Staff at the US Food and Drug Administration have burnt the midnight oil redesigning the FDA website ( in an attempt to make it “easier and more satisfying to use”, whilst improving communication and transparency between the Agency and website users (see website redesign for more background). While some of the important food-related databases have had a face-lift with apparently little change in content or presentation (see, for example, the List of Indirect Additives Used in Food Contact Substances and EAFUS i.e. Everything Added to Food in the United States), others have had a more substantial make-over. It is impossible to please everyone all of the time, and the changes made to the Cumulative Estimated Daily Intake/Acceptable Daily Intake (CEDI/ADI) database are perhaps not so welcome to busy toxicologists. The revamped version of this database does not now include Agency-derived ADI values in the main table, but instead requires the user to open a new window by clicking on the chemical of interest before the ADI (if available) is revealed. In another possibly thumbs-down change, the Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) notice inventory database no longer includes links to Agency letters regarding company determinations of GRAS status. Instead, either the full company submission (with confidential information removed) is given for individual substances (which is helpful) or no/very limited supporting information is provided (not such a boon). Comments have been invited on the redesigned site, so we shall be sharing our thoughts with those poor souls charged with the thankless task of rejuvenating a very complex and immensely important source of information on chemical safety.

The above item was taken from the July 2009 issue of Toxicology and Regulatory News which is sent automatically to members of bibra (click here for more details).

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