gourmet foods

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.

monsanto

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.

diabetes whole grains

Omaha, NE—The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) informed ConAgra Foods, Inc. that it will allow a qualified health claim linking whole grains with reduced risk of type-2 diabetes. The decision comes after the company petitioned the agency in 2012 to use a similar claim in its own wording. The new allowable health claim wording is very cautious, however, and FDA will assess on an individual basis whether any instances of the claim on food packaging are misleading to consumers.

CRN conference

Park City, UT—President and CEO of the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) Steven Mister delivered a State of the Industry Address at the Council’s 40th annual conference, located here, on Sept. 19.

popular supplements

Washington, D.C.—The 2013 Consumer Survey on Dietary Supplements conducted by the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) reports that two-thirds of U.S. adults take dietary supplements. In addition, 85% of adults are confident in the safety, quality of effectiveness of supplements.

food labeling

Washington, D.C.—A new bill has been proposed that would amend the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act to strengthen requirements for nutritional information on food labels. The bill, entitled the “Food Labeling Modernization Act of 2013,” was sponsored by Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ).

npa awards

Baltimore, MD—At its annual business meeting held during Expo East, the Natural Products Association (NPA) announced that its recommendation to change its membership criteria was voted down. Failing by 11 votes, the change would have allowed for new retailer members that do not have a self-contained store or have less than 75% of their sales coming from natural products to qualify for membership.

The American Botanical Council (ABC) is celebrating its 25th year as a leading non-profit educational and research organization in the medicinal herb field. Its mission from the beginning has been rooted in education and helping the public, educators, health practitioners, researchers and the media develop informed opinions about herbal medicine while providing science-based data to back up their claims.

News and notes from industry suppliers.