21 CFR 570.30 - Eligibility for classification as generally recognized as safe (GRAS).
(a) General recognition of safety may be based only on the views of experts qualified by scientific training and experience to evaluate the safety of substances directly or indirectly added to food. The basis of such views may be either (1) scientific procedures or (2) in the case of a substance used in food prior to January 1, 1958, through experience based on common use in food. General recognition of safety requires common knowledge about the substance throughout the scientific community knowledgeable about the safety of substances directly or indirectly added to food.
(b) General recognition of safety based upon scientific procedures shall require the same quantity and quality of scientific evidence as is required to obtain approval of a food additive regulation for the ingredient. General recognition of safety through scientific procedures shall ordinarily be based upon published studies which may be corroborated by unpublished studies and other data and information.
(c) General recognition of safety through experience based on common use in food prior to January 1, 1958, may be determined without the quantity or quality of scientific procedures required for approval of a food additive regulation. General recognition of safety through experience based on common use in food prior to January 1, 1958, shall ordinarily be based upon generally available data and information. An ingredient not in common use in food prior to January 1, 1958, may achieve general recognition of safety only through scientific procedures.
(d) The food ingredients listed as GRAS in part 582 of this chapter do not include all substances that are generally recognized as safe for their intended use in food. Because of the large number of substances the intended use of which results or may reasonably be expected to result, directly or indirectly, in their becoming a component or otherwise affecting the characteristics of food, it is impracticable to list all such substances that are GRAS. A food ingredient of natural biological origin that has been widely consumed for its nutrient properties in the United States prior to January 1, 1958, without known detrimental effects, which is subject only to conventional processing as practiced prior to January 1, 1958, and for which no known safety hazard exists, will ordinarily be regarded as GRAS without specific inclusion in part 582 of this chapter.
(e) A food ingredient that is not GRAS or subject to a prior sanction requires a food additive regulation promulgated under section 409 of the act before it may be directly or indirectly added to food.
(f) A food ingredient that is listed as GRAS in part 582 of this chapter shall be regarded as GRAS only if, in addition to all the requirements in the applicable regulation, it also meets all of the following requirements:
(3) It is used at a level no higher than necessary to achieve its intended purpose in that food or, if used as a component of a food-contact article, at a level no higher than necessary to achieve its intended purpose in that article.
(h) If a substance is affirmed as GRAS pursuant to § 570.35 and listed in a regulation with no limitation other than good manufacturing practice, it shall be regarded as GRAS if its conditions of use are not significantly different from those reported in the regulation as the basis on which the GRAS status of the substance was affirmed. If the conditions of use are significantly different, such use of the substance may not be GRAS. In such case a manufacturer may not rely on the regulation as authorizing the use but must independently establish that the use is GRAS or must use the substance in accordance with a food additive regulation.
(i) If an ingredient is affirmed as GRAS pursuant to § 570.35 and listed in a regulation with specific limitation(s), it may be used in food only within such limitation(s) (including the category of food(s), the functional use(s) of the ingredient, and the level(s) of use). Any use of such and ingredient not in full compliance with each such established limitation shall require a food additive regulation.
(j) Pursuant to § 570.35, a food ingredient may be affirmed as GRAS and listed in a regulation for a specific use(s) without a general evaluation of use of the ingredient. In addition to the use(s) specified in the regulation, other uses of such an ingredient may also be GRAS. Any affirmation of GRAS status for a specific use(s), without a general evaluation of use of the ingredient, is subject to reconsideration upon such evaluation.