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.

Pullman, WA—A recent study conducted at Washington State University shows that whey protein helps lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure in young, pre-hypertension individuals. Often associated with physical fitness and muscle growth, whey protein appears to have additional applications for its effective abatement of hypertension in its early stages.

Staffordshire, U.K.—For the first time, a connection between changes in newborn babies’ DNA, prenatal folic acid supplementation and birth weight has been unearthed by a team of UK scientists.

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