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5 Food Additives Banned Outside the US

By Nicole Lewis | July 30, 2013

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Kid's cereals like this are chockfull of artificial color and flavor. (Photo: roboppy)

Kid’s cereals like this are chockfull of artificial color and flavor. (Photo: roboppy)

Ever stopped to read the ingredients list on a processed food item only to stumble over a few big chemically-sounding ingredients with questionable edibility? Sometimes these multi-syllabic ingredients are just the technical names for common and naturally occurring substances. Take “ascorbic acid,” for example, which is more commonly known as Vitamin C. But what about the other ingredients, the ones that sound as if they were created in a lab? Chances are stumbling over an unrecognizable ingredient on food packaging is indication that the ingredient is a food additive. Typically food additives are incorporated into processed foods to help boost flavor, maintain the shelf stability of a product, or to add color, but are some of these additives potentially more harmful than good? Read More

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Controversy Through Association: FDA Deputy Commissioner and His Monsanto History

By admin | March 19, 2012

Photo: Daniel Lobo

Photo: Daniel Lobo

By: Michael Engle

As widely seen during our national campaign time, often times, controversy can arise from previously held professional associations by certain candidates.  A similar debate is arising in Washington, D.C. in regard to food politics, as Stephanie Armour reports for Bloomberg.

Michael Taylor is employed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), where he currently serves as the deputy commissioner for food safety.  Previously, Taylor served as the FDA’s deputy commissioner for policy; however, for 16 months in between his FDA stints, he served as the vice-president of public policy at Monsanto.  Monsanto is a leading name in genetically-modified organism (GMO), or “Franken-food,” production.  This plants Taylor as a lightning rod of controversy, due to the fact that GMO’s are a polarizing subject in modern food politics.

Although GMO’s result in edible food and are beloved by mass producers (Imagine a rice field that will not drown in a monsoon, and keep its yield!), they are criticized for homogenizing the crop gene pool, forcing small-scale farmers out of business, and proliferating auto-immune diseases among humans.  In fact, 1,000 acres of Monsanto-brand GMO corn was discovered and destroyed in Hungary, where GMO’s are banned; Peru also recently voted to ban GMO’s for the next ten years.

The million-dollar question will be answered with due diligence, but it can be worded succinctly: Can Michael Taylor perform his duties to the FDA, and, by proxy, to the American taxpayers, without exhibiting any biases in favor of Monsanto?  Read More

News

FDA’s Food-Labeling Measures Help Reduce Trans-Fat Blood Levels

By Jeannette | February 22, 2012

Photo: Keith McDuffee

Photo: Keith McDuffee

By: Justin Chan

Trans-fat food is known for being notoriously unhealthy, but a recent study reveals that the amount of trans fat found in the American blood level has significantly decreased. According to The Washington Post, trans-fat blood levels have dropped since the Food and Drug Administration mandated food labels to detail the amount of trans fat contained in food products.

Between 2000 and 2008, blood levels of trans fat dropped 58 percent, which suggests that there is now a lower risk for heart disease among Americans. Read More

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Listeria Outbreaks Prompt Support for FDA Budget Increase

By admin | February 15, 2012

Photo: AJ Cann

Photo: AJ Cann

By: Michael Engle

It is often said that “once is an incidence, twice is a coincidence, but thrice is a pattern.”  Last September, the US Food and Drug Administration confirmed a pattern of listeria-laced domestic produce, as the government agency recalled cantaloupes from Colorado’s Jensen Farms.  As a result, these unsafe melons have become the third such case in the last three years, following a November 2010 finding in certain Texas celery, as well as an April 2009 recall of Connecticut sprouts.

In response to these potentially fatal findings, President Barack Obama has lobbied for a 17% increase in the FDA budget, with increased federal spending effective fiscal year 2013.  However, because this plan would be achieved by increasing company fees instead of tax dollars, the FDA has requested an additional $220 million budgetary increase.  These budgetary plans will undoubtedly become contentious among Washington’s Democrats and Republicans. Read More

News

A Toast to the First Ever FDA Approved Hangover Pill

By admin | December 30, 2011

Photo: Spencer E Holtaway

Photo: Spencer E Holtaway

By: Michele Wolfson

This pill really could have come in handy on my spring break in Nassau, Bahamas and my entire semester abroad… and even last Saturday morning. How awesome would it be if alcohol-induced hangovers were a thing of the past? I wouldn’t call myself a lush (especially because my parents read all of my articles), but I will say that this pill may be the answer to some people’s prayers after an evening of indulging on one too many alcoholic beverages.

This over-the-counter remedy called Blowfish is said by scientists to actually work and it is on the market just in time for the holiday season! Instead of bringing a bottle of champagne or even a fancy appetizer to a New Years Eve party, why not bring your host a bottle of hangover curing pills? This medication is specifically made for hangover pain and fatigue and is approved by the FDA. Read More

News

Food Contamination: Reincarnation or Reconditioning?

By admin | November 30, 2011

Photo: stevendepolo

Photo: stevendepolo

By: Saira Malhotra

This month, MSNBC reported on another factory that came under inspection after it supplied schools and a baby food manufacturer with repackaged apple sauce laced with potentially hazardous mold. Snokist Growers of Yakina Washington received a written warning from the FDA which threw its food safety measures in doubt after it continued to use molded apples in it’s canned products.

Snokist is no stranger to being under the watchful of eye of interrogation as they were in a similar place back in June of this year when 9 children fell sick after eating apple sauce. Read More

News

New FDA Labels To Promote Healthy Food

By admin | October 25, 2011

Photo: Bruce A Stockwell

Photo: Bruce A Stockwell

By: Michele Wolfson

A new report says that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) wants to implement a rating symbol on the front of food products in hopes that it will help multi-tasking shoppers purchase healthy foods. We live in a culture where the American buyer is very busy and few stop to read fine print in the middle of the grocery aisle. The Food and Drug Administration states that they will not be replacing the detailed Nutrition Facts panel that’s now on the back or side of food packages. Rather, labels will become clearer so that consumers can compare products and give them a fast way to make healthier choices. Read More

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FDA To Introduce Official “Gluten-Free” Labeling

By admin | August 18, 2011

Photo: johnheppolette

Photo: johnheppolette

For quite some time, anyone with celiac disease or avoiding gluten had a difficult time eating. There were few foods that satisfied gluten-free requirements and tasted good. But recently, more and more manufacturers have been producing better tasting, gluten-free foods for a growing customer base. However, so far there has been no official regulation system to categorize what is or isn’t gluten-free-manufacturers could theoretically apply that label to whatever they wanted. Read More

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