The FDA: Allowing Poison On Our Shelves


Emma Rivera

Recent studies have uncovered the true dangers in products from people’s daily lives, leaving many to question the FDA’s credibility.

Safety and health should be the main priority for everyone, especially for the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA is responsible for overlooking the health, efficacy and security of all people, checking the nation’s food supply and cosmetics. Lately, it seems as though the FDA has been neglecting their responsibilities, allowing toxic products into the daily lives of people around the United States.

Despite being banned in areas around the world such as Europe, chemicals like Formaldehyde, Hydroquinone and Titanium Dioxide are still used across the US. For instance, Titanium Dioxide can be found in salad dressings and white sauces. It is a present ingredient that is believed to cause cancer. After many experimental trials, the European FDA decided to place restrictions despite coming back with inconclusive results. Unlike Europe, the U.S. still allows for Titanium Dioxide across the market despite their uncertainty, demonstrating how little they value the health of its citizens. Rather than taking cautious measures to protect the public, the U.S. has chosen to disregard the warnings.

“The FDA needs to improve its performance. As foods in Europe are being banned, here in the U.S. they are still being sold. I am left wondering what other harmful foods we are consuming,” sophomore Hayli Perez said.

When I go and buy groceries, I do not want to worry about researching whether my food is toxic or not. That is the responsibility of the FDA,

— sophomore Marea Casciola

Likewise, Mountain Dew contains brominated vegetable oil, which is banned in Japan and the European Union. Bromine, the element found in flame retardant, can build up in the body and lead to memory loss as well as skin and nerve problems. Having the public risk their health for a simple sip of soda is disgusting. The number of side effects that have been proven are alarming and should be something we should all be fearing. Taking note of global practices, the FDA should follow suit. 

“Mountain Dew is one of my favorite beverages, so to learn that these things could happen to me by buying what is on the shelves at the grocery store is shocking,” sophomore Chiara Ortiz De Rosas said. 

Cosmetic products across the United States are also being recalled and taken off the shelves. For one, dry shampoos of all name brands have been discovered to contain benzene, which when inhaled at a level of 0.4 parts per billion can cause serious damage, linked to diseases like cancer. Recently, a study has confirmed that 70% of the tested samples had an abundant amount of benzene. Beyond, there were some samples that contained 170 times the amount of benzene the FDA permits. This system is not carefully watching the products that they are approving for the public. Employing threatening ingredients in products used in daily lives, this administration should not be keeping these products available for citizens to unknowingly damage their health.

“I honestly do not really look into any of my food, but after hearing of everything being recalled, I think I will have to take my time to look into everything,” senior Samuel Rodriguez said.

The FDA is responsible for the well-being of its people, so it should start regulating foods and products to accurately follow what they preach. The administration needs to better shield the people it vows to protect, starting by abiding by stricter guidelines, the ones seen across the globe. In a time where the FDA has proven to be incapable of completing its job, educating yourself regarding which foods and products you buy has unfortunately become crucial.