I am glad that the FDA exists and that it tries to protect the consumer. However, political and economic forces play a much larger role in FDA decisions than we would like to believe. On the downloads page of my web site I describe how the FDA has failed us in terms of protection from mercury contamination in fish. Also, FDA labelling guidelines for trans fats allow foods to list themselves as having "zero trans fats" even if they contain partially hydrogenated vegetable oils (i.e. trans fats); this occurs if the food serving size is made small enough that amount of trans fat is less than 0.5 grams, which can be legally rounded down to zero. Unbelievable. This should be illegal. It seems that if a company sends enough "data" to the FDA, the FDA can do little but allow the food to be sold to US consumers. Sucralose i.e. Splenda, which is chlorinated sucrose (note that halogenated organics are often carcinogens), is a great example. Made by McNeal Specialty, this low-calorie sweetener is marketed as being "made from sugar so it tastes like sugar" (sucrose is just table sugar). I would add to this: May cause cancer JUST LIKE SUGAR (we now understand the mechanisms whereby sugar causes cancer; it involves the inflammatory signalling process inside cells). I say Sucralose MAY cause cancer (I do not KNOW that it causes cancer) because all of the "long term studies" done by McNeal Specialty are 8 weeks in length. There are no conclusive, independent research publications that I can find looking into potentially negative side effects of Sucralose i.e. Splenda. I remember being excited to find one done at Harvard, only to see that one of the authors was a leading "researcher" from McNeal Specialty (interestingly, they did not put the company address on the paper; only Harvard). The gyrations that the food industry will go through to make a buck are unbelievable. It is enough to make a person forget their sweet tooth. What we can say with certainty is that none of the FDA-approved low-calorie sweeteners are going to make us drop dead overnight or even in the next two months. But we DO know that high levels of low-calorie sweeteners increases cancer risk by 30%, although this increased risk is not associated with any PARTICULAR low-calorie sweetener. See my post in this thread where I discuss this. As if the FDA certification process was not weak enough already, they now have a "Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) Notification System" whereby a manufacturer can claim exemption from FDA approval requirements and start selling a food additive unless the FDA "objects." Naturlose, also known as tagatose, a sterioisomer of lactate produced as a sweetener by Arla Foods, can be legally sold based on this new low (bottom of the barrel) set of FDA requirements. When I read that the FDA was keeping track of aspergillus (liver-cancer causing fungus that grows on nuts) levels in peanut butter, I immediately reduced my daily peanut butter intake. The FDA is a safety net for us, but the mesh size in the net lets a lot of things through. I am not saying I could do any better if I worked at the FDA. What I am saying is that we can't just trust anyone else when it comes to our health, because ultimately it is each and every one of us individually that pays the price or reap the health rewards for what goes into our body.