Food Safety: FDA Should Strengthen Its Oversight of Food Ingredients Determined to Be Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS)

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A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which is responsible for ensuring the safety of most of the U.S. food supply, is not required to review substances, such as spices and preservatives, added to food that are generally recognized as safe (GRAS) for their intended use. Currently, companies may determine a substance is GRAS without FDA's approval or knowledge. However, a few substances previously considered GRAS have later been banned; and concerns have been raised about the safety of other GRAS substances, including those containing engineered nanomaterials, ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. February 3, 2010.

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Description

A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which is responsible for ensuring the safety of most of the U.S. food supply, is not required to review substances, such as spices and preservatives, added to food that are generally recognized as safe (GRAS) for their intended use. Currently, companies may determine a substance is GRAS without FDA's approval or knowledge. However, a few substances previously considered GRAS have later been banned; and concerns have been raised about the safety of other GRAS substances, including those containing engineered nanomaterials, materials manufactured at a tiny scale to take advantage of novel properties. GAO was asked to review the extent to which (1) FDA's oversight of new GRAS determinations helps ensure the safety of these substances, (2) FDA ensures the continued safety of current GRAS substances, and (3) FDA's approach to regulating engineered nanomaterials in GRAS substances helps ensure the safety of the food supply. GAO reviewed FDA data on GRAS substances and interviewed a range of stakeholders, among other things."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • February 3, 2010

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  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Food Safety: FDA Should Strengthen Its Oversight of Food Ingredients Determined to Be Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS), report, February 3, 2010; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc300696/: accessed October 16, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.