No GMO Frankenfish for this award-winning author
June 2nd, 2011
07:00 AM ET
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Last September's Food and Drug Administration hearings on the introduction of genetically modified salmon into the consumer food system, and issues around labeling the fish as such gave rise to heated debates in Washington and on this very site.

Consumer protection advocates said food should be labeled as such if it derives from a genetically modified organism. AquaBounty - the creator of the "AquAdvantage® Salmon" at the center of the debate, argued that genetically modified salmon should not be required to display additional labeling as it has the same qualities as the non-GMO Atlantic salmon.

Our friends at the newly launched Gilt Taste asked Paul Greenberg, the James Beard Award-winning author of Four Fish, the Future of the Last Wild Food to weigh in on the matter.

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Filed under: Environment • FDA • Fishing • Food Politics • GMO • Ocean • Salmon • Sustainability

ADHD, the FDA and Blue Dye #1
March 31st, 2011
10:30 AM ET
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A Food and Drug Administration advisory committee began weighing evidence Wednesday on whether dye additives in food affects behavior in children. The panel listened to testimony from doctors and scientists who contend that studies, although small in many cases, do show that some kids begin to show signs of hyperactivity once they are exposed to certain dye mixtures.

The question is, should the FDA committee urge the agency to strengthen its regulation of these ingredients?

According to the experts who testified, European companies already are dropping dyes including Blue #1, Yellow #5, Green #3 and others and substituting natural dyes for them. But the United States still allows artificial dyes, mostly for aesthetic reasons, not for taste.

Read Evidence of food dye-ADHD link weak, FDA told

Lunchtime poll – sniffing out food danger
March 25th, 2011
01:45 PM ET
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"We have seen Japanese people in grocery stores paying close attention to where their produce is coming from, and we think this is a wise practice." - World Health Organization spokesman Peter Cordingley

"Most of the food that most Americans are exposed to most of the time is pretty good – and particularly when there is reason to focus on it like this. The regulatory agencies are good about responding to a threat."

"If you think about Japanese imports from a safety point of view, given the fact that there was this bright spotlight of concern because of nuclear radiation, the FDA is going to be very concerned that the food coming in is safe." - Supply chain expert Gene Tanski, CEO of Demand Foresight

It's been an fairly scary year in food, from oil and Corexit threats in seafood and salmonella-tainted eggs to e. coli-related lettuce recalls and radiation-laden water.

The upshot is that food is now more closely scrutinized than at any time in history, and the Food Safety Modernization Act has been signed into law, but is that quieting the butterflies in your stomach?

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Filed under: Buzz • FDA • Food Politics • Health News • Lunchtime Poll • Radiation • S. 510 • Tainted Food

Appetite for Japanese seafood remains undampened
March 24th, 2011
01:00 PM ET
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Fear not, sushi fans - your favorite fish may not be off the menu for long.

Despite early fears from importers of Japanese seafood, once they're back in business, the country's currently imperiled fishing industry may not weather the same tide of consumer suspicion as their counterparts in the Gulf have. In the face of potential contamination from the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, U.S. eaters of Hokkaido shrimp, abalone and freshly-flown-in sashimi are putting their faith in the government - mostly the Japanese government.

Ippei Nakao of Medallion Foods Inc., manning a booth at the recent International Boston Seafood Show said, "Consumers believe Japanese food is safe because Japanese standards are very strict."

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Filed under: Asian • Business and Farming News • Cuisines • FDA • Fishing • Health News • Japan • Japanese • Radiation • Seafood

March 22nd, 2011
09:30 AM ET
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Vendors and importers of Japanese fish at the International Boston Seafood Show weather customers' questions and concerns in the wake of radiation leaks from nuclear power plants in their country.

More on food and radiation

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Filed under: Disaster • Environment • FDA • Fishing • Health News • Japan • Ocean • Radiation • Tainted Food

Gluten-free and well-fed: the sneaky stuff
January 27th, 2011
03:30 PM ET
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Jennie Bragg is an Editorial Producer in CNN’s Money Unit. Previously - Celiac? To heck with that!

When it comes to food - and pretty much everything else in my life - I have always been a creature of habit. This gets me into what I refer to as food ruts; I eat the same thing for breakfast or lunch (or both) for days, weeks, even months at a time, until I wear myself out completely and decide I can’t stand the sight of said food anymore.

Such was the case recently with almonds. I loved them. I couldn’t get enough. I put them on yogurt, oatmeal, salads, and ate ‘em by the heaping handful. Then, out of nowhere, my almond joy vanished.

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Filed under: Dietary Restrictions • FDA • Gluten-free

Obama signs food safety bill
January 5th, 2011
12:01 AM ET
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President Barack Obama on Tuesday signed the most sweeping overhaul of America's food safety system since 1938.

The legislation gives the federal Food and Drug Administration the authority to impose new rules to prevent contamination and allows the agency to order, rather than simply suggest, the recall of tainted foods. It also authorizes the creation of a food tracking system to quickly pinpoint the source of outbreaks.

The legislation requires producers to assess ways in which their products could be contaminated and to take steps to prevent such problems. It also requires importers to verify the safety of all foods they bring into the country.

The result will be a fundamental shift in the FDA's approach to food safety from reacting to foodborne illness outbreaks to preventing contamination in the first place, agency Commissioner Margaret Hamburg said.

Read Obama signs food safety bill on CNN Politics

Get more on S.510 - the Food Safety Modernization Act:

- Food safety bill, thought dead, passes unanimously

- Republicans block food safety bill

- Digest this: the new food safety act (and some very weird rumors)

- Senate approves long-delayed food safety bill

- Advocates: Food safety bill doesn't have teeth

- Food safety bill 'not perfect' but historic

- Op-ed: Jane Velez-Mitchell – Food safety doesn't end with S.510

- Poll: How much control should the federal government be allowed to exercise over food safety?

- S. 510: Food Safety Modernization Act – the basics

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Filed under: FDA • Health News • News • President Obama • Recalls • S. 510 • White House

Food safety bill expected to be signed today
January 4th, 2011
08:00 AM ET
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UPDATE: The bill has now been signed into law by President Obama.

President Barack Obama is expected to sign into law the most-sweeping overhaul of America's food safety system since 1938 after he returns to Washington on Tuesday from a family vacation in Hawaii.

The bill allows for greater governmental regulation of the U.S. food system - recently in the national spotlight for numerous egg and produce recalls.

Among its provisions, the bill gives the federal Food and Drug Administration the authority to issue direct recalls of foods that are suspected to be tainted, rather than relying on individual producers to issue recalls voluntarily.

Currently, the FDA can negotiate with companies, but has no power to enact a mandatory recall.

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Filed under: FDA • Food Politics • News • President Obama • S. 510

19 other vegetables added to parsley-cilantro recall
December 29th, 2010
11:30 AM ET
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A Texas distributor has expanded a recall already involving thousands of cases of produce over fears of salmonella cross-contamination in its processing facility, the company said.

The case is one of two apparently unrelated outbreaks that have sickened nearly 100 people in the United States and Canada.

J&D Produce, Inc. had previously announced the recall of nearly 7,000 cases of cilantro and curly parsley after samples in Quebec, Canada, and Michigan tested positive for the bacteria, the company said Monday.

The "precautionary, voluntary recall" pertains to cilantro and parsley packed between November 30 and December 6, the Edinburg, Texas-based company said in a statement. The produce was processed and branded as Little Bear between those dates can be taken to retailers for a full refund.

The company is also recalling 19 other types of produce that were run on the same packing lines, because the salmonella may have spread to those products as well.

Read the FULL STORY on CNN Health: "Parsley-cilantro recall expanded to include other vegetables"

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Filed under: FDA • Health News • News • Recalls • Tainted Food

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