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Topic summary contributed by volunteer(s): Sue

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is the federal agency responsible for enforcing public health and safety guidelines in the areas of food, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, supplements, and others.

The FDA advises not to eat alfalfa sprouts; they have been linked to salmonella food poisoning (about 100 cases/year, although eggs have been linked to about 118,000/year) (see also here). Feeding arsenic to chickens and pigs has been approved by the FDA to increase the rate of weight gain. Arsenic-containing drugs are also used on factory farms to help decrease the parasite load in food animals.

The agency has said that BPA, a chemical found in certain plastics, is safe. BPA has been linked to heart disease, diabetes, and liver inflammation. The FDA measured and reported benzene levels in sodas and found that more than 60% of the beverages were contaminated.

The FDA refuses to ban cochineal beetle extract, made from crushed bugs, which is used as a red dye in food; it has, however, required it to be listed in the ingredients. Aspartame has been found by some to be so harmful that they are petitioning the FDA to have it pulled from the market.


The information on this page has been compiled from the research presented in the videos listed. Sources for each video can be found by going to the video’s page and clicking on the Sources Cited tab.

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons. This image has been modified.

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