Category Archives Food and Drug Administration

An FDA administrator has reportedly told a media source that the agency “would object to the use of the term ‘natural’ on a product containing HFCS [high fructose corn syrup].” Food NavigatorUSA.com revealed in an April 2, 2008, article that its reporters had inquired about HFCS using an FDA system designed to assist manufacturers with the labeling process. According to Food Navigator, FDA Supervisor Geraldine June of the Office of Nutrition, Labeling and Dietary Supplements replied in an email that, “The use of synthetic fixing agents in the enzyme preparation, which is then used to produce HFCS, would not be consistent with our (…) policy regarding the use of the term ‘natural.’” “Moreover,” June added, “the corn starch hydrolysate, which is the substrate used in the production of HFCS, may be obtained through the use of safe and suitable acids or enzymes. Depending on the type of acid(s) used to obtain…

This article examines the latest squabble at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Food and Drug Administration over the circumstances under which food products can properly be labeled “natural.” Noting that a number of chicken producers inject their “all natural” birds with salt water and broth, a practice some call fraudulent, journalist Andrew Bridges reports that even Michael Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, finds the issue confusing; he was quoted as saying, “It’s worth bringing in the rabbis to analyze these situations because it’s complicated, it’s subtle. You can argue from both sides. It has fine distinctions.” Petitions, comments and lawsuits have been filed over the matter involving foods ranging from poultry, beef and pork to soft drinks and other products containing high-fructose corn syrup. The final word is given to a Consumers Union scientist and policy analyst who observed, “The ‘natural’ thing…

Senator Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) has introduced a bill (S. 3095) that would amend the federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to “require premarket consultation and approval with respect to genetically engineered foods.” The Genetically Engineered Foods Act, which has been referred to the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, defines genetic engineering as “a transformation event,” i.e., one that involves “the introduction into an organism of genetic material that has been manipulated in vitro,” “to derive food from a plant or animal or to produce an animal.” Any producer of a genetically engineered food would be required to obtain FDA approval before introducing such food into interstate commerce. Such approval would require a determination that the food is (i) safe, (ii) safe under specified conditions of use, or (iii) not safe because the food “contains genes that confer antibiotic resistance,” “contains an allergen,” or “presents 1 or more other safety…

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