7, Number 8 - August 2006
IN THIS ISSUE:
About Food Consulting Company
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Groups Press for FDA Action on Food Labels
In July 2006, health-concerned stakeholders
announced demands regarding food/nutrition
issues that are under FDA regulatory
On July 10, 2006, a group of hypertension
experts, physicians, and health organizations
sent a letter to Secretary of Health and Human
Services (HHS) Mike Leavitt to urge HHS action
to reduce salt consumption. In part, the letter
urges the Secretary to:
use the HHS office as a bully pulpit to press
food manufacturers and restaurants to
gradually lower sodium levels in their
have FDA revoke the Generally Recognized as
Safe (GRAS) status of salt and limit sodium
levels in various categories of food
On July 18, 2006, Center for Science in the
Public Interest (CSPI) rebutted an FDA report to
Congress on industry compliance with food label
regulations under FDA's control. In the rebuttal
CSPI urges Congress to direct FDA to:
conduct supermarket sweeps to stop
misleading health-related claims
systematically test the accuracy of
Nutrition Facts labels
give labeling enforcement higher priority
during inspections of manufacturing
facilities and distribution facilities
put a stop to marketplace fads before they
get out of hand
increase funding to the FDA division
responsible for food labeling
FDA's report to Congress.
Plan for 2007 Food Labels Priorities
On June 29, 2006, FDA's Center for Food Safety
and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) announced that the
Center is requesting input on program priorities
for fiscal year 2007, including what priorities
should continue and what new priorities should
be added. The call for comments states that
congressional appropriation will unquestionably
affect what the Center can commit to in the year
that begins October 1, 2006, and ends September
30, 2007. The priorities will be divided into
Stakeholder comments can be submitted until August 28, 2006. CFSAN intends to make the priority list
available in the fall of 2006.
Federal Register notice.
Commentary: In June 2006, Food Label News
commented on diminished funding for CFSAN 2006
activities and the Center's projection that such
funding could continue for several years.
U.S. Food Labels, FDA and Codex Alimentarius
News sources searched regularly by Food
Consulting Company often include reports from
the Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex). Codex is
an international body that establishes food
standards under the joint auspices of the United
Nations World Health Organization (WHO) and Food
and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
FDA participates with Codex to promote
international harmonization of food standards.
Codex has no direct impact on food labels for
FDA-regulated products sold in the United States
until the FDA process for food labeling
regulations is exercised on a Codex decision.
Commentary: Periodically Food Consulting
Company receives questions regarding Codex.
The Codex standards would be an important aid to
U.S. companies that export food products. Food
labelers labeling products for sale in the U.S.
are obligated to fully comply with the U.S. Code
of Federal Regulations (not Codex).
Codex Alimentarius website.
Service Tip: Shelf Life Evaluation
Food Consulting Company offers shelf life
evaluation. A food technologist will test your
product sample for parameters that affect the
shelf life (pH, water activity, moisture,
solids, others); these findings will be used
along with specifics about product ingredients,
processing methods, and packaging to determine
the current shelf life of your product. See
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