Unsafe at Any Meal: What the FDA Does Not Want You to Know About the Food You Eat

Renee Joy Dufault. Square One, $16.95 trade paper (240p) ISBN 978-0-7570-0436-0

Dufault, a former Food and Drug Administration investigator, criticizes the levels of mercury and other chemicals present in commonly consumed foods. She portrays a federal food safety system rife with ineffective regulations and practices that have left an unknowing American public vulnerable to food contaminants. Citing both her own research and others’ studies, Dufault contends that the consumption of these contaminants, mainly through processed foods, contributes to the prevalence of common American illnesses. Dufault is scathing about food labeling that omits mentions of mercury, arsenic, or other contaminants that can be found in foods as a result of production. She cites the addition of mercury-containing chemicals to high-fructose corn syrup to regulate acidity and increase shelf life. Moreover, she argues that exposure to even government-allowed amounts of contaminants can impact gene regulation and function and contribute to disease. To combat these dangers, Dufault prescribes a diet low in processed foods and high in organic food, vitamins, and nutrients. Her work leaves readers with a disquieting picture of current American food safety standards. (May)