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FEMA Responds to CPI's 'Meet the Secret Group' Article

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The Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association (FEMA) has released an official statement saying it is committed to ensuring safe flavor ingredients in foods and beverages.

This statement follows an article by the Center for Public Integrity about FEMA which quoted Susan Schiffman, an adjunct professor at North Carolina State University, as saying “It’s not transparent," when questioned about research on the safety of various flavors and its availability for public inspection.

FEMA stated: "a recent article from the Center for Public Integrity (CPI) offers Americans an incomplete and misleading view of how the safety of flavors used in foods and beverages enjoyed by millions of Americans is determined. Ensuring the safety of flavors used in the products consumers enjoy – and maintaining the public’s confidence in that safety – is the flavor industry’s primary goal. [FEMA] understands that the safety of the food supply is of paramount importance to all consumers." 

The organization continued, saying it is "disappointed that CPI failed to report on the information that fully describes our process, rationale and safeguards to assure flavor safety, which was provided to the organization in extensive documentation. For a broader perspective, we also provided more than 250 citations to readily accessible publications on flavor safety and the FEMA GRAS program. FEMA members do business in a highly technical and creative industry, and we work to ensure that issues important to our members are understood by Members of Congress. Occasionally, we meet with a Member or their staff to discuss specific legislation. However, this work is not the primary focus of our organization. The FEMA GRAS program, established in 1960, is the longest running industry GRAS program in the U.S. today. We will continue to work with FDA and other food industry participants to assure that flavors continue to be safe for American consumers." 

To view FEMA's statement in its entirety click here.

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