Behind the Label: A Blueprint for Safer Chemicals in the Marketplace.

Environmental Defense Fund is working with companies like grocery chains, restaurants and food manufacturers to reduce and remove potentially unsafe additives in food.

Consumers are increasingly concerned about what is in their food and are demanding safer and more sustainable products—all at a fair price. For two years in a row, more than a third of consumers participating in the food industry’s annual survey rated chemicals in food as their most important food safety issue.

Based on International Food Information Council (IFIC) Food and Health Survey 2011, 2014, 2015 and 2016. Questions not reported in 2012, 2013 and 2016. Questions and options varied somewhat over the years.

Retailers and food manufacturers are beginning to pay attention, reformulating tens of billions of dollars of products.

Retailers like Trader Joe's, Kroger, Safeway and Target have developed private brands without certain ingredients commonly used in packaged foods. Food companies such as Nestle, General Mills, Kellogg's, Hershey’s and Campbell’s all committed to eliminating artificial colors and flavors from many of their iconic brands. National restaurant chains such as Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, Subway and Noodles & Company also made similar commitments.

These commitments respond to consumer concerns, but they are only one step in addressing the much larger problem of potentially unsafe chemicals in food today and their effect on our health.

Behind the Label_F

EDF’s Behind the Label initiative offers resources that make it easier for your company to lead on safer food additives. In our 25 years of partnering with business, we believe that working with companies to adopt science-based safer chemical policies ﹘ that anticipate rather than react to consumer demands and regulatory changes ﹘ is part of the solution. With Behind the Label, we’re working to support and empower businesses by:

  • Sharing insights on how today’s business leaders are improving chemicals management;
  • Sharing tools for best-in-class safer chemical policies and practices your company can use; and
  • Recommending employee engagement and business procedures that can help every company lead on safer chemicals.

For companies just beginning their safer chemicals journey, Behind the Label provides a basic blueprint for safer chemicals in the marketplace with our 5 Pillars for Industry Leadership.

Consumers are becoming more sensitive to potential health impacts associated with chemicals in their food, and their concern plays out at the shelf, in the courtroom and in Washington. Companies that wait for new regulations before they start examining their products’ contents and phasing out hazardous food additives will face increased risk – and lose face with their customers.


Learn about best practices for safer food additives

Read about how companies are changing practices on food additives

Business case illustrations