SAN FRANCISCO — PepsiCo Inc. recently took the unusual step of removing an obscure vegetable oil from its Gatorade after a Mississippi teenager made it her mission to get rid of the ingredient. The girl's online petition threw a spotlight on just one of many once-unnoticed ingredients coming under closer scrutiny as health-conscious consumers demand more information about what they eat and drink.
Most food additives are reviewed and approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration before hitting the marketplace. But others can bypass that process if they are classified as "generally recognized as safe" by FDA, food companies or the experts they hire.
Some critics of the program say the FDA should use its oversight to ensure companies are using the latest science to prove ingredients are safe.