Health Groups Petition FDA to Ban Eight Food Flavors

Health groups are petitioning the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ban eight synthetic flavors in food that are known carcinogens.

The petition, led by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), said the flavors, which have been used for over 40 years, are found in ice cream, candy, baked goods and beverages.

The petition asks FDA to revoke its 1964 approval that allowed seven of the eight flavorings to be used in food and overturn the industry’s 1974 self-approval of the eighth synthetic flavor, which they assert can be used under a loophole in the law for chemicals that are “generally recognized as safe.”

Health groups who joined NRDC on the petition include the Center for Science in the Public Interest, the Center for Food Safety, Consumers Union, Improving Kids’ Environment and the Center for Environmental Health, the Environmental Working Group and Dr. James Huff, the former associate director for chemical carcinogenesis at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences signed the petition.