gallery Food and the Delaney Clause

Following up on the earlier post concerning rBGH in dairy products, here’s another look at one of our favorite dairy products, yogurt. While many brands tout all natural ingredients etc etc, the truth is sometimes radically different. And with today’s food supply trends, the public is less and less privy to full disclosure of ingredients.

Get the lowdown on yogurt in the following article from the Food Babe, You Won’t Believe What’s In Your Yogurt – And It’s Not On The Label!

As more and more ingredients fall under the false determination, “labeling not required,” our collective awareness and health quotient will ever depend upon the sharing of honest information and communication amongst ourselves.

Before 1996 we, the public, had a safeguard in place to protect our food supply: the Delaney Clause of the 1954 Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act of 1938.

THE DELANEY AMENDMENT: In 1958, U.S. Representative James Delaney of New York added a proviso to the 1938 Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act declaring that the Food and Drug Administration cannot approve any food additive found to induce cancer in a person or animal. The clause inaugurated the federal government’s role in protecting the public from cancer and eventually affected other areas of regulation, such as the Environ-mental Protection Agency’s control of pesticides. As cancer risk became better understood and carcinogens more easily detectable, the “zero cancer risk” limit was increasingly seen by scientists and industry as an impractical standard. In 1996, Congress replaced the amendment to require a less-than one-in-a-million lifetime risk threshold (courtesy

The Delaney Clause (Amendment) days of protecting us came to an end in 1996. After protecting Americans since 1954, the Delaney was effectively silenced with the signing of the Food Quality Protection Act of 1996.  Interestingly, the current Food Czar, Michael Taylor that President Obama appointed to the FDA was the Monsanto lobbyist who acted as catalyst expediting the dismantling of the Delaney Amendment.

Read  a passionate review of the dire event and get a hint of the inside story here courtesy of the Donnella Meadows Institute. 

Farewell to the Delaney Amendment

By Donella Meadows

–September 26, 1996–

Over centuries we have written innumerable laws to protect ourselves from each other’s foolishness, negligence, incompetence, or evil.  Few of those laws forbid anything absolutely.  Murder we can get away with, in self-defense or insanity.  We can build on floodplains, if we really want to.  The law is strict about robbing banks, but there are plenty of legal ways to rob the public treasury.  Most environmental laws allow us to poison people just a bit, as long as we claim to create an economic benefit in the process.

But there were until recently two laws that said flatly No, this you cannot do.  One was the Endangered Species Act, which didn’t let you push a creature into extinction.  The other was the “Delaney amendment,” which forbade you from adding to foods anything that might cause cancer.

Hated by industry but loved by the public, these laws withstood steady attack by lobbyists, until recently.  In this column I won’t go into the many ways Congress sweeps aside the Endangered Species Act.  What I want to do is mark the passing of the Delaney amendment.

The Delaney clause, named after Congressman James Delaney of New York and tacked onto the Federal Food, Drugs, and Cosmetic Act in 1958, said, “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.”  Not any.  Zero.

From the beginning this dictum conflicted with another law, the Federal Insecticide, Rodenticide, and Fungicide Act (FIFRA), passed in 1947.  FIFRA could not allow the concept of zero.  Pesticides must by their nature and purpose be spread around in large quantities.  FIFRA assumed that we can administer a dose lethal to the pest but harmless to the applicator and to anyone who might encounter pesticide-tainted air, soil, water, or food.  Delaney assumed that the only safe dose is zero.

Congress papered over that inconsistency by saying that pesticide residues are not food additives.  Under FIFRA the Agriculture Department (and later EPA) was supposed to set safe levels of pesticide residues in apples or tomatoes or whatever.  Therefore the Food and Drug Administration (where Delaney resided) shouldn’t have to worry about them.

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While the chemical and GMO cartel may not respect our food supply, that’s no reason we have to continue allowing their sneaky methods and manipulation of our food system.

The Delaney Amendment was our first line of defense against carcinogens and toxic substances in our food supply. Since it’s repeal in 1996 under the Clinton Administration, our food supply has fallen into into despair.

  • Toxins and health hazards get added without labeling,
  • GMOs aren’t testing properly, neither are they labeled,
  • Neotame and neurotoxins are added without labeling,
  • Contact your senators and representatives if you think it’s time to reclaim our food system. Find their contact info here.