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FDA — Final Determination Regarding Partially Hydrogenated Oils

June 18, 2015 Comments off

Final Determination Regarding Partially Hydrogenated Oils (PDF)
Source: U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Based on the available scientific evidence and the findings of expert scientific panels, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA or we) has made a final determination that there is no longer a consensus among qualified experts that partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs), which are the primary dietary source of industrially-produced trans fatty acids (IP-TFA) are generally recognized as safe (GRAS) for any use in human food. This action responds, in part, to citizen petitions we received, and we base our determination on available scientific evidence and the findings of expert scientific panels establishing the health risks associated with the consumption of trans fat.

Alternative Policies to Agricultural Export Taxes That Are Less Market Distorting

June 11, 2015 Comments off

Alternative Policies to Agricultural Export Taxes That Are Less Market Distorting
Source: USDA Economic Research Service

Many economists believe that export restrictions increase world prices for food commodities, thereby exacerbating food insecurity and poverty among the world’s poorest people. The authors examine alternative policies to a conventional export tax that are less market distorting and less welfare diminishing.

Lower-Calorie Foods, Beverages Drove Bulk of Supermarket Sales Growth―First Analysis of its Kind

June 11, 2015 Comments off

Lower-Calorie Foods, Beverages Drove Bulk of Supermarket Sales Growth―First Analysis of its Kind
Source: Hudson Institute (via Robert Wood Johnson Foundation)

A report from the Hudson Institute released today found that lower-calorie foods and beverages drove the bulk of sales growth for supermarket chains between 2009 and 2013, making up 59 percent of growth, compared to just 41 percent for their higher-calorie counterparts. This is the first report to examine the business impact that sales of lower-calorie items have on supermarket chains.

Those trend lines did not hold, however, for foods and beverages that contribute the most calories to the diets of children and adolescents, items like desserts, snacks, sugary drinks, and pizzas. During the study period, higher-calorie versions of these products made up more than 70 percent of sales and grew more than 12 percent, whereas lower-calorie foods and drinks saw growth of roughly 5 percent.

The overall shift in supermarket sales to lower-calorie products is largely consistent with recent changes in the restaurant and food and beverage industries, the report found—except that sales of lower-calorie items grew at an even faster rate for the latter two sectors, indicating that supermarkets could be taking better advantage of the public’s shift in food preferences.

Red Lobster, The Cheesecake Factory, Sonic Top 2015 Xtreme Eating Awards

June 5, 2015 Comments off

Red Lobster, The Cheesecake Factory, Sonic Top 2015 Xtreme Eating Awards
Source: Center for Science in the Public Interest

Imagine chowing down on an eight-piece bucket of KFC Original Recipe fried chicken, four sides of mashed potatoes with gravy, four pieces of corn on the cob, and eight packets of buttery spread—all by yourself.

It takes a lot to shock the nutritionists at the Center for Science in the Public Interest who compile the annual Xtreme Eating Awards. But this year they found a single restaurant meal that’s the nutritional equivalent of that KFC binge. Red Lobster’s “Create Your Own Combination” delivers 2,710 calories, and four days’ worth of sodium (6,530 milligrams), if you choose the Parrot Isle Jumbo Coconut Shrimp, Walt’s Favorite Shrimp, and Shrimp Linguine Alfredo to go with the Caesar salad, French fries, and one Cheddar Bay Biscuit. But wait, there’s more!

Wash down that combo with the Lobsterita—the chain’s trademarked 890-calorie, 24-ounce margarita—and the meal reaches 3,600 calories, enough calories for today and most of tomorrow. It’s the highest-calorie meal among the 2015 Xtreme Eating “dishonorees,” as CSPI calls them.

FDA regulation to help ensure judicious use of antibiotics in food-producing animals

June 3, 2015 Comments off

FDA regulation to help ensure judicious use of antibiotics in food-producing animals
Source: U.S. Food and Drug Administration

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced today the Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) final rule, an important piece of the agency’s overall strategy to promote the judicious use of antimicrobials in food-producing animals. This strategy will bring the use of these drugs under veterinary supervision so that they are used only when necessary for assuring animal health. The VFD final rule outlines the process for authorizing use of VFD drugs (animal drugs intended for use in or on animal feed that require the supervision of a licensed veterinarian) and provides veterinarians in all states with a framework for authorizing the use of medically important antimicrobials in feed when needed for specific animal health purposes.

How USDA Forecasts Retail Food Price Inflation

June 1, 2015 Comments off

How USDA Forecasts Retail Food Price Inflation
Source: USDA Economic Research Service

In recent years ERS has used a revised methodology for forecasting food price inflation, which captures price impacts at various stages of the food supply system and results in improved precision of the forecasts.

EU Expenditure On Animal And Plant Health And A Safe Food Chain

May 12, 2015 Comments off

EU Expenditure On Animal And Plant Health And A Safe Food Chain
Source: European Parliamentary Research Service

The agri-food sector plays a significant role in the EU’s economy, employing close to 50 million people. EU expenditure on ‘food and feed’ aims to contribute to safety along the food chain, mainly by preventing, controlling and eradicating serious pests and diseases, in animals or plants, and strengthening related controls. Key objectives include safeguarding public health and consumers as well as animal and plant health, and protecting the value of economic sectors related to the food chain.

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