News and notes from industry suppliers.

GMOs

Global ID Group, a co-founder of the Non-GMO Project and technical administrator of the group, launched a new initiative at Expo West.

One would think that most consumers don’t give Mother Earth a second thought as they go about their shopping. So from that point of view, the following statistics are surprising. 71% of consumers say they at least sometimes consider the environment when they shop. Over one in four say they regularly or always keep it in mind (1). Now, there’s a difference between thinking green and actually going green, but it’s reassuring to know the vast majority of people are aware that they can vote for the environment with their dollars, and improve the ecology of their daily lives as well.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released a report on genetically engineered crop use in the United States, in which it cited consumer concern over genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and acknowledged the existence of certain risks to the environment. In a separate survey, many farmers claimed they’ve detected GMO contamination in their non-GMO crops.

­­News from industry food companies.

Finland—Including more fatty fish in the diet is an important means of positively influencing cholesterol levels, says new research out of the University of Eastern Finland (UEF). The study, published in PLOS ONE, shows people who increased their fatty fish intake to at least three to four weekly meals had more large HDL particles in their blood than those who ate less fish.

Kansas City, MO—Add Popchips, Inc. to the growing list of food companies that have settled class action lawsuits over the use of the terms “natural” or “all natural” in marketing. A proposed settlement has the brand set to fork over $2.4 million to a class action fund, after a lawsuit alleged its use of “all natural” in marketing and on packaging is misleading to consumers.

Palm oil is ubiquitous at the supermarket today, as it’s found in everything from margarine to cereal to potato chips. Palm oil imports have ramped up 485% over the last decade or so, according to the Rainforest Action Network’s palm oil factsheet. The consequence of this increased production is rampant rainforest destruction, and yet this issue may only be reaching the fringes of general consumer awareness.

Jarrow L. Rogovin, president of dietary supplements manufacturer Jarrow Formulas, Inc., based in Los Angeles, CA, is seeking answers about some recent practices at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).