Hauppauge, NY—Thanks to Suffolk County lawmakers, popular energy drinks, like Red Bull and Monster, may no longer be easy for Long Island teens to get their hands on. Three bills were approved on March 19, and are now awaiting County Executive Steve Bellone to sign them into law. They included prohibiting the sale of energy drinks to minors at parks and beaches; stopping the mailing of energy drinks coupons and samples to minors; and initiating a public awareness campaign about the possible health effects of energy drinks.
Washington, D.C.—In mid-March, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report regarding the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) regulation of adverse event reports (AERs) when it comes to dietary supplements. This report was developed at the request of Representative Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL). At their prodding, GAO examined the number and source of AERs FDA received since 2008; any actions FDA took to make sure companies complied with AER requirements; and what FDA has done to follow up on GAO’s 2009 recommendations for enhancing its oversight of dietary supplements.
Washington, D.C.—A set of policy principles regarding the labeling of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in food was released by the Natural Products Association (NPA) on March 19. The core of the position is a call for the issue of GMO labeling to be addressed at the federal level, and an affirmation of the consumer’s right to know what is in their food. The move coincided with the association’s annual group lobbying effort, Natural Products Day, allowing NPA members to speak with one voice on GMOs and labeling in their meetings on Capitol Hill.
Austin, TX—Products containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) as ingredients will require special labeling in all Whole Foods Market stores by 2018, the company announced at Natural Products Expo West. It becomes the first national grocery chain to take such a step.
Washington, D.C.—It is well known that calcium and vitamin D are essential to bone health, with more than 1,000 published studies confirming this effect. So, it came as a surprise in late February when the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) advised postmenopausal women against the use of calcium (1,000 mg) and vitamin D (400 IU) supplements to prevent fractures.