions are digested/converted/or remain rejected without outlet.

3]Even medicines for that matter are to be judiciously dosed/felt by patients and doctors.It reveals an open truth that any discomfort/desease is the outcome of inputs into your body system

4]I mean this out of my own experience ,that a mismatched drugs prescription ,preservatives in regular eatables/soft drinks,in compatible natural food additives[salts,tomattos,lemons] caused a great deal of my normal health after the mishap 20years ago.Doctors called it preservative and drugs allergy and cautioined me regarding food inputs

5]The allergy is not 100%curable and I have to follow a strict ,compatible diet/medicines.

6]Any such, out of acceptance system consumptions, reflects as severe rashes,itchings and the pain is not worth mentioning.

7]This is a piece of share of my personal experience, that one should care for his/herself on these issues.

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#6

Re: Should Food Additives Be Put Through More Rigorous Testing?

03/25/2009 12:25 PM

Conforming to KISS the short answer is YES with extreme reservation that the FDA is not the vehicle best suited to effect the intent.

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#12
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Re: Should Food Additives Be Put Through More Rigorous Testing?

03/26/2009 8:02 PM

And by KISS.... you mean the

"Knights In Satins Service"?

"Keep It Simple Stupid" ?

"Korean Intelligence Support System"?

"Kristen Iteration Selection and Sequention"?

"Kids In the Savior's Service"?

"KEK Information Service System"?

Please Advise

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#13
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Re: Should Food Additives Be Put Through More Rigorous Testing?

03/26/2009 8:56 PM

Maybe these Kiss?

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Re: Should Food Additives Be Put Through More Rigorous Testing?

03/26/2009 10:03 PM

Ostensibly similar to "Occam's Razor"

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#7

Re: Should Food Additives Be Put Through More Rigorous Testing?

03/25/2009 12:54 PM

It is very frustrating to me that when I go to the grocery store and start reading the labels, most of them read more like a chemistry set than a food description.

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Re: Should Food Additives Be Put Through More Rigorous Testing?

03/25/2009 1:00 PM

With an understanding of chemistry you may discard many food descriptions out of hand.

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Re: Should Food Additives Be Put Through More Rigorous Testing?

03/25/2009 2:03 PM

www.hippocraticdiet.com/

This is a book that educates you to read into the labeling on food & gives a description of the additive names (including just exactly what the chemical is, in detail). A friend of mine has this book that i thumbed through, and i was very suprised by the detail & information included. It's a pretty decent recipe book, also. Mainly use common sense when eating & stay as fresh/natural as possible.

Thank's Jaxy for bringing this subject up!

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#11

Re: Should Food Additives Be Put Through More Rigorous Testing?

03/26/2009 2:23 PM

As a general rule when trying to discern the possible negative effects of a food possibly quasi food is- how long have humans been consuming it?

Take margarine and butter. As a European gene stock butter is been consumed for centuries while margarine is a new comer. When butter was touted as being bad and synthetic butter the new healthier food. Reality is our cultures that have had butter for centuries have bodies that have learned to deal with the negatives. New fangled products our body has not learned to deal with.

Highly refined sugars are like crack cocaine to our systems. Granted the effect is different but that it is poison is the same. Coca leaves are used by a culture that it is not unusual for the elderly to live in excess of 100 years while using the same leaves. Sugars are in many plants we consume but products like high fructose corn syrup our systems can't handle for very long. Refined sugars and starches use to be a seldom seen treat, now people use them as a food group.

Puffed rice cakes enter the blood 110% faster than refined sugar. High surface area refined starch.

Marketing has taken the cravings for nutrients and substituted- refined into non nutritive treats- to make money. That is like buying a placebo to treat an illness.

Additives are of the same family. It is about the money not the nutrition. Most labels read less than 2% of the following items and can have 20 chemicals and spices listed. Six chemicals at just under 2% is 1/10 of what you are consuming. BHT and Silicon Dioxide have no nutritional value.

Most salt anymore is so pure it is only sodium chloride. No minerals, no nutrient value except heat resistance for the body.

Our water is so pure it leaches nutrients and salts from our bodies.

Our diet was seasonal and varied. Now we try to excel on highly refined profit.

Brad

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