VICTORY: FDA Bans Seven Cancer-Causing Artificial Flavorings

Legal Pressure from a Coalition of Consumer, Health, and Environmental Groups Led to Ban



October 9, 2018
Contact: Chris Dobens, 212-961-1000 ext. 320,


NEW YORK — Seven cancer causing-chemicals used as artificial flavoring in a variety of food and beverage products have been banned by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) thanks to legal action brought by WE ACT for Environmental Justice and a coalition of consumer, health, and environmental groups: Breast Cancer Prevention Partners, Center for Environmental Health, Center for Food Safety, Center for Science in the Public Interest, Earthjustice, Environmental Defense Fund, Environmental Working Group, and the Natural Resources Defense Council. Often listed simply as “artificial flavors,” these chemicals are commonly added to products such as ice cream, baked goods, gum, and beer to give them cinnamon, floral mint, and other flavors.

“While we are pleased that the FDA has finally taken action to remove these seven cancer-causing additives, it is frustrating that it has taken pressure from organizations such as ours to force the federal body responsible for safeguarding the foods and beverages we consume to ban these known carcinogens,” said Peggy Shepard, Co-Founder and Executive Director of WE ACT for Environmental Justice. “Millions of people have been unknowingly ingesting these toxic chemicals for years, which proves that food and beverage manufacturers need to be better monitored and held accountable in order to effectively safeguard the American public.”

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WE ACT for Environmental Justice is a Northern Manhattan membership-based organization whose mission is to build healthy communities by ensuring that people of color and/or low-income residents participate meaningfully in the creation of sound and fair environmental health and protection policies and practices. WE ACT has offices in New York and Washington, D.C. Visit us at and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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