Thank God it’s Friday! Quick news from the food world (Week 44)

Here is my article’s selection of the week:

CHINA

– Top Food Safety Shanghai Tips, by Paul O’Brien, on healthandsafetyinshanghai.com: tips on Chinese food safety from an expatriate consultant.

EU

– Lithuania bans energy drink sales to under 18s, by Annie-Rose Harrison-Dunn+ , on beveragedaily.com: Lithuania has banned energy drink sales to under 18s – making the Baltic state the first European country to do so.

– Highly pathogenic avian influenza reported in Germany, by Georgi Gyton+, on globalmeatnews.com: an outbreak of the highly pathogenic avian influenza strain H5N8 has been discovered in Germany, with more than 30,000 birds reportedly susceptible to the disease.

– Three simultaneous, food-borne, multi-country outbreaks of hepatitis A virus infection reported in EPIS-FWD in 2013: what does it mean for the European Union?by C.M. Gossner – E. Severi, on Eurosurveillance: the aim of this work is to put these recent outbreaks into an EU perspective and highlight opportunities for improving detection and investigation of future multinational HAV outbreaks.

UK

– FSA and supermarkets in fresh clash over campylobacter ‘naming and shaming’, by Julia Glotz, on The Grocer: the Food Standards Agency has slammed retailers for putting renewed pressure on it not to ‘name and shame’ them in its campylobacter survey on supermarket chicken.

US

– U.S. Passes First Soda Tax, by Jennifer Grebow, on Nutritional Outlook: sugary drinks like soda will now cost you more—that is, if you live in Berkeley, CA. Voters there approved a measure that will add 12 cents to the cost of a can of soda and 68 cents to the cost of a 2-L bottle, according to CNN, and Berkeley Puts First Soda Tax on the Books, by Gretchen Goetz, on foodsafetynews.com.

– FDA Finds Gluten in Presumably Gluten-Free Products, by Robby Gardner, on Nutritional Outlook: it appears that celiacs have good reason to be wary of processed foods that are not specifically labeled gluten-free. In an FDA study on over 400 market-sold foods, researchers found that even when products were presumably gluten-free—that is, their ingredient lists did not include wheat, rye, and barley—many of them were, in fact, contaminated with gluten.

– Recalled Bean Sprouts Linked to 2 Listeria Deaths, 3 Hospitalizations, on foodsafetynews.com: two people have died and three others have been hospitalized after eating Listeria-contaminated bean sprouts produced by Wholesome Soy Products of Chicago, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

 

Thank God it’s Friday! Quick News from the food world (Week 43)

Here’s my article’s selection of the week:

EU

– Author: EU health claims laws cannot be bent for botanicals, by Bert Schwitters, on nutraingredients.com: nutrition author, blogger and harsh critic of the EU’s health claim laws, Bert Schwitters, says any attempt to create separate rules for more than 1500 on-hold botanical claim applications is doomed to failure in this guest article;

– Should energy drinks be age-restricted like alcohol? WHO official asks in report, by Annie-Rose Harrison-Dunn+, on nutraingredients.com: energy drink consumption among young people, particularly in connection with alcohol, presents a significant public health concern that warrants further research and regulation, according to a report authored by World Health Organisation (WHO) officials.

– GM regulations hold back innovation, say UK researchers, by Caroline Scott-Thomas+, on foodnavigator.com: current European restrictions on genetically modified (GM) crops could hold back crop innovation needed to ensure food security, claims a UK government-funded research body.

CHINA

– Amidst Public Controversy China Debates GMO Development, by John Balzano, on Forbes: an interesting article about China’s approach to GMOs and the doubts between treating GMOs like any other food and regulating them in a more specific way;

– China lifts 2013 ban on Fonterra infant formula ingredients, by Mark Astley+ , on dairyreporter.com: China has lifted its ban on the import of Fonterra two infant formula ingredients, more than a year after it was implemented in the midst of the 2013 botulism scare.

INDIA

– HC bans import of food additive Allura Red, on business-standard.com: the High  banned import of food additive Allura Red AC, also a colouring agent, after the country’s food safety authority admitted it was a prohibited chemical.

TAIWAN

 In pics: Two months of food scandals rocks Taiwan, by RJ Whitehead, on foodproductiondaily.com: recent reports that international furniture retailer Ikea has been using expired milk in its ice cream is the latest scandal to rock Taiwan. We take a look at a tense two months for food authorities and consumers as some of the island’s worst abuses came to light.

– New rules in Kaohsiung will give whistleblowers handsome cash reward, on focustaiwan.tw: Kaohsiung’s city council amended municipal food safety rules to offer whistleblowers 60 percent of fines levied on convicted companies — the highest cash award offered by any jurisdiction in Taiwan.

USA

– Quick fixes could quell rising tide of undeclared allergen food recalls, by Elizabeth Crawford, on foodnavigator-usa.com: simple changes in how food manufacturers handle and trace ingredients, packages and labels at production facilities could reduce dramatically the number of recalls due to undeclared allergens, which make up the vast majority of food recalls, according to FDA.

– Appeals Court Won’t Tamper With COOL, But Keeping It Could Be Costly, on foodsafetynews.coma decision by the U.S Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit stated that, unless the U.S. Supreme Court takes up the issue, domestic courts are fine with U.S. Department of Agriculture rules that require producers to keep track and report on the label on the birthplace, residence, and location at passing for each hunk of meat sold at retail in the U.S. regardless of the burden or cost.

– Report: Bait-and-Switch Tactics Found in One-Third of U.S. Shrimp Sales, on foodsafetynews.com: in the only known U.S. study using DNA testing on retail and restaurant shrimp, Oceana confirmed that 30 percent of the 143 products tested from 111 grocery stores and restaurants were misrepresented. It also found that consumers are often provided with little information about the shrimp they purchase, including where and how it was caught or farmed, making it difficult, if not impossible, for them to make informed choices.

WHO – NUTRITION LABELLING

– WHO calls for standardised nutrition labelling, by Caroline Scott-Thomas+, on dairyreporter.com: the World Health Organisation (WHO) has called for a more unified approach to front-of-pack nutrition labelling.