Thursday, January 25, 2007

Clones overdue on the menu

Clones overdue on the menu
by Henry I. Miller (fellow at the Hoover Institution)

The FDA’s preliminary decision last week to permit the consumption of food from cloned animals is a good one. If anything, it’s long overdue, because scientists have known for years that the clones are indistinguishable genetically, biochemically and nutritionally from the parent. As one farmer who owns a pair of clones of a prize¯winning Holstein cow observed, they are essentially twins of “a cow that was already in production.”

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

European Union Food Law Update By Nicole Coutrelis (June 2006)

European Union Food Law Update By Nicole Coutrelis (June 2006). Originally published in the Journal of Food Law & Policy 2 J. FOOD L. & POL�Y 493 (2006)

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Are the States Preempted from Banning Trans Fat?

Are the States Preempted from Banning Trans Fat?

The states are clearly preempted on the labeling requirements for trans fat. The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA) expressly preempts state requirements on labeling that are not the same as the federal requirements.

The states are also preempted from banning trans fat from ALL foods because that would interfere with interstate commerce. That is, a state cannot be the Crisco Cop and stop the shipment of trans fat into the state, when FDA has approved trans fat. In addition, a ban on trans fat from all food would be a direct conflict with federal law, which approves foods that contain trans fat. Basically, a state cannot stop the manufacturing, transportation, or distribution of foods containing trans fat.

In the case of New York City, however, the city was clever enough to claim that they are not regulating commerce, but only regulating food preparation at the point of consumption. This is an area that the FDCA never mentions. The NYC trans-fat ban may be preempted, but NYC has raised a colorable argument. In addition, the courts have traditionally been sympathetic to any law that protects the health or safety of the citizens—which, after all, is a traditional power left to the states. FDA authority to regulate food is based on the Commerce Clause, not the power to regulate food safety.

By the way, the National Restaurant Association (NRA) has threatened legal action to overturn trans fat bans, but so far nothing has come of it. The NRA probably don't want the bad publicity of being the identified as the supporter of killer fat. Here is NRA's site for trans fat legislation around the United States

What is Natural?

Some links on "natural" claims:

Kraft Florida lawsuit information re: Capri Sun "natural" claim

Wikipedia article (High Fructose Corn Syrup):

USDA Public Meeting Notice - Product Labeling: Definition of the term "Natural" (Dec. 12, 2006):

USDA/FSIS Public Meeting on the Definition of the term "Natural" summary information:

Monday, January 08, 2007

FDA Proposes Osteoporosis Health Claim for Calcium, Vitamin D

FDA Proposes Osteoporosis Health Claim for Calcium, Vitamin D

FDA is proposing a rule that would allow new health claims indicating the potential for foods and dietary supplements containing calcium and vitamin D to reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Adding vitamin D to the proposed claim updates an existing approved health claim showing the relationship between calcium intake and osteoporosis.