The FDA’s attack on ‘added’ ingredients is idiotic

By Baylen Linnekin | Reason

The FDA has a food ingredient most-wanted list. On the list—which I’ve not seen but am certain exists—are salt, sugar, caffeine, and trans fats. Why the list? These food ingredients are the worst of the worst. The agency’s words and actions tell us as much.

List in hand, agency regulators are hard at work hunting down these ingredients and seeking to exorcise them—directly, or through stigmatization—from America’s grocery shelves.

I’ve written thousands of words about the agency’s targeting of sugar, caffeine, and trans fats. And there’s the FDA’s campaign against salt.

But if these agency vendettas share anything besides pervasiveness and zeal, it’s that they are total and utter nonsense.

Here’s why. First, in each and every case, the FDA has targeted only the direct addition of these ingredients to packaged foods. Second, the impact of the direct addition of these ingredients to packaged foods is exactly the same as in cases where these ingredients occur naturally in food ingredients.

at Reason.

Rob Port is the editor of, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.