February 27th, 2014
12:15 AM ET
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Choosing healthier foods at the grocery store may soon be a little easier.

The Food and Drug Administration is proposing several changes to the nutrition labels you see on packaged foods and beverages. If approved, the new labels would place a bigger emphasis on total calories, added sugars and certain nutrients, such as Vitamin D and potassium.

The FDA is also proposing changes to serving size requirements in an effort to more accurately reflect what people usually eat or drink. For example, if you buy a 20-ounce soda, you're probably not going to stop drinking at the 8-ounce mark. The new rules would require that entire soda bottle to be one serving size - making calorie counting simpler.
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A call for GMO labeling
February 3rd, 2014
06:00 PM ET
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Editor's note: David Schubert is professor at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies.

Most people like to know what they are eating. However, labeling for genetically modified organisms is not required in any state. This is largely because of the money expended by GM seed producers toward blocking food-labeling laws.

A common claim made by this group is that GM foods have been proved safe to eat and that there is a global scientific consensus to support this statement; therefore, no labeling is needed.

However, an examination of the scientific data, along with discussions on this topic in other countries, show that both claims are blatantly false. What is the evidence that some GM foods are hazardous to human health and that consumers should be able to make a choice based upon this information?
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Filed under: GMO • Labels


January 24th, 2014
06:30 PM ET
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Choosing healthier snacks may soon be easier.

The Food and Drug Administration says that updating nutrition labels is a priority this year, although it's unclear when the labels will change.

The labels have remained pretty much the same for decades. It wasn't until the late 1960s that most food labels listed any nutrition information at all.
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November 7th, 2013
01:15 PM ET
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Know what tastes great? Real butter and real lard. Know what isn't packed with trans fat? Real butter and real lard.

Schmaltz isn't either, nor are nut oils, suet and other naturally tasty fats that have gotten a bad rap over the years. So how about a grand return now that trans fat may be getting the heave-ho from the American menu?
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November 7th, 2013
11:30 AM ET
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So long, frozen pizza: Trans fat in foods may eventually become a thing of the past.

The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday took a first step toward potentially eliminating most trans fat from the food supply, saying it has made a preliminary determination that a major source of trans fats - partially hydrogenated oils - is no longer "generally recognized as safe."
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Filed under: Health News • Labels • Trans Fat


FDA sets 'gluten-free' labeling standards
August 2nd, 2013
10:30 AM ET
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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration set a final standard on Friday to clearly define what the term "gluten-free" means on food labels.

The new regulation is targeted to help the estimated 3 million Americans who have celiac disease, a chronic inflammatory auto-immune disorder that can affect the lining of the small intestine when gluten is consumed. Gluten is a protein composite found in wheat, rye, barley and crossbreeds of these grassy grains.

“Adherence to a gluten-free diet is the key to treating celiac disease, which can be very disruptive to everyday life,” said FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg, in the release. “The FDA’s new ‘gluten-free’ definition will help people with this condition make food choices with confidence and allow them to better manage their health."
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Filed under: Dietary Restrictions • FDA • Food Politics • Gluten-free • Labels


USDA approves voluntary GMO-free label
June 25th, 2013
12:00 PM ET
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The USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) recently approved a label for meat and liquid egg products that would inform consumers about whether the product contains genetically modified ingredients. The approval marks the first time the department has approved a non-GMO label from a third party.

The verification seal comes from the Non-GMO Project, a non-profit organization “committed to preserving and building sources of non-GMO products, educating consumers and providing verified non-GMO choices.” The seal allows consumers to know if the animal product they’re about to consume was fed genetically engineered crops like soy, corn and alfalfa. (The FDA has not approved any genetically modified animals for the food supply, but some animals do eat GMO feed.)

Genetically modified foods were approved for human consumption in the United States in 1995, but the FDA never required them to be labeled as such.
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Filed under: Food Politics • GMO • Labels • News


New labeling system may minimize meat mystery
April 4th, 2013
01:15 PM ET
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Find yourself befuddled at the butcher counter by terms like "top loin chop" and "pork rump"? A new consumer-friendly universal meat labeling system is about to help cut through the confusion.

Two of the country's largest meat councils, the National Pork Board and the Beef Checkoff Program, have unanimously agreed to implement a more uniform and descriptive labeling system for commercially-sold cuts. The revised Uniform Retail Meat Identification Standards or URMIS was developed in conjunction with the with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Marketing Service and Food Safety Inspection Service, and introduces a new common name standard designed to help consumers make more informed shopping decisions.

The system, which will apply to 350 cuts of beef and pork (with lamb and veal to join later) introduces a label that includes:
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Clarified: How is genetically modified food labeled?
September 21st, 2010
04:00 PM ET
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In cooking, the process of clarification entails straining out extraneous muck from liquids so that they might be pure, clear and ideal for consumption. With this series on food terminology we're attempting to do the same.

If you pay attention to food labels, you might have to read between the lines when it comes to genetically engineered ingredients.

When Eatocracy polled readers yesterday if they would eat genetically modified salmon, approximately 45.1 percent of respondents answered: “not on your life.”

The irony of the results is that, according to the Center for Food Safety, it has been estimated that 70 to 75 percent of processed foods in supermarkets contain genetically engineered ingredients - they just aren’t required by the Food and Drug Administration to be labeled as such.
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Filed under: Bite • Clarified • Culture • FDA • Food Politics • GMO • Labels • News


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