Washington, D.C.—Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) has brought back the Local Farms, Food, and Jobs Act, a bill which would help support farmers, increase access to healthy foods for consumers, and provide funding to programs that support local agriculture. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) has introduced in the Senate companion legislation to the House of Representatives bill, which was first introduced in 2011 but not enacted.
Washington, D.C.—When President Obama signed the latest budget appropriations bill at the end of March, ensuring that the government would be funded through the end of fiscal year 2013, section 735 of that bill became law. Many sought to stop this 22-line provision, dubbed the “biotech rider” by opponents, on the grounds that it removes judicial authority over the planting of genetically modified (GM) crops.
Austin, TX—Products containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) as ingredients will require special labeling in all Whole Foods Market stores by 2018, the company announced at Natural Products Expo West. It becomes the first national grocery chain to take such a step.
Spain—It’s time to emphasize all of the olive oil and nut products you have on your shelves. The heart health benefits of these foods, staples of the Mediterranean diet, were on display in a major study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil or tree nuts was shown to reduce the risk of a major cardiovascular event, including heart attack and stroke, by 30%.