At the April 26–29 meeting of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) in Seattle, WA, committee members planned to consider various proposals that would have a major impact on how the National Organic Program is run. One proposal that could prove contentious is for the allowance of synthetic materials in organic products, without prior safety review by FDA or approval by USDA.
Austin, TX—Whole Foods Market Inc. will now feature animal welfare ratings on meat products in all of its stores. The rating system, created by the nonprofit Global Animal Partnership (GAP), is designed to let shoppers learn more about how animals are treated by a manufacturer.
A genetically modified (GM) strain of alfalfa, engineered to survive the application of Roundup herbicide, has been fully deregulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). In a separate move one week later, USDA allowed farmers to plant GM sugar beets while it finishes working on an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for that crop.
Packaging for many ground or chopped meat and poultry products will now feature nutrition facts panels, according to a new rule established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Forty of the most common cuts of meat, as well as whole, raw meat and poultry products will be required to present this information on a label, or have the nutrition facts available at the point-of-purchase. The rule is to become effective on Jan. 1, 2012.
Washington, D.C.—The Food Safety Modernization Act, since WholeFoods last updated its status in January, has been signed into law by President Barack Obama. But, the new year has brought some challenges to the implementation of the new law’s measures. The Act, which broadens the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) power to regulate food safety, has an uncertain future in terms of funding.
New York, NY—The United Nations (UN) Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has further increased existing concern over world food supply and prices by announcing alarming predictions for the near future. FAO chief economist Abdolreza Abbassian summarized the situation in a widely-circulated statement, saying ,“We are entering danger territory.”