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%.
Washington, D.C.—A pair of proposed rules has been introduced by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), both of which are aimed at the prevention of foodborne illness. One requires a formal plan from foreign and domestic food facilities for protecting their products from foodborne illnesses. The other involves enforceable, science- and risk-based standards for the safe production and harvesting of fruits and vegetables.
University Place, WA—In the aftermath of the defeat of California’s Proposition 37, activists in the state of Washington are close to placing another genetically modified organism (GMO) labeling measure on a ballot. I-522, “The People’s Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act,” was submitted to state officials with 350,000 signatures from potential voters on January 3.
A victim of budget cuts, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Microbiological Data Program, which since 2001 has analyzed samples of select fruits and vegetables for foodborne pathogens, closed down its operations at the beginning of 2013.
Auckland, New Zealand—Maybe that ban on large sodas implemented in New York City isn’t necessary; just tax them, and people will buy them less. So says a new paper published in PLoS Medicine, which also found that making healthy foods like fruit cheaper will increase their intake among consumers.