GRAS or Generally Recognized As Safe is a department of the American Food and Drug Administration that is responsible for ensuring the public that the chemicals and preservatives added to foods are deemed safe to eat. These chemicals are reviewed by expert scientists and undergo extensive study before any product that is labeled safe by the FDA is allowed to hit the shelves. The FDA established the Food Additives Amendment on January 1st 1958 with a list of 700 foods that were exempt from the new bill that had passed that forced manufactures to have their additives tested before allowing them to be put on the market.
The purpose of GRAS is to ensure that foods with preservatives such as frozen entrées, canned goods, and other processed edibles are safe for human consumption and will not harm the body or be detrimental to an individual’s health in the near future. Although this testing has worked against the scientists better judgment in the past by allowing foods to enter the market that have an increasing effect on not just childhood obesity but general obesity as well. For the most part however, the scientists are efficient with finding potential harmful products by experimenting with the intended use of foods.
As of April 1st 2010 the ‘Code of Federal Regulations’ was updated to keep up with the ever evolving food products that are available on the market. A product will be determined by one of three forms given by GRAS in the premarket stage. The first form is that the manufacture is “Self-Affirmed,” this means that the manufacturer can prove the safety in their product because the research has already been done and is available to the public. “FDA Pending” means that the manufacture has finished all of the required research studies and has submitted it to the Food and Drug Administration for approval. Finally, “No Comment” means that the FDA has reviewed a claim and has replied back with no further challenges for that time.
FDA U.S Food and Drug Administration “Generally Recognized As Safe”