The Codex Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses (CCNFSDU) just finished a week-long (December 3–7) meeting in Bad Soden, a small German city near Frankfurt am Main. Nearly 300 delegates were in attendance, composed of government functionaries and international non-governmental organization (INGO) representatives. So, for one week, the assembled delegates—including the INGO delegation of the National Health Federation (NHF)—met, discussed and debated a wide number of food and food-supplement issues, including the controversial draft Nutrient Reference Values (NRVs) for vitamins and minerals.
We left off in Part One with this: “The facilitated session ended, as had all of the others, with no consensus on ractopamine. But, as it turned out, finding consensus on ractopamine at this meeting had never been in the game plan for the pro-ractopamine forces.”
It sounded like doom. After having taken a vote by secret ballot on July 5th, the Chairman of the Codex Alimentarius Commission, Mr. Sanjay Dave, solemnly announced the results of the voting on whether or not ractopamine1 standards were adopted. Out of 143 ballots cast, the vote was 69 for ractopamine, 67 against ractopamine, with seven abstaining. If only one vote had shifted from the “for” camp to the “against” camp, then the result would have been completely different and the ractopamine standard would have been defeated.
The decision of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not been officially announced as of this column’s writing, but Senate staff confirms that, on June 19th, Senators Tom Harkin and Orrin Hatch were informed in a personal meeting with FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg and Deputy Commissioner Mike Taylor that a revision of the FDA’s Draft Guidance for Industry: Dietary Supplements: New Dietary Ingredient Notifications and Related Issues may be attempted in the future.
There were 20 of them, cute and innocent as could be. The farmer raised his shotgun and pumped one shot after another into each one of them, killing every last piglet, and their mothers too. This was heart-wrenching for the farmer, but he knew he had no choice since the State of Michigan was about to descend upon him with a SWAT-style team intending to arrest him as a felon if any of his pigs were found alive on his property. His crime? Harboring an animal that the State had designated as an “invasive species”. And this farmer’s tragedy was not the only one to play out in the State; there were thousands of others facing similar dilemmas.
Not too long ago, I was at the Clark’s Nutrition store in Palm Desert, CA. Well-stocked and so clean you could eat off of the floor, this store had another equally impressive side to it that caught my eye: a Value Added Information Center. Not only could you buy what you needed for your body, but you could also get what you needed to nourish your mind.
It would take at least a slim volume to provide you with all of the necessary nuances of preparing your own trademark application. An article can hardly do it justice, so if you want to protect your trademark and feel uncomfortable about doing it yourself, consult with an attorney qualified in trademark matters and have that attorney prepare and file your application. If, on the other hand, you want to protect a trademark you created through a Federal trademark registration (valid in all 50 states and territories), and feel that you could handle an online form, then, here is your brief guide.
What started out as just an idea has now become reality. When I first heard in early July that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had just released its Draft Guidance for Industry: Dietary Supplements: New Dietary Ingredient Notifications and Related Issues, almost my first thought was that the watershed date of October 15, 1994, set in the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA)—which defines as “new” any dietary ingredients introduced into the marketplace after that date and requires their notification to the FDA before sale—had to be changed.
Everyone with even an ounce of common sense has grave concerns about the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s “Draft Guidance for Industry: Dietary Supplements: New Dietary Ingredient Notifications and Related Issues,” which was released last July. This Agency sprang this trap on both industry and consumers without seeking any prior input from us at all. It had almost 17 years to seek our opinion before coming out with this document, and then decided to give us a miserly 90 days to respond with our comments, which period was just extended by an additional two months. Why should we be concerned about this document?
After some 18 years and seemingly interminable debates between two sharply divided camps, the Codex Committee on Food Labelling (CCFL), at its 39th session held in Quebec City, Canada, the week of May 9–13, 2011, finally reached a consensus on a watered-down labeling guideline for genetically modified organism (GMO) foods.