Thursday, May 06, 2010

Food Inc. and Commentary

Check out Susan Schneider's posting over at the Agricultural Law blog: Food Inc. and Commentary

GAO Reports about FDA Strengthening Oversight of Imported Food

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) today released the following testimony, "Food Safety: FDA Could Strengthen Oversight of Imported Food by Improving Enforcement and Seeking Additional Authorities.” GAO-10-699T, May 6 available at:

Highlights -

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Salk Cures Disease, Salt Cures Ham

Stephen Colbert takes on salt with guests from the Salt Institute and Center for Science in the Public Interest:
The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
FDA Salt Regulation - Lori Roman & Michael Jacobson
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorFox News

Spend on science not marketing for a positive health claim

Companies should put more money into studies to substantiate the science of health claims, even if that means spending less on marketing, said a member of EFSA’s evaluating panel.

“Obviously science costs money. Marketing costs money, too, and there are quite a few companies where the marketing budget is larger than the scientific budget. And perhaps that is not always such a good idea,” said Henk van Loveren, professor of immunotoxicology at the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) and a member of European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA).

“If you want to do science and if you want to have a scientific basis for a claim, then you need to have the data, and it costs money if you want to do the studies,” he added.
Read the rest of the story here.

US GMO Labeling Position at Codex Could Pose Problem

“More than 80 food processing, farming and consumer organizations have called on officials to revise the US position on draft Codex food labeling guidance, saying it could cause problems for labeling food as GM-free,” notes Caroline Scott-Thomas in

The Codex Committee on Food Labeling (CCFL) is due to meet in Quebec City from May 3-7.  In a draft document, Codex proposes to allow countries to adopt different positions for labeling of genetically modified (GM) foods. But the United States’ position, drafted by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Department of Agriculture (USDA), opposes this, stating that Codex should not “suggest or imply that GM/GE foods are in any way different from other foods” by allowing countries the option of mandatory labeling. The position is due to be presented at the CCFL meeting next month.

The Codex Alimentarius Committee is a United Nations organization that sets food safety and labeling standards, which are those used in settling World Trade Organization disputes.

The letter is available here.