content tagged as Public Policy

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The global supply chain of food/ingredients and the evolving food safety regulatory landscape has required the food industry to be agile and adaptive to be in regulatory compliance. The goal of this symposium is to discuss associated challenges and opportunities for the food industry. Expert speakers from the food industry and government will discuss topics on ingredient sourcing, microbial food safety, allergens, and technical assistance/training.
The objectives of panel are to both stimulate open discussion (The panel moderator and presenters will use appropriate comments and questions to stimulate audience participation; this is primarily for the audience) and to expand on the implications of the FDA Rule on the following topics: (1) Inclusion or exclusion of non-digestible carbohydrates as dietary fiber (7 sources of DF have been approved to date, May 9, 2016 and 25 are being reviewed by the FDA); (2) review strength of evidence for 8-identified beneficial physiological effects of DF for human health (that a non-digestible carbohydrate have sufficient clinical evidence to demonstrate a beneficial physiological effect for health); (3) discuss approved AOAC Methods to measure DF; (4) impact of FDA Rule on consumers meeting recommended DF requirements of 25 and 38 g/day for men and women, respectively; (5) FDA interpretation of DF approved or disapproved as “intrinsic and or intact” sources; (6) the value of increased fecal weight and decreased transit times as important beneficial physiological effects for health (i.e., laxation); (7) the energy value of DF for food label calorie/energy calculations and; (8) expanded discussions on the difference among FDA, Canada and other country’s regulations on issues relating to DF. In summary, the breadth and depth of this panel is for audience participation to attain the best interpretation of the FDA’s rule on DF.
With current changes to the food label underway and anticipated changes under discussion, notably the definitions of “healthy” and “natural,” food scientists are a critical part of both the process and the discussion. Not only are they integral to what these changes mean to food composition as it relates to taste, performance, and shelf life, but they are essential in communications to health professionals, consumers, and policy makers that assist in navigating the label and defining the purpose and function of ingredients on the label. The current level of conversation around “clean” labels, skepticism about food ingredients and how foods are processed, as well as calls from multiple constituencies for sustainable products necessitates heightened understanding of how the food on our grocery shelves is made and the decisions food manufacturers must make in order to meet consumer demand for healthful, high-quality, and safe foods at affordable prices. This session connects food science fundamentals with labeling changes and the current food and nutrition landscape to identify and communications challenges and opportunities for food scientists and technologists.

This session is supported by Phi Tau Sigma.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States recently announced the mandatory addition of added sugars as both a value (grams) and a percent daily value (DV) to the nutrition facts label, a change which will come into effect in July, 2018 (or 2019 for manufacturers with less than $10 million in annual food sales). Consumer reactions and recent media attention provide an insight into the new global craze for sugar and highlight the importance and the impact of food labeling on the consumer. Although the intent of the updated nutrition facts label is to help consumers make healthier choices, a growing concern among many food industry executives is whether or not the disclosure accurately communicates useful nutritional information. This symposium will provide a summary of the current research on sugars and health-related outcomes. Further, it will address the rationale for the FDA’s new regulations for sugars, specifically pertaining to both the declaration of added sugars and the DV. The symposium will also highlight the ramifications of these new laws on consumers and their diet, as well as the effects on industry for the management of food labeling and advertising claims relative to sugars. Lastly, the symposium will provide an overview of the global regulations for sugars, highlighting key diversities in differing jurisdictions, and the impact that these targets for sugars have on consumers and the marketplace. If you are interested in understanding more about the updated sugar regulations in the US, Canada, and the EU, and the impact these changes will have on both the consumer and industry, then attendance at this session is a must.
If a new technology is introduced, the proponents will claim to revolutionize the food production and/or to provide more nutritious food. Whereas critics may raise concerns that the technology poses great risks to human health and the environment. However, the industry races ahead bringing applications to market and government agencies have difficulty regulating this novel technology or ingredient. This sounds familiar, but the new technology is not genetic engineering, but nanotechnology, a new food ingredient or product claim. In relation to nanotechnology many concerns have been identified that also characterize public concerns about GM (genetically modified) food including a lack of transparency. This lack of transparency is also often criticized by consumers and especially by consumer advice centers when it comes to clean product labelling. Moreover, based on current surveys only 34% of consumers agree that food companies are transparent about how food is produced, what kind of ingredients are used, and how this is communicated on the package. This session is hence designed to address the aforementioned issues, to present potential solutions, and also to inform the industry and consumer about related and recent regulation in these areas.

The symposium includes the following focus topics: (i) nanomaterials in the food sector; (ii) the challenge of positioning a naturally derived ingredient in today’s regulatory landscape; and (iii) integrated food production as tool for consumer transparency.

The symposium is being organized and moderated by Myriam Loeffler (Chair International Division; University of Hohenheim; Stuttgart, Germany) and Dr. Kai Reineke (Member at Large International Division; GNT, Germany)
On July 29, 2016, President Obama signed into law an Act amending the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 (Act), 7 U.S.C. § 1621 et seq., which provides for a national bioengineered food disclosure standard. Among other things, the Act requires the Secretary of Agriculture to establish a national disclosure standard for bioengineered foods, including a mandatory disclosure of foods that contain bioengineering. This new law represents the first nationwide bioengineering labeling program.

The bill directs the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to begin the process of deciding what exactly food manufacturers will be required to label. It will be up to USDA to define which ingredients count as “genetically modified ingredients” for the purposes of the law. The agency is supposed to complete this process within two years.

The law allows companies to choose from a few options: words on the package’s label; a 1-800 number that consumers can call to get information on the product’s genetically modified ingredients; or a quick response (QR) code that has to be scanned with a smartphone which will take the consumer to a website for GMO information.

Since the law has passed, many questions have been raised from industry stakeholders and consumers. When will the labeling law go into effect? What will producers and manufacturers have to label? Will highly refined products such as corn syrup or soybean oil that come from genetically-modified sources be exempted from the labeling? How will the law affect organic foods?

The objective of this symposium is to clarify some of these questions and to provide attendees with the USDA updates about this program.

This symposium is sponsored by the IFT Quality Assurance Division, the IFT Biotech Division, and the IFT Food Laws and Regulation Division.