"Trade Group Moves to Head Off Pressure for Transparency"
"Big food producers are moving to try to head off criticism of how they use additives, with a main industry group saying it plans to give more information to regulators about how companies determine the safety of the thousands of chemicals and other ingredients in processed foods.
The announcement on Wednesday by the Grocery Manufacturers Association covers ingredients that the Food and Drug Administration allows to be used under a principle known as "generally recognized as safe," or GRAS. Rather than being approved by the FDA itself, such ingredients—which provide foods with flavors, textures, colors or longer shelf-life—are deemed permissible by companies based on their own research.
Some consumer advocates and health groups have criticized the food industry and the FDA in recent years over the GRAS system, which the critics say involves insufficient oversight of these ingredients. Industry officials say it is needed to avoid cumbersome and time-consuming regulatory procedures for all new ingredients."