The Food and Drug Administration recently issued a ban on the use of seven synthetic flavoring substances found in every day foods.
Six of the food additives—benzophenone, ethyl acrylate, eugenyl methyl ether, myrcene, pulegone, and pyridine—which are commonly listed as “artificial flavors” in ingredient lists, proved to cause cancer in lab animals. The seventh flavor was eliminated because it’s no longer used in the food industry.
The additives are often used to simulate natural mint, citrus, and cinnamon flavors, according to Cooking Light. The outlet spoke with the policy director for the Center for Science in the Public Interest, Laura MacCleery, who added that you can find them in baked goods, candy, carbonated drinks and beverages, chewing gum, and ice cream.
There isn’t much cause for concern, considering the FDA noted that the animals in the study that linked back to cancer “were exposed to much higher doses” than humans would ever consume.
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“The FDA is only revoking the listing of these six synthetic flavorings as a matter of law,” they said in a statement. “The FDA has concluded that these substances are otherwise safe.”
The natural counterpart to the banned flavors—which would be used in products that list “natural flavors” in the ingredient list—are not affected, said the organization.
Many companies are shying away from the use of artificial flavors as of late. McDonald’s ditched the fake stuff in their chicken nuggets as well as in their revamped apple pies. Kraft also joined the trend by removing artificial ingredients from their mac and cheese in 2016.