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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Food

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Select Committee on GRAS Substances (SCOGS) Opinion: Benzoic Acid

The GRAS Substances (SCOGS) Database allows access to opinions and conclusions from 115 SCOGS reports published between 1972-1980 on the safety of over 370 Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) food substances. The GRAS ingredient reviews were conducted by the Select Committee in response to a 1969 White House directive by President Richard M. Nixon.

Benzoic Acid

  • SCOGS-Report Number: 7*
  • Type Of Conclusion: 1
  • ID Code: 65-85-0
  • Year: 1973
  • 21 CFR Section: 184.1021

SCOGS Opinion:

There are extensive metabolic data on benzoic acid and sodium benzoate in experimental animals and man. It appears that the rat and human have similar metabolic pathways. Short- and long-term feeding studies, as well as teratological investigations, have also been reported in the rat. Interpolation of the rat data and consumer exposure data indicates that the highest no effect level reported in the long-term laboratory feeding study of sodim benzoate is approximately 180 fold the amount usually present in man's daily diet. The highest no effect level reported in laboratoy animal feeding is approximately 90 fold the amount that would be consumed if an individual's diet were to consist only of those foods containng the greatest amoutns of sodium benzoate in current usage. In the light of the foregoing the Select Committee concludes that: There is no evidence in the available information to show that benzoic acid and sodium benzoate as food ingredients constitute a hazard to the general public when used at levels that are now current or that might reasonably be expected in future.

*Complete reports containing details of the safety studies that formed the basis of the opinions and conclusions and are available from the National Technical Information Service (NTIS), 5285 Port Royal Road, Springfield, VA 22161 (703) 605-6000.