The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced a new requirement for certifying agencies under the National Organic Program (NOP). Agencies must now annually test for non-organic residue in samples from at least 5% of the organic farms and processors they certify. The requirement went into effect on January 1, 2013.
Melville, NY—Premier Foods, one of the largest food producers in the United Kingdom, has sold several of its packaged grocery brands to The Hain Celestial Group, Inc. The brands acquired, all belonging to the Histon Sweet Spreads business, are home to such products as peanut butter, honey, jams, fruit, jelly, marmalade and chocolate. The Histon manufacturing facility in Cambridgeshire, UK was also included in the transaction.
New data paint a picture of non-GMO as a sales trend to stay on top of. Non-GMO Project Verified products have racked up $2.4 billion in sales in the last 52 weeks, for an increase of 66% over last year, according to SPINS. With California Prop 37 to label GMOs in the headlines and increased participation by retailers in Non-GMO Month in October, consumer awareness is at an all-time high.
Elk Grove Village, IL—The advantages of an organic diet are convincing, according to a new clinical report published in Pediatrics by members of the Committee on Nutrition and the Council on Environmental Health of the American Academy of Pediatrics, based here.
Columbus, OH—The famous phrase about apples and the doctor may actually be true, at least when it comes to their concern over our cholesterol. A new study conducted at Ohio State University and published in the Journal of Functional Foods reveals that consuming one apple per day for four weeks was apparently enough to reduce levels of LDL cholesterol by 40%.
Washington, D.C.—Two new sets of research, one from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and another from Consumer Reports, indicate levels of arsenic, a known carcinogen, in some rice and rice products grown in the United States that exceed five parts per billion (ppb). The five ppb safe exposure standard for arsenic in food has been proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency, and is the level required for drinking water in New Jersey, the strictest in the nation.
Washington, D.C.—Two of the major forces in the organic agriculture and products industry will now merge together under one roof. The Organic Trade Association (OTA) will assume administrative responsibilities for The Organic Center, which will move its headquarters here from Boulder, CO. The Organic Center has traditionally been a scientific voice for the merits of organic agriculture, while the OTA serves its members by advocating for the values, benefits and regulatory standing of organic products in the media and in government.