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Period: March 26, 2011 to April 16, 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  

Enforcement Is Key Concern About Forthcoming FDA "New Ingredient" Guidelines

Food industry experts are saying there’s little to fear about the forthcoming “new dietary ingredients” guidelines from the FDA -- which are focused on whether ingredients are safe rather than effective -- except the possibility of aggressive enforcement. Some companies may have to worry about whether they can prove their ingredients qualify as “old dietary ingredients,” which are exempt from the 1994 federal dietary supplements law. The FDA may look more closely at whether an “old” ingredient has been chemically altered enough – to increase potency, for example – to make it a “new” ingredient under the law. Another key concern about the revised NDI rules is whether the FDA will look differently at new ingredients that have already achieved GRAS (generally recognized as safe) status.

"What FDA's New Dietary Ingredients regulation means for industry", Functional Ingredients, April 08, 2011

EFSA Panel Reports On Assessment Of 442 “General Function” Food Health Claims

The European Food Safety Authority’s (EFSA) NDA Panel has assessed 442 “general function” health claims – about 80 percent of such claims – relating to protection against oxidative damage to body cells, contribution to either cognitive or bowel function and maintenance of normal blood cholesterol levels. The panel reported favorably on claims regarding the relationships between, for example, walnuts and improved function of blood vessels and the antioxidant effects of olive oil polyphenols on LDL cholesterol. Nutrient replacement claims approved included replacement of digestible starch by resistant starch to lower the increase of blood glucose levels after meals and  replacement of saturated fatty acids with mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids to maintain normal blood cholesterol. Claims not approved generally offered low quality scientific evidence, EFSA said.

"EFSA completes evaluation of further 442 ‘general function’ health claims", EFSA, April 08, 2011

Supply Chain  

New Policy Would Require Withholding Of Food Products Pending Test Results

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is proposing that its Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) be allowed to withhold meat and poultry products from the market until FSIS test results for harmful substances are received. According to the USDA, if the new requirement is enacted, the amount of unsafe food that reaches store shelves – and the number of food recalls – will be reduced. Currently, FSIS can request – but not require – that tested product samples be held until test results are available. FSIS inspects billions of pounds of meat, poultry and processed egg products annually and believes that 44 of the most serious recalls between 2007 and 2009 could have been prevented had the proposed procedure been in place.

"USDA Announces Proposed Test and Hold Requirement for Meat and Poultry Products", News release, USDA, April 05, 2011

China Cracks Down On Dairy Producers Who Lack Modern Product Testing Equipment

Ongoing government inspections of China’s 800 fresh milk and infant formula producers could lead to the revocation of production licenses of 20 percent of the companies because of inadequate product testing equipment. So far, dairies in Fujian, Guangdong, Shaanxi, Sichuan and Ningxia have been inspected. At least 30 percent of the dairies in four of those provinces are likely to have their production licenses revoked, but fewer than 20 percent of those in Sichuan province. The inspections were expected to be completed by the end of March. The government requires that testing equipment must be able to analyze for 64 additives, including melamine. But upgrading equipment is prohibitively expensive for all but the largest producers, industry analysts say.

"Dairy products crackdown", China Daily, March 28, 2011

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