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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

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Select Committee on GRAS Substances (SCOGS) Opinion: Potassium iodate

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.

Potassium iodate

  • SCOGS-Report Number: 39*
  • Type Of Conclusion: 1
  • ID Code: 7758-05-6
  • Year: 1975
  • 21 CFR Section: 184.1635

SCOGS Opinion:

Iodine occurs widely and is present in most human foods. While the quantity of iodine in specific foods is highly variable, the average diet usually contains sufficient iodine to supply man's requirement for this essential element. In addition to the iodine in foods, iodine-containing compounds are ingested in the form of dietary supplements, food processing adjuncts, food colors, sanitizing agents, and pharmaceuticals. While no comprehensive consumption data are available for any iodine consumed daily by individuals has increased in the past several years. Potassium iodide, potassium iodate, and calcium iodate are only three of the many iodine-containing substances including iodates are converted to iodides in food processing or often consumption. Therefore, the Select Committee has limited its evaluations in this report to potassium iodide, potassium iodate and calcium iodate. This is, in effect, evaluating the health aspects of adding iodide ion to certain foods. Available biological information shows that ingested potassium iodide and other iodides are readily absorbed and utilized to the extent required for nutritional needs, the excess being excreted primarily in the urine. There is no evidence in the studies on experimental animals and man available to the Committee that indicates acute or chronic toxic effects, including mutagenic, teratogenic, and carcinogenic effects, resulting from the consumption of potassium iodide by euthyroid individuals in amounts that are several orders of magnitude greater than those now being consumed in the daily diet. Based upon consideration of the available data, the Select Committee concludes that: There is no evidence in the available information on potassium iodide, potassium iodate, or calcium iodate that demonstrates, or suggests reasonable grounds to suspect, a hazard to the public when they are used at levels that are now current and in the manner now practiced, or those which might reasonably be expected in the future under existing limitations.

*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.