Tag Archives: fda

KIND Snacks Petitions FDA to Redefine the Term “Healthy”

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KIND Snacks, with support from nutrition and public health experts, has filed a Citizen Petition urging the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to update its regulations around using the term “healthy” in food labeling.

Currently, the FDA mandates that the term “healthy” only be used as a nutrient content claim reserved for foods with 3 grams or less total fat and 1 gram or less of saturated fat per serving. Fish and meat must have 5g or less total fat and 3g or less saturated fat per serving in order to use healthy as a nutrition content claim. This guideline was established over 20 years ago and KIND Founder and CEO Daniel Lubetzky claims that it’s outdated, excluding whole, nutrient-rich foods we know to have numerous health benefits like almonds, salmon, olive oil and avocados because of their naturally occurring higher fat content.

The policy effort, which cites evidence from multiple nutrition studies in addition to current federal Dietary Guidelines, is supported by a number of leading health and wellness experts including Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts and Connie Diekman, Registered Dietitian and former President of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

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Do You Know What You Just Put in Your Mouth? Author Patrick Di Justo Tells Reddit the Truth about Processed Junk Food

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Patrick Di Justo, author of “This is What You Just Put in Your Mouth” took to reddit last week to answer readers’ questions about the very same topic.

Di Justo wrote a column in everyone’s favorite science publication, Wired magazine, where he broke down the ingredients in common household products, explaining just what those unpronounceable ingredients really are, why they are used, and just where they come from.

“All my research is dedicated to pointing out what is in the food you eat and the products you use. I almost never make value judgments about these ingredients — the idea is that you now have all this information, you make your own decisions,” explained Di Justo to one reader. “I think the only thing I’ve ever told people to stay away from was heroin, because heroin is pure evil in powdered form. And high fructose corn syrup, which is not as immediately evil as heroin, but still bad for you.”

When Wired magazine got its own show on PBS, called Wired Science, host Chris Hardwick presented Di Justo’s articles as a special segment of the show. The very first food he broke down? Cool Whip.

Cool Whip

Before you dollop this unassuming, fluffy, sweet treat on your fruit salad, let’s find out exactly what’s in it:

First off, it’s bleeding you dry: water is Cool Whip’s main ingredient, since air can’t really be put on an ingredient list. Water and air make up forty-one cents per ounce, just over twice what it would cost to whip real cream yourself. (more…)

5 Things to Know About the New Food Labeling Laws

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Late last week the Food and Drug Administration made a huge announcement that basically holds more businesses accountable for the calories in the food they choose to serve. The new food laws, which falls under the Affordable Care Act, will absolutely affect you; expect to know how many calories are in that tub of popcorn at the movie theater, for instance.

Let’s break down the most important changes you will notice next year.

1. All major businesses will need to display their calorie counts. 

Some big cities are already held to this standard, like New York City. But the FDA’s new laws will require any establishment that sells prepared food (and also has more than 20 locations) to display its food’s calorie information. A one-stop independent bakery will not be affected, but your local and booming coffee purveyor that’s become a chain will not be exempt.

2. Calories will be on the menu. 

Calorie content will appear on menus and menu boards in restaurants, though bakeries, coffee shops, pizza joints, movie theaters, and amusement parks will be affected, as well. The idea is to provide easy access to the caloric information of your food choices to help you realize exactly what you are ingesting. The FDA also hopes that it will inspire restaurants to make healthier food preparation choices. (more…)

Peanut and Nut Butter Recall Due to Salmonella Risk Announced by FDA

If you’ve purchase peanut or other nut butters from Kroger, Safeway, Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods recently, you may want to toss it before you eat any of it. Nut butter producer nSPIRED Natural Foods, Inc. announced on August 19 they are voluntarily recalling many of their products.

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The recall came about after routine testing by the FDA showed evidence of salmonella in the company’s nut butter products. Prior to FDA testing, the company received reports of four people falling ill that may be related to consuming products contaminated with salmonella.

Brands under the recall include:

Arrowhead Mills Peanut Butters

MaraNatha Almond Butters and Peanut Butters

Whole Foods private label

Trader Joe’s private label

Kroger private label

Safeway private label

The FDA has a full list of brands and products affected on their website.

Most of the products under the recall have a sell-by date between December 2014 and June 2015. They were sold in the United States, Canada, Hong Kong, the United Arab Emirates and the Dominican Republic. (more…)

Gluten-Free Foods are Officially Gluten Free; FDA Enforces Labeling Standards

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It seems everywhere you turn these days, there is a new addition to the gluten-free gang. Celebrities, the lady down the street, maybe your own cousin — they’ve all happily hopped onto the gluten-free bandwagon, without or without an actual intolerance. However, there’s a new member of the group that may surprise you.

The latest additions to the list of things that are gluten-free are in fact foods labeled with the term “gluten-free.” Starting this week, the term “gluten-free” is regulated, meaning it is no longer up to the various manufacturers to decide what that label actually means.

5 Reasons Why Most of Us Should Not Go Gluten Free

For those who suffer from celiac disease or other conditions that prevent them from digesting gluten, this comes as welcome news.

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Tanning Beds Now Carry Moderate-Risk Label from FDA

Plenty of women (and men) turn to tanning beds not only in the winter to maintain their summer tans, but also in the beginning of summer to get a “base tan.” We’ve all heard the risks associated with tanning beds, and now the FDA has changed its label of tanning beds to reflect those serious concerns.

tanning bed

In a final decision, the FDA has labeled sunlamp products and ultraviolet (UV) lamps used in tanning salons as moderate-risk devices. This is a change from the previous label of low-risk.

In addition to the label change, the FDA is now requiring all sun and UV lamp products to have a black box consumers can see that states the products are unsuitable for use by people under the age of 18. A black box is the strongest warning from the FDA, though it does not outlaw or restrict the products for minors.

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Half of Americans Believe in Medical Conspiracy Theories. Do You?

You probably don’t think aliens are among us or secret societies are running the government, but do you believe in conspiracy theories of another kind? A new study from the University of Chicago published in JAMA Internal Medicine indicates you might.

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According to that study, nearly half of Americans believe in medical conspiracy theories. The study found water fluoridation, vaccines, cell phones, and alternative medicine, among others, as prime subjects for conspiracy-based speculation.

To test just how much faith people put in the theories, the University of Chicago’s professor J. Eric Oliver and his colleague collected data from 1,351 adults through an online survey. Participants in the survey were presented with popular medical conspiracy theories and then asked to indicate whether they had heard them before, and whether or not they agreed with them.

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More Fraud Charges for a Powerhouse in the Diet and Fitness Industry

Another weight loss giant has been taken down on charges of fraud: Kevin Trudeau, author of the book “The Weight Loss Cure ‘They’ Don’t Want You to Know About” was sentenced to 10 years in prison for making false claims about the content of his diet manual on TV infomercials.

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According to Reuters, it was first in 2004 Trudeau that got into trouble for misrepresenting his products on TV. But that didn’t stop him. In 2006 and 2007 he aired a misleading infomercial for “The Weight Loss Cure ‘They’ Don’t Want You to Know About” around 32,000 times. In 2010 he was asked to pay consumers around $38 million for misrepresenting the contents of his book. He never did, which subsequently landed him back in court, and now in prison.

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New Nutrition Label is Two Years Away! FDA Deputy Director Confirms Steps to Reform

Our news about the nutrition facts reform from the FDA has been spreading like wildfire! We dug deeper to find for you the timeline that nobody seems to be providing yet. After speaking at length with the FDA’s Deputy Director Siobhan DeLancey, here’s what to expect in the days (and weeks, and years…) to come regarding the new label update.

nutrition facts

STEP ONE: 90-day Public Commentary (Opens today! See below for how to place your comment)

The label reform is now open to a 90-day public commentary period where the FDA is expecting to hear from a variety of groups and individuals from nutritionists, consumers, and food industry groups.

STEP TWO: Review of commentary (duration unknown)

The FDA must then review and consider those comments to evaluate any possible changes to the reform. They were unable to give us an exact timeline as it is dependent on the number and breadth of the commends received.

STEP THREE: Two-year implementation after final rule

After the FDA has issued a final ruling, they are proposing a two-year implementation period for products to comply with new industry standards. “But we expect many companies will put the new label on their product earlier than that, as we saw when the original nutrition facts label requirement came out,” says DeLancey. (more…)

Finally! The Feds Create BS-Free Nutrition Label, Give Americans Reality Check

The White House and the Food and Drug Administration have announced their plan today to update the nutrition facts label on food packages, a move that is being heralded and praised by nutrition experts and enthusiasts alike.

new nutrition label

Proposed changes include:

  • Calories displayed more prominently. Congress and the FDA are pushing for a larger, bolded font for calories and all parts of the label that affect obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
  • Serving Size. Have you ever noticed a bottle of soda actually contains 2.5 servings, while the average American drinks the whole thing in one sitting? Mary Hartley, RD, our resident nutrition expert, thinks this means we are all in for a big reality check. The new label will change the serving size from what we should eat to what people actually consume.
  • Detailed sugar labeling. The improved labels will have a new line for “added sugars,” or sugars not occurring naturally and have been including only after chemical processing (think naturally-occurring lactose in yogurt vs. added aspartame in a Yoplait). What does Hartley have to say about that? “Finally.” (more…)