FDA removing seven synthetic flavoring substances from food additives list

Move made in response to food additive petitions

FDA is no longer allowing the use of synthetically derived benzophenone, ethyl acrylate, eugenyl methyl ether (methyl eugenol), myrcene, pulegone and pyridine. The agency determined data presented in a petition submitted by 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, WE ACT for Environmental Justice and James Huff show these substances caused cancer in laboratory animals under the conditions of the studies. FDA will provide 24 months from the publication of the rule in the Federal Register for companies to identify suitable replacement ingredients and reformulate their food products.

In addition, FDA is amending the food additive regulations to no longer allow the use of benzophenone as a plasticizer in rubber articles intended for repeated use in contact with food. The decision was made based on evidence presented by the petitioners that benzophenone causes cancer in animals. Styrene also is being delisted as a synthetic flavoring substance and adjuvant, since the food industry no longer uses it for these purposes.

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