Food safety advocates petition for removal of propyl paraben from food.

  • The fact that foods may be marketed in the U.S. on the basis of general recognition of safety, or “GRAS” status, has come under heavy attack by food safety advocates and consumer groups in recent years.  In particular, some groups object to the fact that food companies are permitted to self-determine the GRAS status of substances, without seeking FDA pre-review or concurrence.
  • The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has launched a petition and a social media campaign to seek the removal of propyl paraben from the U.S. food supply.  Although this substance is specifically listed as GRAS in FDA’s regulations, EWG argues that data developed and reviewed by scientists and European safety authorities have raised questions about potential reproductive toxicity.
  • Food safety advocates and consumer groups continue to grow in number and visibility as they pursue publicity campaigns that question the safety of food ingredients in the U.S.  It is difficult to predict which ingredients will show up on the watchdogs’ “hit lists,” as targets may include even ingredients that are formally approved or GRAS-listed by FDA.