Upholding the FDA’s Legacy of Preserving Safe Food and Beverage Choices | Opinion
DONNA SHALALA AND ALEX AZAR , FORMER HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES SECRETARIES
Every day, millions of Americans open their medicine cabinets and refrigerators. Some are looking for seasonal allergy relief, or a remedy for a mild headache. Others are just grabbing a favorite snack or drink. What they are not doing is worrying about whether the product they’re about to use is safe. That’s because the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave the products we rely on a trusted seal of approval. This assurance gives families information, choice, and ultimately, peace of mind.
The first word in FDA is food, and the FDA’s unmatched experience in ensuring food and beverage safety is important to remember every day. It is especially critical, however, given the current conversation surrounding the sugar substitute aspartame, which has repeatedly been deemed safe by the FDA.
The FDA is the oldest comprehensive consumer protection agency in the U.S. federal government. It is the world’s gold standard for independent regulatory bodies. And, with its dedicated scientists and rigorous processes, it has thoroughly reviewed aspartame on six different occasions over the past 40 years. These reviews took place during both Republican and Democratic administrations. They affirmed aspartame’s safety every time. There is also a broad consensus for this conclusion from food safety agencies in 90 countries, citing more than 100 scientific studies. All of this matters because the FDA exists to protect and enhance public health and safety. But it is also about providing choice. It is important that families have safe, quality options—in this case an ingredient that empowers them to manage their sugar and calorie intake.
About the Coalition for Safe Food and Beverage Choices:
The Coalition for Safe Food and Beverage Choices represents organizations from business, consumer, labor, multicultural advocacy and public health groups who believe Americans should know who to trust when making safe choices about their family’s diets.