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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

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Select Committee on GRAS Substances (SCOGS) Opinion: Beeswax (yellow or white)

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.

Beeswax (yellow or white)

  • SCOGS-Report Number: 46a*
  • Type Of Conclusion: 1
  • ID Code: 8006-40-4
  • Year: 1975
  • 21 CFR Section: 184.1973

SCOGS Opinion:

There is a paucity of experimental data on the digestion, absortion, metabolism, and short-term or long-term toxicity of beeswax after oral intake by humans or animals; but as a component of comb honey, beeswax has been ingested since ancient times without evidence of harm. Although the composition of beeswax is not digested or absorbed from the alimentary tract in most animals or man. Beeswax containing pollens or oleoresins may be allergenic to sensitive individuals but beeswax alone has not been reported to be allergenic. No studies designed to show teratogenic effects of beeswax have been reported. Numerous injections of beeswax as a vehicle for drugs have nor led to reports of tumors at the injection site. Relatively little comb honey is used as a food in the U.S. The use of beeswax in processed food products decreased fourfold in the decade from 1960-1970 and presently is very small, amounting to an average estimated per capita daily intake of about 0.16mg. On the basis of the above considerations the Select Committee concludes that: There is no evidence in the available information on beeswax (yellow or white) that demonstrates, or suggests reasonable grounds to suspect, a hazard to the public when it is used at levels that are now current or might reasonably be expected in the 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.