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.”

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.

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.

Brattleboro, VT—A jointly sponsored study by the Organic Trade Association (OTA) and KIWI magazine found that U.S. families are enjoying organic food in greater quantities and in a broader range of categories. Some 41% of parents reported buying more organic food than in the previous year, and over three-quarters of U.S. households were found to use some organic products.

Chico, CA—Natural fruit beverage manufacturer R.W. Knudsen will commemorate its 50th anniversary in business with consumer promotions throughout the year.

News from industry food companies.

A federal judge has deemed the continued planting of genetically modified (GM) sugar beets, supplied solely by Monsanto, to be in violation of a previous court order, and ruled that the current GM crop should be plowed under. U.S. District Court Judge Jeffrey White of San Francisco ruled that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) had permitted Monsanto to plant the beets despite a previous ruling by him requiring that USDA complete an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the beets before planting.

Rockville, MD—The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is proposing to amend the regulation of health claims on food labels.  In 2000, Unilever submitted a petition to the FDA requesting permission to label products containing phytosterols as beneficial for cardiovascular health.  Now, in 2010, the FDA is finally making a proposal to amend to regulation of this particular food additive and allow manufacturers to make disease-related claims on product packaging. 

SOHO NPA

Orlando, FL—The 2010 SOHO Expo, celebrating 39 years, was held during the first weekend of December.