Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Thursday, September 17, 2009
The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) to seek additional comments from the public on the conditions under which FSIS should permit the claim “natural” in the labeling of meat and poultry products. After considering the more than 12,000 comments on “natural” submitted in response to a Federal Register notice that the Agency issued on Dec. 5, 2006, and the comments presented at a public meeting held by the FSIS on Dec. 12, 2006, FSIS has decided to solicit additional public input.
FSIS is soliciting further comments on numerous issues. More information is available in 74 Federal Register 46951-46957 (Sept. 14, 2009). Comments are due by Nov. 13, 2009.
Additional reading: Ricardo Carvajal, FSIS Has Second Thoughts On Issuing a Proposed Rule to Define “Natural”.
Monday, September 14, 2009
The NPR Health Blog’s Scott Hensley has an interesting short piece concerning economic adulteration. Restaurants sometimes substitute cheaper fish for more expensive species, like grouper and red snapper. You can read the blog post here. Particularly interesting are the precocious New York high school students who used genetic testing to detect adulteration in the Big Apple’s restaurants and markets. Half the restaurants and six of ten grocery stores had mislabeled fish.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Kristin Choo, wrote a nice article, “Hungry for Change: The feds consider a steady diet of stronger regulation to help fix the U.S. food safety network, for the September 2009 Issue of ABA Journal. She did a fine job summarizing a complex subject. You can read the article here.
Wednesday, September 02, 2009
Advising the Smart Choice program that the agencies will be scrutinizing their front-of-the-pack nutrition label, the August 19 letter noted that consumer research indicates people are less likely to check the Nutrition Facts label on the back or side panel of foods with front-of-pack labeling. Therefore, “it is essential that both the criteria and symbols used in front of package and shelf-labeling systems help consumers make healthy food choices.”
These labels and symbols have proliferated in recent years. FDA and USDA noted that they will, “monitor and evaluate the products as they appear and their effect on consumers' food choices and perceptions.FDA and FSIS would be concerned if any FOP labeling systems used criteria that were not stringent enough to protect consumers against misleading claims; were inconsistent with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans; or had the effect of encouraging consumers to choose highly processed foods and refined grains instead of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.”