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FDA bans cancer-causing artificial flavors

By Danielle Schwartz, News Editor

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The Food and Drug Administration placed a ban on six artificial flavors commonly found in food products, after studies proved them to cause cancer in laboratory animals.

If you have never heard of Benzophenone, Ethyl Acrylate, Eugenol Methyl Ether, Myrcene, Pulegone or Pyridine, it’s because these chemicals have been disguised by an “artificial flavoring” label on food packaging. However, it is more than likely you have consumed these in baked goods, candy, carbonated drinks, chewing gum and ice cream.

According to the FDA, its ban is in response to data presented in petitions that proved the chemicals to cause cancer in laboratory animals. Organizations that contributed to the petitions included the Breast Cancer Fund, Center for Environmental Health, Center for Food Safety, Center for Science in the Public Interest, Consumers Union, Environmental Defense Fund, Environmental Working Group, Improving Kids’ Environment, Natural Resources Defense Council and WE ACT for Environmental Justice.

The FDA is banning the synthetic flavoring substances and flavor enhancers under the Delaney Clause of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, which according to the FDA “requires that the FDA cannot find as safe; cannot approve, the use of any food additive that has been found to induce cancer in humans or animals at any dose.”

The FDA claims that they legally have to ban the flavors since they were proved to cause cancer in animals, but the chemicals are of a very low risk to humans, given that they are found in minuscule amounts.

From the time the FDA publicizes the rule in the Federal Register, companies will have two years to adjust their food products to comply.

Behind the Byline
Danielle Schwartz, News Editor

Danielle Schwartz is a news editor for the Wessex Wire. She also plays varsity tennis. She spends her free time reading fashion magazines and hanging out...

FDA bans cancer-causing artificial flavors