Not once, not twice has the FDA been publicly criticized by many concerned people for the way they approve of or under-regulated some food products. Well, some complain that they excessively regulate a number of products while others believe that some products are not regulated strictly enough. However, in most cases, the FDA allows and accepts the use of food processing techniques, food additives, and agricultural chemicals that are dangerous to human health. Big Pharma and Big Agriculture are to equally blame for this because they place a lot of pressure and they also fail to provide safety in labeling and drug storage.
A report from the institute of medicine concerning pharmaceutical regulation in the United States was able to discover critical deficiencies in the present system of FDA when it comes to the safety of various drugs in the American market. The FDA limits developers of supplements that function as foods for regulatory uses to only create function claims and are likewise prevented from claiming any other vital information on what the supplement can cure, prevent, or reduce the risks of a certain disease or condition irrespective of whether or not the drug or supplement goes through actual testing to determine its efficacy and safety.
The FDA and Big Pharma work hand in hand to come up with their own cartels by squeezing out competitions; they lean towards government based medicine since they always make more money going that route. Even after the health freedom protection act of 2005 was put in place to make sure FDA does not censor truthful claims concerning the curative, preventative, and mitigative effects of all dietary supplements; the federal court suggested that the FDA should use disclaimers as another way for censorship.
One major way the FDA has promoted food toxication is allowing unsafe manufacturing technologies, processes and unsafe food additives. For instance, people advocating for food safety have condemned the FDA for ignoring the fact that gas mixtures of carbon monoxide are utilized by meat manufacturers during packaging so that meat does not discolor; this particular process ensures that the consumer does not notice any signs of spoilage.
Another instance the FDA have failed in their job is allowing rBGH (recombinant bovine growth hormone) to be used in dairy cows. Cows treated with this specific chemical release higher amounts of IGF-1 (Insulin-like growth factor 1) in the milk when compared with other untreated cows. The development of some type of tumors is initiated with IGF-1 even though somehow, there is less or no evidence showing IGF absorbed extracellularly may lead to tumor growth. In 1993, the FDA allowed the use of rBGH in dairy cows because they realized that when humans take much milk, there is a less probability of taking in biologically substantial amounts of bovine IGF-1. In 1999, a study conducted by the European Commission scientific committee regarding public health, especially with veterinary measures, noticed that there were some risks to human health after drinking milk from cows treated with rBH; it had worse effects when infants drank the milk. Following the FDA's approval on such milk, the EU nations have however remained clear on their stand against the use of rBGH in dairy cattle.
Another wrong committed by the FDA is allowing the regular use of certain antibiotics to boost the growth of healthy domestic animals; it is said that the practice adds to the modification of antibiotic-resistant types of bacteria. Recently, the FDA tried to implement ways to cut down the usage of antibiotics in all farm animals ; for example, in 2005, they withdrew authorization of the antibiotic fluoroquinolone antibiotic enrofloxacin also known as Baytril in poultry farming for fear that constant use of the drug would result to bacterial resistance to significant human antibiotics like ciprofloxacin.
Another sector in the food industry from which FDA has received much backlash is the use of food dyes. The institution has given a go-ahead for the use of particular food dyes derived from coal tar namely FDC yellow 5 and 6 that is prohibited in many European countries. The British Food Standards Agency updated recommendations on some artificial food additives like tartrazine on September 6, 2007.
In a recent report, adequate research has been able to show that taking in certain mixtures involving preservatives like sodium benzoate and other artificial food colors are associated closely with a rise in hyperactivity in children. In addition, Jim Stevenson a professor from Southampton University and the same author of that report added that it has been extensive research with the main objective of looking into a crucial subject with respect to food coloring and food dyes.
Some of the food additives tested and analyzed in the research are ponceau 4R responsible for red coloring, carmoisine for the color red in jellies, quinolone yellow that is a food color, sunset yellow or FD&C Yellow 6 that forms a reddish-yellow color in some cosmetics and food. Tartrazine or FD&C yellow 5 for a yellow coloring, sodium benzoate, and Allura red AC or FD&C RED 40 an orange-red food dye.
From April 10, 2008, to 2009 after the Food Standards Agency asked for a voluntary replacement of colors with the exception of sodium benzoate, and a recommendation that appropriate steps must be taken to completely remove them from drinks and foods in the European Union for some time.
Ministers from the United Kingdom also agreed in 2009 that all the six colorings must be phased out. However, a team from Japan was able to discover that tartrazine was actually harmless after feeding it to mice for about two years. Another team from Germany also discovered in laboratory animals that Sunset Yellow never caused any mutations that would lead to cancer.
Moreover, the FDA has been in trouble for giving out permission to allow for the selling of cloned animals as food with no special labeling informing consumers claiming that they lack the authority that requires labeling food products from cloned animals.
Another study conducted by the Pew Charitable Trusts discovered that out of 8105 additives FDA allows for use in food for human consumption, only 1367 of them (translating to 19%) have data about their toxicology.