THE MIRAGE OF SAFETY: Food Additives and Federal Policy by Beatrice Trum Hunter

THE MIRAGE OF SAFETY: Food Additives and Federal Policy

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Beatrice Hunter has emptied from her files all the dismal evidence on the multitude of food additives used by industry and tolerated by that Uriah Heep of all government agencies, the Food and Drug Administration. As in her Consumer Beware (1971) the author calls the roll of all the dreadful stuffs we ingest or are exposed to--from the infamous MSG, BHA, BHT, nitrites and nitrates and food dyes down through all those doubtful substances with test-tube nomenclature. There are those which become dangerous in interaction with other additives, foods and drugs; those which break down or combine under certain circumstances to toxic effect; those causing cell destruction, allergic reactions, cancer or birth defects, even those which damage the human gene pool. Throughout there are baleful warnings from scientists, doctors, consumers and politicians. Hunter is highly critical of the FDA practice of using commercial testing laboratories, its compulsive secrecy and its seemingly faithful protection of industry rather than the consumer. In conclusion, the author submits a few suggestions for safer food preservation, better criteria of food selection, and firmer avenues and practices for consumer political pressure. With its many, many scraps of information packed as tight as imported sardines, this is generally tiring reading for any but the highly motivated activist.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1975
Publisher: Scribners