Saturday, September 24, 2011

FDA Law Blog: New Twist In “Natural” Lawsuit

FDA Law Blog: New Twist In “Natural” Lawsuit by RiĆ«tte van Laack reports on another class action suit regarding “natural” food labeling claims. The defendants include Kashi Co. and its general manager, as well as Kashi’s parent Kellogg Co. and its President. "Plaintiffs claim defendants falsely and misleadingly labeled virtually all Kashi products as 'all natural' or containing nothing artificial even though the products allegedly do not conform to applicable federal regulations and policies on 'natural.'”

Neal Fortin is the author of Food Regulation: Law, Science, Policy, and Practice, and he is Professor and Director of the Michigan State University Institute for Food Laws and Regulations, where he teaches online courses in Food Regulation in the United States, International Food Law, and Codex Alimentarius

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Nutrition Labeling of Single-Ingredient Meats Coming January 1

The USDA Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) published a final rule that will required nutritional labeling on major cuts of single-ingredient raw meat and poultry products and on all ground or chopped meat and poultry products (unless an exemption applies). The rule also establishes criteria for making a lean percentage statement. The new rule takes effect on January 1, 2012. FSIS has published an informational Web site that includes the final rule, questions and answers, and a PowerPoint presentation. 

Public Health Law Research Annual Meeting

Public Health Law Research is holding the 2012 Public Health Law Research Annual Meeting, "Public Health Law: Targets of Opportunity," January 18-20, 2012, in New Orleans. The conference will highlight research that provides evidence about how law can be used to improve population health; abstracts are being accepted until November 15, 2011.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

USDA Declaring Six Serotypes of E. coli as Adulterants

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today is declaring six other serogroups of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) (O26, O45, O103, O111, O121, and O145). The Agency has determined that they, as well as O157:H7, are adulterants of non-intact raw beef products and product components within the meaning of the Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA).

Beginning in March 2012, any raw ground beef, its components, and tenderized steaks that test positive for non-O157:H7 Shiga-toxin producing E.coli strains O26, O103, O45, O111, O121 and O145 will be banned from being sold for public consumption.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identified these particular serogroups of non-O157:H7 Shiga-toxin producing E.coli, or non-O157 STEC, as those responsible for the greatest numbers of non-O157 STEC illnesses, hospitalizations, and deaths in the United States.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Lessons From Europe in the E. Coli Outbreak

Perhaps we have focused too much on traceability and should put more resources into epidemiology. Perhaps the imbalance is resources to traceability is because it provides concrete results that can immediately be demonstrated and showcased. In addition, large businesses already invested in traceback ability. Traceability is important, but traceability matters little if the epidemiology is incorrect or incomplete.

Jim Prevor wrote, "People are dropping dead from eating food and we are too cowardly to suggest irradiation. This is bizarre. The failure of public health authorities to demand the use of irradiation is evidence of a politically influenced establishment that is not, in fact, putting public health first."  

Of course, public resistance to the technology is also a reason for underutilization of irradiation. However, there is no doubt that irradiation of produce that is eaten raw could save many lives. For more information on this topic, visit the NPR website Irradiation Underused To Fight E. Coli in Foods

Friday, September 09, 2011

Proposed Foodborne Illness Reduction Act of 2011 (S. 1529)

Senator Gillibrand introduced bill S.1529 in the U.S. Senate yesterday. The bill is titled as the "Foodborne Illness Reduction Act of 2011''.

Extension of Comment Period on FDA's Guidance for NDI Notifications

Today FDA published in the Federal Register a notice granting a 60-day extension (until December 2, 2011) for comments on the FDA's draft guidance on New Dietary Ingredient ("NDI") notifications, which the Agency issued on July 5, 2011. More information is available here.