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Period: June 25, 2011 to July 2, 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  

Peru Puts 10-Year National GMO Ban In Place

Peru's Congress has voted to enact a 10-year ban on genetically modified organisms (GMO), which includes the suspension of importation, cultivation, and breeding of genetically modified crops. Legislators who supported the moratorium were driven by the perceived dangers that can arise from biotechnology and the need to protect agricultural diversity. The move ensures that the country will not abet the spread of GMO products worldwide, but recent tests by Peruvian Association of Consumers and Users found around 77% of supermarket products tested showed some GMO contamination, raising questions over how effective the ban will be.

"Peru implements ten-year ban on GMOs", Natural News, June 24, 2011

FDA Proposes Revamping Its System For Monitoring, Regulating Imported Goods

Reacting to the explosion of imported, FDA-regulated products, materials and ingredients, the agency has proposed reforms designed to better protect the health of American consumers. The problem is getting worse, thanks to rising productivity among Western economies, growing global demand for products, and faster and easier transfer of goods across borders. The four key reforms include partnering with international regulators, developing international data information systems and networks, developing an information gathering system focused on risk analytics, and working with public and private third parties and industry “to allocate FDA resources based on risk.” We can no longer rely on historical tools, activities and approaches,” said Acting Principal Deputy Commissioner of Food and Drugs John M. Taylor.

"Pathway to Global Product Safety and Quality Report", Special report, FDA, June 20, 2011

Research, Studies, Advice  

Food Companies Await Government Decisions About Nanoparticle Safety

The use of nanomaterials in food processing is likely to increase significantly in the years to come, once the federal government clarifies its stance on safety issues. According to this Food Safety News report, many discussions focused on nanoparticles during the recent Food Expo scientific sessions, though there were almost no displays of nanoparticles-based food innovations among the thousands of exhibits – a “perplexing” phenomenon. Many exhibitors claimed to be developing food applications using nanoparticles, but declined to talk about them. According to one exhibitor, the main reason for the reticence is "the ongoing concern about possible health hazards or adverse reactions from nanomaterial.” The situation is likely to change only when federal regulators provide a clearer idea of what’s acceptable in food and packaging.

"Many Eager to Use Nano in Food, But Few Admit It", Food Safety News, June 21, 2011

Calcium-Vitamin D Supplementation Increases Risk Of Urinary Tract Stones

U.S. researchers who analyzed seven years of data from more than 36,000 postmenopausal women who participated in a placebo-controlled clinical trial found that daily supplementation with calcium and vitamin D significantly increased the risk of urinary tract stones. About half of the women who participated in the Women’s Health Initiative study received 1,000 mg of calcium carbonate plus 400 of IU vitamin D3 twice daily. The rest of the women received a placebo. The researchers found that 449 women in the calcium-vitamin D group reported urinary tract stones, which was almost 18 percent more than the placebo group. “These findings have implications for [calcium-vitaminD] supplement use,” the researchers concluded. But they cautioned that the self-reported occurrence of stones was not confirmed by clinical evidence.

"Urinary tract stone occurrence in the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) randomized clinical trial of calcium and vitamin D supplements", American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, April 27, 2011

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