A recent study has found that many processed foods are not only bad for you but also contribute to the problem of obesity.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is proposing to regulate all processed foods as “processed” food in its latest draft of the Food Safety Modernization Act.
The draft would also require labeling of any foods that contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs), which are a growing concern among consumer groups.
The proposed rules are part of the FDA’s push to address a wide range of health issues, including food additives, antibiotics, antibiotics-resistant bacteria, and food allergies.
“We’re trying to figure out what we can do to improve our food system,” said Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“It’s going to be a very big challenge.”
For example, Frieden said, many processed meats have been implicated in causing gastrointestinal illness, including E. coli, salmonella, and Listeria monocytogenes.
“There’s a lot of good information out there, but we don’t know everything,” Frieden told CNN.
For example: The FDA currently requires labeling for many types of meat products.
However, Friedon said, the agency has not yet defined the term “processing” as an actual term in the draft.
“It just doesn’t exist yet,” Friedon told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota.
Some processed foods can also contain ingredients that have been banned for decades.
Some food processors use the terms “natural” and “all natural” to describe some ingredients.
For instance, a product made from wheat, corn, or soy flour would be labeled “all-natural.”
Others use the term ‘all natural’ to describe many of the same ingredients.
The FDA has already proposed rules that require the labeling of some foods that are considered “process-based” foods, such as processed sweeteners, frozen meals, and packaged meats.
But other types of processed foods that have traditionally been considered to be natural are now being categorized as “natural.”
Frieden and other experts say this definition would be problematic because it would also classify processed foods made from ingredients that are “all but impossible to trace.”
“It would be a huge leap to start labeling these products as ‘natural’ because you don’t have traceability,” said Frieden.
“So there’s really no good reason to define what’s natural in the first place.”
“I’m not sure it’s going too far,” said David M. Johnson, executive director of food safety and sustainability at the Center for Science in the Public Interest.
“I think there’s a reasonable point to be made that there should be labeling for processed foods and that would probably include some kind of labeling of GMO ingredients.
I think the problem is that they’ve created a category for the wrong things, which are very, very risky ingredients.”
Johnson said that labeling products that are genetically modified would be the first step in helping to eliminate some of the most dangerous GMOs.
“The only way to do that is to start defining what GMOs are and then labeling those foods,” Johnson said.
“But I don’t think labeling of GMOs is the right solution.”
“The most difficult part of this is to understand the food industry,” Johnson added.
“Because they don’t want to be in the public eye.”
Some critics say that the FDA has gone too far in labeling foods that don’t meet current standards.
“This is really the first time we’ve seen the FDA go out and impose its own set of standards for what constitutes a ‘natural product,'” Johnson said, “which is really an arbitrary way of saying that there’s no scientific basis for this stuff.”
For instance: The American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPS) has said that some of its products are potentially dangerous.
“If the FDA says you can’t buy this stuff, it is very concerning,” said AAPS executive director John R. Prentice.
The AAPS has called for an independent study to determine the health effects of the food additive methyl mercury.
Prenticess group has also called for a public health advisory panel to be established to review the safety of the chemicals used in the food.
Pests are another big concern for Johnson, who has been fighting a legal battle against the pesticide company Dow.
The group has fought the use of pesticides for more than 20 years.
Pesticides have been linked to increased risk of cancers, allergies, asthma, and developmental delays.
But some people have argued that the chemicals are actually used to make food.
For years, Johnson has called on the FDA to ban pesticides from food production, arguing that there are many beneficial uses for the chemicals.
“A lot of food is grown in ways that are extremely safe, and I think we should be using that to help the environment,” Johnson told Camerota on the CNN program.
“And I think if you’re talking about food safety, we’re actually pretty good at that