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Medtech Impact on Wellness

Independent consultant and researcher Marciel Maffini has made it her mission to change woefully outdated laws and scientific processes for assessing food safety. This podcast is an essential listen before you take another product off the grocery shelf.

She describes

  • The many chemicals added to food, including food preservatives, or come from equipment processing and toxic chemicals in food packaging,
  • What the law the FDA still uses from 1958 means by “generally recognized as safe,” and how food manufacturers pass many harmful ingredients under the cover of that label, and
  • Practical everyday advice for preparing food at home to protect your family from food preservatives and their harmful effects.

Maricel Maffini is an experienced researcher committed to public health advocacy through regulation and oversight of chemical exposure. She now works as an independent consultant and has a doctorate in the biological sciences. She has over 25-years research experience in the fields of carcinogenesis, reproduction biology, and endocrine disruption.

The full focus of her current work involves food safety and chemical exposures, specifically on the manufacturing and packaging side. She tells listeners that many chemicals are added to foods by the manufacturer to make them last longer and be more palatable as well as to add more striking colors. In addition, part of the processing can expose food to chemicals that won’t appear in the ingredients list. She adds that exposure to numerous chemicals and preservatives during pregnancy can be especially risky. In other words, a much better food safety regulation process is in order.

To help listeners understand what needs changing, she provides a helpful and clear explanation of how FDA regulations work, where the loopholes are, and what she is doing about it. For example, because of an allowance in the 1958 law allowing items “generally recognized as safe” to be exempt from detailed ingredient listings, numerous harmful items are able to sneak into food.

She also explains the approval process companies have to use when putting a product on the market, and how a surprising amount of information and approval is voluntary. Furthermore, because many ingredients are harmful after cumulative exposure, certain harmful chemicals slip in as a series of small amounts while our comprehensive diet could potentially include harmful levels. Maricel Maffini is admirably tackling all these issues and is able to explain them in a way to help listeners do the same.

Finally she gives some advice for home preparation to help against some of the potential manufacturing missteps. 

For more about her work, follow her on twitter as @mvmaffini and search for her on PubMed.

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