The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) announced last week that it is implementing a five-part initiative designed to modernize and increase transparency in the procedures used to assess food ingredient safety. The focus of the initiative relates to Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) determinations in food ingredients.
Under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the Act) any substance that is intentionally added to food is a food additive, and subject to premarket review and approval by FDA, unless the substance is generally recognized, among qualified experts, as having been adequately shown to be safe under the conditions of its intended use, or unless the use of the substance is otherwise excluded from the definition of a food additive. According to the FDA “safe” is defined as a “reasonable certainty in the minds of competent scientists that the substance is not harmful under its intended conditions of use. The specific data and information that demonstrate safety depend on the characteristics of the substance, the estimated dietary intake, and the population that will consume the substance.”
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