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The Bottom Line

EWG’s Dirty Dozen Guide to Food Additives: The Bottom Line

November 12, 2014

Food additives are often hallmarks of highly processed, unhealthy foods. Avoiding them can help improve your diet in many ways, but shopping and eating smarter isn’t enough. Consumers must demand real reform of the food regulatory system, particularly the “generally recognized as safe” or GRAS approval process. EWG recommends:

  • Choose fresh foods that have been minimally processed whenever possible. Products with fewer ingredients tend to be less processed and may be healthier choices.
  • Read labels and avoid foods with ingredients linked to health concerns. Use EWG’s Food Scores database to find out what food additives are in your favorite products.
  • Tell food manufacturers that products with ingredients linked to health concerns are not acceptable. Demand better.
  • Urge the FDA to strengthen its regulatory system for food additives. Companies should not be allowed to certify the safety of their own ingredients.