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Food News

FDA’s Gottlieb looking at organic label claims

Meatingplace (free registration required) | Posted on August 16, 2018

he Food and Drug Administration is poised to weigh in on labeling claims in the organic market after a recent op-ed piece by a former FDA official accused the food industry of deceiving consumers. “I'm going to put out more detailed information on what different terms mean on food packaging, to help consumers best use claims like organic, antibiotic free, etc.,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb wrote this week, beginning a series of Tweets on the subject.

Gene-editing startups ignite the next 'Frankenfood' fight

Nasdaq | Posted on August 16, 2018

In a suburban Minneapolis laboratory, a tiny company that has never turned a profit is poised to beat the world's biggest agriculture firms to market with the next potential breakthrough in genetic engineering - a crop with "edited" DNA. Calyxt Inc, an eight-year-old firm co-founded by a genetics professor, altered the genes of a soybean plant to produce healthier oil using the cutting-edge editing technique rather than conventional genetic modification.

FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine’s Investigation into a Possible Connection Between Diet and Canine Heart Disease

FDA | Posted on August 16, 2018

FDA is investigating a potential dietary link between canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) and dogs eating certain pet foods containing legumes like peas or lentils, other legume seeds, or potatoes as main ingredients. We began investigating after FDA‘s Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) received a number of reports of DCM in dogs eating these diets. DCM itself is not considered rare in dogs, but these reports are unusual because many of the reported cases occurred in breeds of dogs not typically genetically prone to the disease and were reported to have been fed the same type of diet (labeled as “grain-free”).

Here's Why PETA Uses 'Shock Tactics' To Freak You Out

Food Beast | Posted on August 16, 2018

No one enjoys being called a murderer or likes being shown images of goats being beaten to produce milk, but PETA has never had a problem with those approaches in delineating their message, and has a reputation for such shocking campaign tactics. Hell, who can forget the "Don't swallow, ditch dairy," campaign where they depicted a woman with a face full of, um, bodily fluid.These guerilla tactics are very much done consciously, and it is something PETA feels is necessary to bring attention to their animal-friendly mission.PETA Media Director Ben Williamson joined The Katchup podcast, Thursday, and explained these "shock tactics," and why they are done.

The maker of the Impossible Burger tested its secret sauce in rats. Then PETA went on the attack

Stat News | Posted on August 16, 2018

Is the death of 188 lab rats justifiable if it spares the lives of millions of cows?That’s the question animating a heated war of words between two organizations that share a core value: saving the lives of animals.On one side is Impossible Foods, the Silicon Valley company behind the Impossible Burger and other meatless products that actually taste like meat. The company wants to get more people to eat its burger instead of the usual kind, and, in so doing, spare the lives of countless cows that would otherwise be slaughtered for beef.PETA takes issue with several rat experiments that Impossible Foods conducted to test an ingredient in its products.Part of the reason that the Impossible Burger tastes like beef is because of the secret sauce used to make it: an ingredient called soy leghemoglobin. It’s a protein that contains the molecule heme, which is found in actual meat. By synthesizing heme from the roots of soybean plants, Impossible Foods aims to trick the palate and emulate that burger flavor.The company determined that it would have to test its special ingredient in animal models in order to get the stamp of approval it wanted from the FDA. So it did so, on a total of 188 rats in three separate experiments. As is typical in medical research, the rats were sacrificed.

Genetics technology could lead to more crops, fresher food

San Francisco Gate | Posted on August 9, 2018

J.R. Simplot has acquired gene editing licensing rights that could one day be used to help farmers produce more crops and make grocery store offerings such as strawberries, potatoes and avocados stay fresher longer.  Simplot Co. announced the agreement with DowDuPont and the Broad Institute of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University, developers of the nascent gene editing technology. Simplot is the first agricultural company to receive such a license.

Walmart Great Value milk going bad before expiration date

WANE | Posted on August 9, 2018

Many local customers have had it with Walmart's Great Value brand of milk going bad before the expiration date on the container. Cynthia Flanagan told NewsChannel 15 that she has had 3 cartons of milk go bad before the expiration date in the last 5 weeks. Her daughter has had 2 cartons expire early as well.Flanagan said that when she tried to pour her most recent carton over her cereal that clumpy expired milk came out, 5 days before the expiration date."They have a lot of dedicated Walmart shoppers and they've taken the choice away as well.. my main goal would be to find out what the problem is and clean it up." Flanagan said about her social media post. Her post has over 150 shares, and about 150 comments of people sharing similar stories. 

With plenty of meat supply, prices continue to decrease

Meat + Poultry | Posted on August 9, 2018

The US Dept. of Agriculture, in its July Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook, forecast higher pork and beef production and lower prices for hogs and cattle in 2018 than in 2017. Previously, the USDA estimated July 1 cattle-on-feed up 4 percent from a year earlier and the highest since the data series began 22 years ago, and the June 1 US total hog inventory up 3 percent from a year ago and the highest since records began in 1964. Exports of pork and beef were forecast to increase from 2017, but tenuous trade relationships with some major export destinations add a level of uncertainty. As a result, there is no shortage of red meat.

Meat consumption in a declining economy — ours

Meatingplace (free registration required) | Posted on August 9, 2018

But what happens to meat consumption, and to eating patterns in general, when wealth across a population declines? Especially if the economy in question is a meat-loving culture with traditionally plenty of wealth. According to “The Demographics of Wealth: 2018 Series,” an in-depth study conducted by the Center for Household Financial Stability (CFS) of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, families whose head of household was born in 1960 or later have yet to regain the economic footing (in terms of median wealth — a measure of net income and net worth) they had before the Great Recession began in 2008. By 2016 (the latest year for which data was available), 30 years’ worth of families, as measured by the head of household’s year of birth, were poorer in terms of assets and sometimes income than economists would have predicted before the recession began.And the discrepancies increase as the age of the head of household decreases. CFS researchers calculated that families whose head of household was born in the 1980s had accumulated median wealth that was 34 percent below what pre-recession measures would have predicted.Families whose head of household was born in the 1970s came up 18 percent short of predicted median wealth, and those born in the 1960s were 11 percent shy of projections. Baby boomers and older consumers are moving into slow-growth categories simply by virtue of their life stage. If successive generations don’t feel they can afford to spend the way their parents did, the long-term implications for the meat category are also weak.

The value of a name driving intense debate over what is milk, meat or a G.M.O.

Food Business News | Posted on August 8, 2018

The ongoing debate over what products like almond milk and meat created through cellular generation may be labeled and commercially called has tremendous financial stakes. Like the value of an established brand, the value of an established product name is significant, and food industry regulators must balance the potential of innovative and emerging technologies with the need to prevent confusion in the marketplace. The debate over what may be called “milk” is not new. Dairy producers have been fighting for decades for the Food and Drug Administration to enforce milk’s standard of identity. They argue that the standard of identity for milk is clear, and the makers of plant-based beverages must stop describing their products as milk.The makers of soy milk and almond milk respond by noting the nomenclature does not violate the regulations because the name incorporates additional qualifying language. Calling such products soy milk and almond milk clearly differentiates them from regular milk.