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Consumers Beware: Some Hand Sanitizer Brands Are Toxic

Consumers Beware: Some Hand Sanitizer Brands Are Toxic

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) now has identified fourteen brands of hand sanitizer products on the market that contain methanol, “a substance that can be toxic when absorbed through the skin or ingested,” according to the agency

Why This Matters:  After the President suggested that disinfectants might be a good treatment for COVID-19, many worried about the public improperly using household cleaning products to treat themselves.  But there are also manufacturers who peddle dangerous products and we need to be able to trust the government when it says a product should or should not be used in fighting COVID.

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Food Safety Rules Being Rolled Back During Pandemic

Food Safety Rules Being Rolled Back During Pandemic

At a time when there are growing concerns over future food shortages and food waste, the added worry of food being unsafe to eat is one more reality Americans must face in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak.  As Civil Eats reported, the FDA, the EPA, and the USDA oversee the nation’s food safety net […]

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What’s Really in Our Sunscreen? Human and Environmental Health Risks Prompt More Oversight

What’s Really in Our Sunscreen? Human and Environmental Health Risks Prompt More Oversight

New research from the FDA has shown that 7 chemicals traditionally found in chemical (vs mineral) sunscreen enter the human bloodstream at levels that exceed safety thresholds. Dr. Janet Woodcock, director of the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, the arm of the FDA which conducted the studies explained that just because an ingredient enters […]

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Frankenfish or AquaBounty? GE Salmon To Be Raised in Indiana

Frankenfish or AquaBounty? GE Salmon To Be Raised in Indiana

For the first time, the Food and Drug Administration has determined that genetically engineered (GE) AquaAdvantage salmon are safe to eat — that their genetic modifications are safe for the fish and thus for humans too.  The FDA also found that the claims about the rapid growth of the fish are also true and also will not cause harm to humans. 

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Already High Food Contamination Risk Is Increasing Due To Gov’t Shutdown

Already High Food Contamination Risk Is Increasing Due To Gov’t Shutdown

Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the head of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has spent the better part of the last two days trying to reassure the public that food safety is not at risk during the shutdown.  Yesterday and into today, through a series of tweets, Dr. Gottlieb explained (1) that routine food safety inspections are not taking place now; (2) that he is trying to get them re-started by next week – though he is not sure how to do it because FDA guidance requires routine inspections to cease when there is no funding; and that (3) high-risk food safety inspections are continuing.  The key fact that most people don’t know is that there are very few food safety inspections in the U.S, which Politico’s Helena Bottemiller Evich pointed out in a story and in a devastating series of tweets.  

Why This Matters: The good news is that your food is almost as safe now as it ever was. The bad news is that our safety inspection system is woefully underfunded and inadequate.  But we should have already deduced that fact given the two deadly e-coli outbreaks in the last year.  The law on food inspections is relatively strong, but not being fully implemented.  And lax agricultural practices and health and safety regulations regarding pesticides and use of certain fertilizers create further loopholes that create more risk than most people realize.

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