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Period: August 27, 2011 to October 20, 2012
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  

Food Industry Expert Urges Tighter Legislative Control Over Nanotechnology Use

Nanotechnology is used in the production of consumer and health goods, including food, food packaging and sun block products. Nanoparticles easily penetrate DNA structures and the cells of the lungs, skin and digestive system, raising concerns in the health and consumer community. The U.S. FDA studied the issue but found no reason for more extensive regulation of nanoparticles, a decision criticized by environmental and other groups. Food industry expert Adam Soliman, in an opinion article, acknowledges that the long-term effects of nanoparticle use may be positive, but suggests there may be negative effects on health. “Thus, jurisdictions [globally] should continue to broaden legislation monitoring the development of nanotechnology.”

"The Need for Stronger Nanotechnology Regulation", Food Safety News, October 16, 2012

Consumer Protection Agencies In Europe Accused Of Conflict Of Interest

The European Court of Auditors has criticized the Italy-based European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and three other EU agencies for conflicts of interest over consumer protection activities. ECA inspectors found fault with management at EFSA, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for being too close to the various industries they were supposed to be monitoring. The auditors said in a report that “none of the selected agencies adequately managed the conflict of interest situations." They offered several suggestions for fixing the problem, including better screening of job candidates for possible conflict of interest before appointment.

"Food safety watchdog among four slammed by EU court", News report, AFP, October 11, 2012

Research, Studies, Advice  

To Reduce Exposure To Arsenic In Rice Products, Parents Should Feed Babies Wheat, Oatmeal Cereals

Consumers Union, reporting in its magazine Consumer Reports, says it found varying levels of the poison arsenic in more than 60 rices and rice products, including baby foods. Some infant rice cereals contained five times the levels of inorganic arsenic found in alternatives such as oatmeal. One of CU’s key recommendations to parents about reducing the risk of arsenic poisoning: babies should eat no more than one serving of infant rice cereal a day on average, and their diets should include cereals made from wheat, oatmeal or corn grits, “which contain significantly lower levels of arsenic.”

"Arsenic in your food", Consumer Reports, November 01, 2012

Makers Of Herbal Supplements Need To Ensure Product Quality At Every Step Of Production

Applying the principles of “quality by design” – ensuring quality at every step of herbal product production – would help allay consumer worries about safety and integrity, a U.S. review of more than 100 studies has found. An initial step in the process would be to verify the identity of raw materials (plants) used to make herbal supplements. The current process is flawed because of variations in growing, processing and naming plants used to make herbal supplements. According to the researchers, “the consumer must take it on faith that the supplement they are ingesting is an accurate representation of what is listed on the label.”

" Implementing a “Quality by Design” Approach to Assure the Safety and Integrity of Botanical Dietary Supplements", Journal of Natural Products, October 03, 2012

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