When the world’s largest producer of cereal announces they’re going stop using artificial colors and flavors in their cereal and snack products, it says a lot about what people don’t want in their food. That’s right, by 2018 Kellogg cereals and snacks will no longer contain artificial colors and flavors due to drops in sales from Americans seeking foods with less synthetic ingredients. This brings us to a bigger question, how do we know the effects of consuming food additives when they lack safety testing? Read what Dr. Mercola says about Food Additives Lack Safety Testing in his Kellogg Will Eliminate Artificial Ingredients in Cereal and Snacks article, below.
Food Additives Lack Safety Testing
More than 10,000 additives are allowed in food when you factor in those that are added directly to your food as well as those in the packaging (which can migrate to your food).
Unfortunately, many of these additives have been linked to health concerns, while others have been granted “Generally Recognized as Safe” (GRAS) status without pre-market review or approval. As the Environmental Working Group (EWG) reported:5
“This system makes sense for benign additives such as pepper and basil, but there are enormous loopholes that allow additives of questionable safety to be listed as GRAS.
Manufacturers can decide whether these compounds are safe without any oversight by the Food and Drug Administration [FDA] – and in some cases obtain GRAS status without telling the FDA at all.”
When you see the term “artificial flavors” on a label, for instance, there’s no way to know what it actually means. It could mean that one unnatural additive is included — or a blend of hundreds. For example, strawberry artificial flavor may contain around 50 chemical compounds.6
Some artificial flavorings have quite serious health concerns. Phosphates are added to more than 20,000 products, including fast food, baked goods, and processed meats.
They’re used to reduce acid, improve moisture retention, boost flavor, and facilitate leavening. Phosphates have been linked to some concerning health conditions, including heart disease.
The European Food Safety Authority is currently reevaluating adding phosphates to food, but the results of their study aren’t expected until the end of 2018. Mona Calvo, an expert at the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, told Medicine Net:7
“There is accumulating evidence that both the high intakes [of phosphorus, from which phosphates are derived] and the poor balance of intake with other nutrients may place individuals at risk of kidney disease, bone loss, cardiovascular disease, and other chronic health conditions.”
The point is we’re only beginning to uncover the health risks associated with consuming numerous food additives on a regular basis.
And while it’s definitely a positive step that food giants are removing some of the worst offenders – like artificial colors and flavors – from their products, many others still remain. Plus, the “new and improved” foods are still a far cry from healthy…