Thank god it’s Friday – News from the food world – Week 38

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

BIRD FLU

– New bird flu strain causing concern for poultry producers in SE Asia, by RJ Whitehead on foodnavigator-asia.com: a recently-emerged strain of avian influenza virus (H5N6) in poultry in Southeast Asia represents a new threat to animal health and livelihoods and must be closely monitored, the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has warned;

– FAO issues warning over new strain of avian ‘flu, by Georgi Gyton+ on globalmeatnews.com: the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has said a new strain of avian influenza, H5N6, needs to be closely monitored in order to avoid a major threat to animal health.

DATE MARKING

– “Expiry date” between Codex Alimentarius and European Commission, by Corrado Finardi: Codex Alimentarius General Standard for the labeling of Prepackaged Foods is currently debating the Date Marking.

GMOs vs. ORGANIC

– Organic farmer viewpoint: Has the “Food Movement” become a religious cult?, by Rob Wallbridge on geneticliteracyproject.org: an interesting article about the necessity to go beyond the dicotomy GMOs/Organic.

US

– Tomato Growers Lose ‘Takings’ Lawsuit Against FDA, by Dan Flinn on foodsafetynews.com: tomato “growers, packers, and shippers” in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina have lost the claim they made for federal reimbursement after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration mistakenly named certain tomatoes as the likely cause of a Salmonella Saintpaul outbreak that later turned out to be caused by Mexican-grown jalapeño and serrano peppers. It is really an interesting topic because reflects a situation which is very well known also to EU producers;

– Regulatory roadblocks to AquaBounty’s GE salmon ‘seriously damage the global credibility of FDA and its objective, science-based approval process’, warn scientists, by Elaine Watson+, on nutraingredients-usa.com: 90 scientists have written to President Obama urging him to press the FDA into making a decision, one way or another, on whether AquaBounty Technologies should be allowed to introduce the first genetically engineered (GE) animal to the human food supply.

– FDA Seeks to Make FSMA Proposals More Flexible, TargetedU.S. Food and Drug Administration is proposing changes to four rules proposed in 2013 to implement the FDA Food Safety and Modernization Act (FSMA): Produce Safety, Preventive Controls for Human Food, Preventive Controls for Animal Food, and Foreign Supplier Verification Programs.

USDA Raises Tomato Lycopene Limit for Meat

In a game-changing move, the USDA approved a five-fold increase in the level of tomato lycopene allowed as a colorant in ready-to-eat (RTE) meat products.

This increase allows tomato lycopene colorants from manufacturers like LycoRed Ltd., Israel, to effectively replace FD&C Red #40 and carmine in a wide assortment of deli meats, sausage and hot dogs. LycoRed’s Tomat-O-Red® produces red hues similar to those from artificial and insect-based colors.

Natural food-color applications for global meat product launches, as tracked by Innova Market Insights, showed a 21% increase in product launch activity in 2012 over 2011, and a further 5% increase in 2013 from 2012.

“The USDA decision changes the ballgame for us,” says Roee Nir, Colorant Business Unit Manager at LycoRed. “We now may offer RTE meat manufacturers dramatic color options that previously were only attainable with artificial or insect-derived colors.” Both of the LycoRed clean-label colorants are acceptable for use in RTE beef, pork and poultry products, as well as RTE meats for the fast-growing kosher and halal markets. Kosher and halal rules forbid products colored with carmine.

The heat- and light-stable colorants are based on lycopene, a carotenoid highly valued for its antioxidant health benefits.

Tomat-O-Red® is sourced strictly from non-GMO tomatoes. LycoRed oversees production from the farmer’s fields to the finished product. This dependable tomato supply also translates into stable pricing for the processed meat manufacturer. Soon, LycoRed will be launching new, natural tomato-based ingredients for clean-label use.