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Encyclopedia > Generally recognized as safe

Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) is a United States of America Food and Drug Administration (FDA) designation that a chemical or substance added to food is considered safe by experts, and so is exempted from the usual Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) food additive tolerance requirements. “FDA” redirects here. ... The United States Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (abbreviated as FFDCA, FDCA, or FD&C), is a set of laws passed by Congress in 1938 giving authority to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to oversee the safety of food, drugs, and cosmetics. ...


GRAS exemptions are granted for substances that are generally recognized, among experts qualified by scientific training and experience to evaluate their safety, as having been adequately shown through scientific procedures (or, in the case of a substance used in food prior to January 1, 1958, through either scientific procedures or through experience based on common use in food) to be safe under the conditions of their intended use.


The substance must be shown to be "generally recognized" as safe under the conditions of its intended use. The proponent of the exemption has the burden of proving that the use of the substance is "generally recognized" as safe. To establish such recognition, the proponent must show that there is a consensus of expert opinion regarding the safety of the use of the substance. However, the existence of a severe conflict among experts regarding the safety of a substance precludes a finding of general recognition.


When a use of a substance does not qualify for the GRAS exemption that use of the substance is subject to the premarket approval mandated by the FFDCA. In such circumstances, the FDA can take enforcement action to stop distribution of the food substance and foods containing it on the grounds that such foods are or contain an unlawful food additive. [1]


A GRAS designation typically exists in one of three forms:

  1. Self-affirmed. The manufacturer of this chemical or substance had performed all necessary research, including the formation of an expert panel to review safety concerns, and is prepared to use these findings to defend its product's GRAS status.
  2. FDA-pending. The manufacturer has performed all the aforementioned due diligence, and submitted to the Food & Drug Administration for GRAS approval.
  3. No comment. The FDA has reviewed a product's GRAS claim and responded with "no comment"; i.e., no further challenges on the product's GRAS status.

See also

“FDA” redirects here. ... The phrase substantial equivalence is given to a relatively new concept used in the regulation of new foods, especially genetically modified foods, also called [recombinant DNA] (rDNA) derived foods (hereafter GM foods). ... Life Sciences Research Office (LSRO) is a non-profit organization that specializes in assembling ad hoc expert panels to evaluate scientific literature, data, systems, and proposals in the biomedical sciences. ... Generally recognized as safe and effective or GRAS/E is a legal term used to describe certain old drugs that do not require prior approval from the Food and Drug Administration in order to enter the United States marketplace because they are generally recognized as safe and effective by medical... A grandfather clause is an exception that allows an old rule to continue to apply to some existing situations, when a new rule will apply to all future situations. ...

Reference

  • U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (1993). Everything Added to Food in the United States. Boca Raton, FL: C.K. Smoley (c/o CRC Press, Inc.).

External link

  • More information from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

  Results from FactBites:
 
Flavors (370 words)
Many of the materials used in flavors are considered GRAS or Generally Recognized As Safe.
Substances that were in general use as food additives prior to January 1, 1958 were give GRAS designation based on common knowledge gained through their history of use as food additives.
General recognition of safety may be based on the views of qualified experts in the food industry.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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