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Industry Circular

Number: 61-2

Date: January 9, 1961

Office of the Commissioner of Internal Revenue

Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Division


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Use of Safrole, Oil of Sassafras, Dihydrosafrole, and Iso-safrole

Proprietors of distilled spirits plants and of bonded wine cellars, manufacturers of nonbeverage products, and others concerned:

This is to advise you that effective November 30, 1960, the Food and Drug Administration of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare has refused to authorize the use in food of safrole, oil of sassafras, dihydrosafrole, and iso-safrole.

Laboratory studies by the Food and Drug Administration demonstrated safrole, which is also the principal component of oil of sassafras, to be a carcinogen, and dihydrosafrole and iso-safrole to cause liver damage to test animals. Ac- cordingly if you are using any of these ingredients in rectified products, special natural wines, or nonbeverage food products pursuant to an approved formula, the use thereof should be discontinued and the ingredients should be eliminated from the formula. The elimination of these ingredients from the formula may be accomplished in accordance with provisions of the applicable regulations.

Manufacturers of nonbeverage products are further advised that it will be considered contrary to public interest to allow drawback of tax on spirits used, in the future, in the manufacture of nonbeverage food products containing safrole, oil of sassafras, dihydrosafrole, or iso-safrole.

Inquiries regarding this circular should refer to its number and be ad- dressed to your assistant regional commissioner, alcohol and tobacco tax.

Dwight Avis

Dwight E. Avis

Director, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Division

GPO 905158

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