Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Constituent Update: FDA Sends Warning Letters to Seven Companies Illegally Selling Hangover Products

Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition
Constituent Update
FDA Sends Warning Letters to Seven Companies Illegally Selling Hangover Products

July 29, 2020

On July 29, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued warning letters to seven companies whose products claim to cure, treat, mitigate, or prevent hangovers. A hangover can occur after alcohol intoxication. Alcohol intoxication, like all poisonings, causes dose-related dysfunction and damage, ranging from mild impairments to death. Alcohol intoxication causes temporary damage to brain function, causing impairments of judgment, attention, reflexes, and coordination. The products outlined in these letters, which are labeled as dietary supplements, are unapproved new drugs and have not been evaluated by the FDA to be safe and effective for their intended use.

Dietary supplements that claim to cure, treat, mitigate, or prevent hangovers could potentially harm consumers, particularly young adults, who may be led to believe that using these products, rather than drinking in moderation or not at all, can prevent or mitigate health problems caused by consuming too much alcohol. Consumers should not rely on these products as an alternative to responsibly limiting their consumption of alcoholic beverages.

Warning letters were sent to the following companies:

Diets, health and sugar reduction in the spotlight during the era of COVID-19

Diets, health and sugar reduction in the spotlight during the era of COVID-19

Format: PDF file | Document type: Technical / White Paper

Diets, health and sugar reduction in the spotlight during the era of COVID-19

RELATED CATEGORIES: BeveragesSweeteners

The array of serious health risks imposed by excessive energy and sugar consumption are widely acknowledged globally. In the era of COVID-19, in which obese and chronically ill individuals are at greater risk of developing serious complications due to COVID-19 infections, the food and beverage industry must rise to the challenge and further expand programs to reduce the levels of energy and free sugars in food and beverage products. There is a wealth of scientific evidence that supports the use of nonnutritive sweeteners including stevia sweeteners to help reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes and obesity. This white paper discusses the research on the positive effects of stevia sweeteners on health and wellness and innovations that enable new approaches to sugar reduction.

Unlocking Innovation webinar Aug. 6: Discover how to reduce your environmental impact & improve sustainability

Unlocking Innovation webinar Aug. 6: Discover how to reduce your environmental impact & improve sustainability

By Elizabeth Crawford

- Last updated on GMT

AddThis Sharing Buttons

Share to FacebookShare to TwitterShare to LinkedIn

Description: Webinar Aug. 6: How to reduce environmental impact improve sustainability

Related tags: unlocking innovation, Sustainability, coronavirus

Even as the pandemic continues to strain the food system and pressure manufacturers to balance increased demand with restricted supply, companies must still pursue sustainability goals, including minimizing their environmental impact and improving the lives of their workers and suppliers, or else risk losing consumers.

According to The Hartman Group’s Sustainability 2019 Beyond Business as Usual report, current events, including the pandemic and anti-racism movement have pushed many consumers to reflect more closely on their values and those of the companies they support – elevating the already heightened importance of sustainability.

With this renewed sense of urgency, FoodNavigator-USA has gathered a panel of experts to discuss how food and beverage players across the value chain are working together to minimize their environmental impact by reducing packaging and waste, improving the severely hampered recycling system in the US, lowering their reliance on non-renewable or limited resources and better supporting workers and their communities.

Join the conversation on Aug. 6 at 12 CT​ by registering HERE ​for free​ for the last installment of FoodNavigator’s global Unlocking Innovation webinar series – Sustainability in Focus: From Environmentally-friendly packaging to Ingredient Sourcing​.

Speakers include:

Meghan Stasz,​ the VP of packaging and sustainability at the Consumer Brands Association, which is helping to chart a new path forward for recycling in the US,

Mike Kraft​, director of sustainability at Bumble Bee Foods, which recently announce the creation of a dedicated Accelerator Fund and commitment to invest $40 million over the next five years to restoring and protecting oceans,

Brian Williams​, VP of environment, health, safety and sustainability with CP Kelco, and

Anna Pierce​, director of sustainability with Tate & Lyle.

After the 40-minute panel discussion, Williams will share more about how CP Kelco is advancing sustainability through its triple-bottom line approach, and Pierce will take us on a deeper dive into Tate & Lyle’s sustainability priorities and recent successes.

The webinar is made possible thanks to our sponsors CP Kelco​ and Tate & Lyle​, and is part of a larger 12-part series that covers the US, Europe and Asia. Find recordings online ​for all past sessions, including how the pandemic is impacting and reshaping new product development, how consumers think about self-care and how the social distancing restrictions and the economic fallout from the pandemic are impacting the investment landscape in the food and beverage industry.

Description: C:\Users\dell\Downloads\Webinar Aug. 6_ How to reduce environmental impact improve sustainability_files\FN-Logo.png

June 29 - August 6   ●   12 Webinars   ●   3 Regions

The Unlocking Innovation Webinar Series

Join the FoodNavigator brand as we embark on an ambitious global webinar series to seek the game changers, disruptors and pioneers who are unlocking innovation.

Click here to see the agenda


Related topics: Suppliers, Bakery, Healthy Foods, Prepared Foods, Snacks, Views, Beverage, Confectionery, Dairy, People, Manufacturers, Regulation, Meat, fish and savory ingredients, Fruit, vegetable, nut ingredients, Cereals and bakery preparations, Chocolate and confectionery ingredients, Markets, COVID-19, Food labeling and marketing, Clean label, Sustainable sourcing, Trendspotter, Organics, Carbohydrates and fibers (sugar, starches), R&D, Health and nutritional ingredients, Dairy-based ingredients, Proteins, Meat

GMO labeling: USDA ‘bioengineered’ labeling rules are unlawful, argues lawsuit

GMO labeling: USDA ‘bioengineered’ labeling rules are unlawful, argues lawsuit

By Elaine Watson

- Last updated on GMT

AddThis Sharing Buttons

Share to FacebookShare to TwitterShare to LinkedIn

Description: Main picture: Gettyimages-Goran13; bioengineered logo: USDAMain picture: Gettyimages-Goran13; bioengineered logo: USDA

Related tags: Gmo labeling, bioengineered food, Non gmo

The National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard – which requires firms to label ‘bioengineered’ foods and beverages - is unlawful and should be nullified and then revised, according to a lawsuit filed by a coalition of retailers and nonprofits who want stricter GMO labeling laws.

The law​ ​– which will become mandatory in January 2022​  – defines bioengineered foods as those that “contain detectable genetic material that has been modified through certain lab techniques and cannot be created through conventional breeding or found in nature.

It generated intense debate when final details were released in late 2018​, with supporters of stricter GMO labeling laws arguing that it didn’t go far enough, and opponents arguing that it would “confuse consumers ​[and] erode trust in brands and the technology.”

The new lawsuit ​is filed in the Northern District of California on July 27 against agriculture secretary Sonny Perdue, ARS administrator Bruce Summers, and the USDA by Natural Grocers, Citizens For GMO Labeling, Label GMOs, Rural Vermont, Good Earth Natural Foods, Puget Consumers Co-Op, and the Center For Food Safety. It takes issue with multiple aspects of the law, from its limited scope, to its requirement to use the word ‘bioengineered’ on labels instead of more familiar terms such as ‘GMO’ or ‘genetically engineered.’

The aim is to have the court declare the regulations unlawful and nullify them, and then return the issue to the USDA with orders to fix the unlawful parts, said George Kimbrell, legal director at the Center for Food Safety and counsel in the case, who argues that the rules “fall far short of what consumers reasonably expect and the law requires.”

Law should ‘cover all products produced with genetic engineering, not just those ‘detectable’ in the final product by current DNA tests’

He told FoodNavigator-USA: “We would like to see the types of disclosure that have always been done for food labeling: on-package, text labeling. Not the unprecedented use of barcodes and the discriminatory requirement to have a smart phone and scan dozens of food products. 

“We would also like to see that labeling be meaningful and clear, using terms that consumers know and are familiar with: GE/GMO, not ‘bioengineered.’ ​[As for the scope of the regulations] the proper, legally required solution is to cover all products produced with genetic engineering, not just those ‘detectable’ in the final product by current DNA tests.”

He added: “Note that all of these answers are not just what we prefer as a policy matter, but also what the law requires. Which is why USDA violated the law in not complying with them.”

The key arguments in the lawsuit

The plaintiffs’ make four key arguments:

  • Requiring food companies to use the term ‘bioengineered​’ – although consumers and other government agencies such as the EPA and the USDA itself routinely use the term ‘genetically engineered’ - is “arbitrary and capricious, contrary to the Act’s plain language and fails to fulfill the Act’s fundamental purpose of informing consumers.”
  • The law fails to “fulfill the Act’s core purpose of informing consumers​” about GE ingredients because most foods containing ingredients from GM crops would not have to be labeled​ (the law only mandates the labeling of ingredients from GM crops if they contain​ detectable​  genetic material that has been modified through in vitro recombinant deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) techniques), meaning most highly refined ingredients from GM crops such as high fructose corn syrup, refined soybean oil, and sugar would not​ have to be labeled​. And this – argues the lawsuit – makes a mockery of the entire enterprise: “The vast majority of GE foods are not whole foods, but rather highly processed foods with GE ingredients like sodas and oils, which by some estimates account for over 70% of all GE foods."
  • USDA’s decision to allow electronic or digital disclosures on labels​ (eg. via QR codes), without requiring additional on-package labeling “discriminates against at least 20% of the American adult population—primarily poor, elderly, rural, and minority populations—who have lower percentages of smartphone ownership, or live in areas in which grocery stores do not have internet bandwidth.“Defendants’ decision nonetheless to greenlight QR codes without other forms of labeling on products was arbitrary and capricious and contrary to law, in violation of the Disclosure Act and the Administrative Procedure Act.”
  • Manufacturers and retailers “have a First Amendment Right​ to label foods as produced through genetic engineering or as genetically engineered. Yet the final rule attempts to restrict that right in multiple ways, providing only limited and restricted voluntary labeling beyond its narrow scope​.” (eg. firms can use phrases such as ‘derived from bioengineering’ ​if they want to proactively disclose that they are using ingredients from GM crops, even if genetic material is not detectable.)

“Retailers and shoppers have relied on the term GMO for more than a decade to identify and avoid GMO foods. Banning the use of this term and replacing it with a term nobody has ever heard of is misleading and will create massive confusion in the marketplace.”

Mark Squire, co-founder, Good Earth Natural Foods

“A disclosure law that exempts 70% of the foods it is supposed to disclose is not a meaningful disclosure law: it is a fraud and allows producers to keep their GMO ingredients secret​.”

Tara Cook Littman, Citizens for GMO Labeling

CSPI: Consumers are confused

Greg Jaffe, biotech director at the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), would not comment on the lawsuit, but said the limited scope of the GMO labeling law – which has a narrow definition of ‘bioengineered’ and also fails to define ‘Non-GMO’ – created a potentially confusing environment for consumers.

The combinations of mandatory and voluntary disclosures, the number of products that will be exempt, and the range of Non-GMO claims that currently exist, make for a very confusing marketplace for consumers"​ given that currently the criteria underpinning ‘Non-GMO’ claims on food products differ from brand to brand.

He added: “The CSPI did recommend that USDA allow companies to use the term 'genetically engineered' because the term 'bioengineered' is unfamiliar to most consumers.

"Second, we supported including highly refined ingredients that are derived from genetically engineered crops in the disclosure requirements.”

By making the disclosure of this information voluntary, he added, “consumers will be confused when one product voluntarily discloses that is it ‘derived from bioengineering’ and an identical product has no such disclosure.”

The USDA did not immediately responded to requests for comment on the lawsuit.

The National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard​​​ defines bioengineered foods as those that contain detectable genetic material that has been modified through in vitro​​ recombinant deoxyribonucleic acid (rDNA) techniques and "for which the modification could not otherwise be obtained through conventional breeding or found in nature."​​

The standard identifies three ways firms can determine​ that modified genetic material is not detectable:

  • By using records to verify a food is sourced from a non-bioengineered crop.
  • By using records to verify a food has been subjected to a refinement process ​that has been validated to render modified genetic material undetectable.
  • By maintaining certificates of analysis or other testing records that confirm the absence of detectable modified genetic material.

Description: Bioengineered

There are four disclosure options:

  • On-pack text:​​ 'Bioengineered food'​​ or 'Contains a bioengineered food ingredient​​'
  • USDA approved symbol​​: (see right)
  • Electronic or digital link​​ to 'Scan here for more food information'​​ or 'Call xxxx for more food information'​​
  • Text message disclosure​​ must include the statement: 'Text [command word] to [number] for bioengineered food information.​​'

Voluntary disclosures:​​ Foods that do not meet the definition of bioengineered but are derived from bioengineered food (eg. a highly refined starch, sweetener, oil from GM corn, soy) may be disclosed voluntarily using a 'derived from bioengineering' symbol or a phrase such as 'corn derived from a bioengineered source.'

USDA's bioengineered list​​ ​- which tells firms which foods they must keep records for and which may require bioengineered disclosures - ​includes:​​ Alfalfa, Arctic apples, canola, corn, cotton, BARI Bt Begun eggplant varieties, ringspot virus-resistant varieties of papaya, pink fleshed pineapple varieties, potato, AquAdvantage salmon, soybeans, summer squash and sugarbeet.

Gene editing/CRISPR​: USDA will determine on a case-by-case basis whether disclosure will be required for gene edited products (eg. products where DNA changes can be made within a species without introducing foreign DNA.)

Join us for a webinar on COVID-19: Race for a vaccine-LIVE WEBINAR Thursday, July 30, 2020 6 PM ET • 3 PM PT

Thursday, July 30, 2020
6 PM ET • 3 PM PT
Investigators and scientists around the globe are racing the clock to develop a vaccine to prevent SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). With a handful of candidates entering phase 3 trials, huge investments from governments for the first 100 million doses, case counts continuously ticking upward, and policymakers working to untangle the logistical knots of distribution, the race for a COVID-19 vaccine is one of the most urgent public health challenges we’ve ever encountered.
Join us for a 1-hour live webinar event featuring the top minds in infectious disease, virology, and vaccinology to hear a breakdown of the top vaccine candidates, the latest from the ongoing clinical trials, and how to combat logistical hurdles associated with the rollout of a vaccine in the middle of a global pandemic.
Register Now
Walter A. Orenstein, MD
Professor and Associate Director, Emory Vaccine Center
Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, Emory University School of Medicine
Director, Emory-UGA Center of Excellence for Influenza Research and Surveillance (CEIRS)
Angela Rasmussen, PhD
Associate Research Scientist, Center for Infection and Immunity, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health
Gregory A. Poland, MD
Director, Vaccine Research Group
Professor of Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic
Register Now


Super Basmati

Super Basmati

PK 385


PK 386

PK 386

Rice 1121

1121 Basmati

PK 198

Basmati D-98 / Pk-198

Brown Super

Brown Rice



KS 282