Washington, D.C.—A controversial provision that critics named the “Monsanto Protection Act” was stopped in its tracks when it was removed from the spending resolution Congress was engrossed with in late September. U.S. Senators Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) successfully pushed to have the item in question, Sec. 735, removed from the Senate version of the bill. The provision was set to expire at the end of September 2013.
A new report on the specialty food market presents a bounty of information on this broad and growing category. The report was based on consumer responses to a variety of survey questions about their buying and other habits. It defined specialty foods as those that are distinctive and of premium quality, often made by small or local manufacturers or having ethnic or exotic flavors.
Washington, D.C.—Over 150 companies and organizations sent a letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack calling for better oversight of the experimental field trials used to test genetically engineered (GE) crops. The action was spurred by the high-profile discovery in May of unapproved GE wheat in an Oregon farmer’s field.
Columbia, MO—As certain types of synthetic nanoparticles have made their way into applications from water treatment to food packaging to pesticides over the past few years, a debate has ensued over the potential for contamination, and the health risks to humans in case it does occur. A recent study at the University of Missouri confirmed the presence of potentially toxic silver nanoparticles in pears and, in doing so, established a viable method for detecting such particles in food.
With the June 2013 expansion of Amazon.com, Inc.’s AmazonFresh program to the Los Angeles market, the resurgent business model of home grocery delivery now seems to be a force with which the food retail world must contend. After fits and starts of success for the idea earlier in the Internet era, many more consumers appear to be interested in having at least some groceries, including organic produce, delivered to their doorstep by Web-based services.
Washington, D.C.—The Natural Products Association (NPA) board of directors recently announced that it has endorsed the Genetically Engineered Food Right-To-Know Act, which mandates that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) require the labeling of genetically modified ingredients to be labeled on foods. NPA is the first natural products industry trade association to back the legislation.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officially set a final standardization for labeling foods as “gluten-free.” Previously, there had been no guidelines concerning what amounts of gluten in a product qualified it as “gluten-free” and thus safe for the 25 million Americans who suffer from celiac disease or gluten-intolerance.
Monrovia, CA—Naked Juice Co., owned by PepsiCo, will be removing the term “all natural” from its fruit and vegetable juice smoothie products, after it chose to settle a class-action lawsuit for $9 million. By claiming its products are all natural and free of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), the lawsuit alleged, the brand was engaged in false advertising.