Thank God it’s Friday! Quick news from the food world (Week 45)

Here’s my article selection of the week:

EU

– Environment Committee backs flexibility for EU countries to ban GMO crops, from European Parliament ENVI Committee: long-awaited draft plans to allow EU member states to restrict, or ban, the cultivation of crops containing genetically modified organisms on their own territory even if it is allowed at EU level won the support of the Environment Committee on Tuesday. MEPs voted to remove the Council-backed idea of a phase of negotiations with the GMO company, and supported plans to allow member states to ban GMO crops on environmental grounds.

– Italy cracks whip on health claim abusers – fines could reach €5m, by Shane Starling+, on Nutraingredients: regulators in Italy’s €1.2bn food supplements market are cracking the harshest whips against health claims abusers in the EU – a firm was recently fined €250,000 – but will the wounds be deep enough to change the market?

 Fears that German avian flu outbreak could spread, by Ed Bedington, on Globalmeatnews.com: animal health experts are continuing to monitor the outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N8 in Germany as the yearly migration of wild birds continues to cause concerns the condition might spread.

CHINA

– China Health Food: New Regulations on Nutritional Supplements, by Rachel Shen, on Chemlinked.com: on Nov. 5, 2014, CFDA released the draft of Administrative Provisions on Nutritional Supplements and Requirements on Dossiers for Nutritional Supplements, which gives detailed instructions on regulatory requirements for nutritional supplements in China. The period for public consultation is until Nov. 30, 2014.

NUTRITION

– Mediterranean diet has ‘lasting’ health benefits, say researchers, by Nathan Gray+, on Nutraingredients.com: the health benefits of switching to a Mediterranean style diet and upping the amount of time spent exercising for a period of just eight weeks can still be seen a year after stopping the regime, according to a new study.

USA

– Food Fraud: Money Scam and Health Hazard, by Beth Krietsch, on Foodsafetynews: despite the common belief that food fraud in the United States is a rarity, the globalized nature of our food supply chain means many of our favorite foods and ingredients travel far and wide before they reach our plates, making adulteration and other types of food fraud a considerate problem here as well.

– New App Shows Health Inspection Records for Nearby Restaurants, by James Andrews, on Foodsafetynews.com.

– Revised FSMA Provisions Need More Tweaks, by Lydia Zuraw, on Foodsafetynews.com: the public is generally pleased with the revised provisions of four rules under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), but the public comments at the Food and Drug Administration’s public meeting Thursday suggest that the agency may have more tweaking to do.

– Unilever: “Just Mayo” Misleads Consumers Because It’s Not “Mayo”, by David Ter Molen, on FoodIdentityblog.com: on October 31, 2014, Unilever filed suit in the U.S. District Court in New Jersey against Hampton Creek, Inc. for false advertising and unfair competition for selling an egg-free spread under the brand name “Just Mayo.” According to Unilever, the lack of any eggs in the product precludes it from being labeled as “mayonnaise” under federal regulations and consumers are further misled in this regard by the egg on the product label.

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.