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Period: January 15, 2011 to January 22, 2011
Comment & Opinion or Companies, Organizations or Consumers or Controversies & Disputes or Deals, M&A, JVs, Licensing or Earnings Release or Finance, Economics, Tax or Innovation & New Ideas or Legal, Legislation, Regulation, Policy or Market News or Marketing & Advertising or Other or People & Personalities or Press Release or Products & Brands or Research, Studies, Advice or Supply Chain or Trends
Legal, Legislation, Regulation, Policy  

U.K.’s FSA May Approve Register Of Nanofoods

The U.K. agency charged with evaluating novel foods for marketing may soon approve a national register of  nanofoods. The Food Standards Agency’s (FSA) food nanotechnology discussion group, created by an ad hoc House of Lords committee, comprises representatives from FSA, academia, industry, other government departments and consumer groups. Its goal is to help FSA implement recommendations from a House of Lords nanotechnologies report. On the agenda of the first meeting on January 13 were current findings of food industry nanotechnology research, and a suggestion to set up a U.K. register of nanofoods. FSA stressed that it will not assess the safety of nanotechnology in the food chain. But it is obliged to assess the food safety implications of a company’s application to market nanotechnology food.

"Nanofoods Discussion Group Gears Up in UK", Food Safety News, January 13, 2011

Czech Republic, Other EU Countries Push For Country-Of-Origin Labeling

The Czech Republic has called on the European Commission to enact legislation requiring food labeling to include country-of-origin information, claiming the dioxin-in-food scandal in Germany highlights the need for such disclosure in order to ensure food safety. The scandal, which stems from the discovery in December 2010 of dioxin in poultry, eggs, and pork from Germany forced German authorities to cull thousands of livestock. Some countries have temporarily banned the importation of eggs and poultry from Germany until they get assurance that food supplies from the country are free of dioxin, which is a cancer-causing agent.

"Czechs Seek EU-Wide Food Labeling", Wall Street Journal, January 11, 2011

Research, Studies, Advice  

Transgenic Chickens Could Stop Spread Of Bird Flu Outbreaks

British scientists have developed genetically modified chickens that are incapable of transmitting avian influenza virus to other chickens in a flock, an advance that could stop the spread of bird flu outbreaks. It would also reduce the risk of bird flu epidemics becoming new flu epidemics among humans. To produce the transgenic chickens, the scientists introduced a new gene that manufactures a "decoy" molecule that mimics a key control element of the flu virus, thus tricking the replication mechanism of the virus into recognizing the decoy instead of the viral genome. This process interrupts the replication cycle of the virus. The transgenic chickens who were infected with avian flu became sick, but did not transmit the infection to chickens kept in the same pen, researchers noted.

"Suppression of Avian Influenza Transmission in Genetically Modified Chickens", Science, January 13, 2011

Antioxidants Linked To Fertility Problems In Female Mice

Antioxidants like vitamins C and E have an unexpected negative side effect, according to Israeli researchers: they may cause fertility problems in females. Antioxidant supplements are widely available over the counter and are added to food, drink, and face cream, despite the fact that little is known about how they act in the body. Antioxidants eliminate cell-damaging molecules called reactive oxygen species produced naturally in the body and in large amounts at times of stress. But when researchers applied antioxidants to the ovaries of female mice, ovulation levels dropped dramatically: very few eggs were released from the ovaries to reach the site of fertilization, compared to those in untreated ovaries. The reason for the phenomenon? Ovulation relies on the “harmful” substances destroyed by antioxidants: reactive oxygen species.

"Reactive oxygen species are indispensable in ovulation", Proceedings of the National Academy Of Science, January 10, 2011

Reactive oxygen species are indispensable in ovulation

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, January 10, 2011

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