Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition

by Dov Waxman

The Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN, pronounced sif’-san) is the branch of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) which regulates food, dietary supplements, and cosmetics. “Food” in the context of the FDA is a very broad limit with some limitations. Products which contain the meat are regulated by the service of safety and inspection of the food of the USDA, except exotic meat and seafood. The regulation of eggs is similarly complicated by shared responsibilities between the two agencies. Many of other federal agencies and state has some conditions of covering or contradictory for the payment of the food products. For example, the EPA regulates levels of the contaminants allowed out of public drinking water, where the FDA regulates the water bottled. The payment of food also includes additives such as preservatives and artificial sweeteners. Controversies over preservatives were very important in the early days of the FDA, where the volunteers took part in the experimental meals with the high amounts of the chemicals to determine their toxicity. Levels of undesirable food additives, such as methyl mercury in canned tuna, are the responsibility of the FDA.

The FDA maintains a list of additives which are employed in food in the United States like a list of additives generally identified like safe (GRAS, marked grass). The products which contain the ingredients which are not GRAS are usually dietetic supplements. Food products may make health claims, such as the “Heart Healthy” labels on foods high in fiber. Each specific claim must be submitted and is based on the content of the food; it is not an approval of a specific product. The dietary supplements can make complaints of structure or of function” but cannot legally claim to treat or prevent the disease unless they meet an approved complaint of health like foodstuff. CFSAN is also responsible for food marking, specifically the panel ” Nutrition Facts ” typically seen on packed foods. Declarations of ingredient are also required, and it is important for consumers with allergies of food that the payment of food includes evaluations of the products which are employed in the handling and the storage of food, indicated under the name “food contact surfaces.” Problems in this area include lead based glazes that are used to decorate ceramic dishes.

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