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The #1 Reason You Must Read Ingredient Lists: The FDA Admits They Can’t Do Their Job

How many times have you heard the argument that the ingredients in our food are safe to eat, simply because they are “Approved” by the FDA. I’ve heard this statement many times in the media recently, and I’m sure you have, too. I wasn’t going to let the opportunity slide to tell you what I really think when someone says that an ingredient has been rubber stamped by the FDA and is automatically safe to eat. 

There’s an implication out there that everything allowed in processed food – preservatives, artificial sweeteners, thickeners, stabilizers, emulsifiers – have gone through some sort of rigorous testing by the FDA proving they’re okay to eat – but in most cases they haven’t!


Given the FDA’s mission to “protect the public health by assuring the safety, efficacy and security of…our nation’s food supply”, it would only make sense that they would be front and center in approving new food ingredients before they hit the market – however – this is not necessarily the case. In fact, the FDA is sometimes not even aware that a new ingredient has been introduced into our food. 

New food ingredients are often approved by the manufacturer themselves, and not by the FDA.

While there are some food additives that the FDA has approved before they hit the shelves, this has proven to be a burdensome process. The FDA claims that so as not to waste government resources, they will just let the manufacturer decide whether an ingredient is safe to eat or not.

That’s right – all an ingredient manufacturer has to do is hire their own experts to claim under “reasonable certainty in the minds of competent scientists that the substance is not harmful under the intended conditions of use” and the manufacturer may deem it as “GRAS”, which stands for “Generally Recognized as Safe”. This is the green light to start adding it to food products.

A manufacturer can then voluntarily send their GRAS determination to the FDA, but this is not mandatory. Even worse, if the FDA raises questions about an ingredient received in a voluntary GRAS notice, the manufacturer can just withdraw their notice and still use the ingredient in food products! This practice is nothing short of alarming, and is allowing companies to skirt around the FDA and essentially put whatever they want into our food. 

This issue has become a monster that’s impossible to control. Back when Congress gave the FDA authority over food additives (in 1958), there were about 800 additives. Today, the number of known ingredients has swelled to about 10,000 and continues to grow. The National Resources Defense Council estimates that roughly 1,000 food chemicals have been secretly added without notification to the FDA, and say that GRAS should really stand for “Generally Recognized As Secret”. Even the FDA’s Deputy Commissioner, Michael Taylor, recently confessed:

“We simply do not have the information to vouch for the safety of many of these chemicals… we do have questions about whether we can do what people expect of us”

You can’t put your confidence in the FDA, when it comes to food additives. 

While some additives may be safe in small quantities, the FDA cannot regulate cummulative consumption when particular additives are being added to an insurmountable number of foods without any post-market oversight. For instance, even if you think you’re eating healthy you could easily be eating the ingredient carrageenan (that is linked to intestinal issues) at every meal: in your morning coffee and yogurt at breakfast, soup and deli-meat sandwich for lunch, and Lean Cuisine frozen dinner. What is the cumulative amount of carrageenan in this diet? No one is evaluating that. The FDA readily admits:

“We do not know the volume of particular chemicals that are going into the food supply so we can diagnose trends. We do not know what is going on post-market.”

FDA Infographic-2

The FDA is asleep at the wheel and the Food Industry is in charge.

The big food industry has proudly taken it upon themselves to approve food ingredients… and why wouldn’t they? It’s the perfect opportunity for them to create chemicals that help them to make products cheaper and quicker, without 3rd party oversight into their safety. In August, the Grocery Manufacturers Association (an industry group comprised of over 300 big food brands such as Pepsico, General Mills, Kellogg’s and Kraft) announced they are unleashing an initiative to “improve the process and increase transparency for making Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) determinations” and will take the lead in defining a standard that will provide clear guidance on how to conduct transparent state of the art ingredient safety assessments…”. 

Who wants the Grocery Manufacturers Association to take the lead here? I know I don’t.

This was clearly a move to give the public a warm and fuzzy feeling about the safety of our food, without making any real progress and putting more power into hands of Big Food. According to the chief regulatory affairs attorney for the Center for Science In The Public Interest, Laura MacCleery, “That this is seen as a step forward neatly illustrates the dysfunction built into the current system. It is outrageous that FDA doesn’t already have the identity, much less the safety data, of all substances added to the nation’s food supply”. There is undeniable evidence of institutional corruption at the FDA, as they’ve allowed pharmaceutical companies to lobby for regulations that “serve their interests” and have minimized the role of the FDA. So, allowing the food corporations to take the lead in determining what ingredients are safe to eat is inexcusable.

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) has called out the FDA for its lax practices and asked them to strengthen their oversight of food ingredients. According to the GAO’s audit of the FDA in 2010 they found some huge problems with the way the FDA is running things. Although I think their entire report is required reading, I’ve summarized some highlights here for you.  

The FDA is not aware of many GRAS determinations:

“FDA generally does not have information about other GRAS determinations because companies are not required to inform the agency… once a company concludes that a substance is GRAS, it may market the substance, even if FDA finds that the notice does not provide a sufficient basis for GRAS… Without information about all GRAS determinations, FDA has less awareness of substances in the nation’s food supply and less knowledge of the potential cumulative dietary exposure of GRAS substances… (This) makes it difficult, if not impossible, for public health authorities to attribute a food safety problem to a specific GRAS substance…. FDA’s oversight of their safety would be improved if companies were required to make the agency aware of their GRAS determinations”.

Companies can hire their own experts to determine their product is GRAS and there are no conflict of interest guidelines in place:

“While FDA has issued guidance to minimize the potential for conflicts of interest among it’s own staff who look at scientific issues and the safety of GRAS substances, it has not issued any guidance on the subject for companies to use with their own scientific experts… Expert panels can be comprised of a company’s own staff or outside experts hired by the company… FDA has not issued any conflict of interest guidance.”

Companies are not held accountable or required to keep records of their GRAS determinations:

“FDA has not taken certain steps to ensure companies maintain proper documentation to support their GRAS determinations… it intended to conduct random audits of data and information maintained by these companies. However, according to FDA officials, the agency has not conducted such audits”.

FDA has failed to conduct ongoing reviews of GRAS substances, including those that raised concerns over 30 years ago:

“FDA last engaged in a systematic reconsideration of the safety of GRAS substances in the 1970s and 1980s.  This effort raised questions about the safety of almost three dozen GRAS substances…from about 1972 through 1982, the committee reviewed the safety of 422 substances directly added to food… In all, the committee questioned the safety of 35 of these substances… unless evidence was provided to FDA showing these substances safety, it expected FDA to revoke their GRAS status… As of December 2009, FDA had affirmed 17 of these 35 substances as GRAS…(and) FDA had not issued regulations on the remaining 18 substances and could not readily explain why, even though almost 30 years had passed”

The GAO concluded that there are GRAS ingredients currently on the market that may not be safe:  

“questions have been raised about the safety of numerous GRAS substances over the last 50 years and some have been banned as a result.  In the future, other substances now considered GRAS may also prove to be unsafe”.

For these reasons, I believe that we need to take responsibility for our own health and not rely on the FDA to protect us.

 This may not be news to you, but so many people are relying on these antiquated regulations – so we need to spread the word! Please share this post with your friends and family, and with anyone who tries to tell you that an ingredient is safe just because it’s “approved” by the FDA! 

Next time they say such a thing…you’ll be armed with the truth!

We must read the ingredient lists on the food we eat – if you don’t recognize the ingredient, put it down and run as fast as you can!



P.S. Are you jumping from diet to diet and nothing seems to work? Are you sick of seeing contradictory health advice from experts? In my new book, Feeding You Lies, I blow the lid off the lies we’ve been fed about the food we eat – lies about its nutrient value, effects on our health, label information, and even the very science we base our food choices on. I guide you through a 48-hour Toxin Takedown to rid your pantry, and your body, of harmful chemicals – a quick and easy plan that anyone can do. 


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128 responses to “The #1 Reason You Must Read Ingredient Lists: The FDA Admits They Can’t Do Their Job

  1. This is exactly right. I hope people understand how important it is now to check their labels or buy organic. Because it’s every person for themselves these days. There is NOBODY keeping the food industry in check, therefore they will continue to do what they want until customers stop buying and they lose profit.

  2. I just don’t understand why Congress will not hold hearings with the FDA on trial and order total mass firings and reform of the FDA. Congress does have this authority and must do its duty to either dismantle this corrupt agency or totally replace all personnel within the FDA! How can us as the People of the US force Congress to enact these hearings and reform?

    1. Mike – I’m new to this game, but I’m trying to figure that out. I might die trying, but I won’t stop looking for a way.

      1. Thank you for all your passionate efforts! If there is anything we can do to help support these efforts such as calling or writing letters to specific Congress personnel who are on the appropriate committees, please let us know!

      2. Vani, I love what you are doing. I have figured out how to get congress to follow the will of the people. I will need the help of many organizations like yours to get it done. If you are interested get in touch with me by email or call me at 801.577.4103

        Blessings on you this day my friend!


      3. Write to your Rep’s in Washington. Complain, complain, complain ! I did several years ago and they held hearing to change the way the FDA operates. Not only that but there were people inside the FDA who complained and things did change but not enough. Have to get thousands of Americans to get Congress to get of their asses and makes things happen. I wrote a letter with large letters and mailed a copy to everyone in the House and my Senators. We all have to keep the pressure on them.
        When I did this the tax payers like me, were funding the FDA, it’s not that way anymore, the companies fund the FDA.

      4. Petition Congress to hold a Constitutional Convention to add an amendment regarding our food supply. Over, and over, and over, and over again until they do something.

      5. If our congress doesn’t properly fund the FDA, how can we ever expect them to be able to be able to have the staffing to be able to be fully functioning? If our government never overturns Citizens United, do you really think that the food companies and their lobbyists will ever allow real studies on food additives to be done? hmmm…
        And we wonder why the rate of autism, epilepsy, downs syndrome, ADD; ADHD, cancers and so many other health related issues have become more prevalent in our children.
        Interestingly enough, a certain relative of mine works for a major food company and doesn’t use hardly any condiments…. she tends to eat her food very plain… this is a very high ranking executive. What does THAT tell you? I know what it tells me!

      1. James, thanks for sharing those links. What I find ironic is the refusal to label GMO’s, yet look at a jar of peanuts, and what does it say? Caution: Contains Peanuts. I really would like to know what all these congressmen eat. I’ll wager when it comes to them and their families, they want to ensure it is not GMO.

    2. Mike B read the book Seeds of Destruction by F. William Engdahi this will give you some insight

    3. Mike, just pay attention…Congress has not been doing much of anything for years except drawing a paycheck & passing laws to benefit themselves & their wealthy friends. Politicians enjoy wealth and power and listen to the food & pharmacy lobbyists who contribute to getting these politicians reelected. Money talks.

    4. Because the more unhealthy we are as a society…the more money the government makes on us. They will not do something that will on the long run lose them millions…or billions of dollars.
      Thank you food babe for always giving your followers wonderful articles. You have really opened my eyes and my health is already improving.

    5. i believe micheal jacobson (center for science in the public interest 1971) was the first to highlight the revolving door policy of DC (in Food for People not Profit) where you have different agencies (FDA, EPA, USDA etc) that are mandated to protect the US consumer but you have industry reps filling top positions in these agencies. So you have the fox guarding the hen house! As long as you have the revolving door policy we’re going to have the foxes guarding the hen houses! a prime example (but there are many more) is micheal taylor, a monsanto lawyer who is now czar of food safety at FDA, appointed by obama (who in a campaign promise said he would label GMOs!).
      until you get rid of the revolving door policy we’re going to have industry reps looking after vested interest, not consumers…

      1. tlaoc, All that you said!!! I KNOW can you believe it?
        So, everyone… I got through to a woman at the FDA today asking about the drug, Ractopamine. … the “steroid” of the CAFO’, which has been determined to be showing up in the meat of turkey’s, right?
        So, this woman, said the CVM (CENTER FOR VETERNARY MEDICINE) was the area of the FDA I needed to call. They are responsible for over seeing drugs approved for use in animals. She said it was not approved for use in humans, however that did not mean it was unsafe … it had just not been applied for, for usage by anyone. So now I will be calling CVM at 204-276 9300 to question them tomorrow armed with info. I’ve received from Center For Food Safety and the FOODBABE ARMY!!!

    6. Congress is a wholly owned subsidiary of corporate America, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of the financial institutions: Fed banks, Goldman Sachs, BOA, Chase, Citi, Wells Fargo, etc. The goal of these creeps is big bucks and power for them and genocide for us (but not before they squeeze the last nickle from your pocket).

      The last thing they want is an intelligent, fit, thinking, moral and reproducing population (that would take them out in a skinny minute). Instead they have slowly engineered a stupid, fat, lazy, sick population that kills their own offspring (abortion), their elderly and less than perfect (euthanasia), sends their few offspring to be sexualized in “public schools” that teach Harry Potter religion (witchcraft) and sexual perversion, etc.

      We get the government we deserve.

      1. This might seem a little odd to you, but did you know that the government makes heaps and heaps more money if the population is happy, healthy and reproducing? It was discovered a long time ago that a happy and healthy population has a much stronger workforce, pays a lot more tax and develops a stronger economy.
        To suggest that the government is trying to keep people unwell on purpose, preventing reproduction with abortions and generally killing people off is a conspiracy theory of the most extreme perversion.
        Are you aware that the entire social security sector has been developed around the world- not to help poor people- but to keep western economies stronger and developing.

      2. Mick: Put on your thinking cap and reread what I said. The government of the United States is not the “of the people, by the people, for the people” fantasy you’ve been taught about in public “school.” It is owned by the money people … Wall St., crooked bankers, corporate CEOs who are destructive of human life, especially if it makes them a few quick bucks. They are a short sighted and immoral lot, who are always looking for ways to separate people from their money, scam after stinking scam. And, as they own the politicians, they have laws passed so that they can do their dirty work “legally.”

        How did a “good” government manage to produce a dumb, fat, sick population who aren’t even capable of doing the skilled jobs (that that same government shipped overseas decades ago) were they still here and available? Check people out … they look like freaks … poking holes in their bodies, “decorating” their bodies with hideous pictures, drugging themselves into oblivion rather than face reality.

        It doesn’t seem odd to me at all that a “government makes heaps and heaps more money if the population is happy, healthy and reproducing.” The flip side is: the criminal class does not so benefit so they are the ones calling the shots and rigging the system.

        Doesn’t it seem odd to you that a country as blessed as the United States is … with natural resources and a (once very) energetic and highly skilled work force, a country that could produce all its own food and goods and ship the excess overseas, is now reduced to poverty? It should tell you that the government has been taken over, that it is not working for the people, that the middlemen … who produce nothing … are reaping all the profits, while the people starve.

        This doesn’t happen by accident.

    7. Mike, the Congress are likely paid off (campaign contributions) by Big “Food”. A mass firing may jeopardize their re-election funding, and after the purge – IF it were to happen – we would have a new group of corporate boot-lickers getting rich by giving the corporate donors whatever they “ask” for. Thoughts anybody?

  3. Carrageenan, a soluble fiber derived from red seaweed, is a natural food ingredient that has been used for hundreds of years in cooking all over the world. It often replaces synthetic and animal-based products. Carrageenan from FMC is certified as both halal and kosher. It is also commonly used in vegetarian and vegan diets and lifestyles.

      1. Since you actually responded, I have a new level of respect for you.
        I would like to point out that the study you have linked is funded by groups and individuals who support Organics farmers and their foods, correct? I’ve noticed that a lot of studies that your followers discredit are due to the fact that their are allegedly paid for by the large corporations. If this study was one saying the product was completely safe and was funded by Kellogs, wouldn’t you automatically discredit it?
        The Organic business is also a billion dollar industry, if people found out that “mainstream” products were not as harmful as these organic lobbyist, it would be a huge hit to their bottom line.

      2. I’m not here to argue the safety of carrageenan but just merely want to point out that alcohol is problematic for the liver and is a not just linked to cancer but is a known group 1 carcinogen. While both carageenan and alcohol have been consumed for hundreds of years, a group 1 carcinogen is definitely much worse for your body/health than a possible link to cancer. Personally I don’t consume either, but I’m posting this to say everyone should stop drinking alcohol or stop eating products containing carageenan, just saying there are some much worse things out there that people knowingly consume.

    1. Bryce – I’d be interested to know who you are. Who do you work for? Do you have any connection, association, or dealings with the food industry. The Food Babe is open about who she is and what her agenda is. I suspect that many, if not most, of those who write critical comments about her and her opinions are actually connected to the food industry but don’t admit it. Which is shameful and disingenuous.

      1. Daniel, when I read Bryce’s comments, I too thought he must work inside the industry but not because he was being unfairly critical of Vani but because his statements were accurate.

        Just because someone works in the industry doesn’t mean they cannot share some views with Vani. Some of us choose to work in the industry so that we CAN affect change. Why just shout from the outside? I studied food science and nutrition at university and now work for a major international food company in R&D so that I can affect change from the best place possible. I care deeply about ensuring that the products I develop are safe and nutritious. I use my influence to change formulas to be as healthy and clean as possible. You have no idea how much psychology I employ to selfishly push my personal agenda internally in my organization when it comes to product development. I refuse to even test new formulas using ingredients that I do not feel are safe or well enough tested. 95% of the time, since R&D work is so confidential, nobody within my company even knows that I went to all the extra effort to get a formula to succeed by using clean and natural ingredients when I could have gotten it to work a lot faster had I used the mainstream ingredient that I didn’t personally trust. Even when my managers have known about the extra work I was going to, only in rare cases were they not supportive. Most people want to do a good job and when they know better, they will do better (paraphrasing Maya Angelou).

        Back to Bryce… Bryce was merely pointing out the situation from his vantage point. Assuming he works in R&D as a scientist or technologist, with a scientific background, he most likely relies on fact, not emotion. Scientists are always on a quest for truth and learning so I took his comments to be merely opening up debate with Vani, which is healthy.

        You though, should not assume that just because someone is from the food industry that they must be coming from a dark place. The industry is full of smart, caring unsung heros who cannot promote their good work in creating good clean products because their work is bound by confidentiality clauses.

      2. Daniel,

        I do not work in the food industry, but I am not surprised by your accusation. Usually when someone has a dissenting view on a topic, those that disagree with that persons view, usually resort to the “work in the industry, paid poster, etc.” accusation. I am merely a person who tries to validate whatever I read. I never take anyone’s word as fact without trying to debunk that so called fact. I think it is a shame that so many people just take someone’s word without digging deeper and trying to find out whether or not something is true or not. I use to get in the 9/11 conspiracy debate with some of those “truthers” and was labeled as a CIA plant, paid debunker, or someone whom worked for some other nefarious government agency. It is a normal response when someone who is so certain about something, that even facts that totally destroy their viewpoint are ignored.

        The reason I actually finally came to this site is some of Vani’s article pop up on my Facebook feed as a few of my Facebook friends apparently are followers of hers.

        Now to foodfoodgirl.

        I appreciate your post and couldn’t agree more. As I said, I do rely on facts alone and do not favor either industry more than the other. One thing I believe people really need to understand how big Organics is and that they have as big of an agenda as the big food companies. Take GMO labeling for example. Placing a label on these food items would be a huge boost to the organic industry. It would be forcing a company to slap a warning sign on their product without there being any scientific evidence backing the claim that the product is actually harmful. After all why would a company have to label the product GMO of it wasn’t harmful. That is the psychology behind it. I also think there have been negative effects in Europe due to the labeling laws over there. I will try to find the article and link.

        One final thing for you all to think about. Look at some of these studies that your friends post that they claim is proof GMOs are bad. One study that is always circulating is the rat tumor study. On the surface its pretty scary, but if you actually dig deeper you find out the particular rat that was used in the study was a rat that tends to grow more tumors than any other rat species. Right there one should ask themselves, why did they not use the species of rat that would normally be used in this type of study? No scientist would overlook such a important part of a study. Once you start finding the holes in these studies, you tend to dig deeper and find more and more holes until their argument starts to completely unravel.

        One last example. I was debating the safety of vaccines with a few friends of mine and one girl pointed out that in the GARDASIL trial, 45 people died. I researched the trial and came to find out that actually 40 people did die out of the 29,000 who participated. Unfortunately he argument fell apart when I dig deeper and found out that 19 of the 40 who died were given a placebo and not the actual drug. With such a slight variation in deaths between those who received the drug and those who received a placebo, a connection cannot be made.

        I emplore people to just check out articles you see like this on the web. I think you will be surprised at what you actually find to be fact and what you find to be fiction

    2. Bryce,

      Like you, I’m interested who is backing and conducting the research before I make an opinion. Your comment to Vani – “the study you have linked is funded by groups and individuals who support Organics farmers and their foods, right?…” – is a reasonable concern. However, carageenan IS indeed allowed in organic foods. In fact, there are only a handful of organic manufacturers who don’t use it as a thickener in their dairy products. I’ll just leave it at that.

      Anyone can punch a hole in someone’s research. I think most of us who like to read the facts and arguments about our food do so to be empowered in our own choices. I don’t want to take away anyone’s preferred foods, I just want to know what is in it so I can make the “best” educated choice for myself. Scientific research has linked carageenan to intestinal ulcerations in animal studies. While that my not be conclusive enough for some, my very young son had terrible stomach aches for months which stopped after I eliminated it from his diet. My daughter, it didn’t affect.

      For those of us that choose organic that seems a good thing. But, it doesn’t mean organic is bad or good. It’s just another choice like caffeinated and decaf. I personally don’t care whether someone throws a scientific study at me to debunk the positive or negative effects of caffeine. Both studies are out there. I know how it affects me and don’t want someone dictating to me that it’s not harmful and won’t hurt me. That is why I want to know what I’m consuming and labeling (to a degree) informs me of that.

      Frankly, I’m on the fence about GMO (sorry Vani). I haven’t read enough research to make a fully educated choice. But, I know there are many who are concerned about it and I am an advocate of consumers knowing as much as possible about how their food is sourced. Always.

      I do get what you are saying about the organic marketplace. It is a profitable, growing industry. And that sets it up for the same corruption, slick marketing and power grabs that occur within the conventional food industry, sadly. I am always careful about what what I read. I just want as much of the truth as I can. Hence, why I come here to read intelligent and hopefully civil debates like yours to look at both sides of an argument. And, GMO is certainly an argument.

      I do appreciate the industry experts who come here to post from both sides of the fence!

  4. Grocery “Manufacturers” Association speaks for itself. If it’s “manufactured”, how can it be real food?

    1. Jill, your reasoning is flawed.

      Any consumer packaged good (ie food that is packaged) is considered “manufactured”. You can put 1lb of organic steel cut oats in a bag package and sell it and it is considered manufactured and the company who produces harmless, real food product, would be an appropriate member of the Grocery Manufacturer’s Association.

      1. I work for a manufacturing company, and I know people who were once in the grocery retail business. I’m not sure you understood what I was saying. “Manufactured” food says to me it has been created out of other materials rather than being whole food. I’m sure the misunderstanding created by that term is of benefit to the GMA.

      2. Foodfoodgirl – No one is saying that the entire food industry is corrupt. And I’m sure there are good people within it who try to produce good products. But it is naïve to think that decisions in the industry are not driven by a desire to increase profits, even if that means using questionable ingredients. You say that you’re “trying” to make products as “healthy and clean as possible.” Why not just say “healthy and clean” period. Adding “as possible” leads me to believe that there are decisions made within your company that are out of your control and not necessarily in the best interests of consumers.
        And by saying that steel cut oats are “manufactured,” you are trying to lump all manufactured foods into one group. As you well know, some foods are lightly manufactured while others are loaded with chemicals, pesticides, sugar, and salt. And the only reason to do that is to cut costs and appeal to those addicted to sugar and salt. I know your industry employs psychologists and scientists whose job it is to create combination of ingredients that do just that. Frankly, it’s no different than drug dealers selling to drug addicts.
        In my view, food shouldn’t be considered a “product.” Once you look at it that way, it clears the conscience to create any ingredient manipulation that will increase sales. Instead, food should be considered a source of nutrition that builds and maintains healthy bodies and minds. Anything else, is marketing. That’s why I buy fresh fruits, vegetables, seafood, and meats. And if I do buy a packaged product, I look at the label and choose one with the least amount of ingredients.
        You industry has a long way to go to clean up its act. I’m glad you’re trying to do the right thing, but my guess is that to protect your job, you can’t be as honest as you’d like.

      3. Daniel- I have never worked with, met or even heard of psychologists who work to trick people in to eating foods. The only time I ever heard that concept referenced was in Fat, Salt, Sugar. All companies DO though run sensory panels to ensure that we produce the tastiest version of a product. Why would we produce a product that tastes less good?! Companies sell what people want to buy. If someone doesn’t like something, they don’t buy it. When enough ppl stop buying a product, and the volume of product produced is too low, then the company delists it OR they reformulate it if enough feedback was received by the company as to why consumers were no longer buying it.

        Of course profit is important. Corporations exist to make money. They are not sentient beings with emotion or conscience. It is naive of you to assume otherwise. That being said the people employed there use their conscience and good judgement to produce products as ethically as possible. What I consider healthy, is not going to be the exact same as what you consider healthy, etc etc.

        It is also naive of you to purchase products with the shortest ingredient lists. A product contains a formula based on 100% by weight. An “unhealthy” chicken product may list chicken, water, salt, MSG, nitrite. (4 ingredients). Another “healthier” version of this product may list: chicken, water, soy protein, rice starch, corn starch, salt, spices. (7 ingredients). By choosing the product with fewer ingredients listed you are in fact consuming more of each ingredient. By choosing the product with more ingredients, you are consuming less of each ingredient and they all happen to be “healthier”. This is commonly held pre-occupation with length of ingredient declarations has to be stopped- it’s completely flawed and illogical.

        I’m not even going to comment on your “product” and “manufactured” comments because that’s the most ridiculous thing ever. A product is something that is sold. Food is sold. You’re arguing semantics.

        I’m not sure why you are even complaining. You clearly aren’t a consumer and you seem like you would be better suited to growing your own food. The only way to avoid profit is to be part of a co-operative. If you’re so concerned, just don’t buy processed foods. Nobody is forcing you to.

  5. In the mid-term elections, less that 30% of the eligible voters voted. That means over 70% didn’t because of apathetic attitudes, laziness, or are uninformed. Asking Congress to do anything for citizens is like asking a drug lord to reform the illegal drug industry! Corruption exists at every level here, and the only way that will change is to get more and more people informed, active, and vote the corrupt politicians out of office.

    1. We have to get money out of politics. Corporations shouldn’t be able to give unlimited money in elections through 501C4 non-profit political pacs. Money isn’t speech and corporations are not people.

  6. This speaks to how much our government could care less about us. So much could be done with really very little effort to change the regulations for the FDA. I’m glad you are on the front lines Food Babe. You’ve opened my eyes to many things since I’ve joined your army.

  7. Everyone, if you have not already, should see the documentary Fed Up about Sugar. It speaks exactly to what you support and speak about.

    1. That documentary is amazing!! So scary what is being fed to the majority of the population without them realizing it!

  8. This is exactly how the “infant formula scandal” occurred in China in 2008. Melamine was added to the formula by the manufacturer to increase the protein level. They killed 6 babies of kidney failure and hospitalized 54,000 infants. Perhaps they didn’t include the melamine in the ingredient labels (I doubt it) — but, do we really want the manufacturer to dictate what is safe to consume?

    I buy almost all organic for my family. I still cannot ensure the addition of other crappy ingredients. Carageenan is added to most “organic” dairy products to include ice cream, sour cream, flavored milks, and the like. I notice it in almost every yogurt product marketed to infants and kids. My son was having stomach aches for months until I eliminated it completely. The only dairy company I buy for yogurt is Strauss Family Creamery. It’s expensive and has 2 flavors, but I’d rather keep them in business than a big conglomerate posing as a small organic company. The trent is that many of the small run organic companies are being discretely bought up by the big boys. And, they don’t want you to know who is really in charge of manufacturing your food or what they really put in it. They’re working hard to keep that from us. General Mills just bought Annie’s Homegrown. That just seems an oxymoron to me.

    Read the labels and know what the ingredients are. Period. Thank you, Vani – keep up your good work.

    1. Everyone who feeds children, especially infants who can’t choose their own food, should see Udderly Amazing in the following videos and then Sitting on a Time Bomb for anyone who eats. We vote every time we choose something to eat. We don’t have to wait for legislators to pass new laws to protect the food supply. If we don’t care what we eat, why should anyone else be concerned?

    2. Here are some of the flavors to make yourself with Strauss yogurt: lemon or orange (extract or juice), vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, mango, papaya, maple. Add a “sugar” of your choice, cane, organic beet, palm, date, maple, stevia, xylitol. By the way, you can grow stevia and chew the leaf for gum.

      1. I buy it at Whole Foods. I also buy several of their other products there: half & half, milk, ice cream, and their delicious egg nog during holidays. Sans the ice cream, all products are in glass bottles (redeemable @ WFs) which does offset the price a bit. You can check their site to see where else they sell it. They are a true blue family owned “organic” company and offer high quality products without all the additives. I swear I do not work for them! Just a happy consumer.

  9. Thank you Vani for educating us and giving us the information we may never know. I do have one question, as someone married to the president of the United States, why isn’t Mrs. Obama involved in helping to change the laws governing the FDA and the Food Industry. I thought she was all about eating healthy and change!!!!

    1. There are different levels of food consciousness. Mrs. Obama promoted eating at Subway because their food is “fresh” and “nutritious”. It’s like Nancy Reagan’s “just say NO” to drugs campaign. Obviously, it takes more than just willpower to say no to certain addictive things in life. Some people think eating Subway is healthier than say, eating at McDonalds. Deeper levels of “food consciousness” require more political risks, (i.e., backlashes from die-hard addicted “food junkies,”, etc.) Neither our government nor Mrs. Obama is ready to engage in discussions and solutions to a toxic food industry and an FDA that is broken and useless. That costs on many different levels, and I’m not just speaking financially. But bless her for at least trying.

      1. As Vani said, with the thousands of things coming down the pike at them… by their own admission, they can’t keep up.
        They are antiquated institutions. They should have been divided a long ago into the Food Safety Administration and the Drug Safety Ad. The USDA and the EPA should all be shaken down accordingly and divisions made.
        Responsibility needs to be assessed for neglect and derelictions of duties in regard to passing of substances, ignoring their own rules and regulations for doing so. Lawsuits have been filed against the FDA by Center For Food Safety and the National Humane Assoc. for doing just this.

  10. How can I get my favorite supermarket (Publix) to get trans fat out of their cookies and Azodycarbonomide out of their Publix Premium Whole Wheat & other breads?
    I called their corporate office when I signed your petition regarding Subway. Their response was..”We’re working on it”. Well that was 3/4 of a year ago; and it is still in the bread. I think I heard that Nature’s Own makes their bread on the shelves(not sure); so whoever makes it for them should also be investigated!!
    Carrageenan is also in some dairy products. Can you contact them, Vani?
    Obviously my call fell on deaf ears

    1. The best way is to continue to contact them. In order for a company to spend money on resources to reformulate a product, which is very expensive, they need to know that it will be a worthwhile (ie profit increasing or maintaining) venture.

      Some companies need to have received a certain number of complaints before they will change a formula. Other companies need to have actually lost revenue.

      Store brand/private label products are the most difficult to get reformulated. The grocery store is using a private vendor to produce the product for them and they are in most cases, just taking the product that the vendor makes with the most high volume formula, for efficiency of manufacturing. Unless the grocery store chain and specific nutritional guidelines for their control/store brand/private labels (as Loblaw in Canada does), then they are willing to accept anything that the vendor produces so long as it is legal, tasty, priced correctly and not a food safety risk.

      1. Yup. Though some manufacturers already do have reformulated products available–just not in the US. For example, in Europe all GMO products must be labeled. Heinz makes a GMO-free catsup in Europe, but not in the US. It is just one of many examples where US standards allow more food additives and modifications than Europe, so the same company makes two different products (one for the US–with cheaper, more processed, ingredients–and one for Europe).

        So the costs are not so much in the “reformulation” but in changing the production facilities, ingredient sources, etc. to produce the already-existing formulae with the offensive ingredients removed.

      2. As soon as you change a formula, it is considered a reformulation so all of the steps involved in a reformulation, changing the formula, sourcing local ingredients, using a new factory with different employees, changing packaging vendor etc are all part of what is called a reformulation and require sensory, shelflife and nutritional confirmation. It’s all expensive and time consuming and when things go wrong, it’s like trying to find a needle in a hay stack as to why it’s not working.

        The US is a capitalist country where big business trumps citizen health. With the whole lack of universal health care, there is no incentive for your government to protect your health. Nobody should be surprised that manufacturers make crappier quality products for the US market. Companies are there to make money as quickly and easily as possible. Boycotting and complaining is all US citizens can do. I’m not going to lie… I’m very glad to have been raised in Canada- for the food regs alone. Try comparing a US KitKat bar vs a Canadian one. The US one tastes terrible.

    2. My wife needed to gain weight and succeeded with bought cookies every night..
      When I figured out how she succeeded, knowing about the transfats, I became a little upset knowing well the generally accepted connections to heart disease. . Eventually I contacted a friend of hers that bakes often. and ordered a box of cookies from her. Made on purest butter and since sugar is part of it, I changed it to dextrose which she had. (Dextrose is pure glucose, hence no fructose). She did first ask if she could use the lovely-sounding Agave sugar but no way as it is laced with fructose! And the cookies she then made just before X-mas were absolutely delicious, and I just ordered an new box from her as they have almost disappeared since Christmas now.
      Local supply means also minimum transport, recycled boxes… My wife had been taking the store cookies for a year or more and around last summer she developed some fibrillation, but I don’t know if there is a connection to the transfats. We are in our 60’s. Now her condition is at least not deteriorating.

  11. Vani,

    As a conscientious food scientist, I am always interested in hearing what you have to say, as you take the time to probe in to everything food related. I have to admit, some of your findings are misinterpreted/misunderstood and thus convey what I (as a food industry insider) would consider falsehoods to the general public but there are also bits of information that you share with the general public which are accurate and things that I myself dislike about the industry but cannot change without mass public outcry (which you do a great job of generating)- so thank you.

    Today’s article really alarmed me though. I’m Canadian and have always suspected that food regulations were more lax in the US than in Canada but this just sealed the deal. As a food scientist who develops new foods and recipes, I attend food shows where ingredient manufacturers showcase their new ingredients. When I ask if the ingredients are approved for use in Canada I am told that they aren’t about 90% of the time but that they are approved for use in the US. The manufacturers always claim that Health Canada makes it too hard to get the ingredients approved. Even when they do get eventually approved, it usually takes years (potentially evidence of a more thorough investigation or perhaps just a sign of underresourcing at HC). This supports your statements above.

    I spend half of my time in the US, on business and always leave feeling a little worried about what I have put in to my body while travelling and being forced to eat with vendors and colleagues who care less about their diets. Now I am even more worried…

    Thank you for sharing. I have forwarded this article to my fellow food scientist colleagues as we develop products for both the US and Canada. I would be devastated if I found out that I had used an ingredient in a product that I thought was safe and was in fact not. Now, I will have to take my research even farther for ingredients with US GRAS status. Thanks for the heads up.

    1. Thanks for the insights Foodfoodgirl!
      Why not start off with a list of Canada Health approved ingredients… to be exclusively used in a subset of your next generation products.
      Pick your new “stick on label”: “Approved in Canada” for marketing in US stores. When people find out the background – that they do the job in Canada while FDA is a sham – change will follow, sooner..

      1. Yes, Anne. I can see that you are awake. All these alphabet organizations are arms of the controllers.

  12. Excellent article–thank you! I always read ingredient lists, but my concern is can we trust the companies to actually list all the ingredients, just because they are supposed to? Maybe some additives are so minute in amount that they don’t need to list them, but in eating a product often, one would be getting quite a lot of that item. And then there’s the GMO problem–I’m just hoping we can trust organic products!

    1. Food manufacturers are not actually required to list all the ingredients on the label. They are required to list only the ingredients they add themselves. For example, Company B makes granola. It orders several ingredients from Supplier A. Supplier A puts red dye in their dried cherries to improve their appearance. Supplier A is required to list the red dye on the cherry label when it sends the dried cherries to Company B. Company B, however, did not put the dye in the cherries, so Company B is permitted to list “dried cherries” on their granola label with no mention of the red dye. Some companies will list the secondary ingredients in parentheses, but this entirely optional and not required in the labeling laws. Coloring is also not required to be reported in certain dairy products, such as cheese, and there are a few other loopholes in the regs as well. Simply appalling and very misleading.

  13. Food Babe,

    I recently watched the documentary Fed Up and wanted your take on it (if you’ve seen it). I can tell you that I felt sad for the victims in the documentary and at the same time I feel scared for my 6 year old daughter. Her mother and I have a good routine with her when it comes to her food. We don’t have her eat the lunches that her school provides and we very strict when it comes to treats (when she wants a snack we usually do frozen grapes, frozen blueberries, or a banana/almond butter smoothie).

    Any input would be greatly appreciated!

    Thank you,

    P.S. – Can’t thank you enough for what you do! You are F&%*$@# awesome for this!

  14. Vani: Would you consider providing a citation resource for your posts? Most such citations include, name, year, title, and link. That would be useful for many of us. Thanks, George

    1. Agreed!

      It is not because we doubt your sources but scientists always want to read documents for themselves prior to acting upon findings. Additionally, if those of us in the industry want to change a product based on learnings from this blog, we will require proper references to share with internal teams because that is how decisions are made.

  15. If this surprises you, it is because you haven’t read “Pandora’s Lunchbox,” which came out a few years ago. It has a very easily readable nuts-and-bolts history of the FDA from inception to now, told in part through chapters that walk you through the history of processed food. You can read it in a weekend. It should be required reading in schools (but that will be a cold day in hell). I’m actually surprised everyone commenting on this page hasn’t read it, since those commenting here are interested in what is in their food and the book got all kinds of media coverage when it came out.

    The FDA was never intended to “approve” all of the things that go into processed food. Seriously, just go read the book.

  16. Wow, amazing post! Thank you so much. My husband & I became obese eating an unhealthy vegan diet. Thanks to you, we have switched our diet from top to bottom. I’m finally losing my fat Val Kilmer gut!!! The lemon drink after fasting gives me so much energy, I no longer crave nor partake of caffeine. Thank you, thank you Food Babe. Cannot wait for your book!

  17. As far as I’m concerned, this is old news. I do appreciate Food Babe, in her position of being able to provide mass exposure, for covering this issue. Bottom line is that it will take mass action on the part of the people to get instigate change.

  18. I think the best thing we can do is not having processed food anymore, and use time wisely so we can cook our own foods.

  19. Thank you for pointing out that not one study is being done on the reactions and complications of all these additives together in the human body! I keep wondering why in multiple other countries many additives are banned, yet they can play lab rat with citizens of the US! I fear what will happen when we lift the embargo off Cuba, will their land be another test ground for more unsustainable AG practices?

  20. It is shameful that the government steals our tax dollars to support agencies that we have to fight against. It appears to me that we are going to have to set up private agencies to oversee and label our foods.

  21. Is there an app that we can scan the bar code & read an ingerdiant list…Some of us are on track but have limited vision.

  22. Michael Taylor, hmm? From the FDA’s own web site, page
    Taylor was vice president for public policy @ Monsanto Company.

    How convenient for Monsanto that Taylor now works for the FDA overseeing our food policies and what gets passed along to consumers. 1) Isn’t the FDA considering allowing GMO salmon without requiring labels? Yes, it is. 2) Isn’t the FDA considering allowing aspartame into milk without requiring labels? Yes, it is. 3) Doesn’t the FDA support voluntary labeling of GMOs? Yes, it does, and no company voluntarily labels any GMOs though it is estimated that 75+% of all processed foods use GMOs.

    What better way to get food laws to fall in your favor than to have one of your own minions right at the helm? It’s scary what corporations can accomplish in America with little concern for the welfare of Americans.

  23. forget trying to get politicians or the FDA or any other organisation to do the right thing. these are in place for exactly the reason to NOT do the right thing. take control of your own health and life by choosing to eat foods everyone knows is healthy for you. you don’t need a study or a diet or some expert telling you whats good for you. it’s very simple – eat real food

  24. Nano Particles, “Natural Flavorings”, Some chemical with dozens of various names… the list goes on and on. Now we have to deal with GMO contaminated cross breeds infecting Organic Farms. And then there are the ridiculous rules that allow GMO feed in Organic Farm Animals. What is truly organic? How much longer will we even be able to purchase non-gmo seeds to feed ourselves from our own gardens? So far no one has been able to stop Monsanto or any of the other behemoth chemical companies that now own the Food industry? And the real battle isn’t even being talked about… and it’s beyond food… it’s WATER.

    1. you obviously see what is going on. there is a fundamental issue going on with all of life. it is not random or just misguided, but deliberate. do not be too concerned with all these things occurring & just need to take control of our own health and life as much as possible. others choosing to do what they do are sowing the “seeds” of their own destiny. remember we reap what we sow. the intentions, energy & efforts we put in, is what we will get out – same goes for everyone. so while some think they are progressing by suppressing others, they are actually going backwards – regardless of how it may appear at this point in time. they are being deceived and deceiving themselves and obviously have no idea or understanding how the universe truly works…

  25. forget trying to get politicians or the FDA or any other organisation to do the right thing. these are in place for exactly the reason to NOT do the right thing. take control of your own health and life by choosing to eat foods everyone knows is healthy for you. you don’t need a study or a diet or some scientist or expert telling you whats good for you. it’s very simple – EAT REAL FOOD! grow (or buy) your own real food, make your own real food, eat your own real food! it doesn’t get any simpler than that.

  26. We have Health Canada and the U.S. has the FDA. What role would everyone have them fulfill? Both are somewhat toothless organizations in many areas. Should they rely on public opinion or a scientific model?
    If they are given the power to truly regulate where does that power stop and who do they regulate, it will cut both ways. A program that is effective requires a lot more manpower and a mandate. If that mandate is based on majority scientific consensus then what are you prepared to live with, particularly when it comes to marketing and claims?
    Scientific consensus will mean GMO is safe, no labeling. Organic and natural claims will have to proven and approved . No more Homeopathy and other “wellness” claims and Naturopathic Doctors. If it won’t pass the smell test out it goes.
    I’m for that. If you want a political organization that just appeals to your emotions and panders to your opinion I think you already have that to a degree. You cannot have it both ways, make either accountable to an real standard and be prepared for the fallout, and you may not like it.
    What do you really want, agreement only with your opinion, if your opinion is factually valid good for your side, if not would you accept it and move on?
    I’m sure the message would not change, corruption would be the cry when you disagree with a consensus you are poorly equipped to refute. Should we just abolish the entire system and base our food supply on food-bloggers and public opinion? Same with the medical system, lets abandon science and trust the alternative bloggers? Why not they all claim to cure cancer 100%, much better record than most.

    1. The whole argument the chem heads use against the Whole Foods, Organic, homeopathic use of the gifts of nature to make and keep us healthy is that these substances aren’t “approved by the FDA” Being approved by the FDA means NOTHING!

      1. How about efficacy, are they proven by a reputable method to be effective, not anecdotal, not by being “natural”? The FDA demands that of prescription medicine should it not demand that of “natural” cures and those claiming the cures.
        Health Canada labels such things as being harmless but do not warrant efficacy but purveyors of goods such as Homeopathy claim approved by Health Canada, quite deceptive don’t you think. Association somehow gives them credibility, as if water is going to cure you of anything other than thirst.

      2. Dear Tim,
        You really don’t know how the FDA works. I’m so sorry. The drugs which are approved by them… for God sake do you not hear the commercials? “And even Death” listed as a possible cause. Drugs which are “approved” by the Center For Veternary Medicine ( a segment of the FDA) for use in animals do not have to be approved for use in humans. When these drugs are shown to cause adverse affects in the animals, and these drugs are showing up in the meat of these animals for human consumption, beging to cause horrible problems… and THEN WHAT? We end up having to police the food supply ourselves! How many pesticides that have been APPROVED have been PULLED and then wind up overseas coming home to roost in the food supply which is imported. How many drugs which have been APPROVED have killed enough people or caused horrible damage have been dicontinued! You are an advocate for a catastrophicly flawed, damaged and antiquated system.

  27. At the clinic I ran for over ten years the average client tested had 3500 units of conductivity/chemical additives Healthy was 700-1500. At 4000 cardiovascular issue can develop. A person with large lung capacity could off set the high chemical content until their lung capacity diminished. My clients were Billionaires, Hollywood stars, Pro Sports stars, model, average Joe’s to homeless. Clinic shut down because preventive care NOT allowed in US. I developed a home/work place tester that could test and produce a beverage for that biological profile. FDA would never allow so setting up clinics overseas. We have Obola Care so everyone will be healthy from here on out at half what you used to pay and you can keep your old doctor. Yeah.

    1. George, could you elaborate please. What chemicals were you testing for and finding and by what method. Why were you shut down, you are implying the FDA shut you down?

      1. This is my foot in mouth disease fictional response or not?

        What chemicals were you testing for and finding and by what method.
        I used several tests and methods taught to me by scientists, researchers, doctors & quacks, The primary test was overall conductivity in urine, which is “filtered blood” The instruments were specially designed and used specific tests for elements if needed. I was also trained in lymphology which is 2/3 of your blood system, same vascular system, as the red stuff with out a heart. That is where many health issues reside according to the scientist I worked with and my findings.(long Story) Excess chemicals from a thousand sources, urine & feces from parasites.
        I had a hazardous waste licensee, patent in delivering bio active agents to disease vectors so it was research that worked. Real science is a hypothesis that repeats, corporate sponsored “science” alters base lines to end at a pre conceived points which keep grants coming.

        I had to watch my verbiage I used: “numbers” in place of ” test” or the process would be classified as a medical procedure for my “clients” both humans and animals NOT patients. Long story

        Why were you shut down.
        I only worked with “terminal” clients which many are still alive however when you reverse something leading University Hospitals said couldn’t it causes issues.
        Risk/reward no longer worth it, most clients were bankrupt by the medical system before they came to me for help.

        you are implying the FDA shut you down? : Not the wonderful FDA paid by the drug companies? The 8 words to fear the most..I am from the government here to protect you…Ronald Regan?
        ?, “the medical industry” is very powerful and jailed many practitioners doing similar activities in alternative approaches to wellness. I produced 250 cable TV shows on the subject in the 90’s and was cancelled for what we made pubic? So much for free speech. All OK with me, very few care.

        I have been a whistle blower having worked in government, sued the IRS & won, but really lost after many audits, I have given up on Amerika and work in clinics overseas that just want results.

        Wait until UN Agenda 21 becomes law and ‘Codex Alimentarius takes effect.
        SEE 1974 United Nations World Food Conference Set Stage for “Food as a Weapon”
        The American people are frogs basking in nice warm water that is about to start boiling.
        I am more concerned about nuclear power plant leaks,
        UVB levels have escalated so we invented radiation protection which provided 800% more protection documented by 10 University tests and the US, Japan & industry refused it?
        Long story.

        “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble.

        It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so”. Mark Twain

    2. Sorry George, I see that you are actually peddling MLM Holographic Resonance Frequency patches. That is not science that is pseudoscience. Urine testing? you found 3500 sources of chemicals in urine and know the source? You actually believe in your own delusions and for that I do feel a little sad for you but nonetheless you are peddling woo. The very thing that the FDA should be preventing.

  28. what good does it do to read labels if we can’t trust that Big Food is even listing everything accurately? This is so depressing! I rarely eat any prepackaged food, but I do eat at restaurants a lot, so until some of these additives are banned, consumers can’t be totally sure what we are eating

  29. Costco, when you call them with a question about something they sell, will research it for you. I quit eating salmon because of Fukushima, and other fish because of BP. I mean, we should leave them alone so maybe they will survive our assaults on the habitat they cannot leave.
    So I was buying farmed tilapia from Costco. Then I wondered what they fed those fish in the Philippines. Costco took a while (two weeks) but came back with: Soy. So no fish.
    Wish I could grow my own catfish in my ponds, but it’s too cold here.
    The point is: This is a glimmer of light in the dark tunnel.

    If you are serious about eating as few toxins as possible, think. I bought a pail of organic lentils and a pail of barley. I buy whole lambs from a local ranch. Put vegetables like carrots and bok choy and red bell pepper, and add in steamed onions that were sprinkled with curry for turmeric. Add fresh parsley at the very end. This is probably totally safe. Give them time, they will get around to making it all deadly, but if we are as sneaky as they, we may live a lot longer.

    Ever wonder whether they just don’t want to pay Social Security benefits to everybody, so they would like to see ya dead before 62?

  30. When I talk about GMO’s and other food issues to people they do think that the FDA is checking all these things out. I reply that to date, the European Union has banned 1342 cosmetic chemicals, the FDA, 10. Does it sound like their doing their job? Education can be so time consuming!

  31. Food Babe,

    This is just horrible. My husband’s best friend from growing up just got elected to US Congress (Dave Brat/Rep Virginia took out Cantor) so if you help me present to him I’ll do all I can. I know his daughter who is probably in 7th grade is very interested in healthy eating so I think we could do it!


  32. The FDA can NEVER be trusted to tell the truth on anything. When I contact the FDA, they tell me, it’s up to the companies to come up with safe products, the companies say, it’s up to the FDA to make sure products are safe. As you can see, this was planned right before the tax payers stopped funding the FDA. The companies who deal with the FDA give millions to the FDA each year. It’s a scam against the American people. Vani is correct, most of the the testing is done by the companies who make the products, but what good it that ? It could all be harmful to eat or use. The companies and the FDA got Congress to change the laws so us tax payers would be out of the picture. Sorry, we will never tell you what is in the products you are eating, we don’t have to. This is the Federal Government and it ALL has to change.
    So you know about the antibiotics being feed to animals people eat ? After you eat it, your body is resistant to other antibiotics, so when you get sick, the doctor may have a hell of a time trying to find an antibiotic that will work for you, if he can find one. I have to give this to the FDA, they did try and ban antibiotics in animals that are eaten before the animal gets sick. So good luck eating NON-Organic meat of any kind. Personally, I don’t eat meat of any animal.

  33. Very grateful to all you’re doing and exposing. It sometimes feel like we’re living in a Twilight Zone movie…with all the experimenting going on in our country with the food we consume.
    WE VOTE for our representatives, and our wallets speak clearly too. There are SO many foods I no longer buy…if we all do this, someone will be listening…when their profits go down.

  34. Yes! Vani, I’m the person who asked you during a Q & A at a talk you gave in Virginia why you weren’t going after the FDA, so I’m very happy to see this post. The GRAS list is a joke, created in the 1950s when food was so much simpler, and there were many fewer additives. The fox has been guarding the hen house for way too long, and I’m happy to see you shining a spotlight on our government’s asinine practices. Woo-hoo!

  35. Should we really be supporting the “manufactured” food industry anyway? How about promoting to shop at farmers markets, when available, and then as the next alternative, buy fresh organic produce and meats. Eat with one ingredient and you won’t have to read labels. It is not very time consuming either and it can be the best way to lose weight and save money.

  36. Food Babe, I get very upset with the tabacco companies my son has been smoking for a long time now he knows how very upset I get with him smoking
    I don’t want him to die from cancer from those horrible cigarettes please help to get rid of these tabacco companies I have been praying everyday for a long
    time now that our dear Lord will help you put the tabacco companies out of
    business I feel that’s the only way we can get my son to stop smoking and everyone else as well.

    God Bless take care,


  37. So tell me, if the FDA isn’t able to do their job, why should we be forced to pay taxes for their existence? Their top officials work for Monsanto, so what exactly is their purpose any way? Is it just to make sure that the pharmaceutical companies stay in the business of robbing and defrauding good people? And yes I am very angry about it!

  38. As a person who grows and harvests her own food- I wholly agree with the article. HOWEVER- as a food service health inspector, and someone who has dealt with the FDA for decades- the agency is not completely to blame. THE FDA is woefully underfunded and understaffed. I have waited 10-12 months for responses from the agency, just because there aren’t enough people to carry the workload. The FDA folks I know work very hard and do the best they can with very limited resources.

  39. All I can say is…many of us conservatives (there. I said it.) have been saying this for years. Whenever you sacrifice your responsibility to some federal agency, this is what you get. Not to make this a totally political issue, but I find it hilarious that the same people who are always wanting more government intervention complain about existing government intervention. The FDA should be abolished. It’s simply a hotbed of cronyism…like many other non-sessential agencies. This is what happens when the government expands. Taxpayers pay out their hard-earned money for a crappy agency that’s controlled by Big Pharma.

  40. Hi Vani-

    I would like to indoctrinate a whole new group of people into clean eating and wondered if you had recipes that would win over even the nacho-and wing-eating crowd. We are hosting a party and I would like to serve appetizers that come straight from the Food Babe. My close friends already know me as a food freak who forwards your posts all the time, but these people do not, and I would like to plant the seed by only serving healthy alternatives to the typical party fare. It will have to be a mild into (I don’t see them even trying a kale-quinoa salad) but delicious enough to plant the seeds of change. I scrolled through the recipes on your site but did not see anything that would be fare for a football-viewing party. Are there any recipes like this in your book, or any in the works? Thanks in advance!

      There are more recipes in the book, but this should get you started! Just start transitioning a bit at a time. Try one new recipe (like the dip) in place of what your usual chip and dip would be at these events. Slowly convert over to healthier (and tastier!) options 🙂

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