Food Safeguards

January 20, 1960

Report Outline
Speed-up of National Pure Food Campaign
Chemicals in Foods and Human Health
New Problems in Food Supply Protection

Speed-up of National Pure Food Campaign

Renewal of Food Safety Debate in Congress

The national government's stepped-up pure food campaign, which brought a crisis for the cranberry industry in November and since has thrown millions of dollars' worth of tenderized chicken off the market, will move into high gear on March 6 when the Food Additives Act of 1958 comes into full effect. After that date, food suppliers are forbidden to use any non-food substance in their products unless they have proved the substance safe for human consumption or have received special government permission to use it in a way that will not be injurious to health.

Housewives may find in March that some familiar food items have become suddenly unavailable. This will not necessarily mean that the missing product is harmful, only that it contains an ingredient or ingredients not yet cleared for safety by the federal Food and Drug Administration. The product may later return to grocers' shelves with identical or only slightly changed ingredients.

One thing worrying the food industry is that, even when a product previously banned is given a clean bill of health, consumers may refuse to buy it. The “Great Cranberry Scare” of last November had that result; housewives shunned cranberries at Thanksgiving and Christmas time notwithstanding official assurances that all being marketed were safe. The industry is concerned also over a government ban on use of seven coal-tar colors in food products. The F.D.A. removed these colors from its certified list nearly a year ago and last Oct. 21 banned use of existing stocks previously acquired by food processors under F.D.A. certification. The deadline for filing petitions for judicial review of the latter action was recently moved from Jan, 15 to April 6.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Food Safety
Sep. 03, 2021  Food Security
Sep. 25, 2020  The Future of Meat
Feb. 15, 2019  Fast-Food Shakeout
Jun. 16, 2017  Food Labeling
Oct. 03, 2014  Food Policy Debates
Aug. 31, 2012  Genetically Modified Food
Dec. 17, 2010  Food Safety
Jan. 26, 2007  Slow Food Movement
Nov. 01, 2002  Food Safety
Mar. 30, 2001  Biotech Foods
Sep. 04, 1998  Food Safety Battle: Organic Vs. Biotech
Jun. 04, 1993  Food Safety
Jun. 12, 1992  Food Irradiation
Nov. 08, 1991  Fast-Food Shake-up
Nov. 18, 1988  How Safe Is Your Food?
Dec. 11, 1981  Controversy Over Salt in Food
Dec. 08, 1978  Fast Food: U.S. Growth Industry
May 12, 1978  Food Additives
Dec. 26, 1969  Food Additives
Dec. 04, 1968  Synthetic Foods
Jan. 20, 1960  Food Safeguards
Feb. 09, 1952  Chemicals in Foods
Dec. 18, 1934  Revision of the Pure Food and Drugs Act
Consumer Protection and Product Liability