Washington, D.C.—The Non-GMO Project Verified label, which has become more pervasive in recent months, has been approved for meat and liquid egg products by the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), a branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). It becomes the first non-genetically modified organism (non-GMO) label claim to be approved by USDA.

News  from industry food companies.

Patna, India—The deaths of at least 22 schoolchildren in a rural Indian village were found by autopsies to be caused by toxic pesticide residue on a midday meal they were served, the Associated Press reported.

The 59th Summer Fancy Food Show, touted by organizers as presenting 180,000 specialty foods and beverages from 2,400 exhibitors hailing from over 80 countries, took place June 30-July 2, 2013, at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Manhattan. The show, hosted by the Specialty Food Association, moved back to New York City after being held in Washington, D.C., in recent years.

Sprouting up in neighborhoods across eight different states and counting, a relatively young chain of grocery stores trades on a decidedly old-time look and feel. “When you walk into a Sprouts Farmers Market, it’s supposed to feel a little bit different than your everyday grocery store,” says communications manager Lauren Rosenblum. With fresh produce and wholesome grains sold from wooden crates and barrels, and spacious aisles all brightly lit to evoke the feel of a sunny afternoon outdoors, the store makes quite the impression on first-time shoppers. There are a lot of those lately, as the chain expands rapidly and grand openings generate excitement in new markets.

WhiteWave Food’s Silk brand has two new products: Silk Fruity & Creamy Yogurt and Iced Lattes. The yogurt comes in soy- and almond varieties that includes active cultures, protein, calcium and vitamin D. The dairy-free RTD Lattes are a blend of Silk soymilk and espresso and come in vanilla and mocha flavors. No artificial sweeteners, colors or flavors.

Shelton’s Poultry has made available Chick-A-Dee’s fresh or frozen, uncured chicken franks. The franks are made from chickens raised without antibiotics and fed entirely vegetarian diets, without added nitrates. They are gluten-free, have a 60-day shelf life, and can be steamed or grilled with a mild smoky flavor when cooked.

Vegan Gourmet Shreds by Follow Your Heart is an alternative to traditional shredded cheeses. The vegan shreds are available in three gluten-, lactose- and soy-free flavors: Mozzarella, Cheddar and Fiesta Blend. Each package is 100% vegan with no trans-fat, preservatives or GMOs, and melts well.

Healthy foods should all be functional to a certain extent; fatty fish deliver omega-3s and oranges are packed with vitamin C. So, what makes certain products “functional foods,” and how are your shoppers shaping the functional foods and beverages market?