This information is generated from a database maintained by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) under an ongoing program known as the Priority-based Assessment of Food Additives (PAFA). PAFA contains administrative, chemical and toxicological information on over 2000 substances directly added to food, including substances regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as direct, "secondary" direct, and color additives, and Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) and prior-sanctioned substances. In addition, the database contains only administrative and chemical information on less than 1000 such substances. The more than 3000 total substances together comprise an inventory often referred to as "Everything" Added to Food in the United States (EAFUS).
The EAFUS list of substances contains ingredients added directly to food that FDA has either approved as food additives or listed or affirmed as GRAS. Nevertheless, it contains only a partial list of all food ingredients that may in fact be lawfully added to food, because under federal law some ingredients may be added to food under a GRAS determination made independently from the FDA. The list contains many, but not all, of the substances subject to independent GRAS determinations. For information about the GRAS notification program please consult the Inventory of GRAS Notifications. Additional information on the status of Food and Color Additives can be obtained from the Food Additive Status List or the Color Additive Status List (formerly called Appendix A of the Investigations Operations Manual).