Washington, D.C.—Food companies that aren’t certified organic and that have a form of the word “organic” in their name may be scrutinized more closely, following a rule clarification by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The agency released a notice limiting the ways such companies can display the word “organic” on packages, and instructing organic certifiers to enforce the policy.
Denver, CO—Another GMO labeling ballot initiative will be put to a popular vote, thanks to a successful signature campaign in Colorado. Supporters of Proposition 105 to label genetically modified foods gathered almost 125,000 valid signatures, almost 40,000 more than required, and submitted them to the Colorado Secretary of State. Voters will now decide whether they want a GMO labeling law on this year’s Election Day, November 4.
Marlton, NJ—In July, Consumer Reports released an analysis that found the sugar content in Whole Foods Market’s private label Greek yogurt is far higher than the amount listed on the package. Now, lawsuits have been filed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Massachusetts on behalf consumers over the allegedly misleading labels.
Dallas, TX—In a national survey, seniors rated eating healthier as their number one health priority, above such other goals as losing weight, being physically active and taking more vitamins. The United States of Aging survey was conducted in spring 2014, and involved 3,279 individuals answering a range of questions by phone.
Croatia—Rice-based foods, particularly rice drinks and cereals, may present a danger to infants and small children, said a group of doctors in a recent journal publication. Rice, due to its genetic makeup and the methods used to grow it, is thought to absorb arsenic from the environment in amounts higher than other plants.
New York, NY—The Specialty Food Association, based here, has created a foundation with the goal of relieving hunger and improving food recovery efforts. The new Specialty Food Foundation, which has applied for 501(c) 3 non-profit status, will use grants, education and special industry events to pursue its mission.
Montpelier, VT—As it gets set to develop rules concerning genetically modified food (GMO) labeling, Vermont has asked its citizens to weigh in. The state’s Attorney General, William Sorrell, announced preliminary results from the over 2,200 responses to a questionnaire his office issued in June. The survey asked people how they thought the nation’s first mandatory GMO labeling law, which Vermont passed in May, should be implemented.
England—Organic crops and the foods made from them have significantly higher amounts of certain antioxidants, less frequent occurences of pesticide residue and lower levels of a toxic heavy metal than conventionally grown crops, according to the findings of a recent report. The Organic Trade Association (OTA) calls it a landmark study, and one that should settle the debate about the benefits of organic.