Delaney Amendment

The delaney amendment that was introduced in 1958 to the Federal Food, Drugs, and Cosmetics Act outlawed the use of any food additives that might lead to the causing of cancer, specifically: “the Secretary [of the Food and Drug Administration] shall not approve for use in food any chemical additive found to induce cancer in man, or, after tests, found to induce cancer in animals.” This amendment was clearly aimed at protecting consumers from the negligent or malevolent actions of food producers who may include such dangerous elements in their products and make them liable to prosecution if they should do so.

Delaney's argument was that no level of safety in terms of carcinogenic substances could be tolerated. The only safe level, therefore, was zero. Consequently, ...

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