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FDA Publishes Findings from Investigation of Romaine Lettuce E. coli Outbreak

As previously reported on this blog, in November 2018 FDA, in conjunction with the CDC, state officials, and Canadian food and public health officials, investigated an outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 infections in multiple US states and Canadian provinces. The investigation determined the cause of the outbreak was the consumption of contaminated romaine lettuce. Indeed, … Continue Reading

FDA Takes Action on Dietary Supplements Claiming to Treat Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Serious Conditions

FDA has issued warning letters and online advisories to a number of dietary supplement companies whose products claim to prevent, treat, or cure Alzheimer’s disease and other serious conditions.  The disease claims cause the supplements to be considered unapproved new drugs that violate the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. The products in question include … Continue Reading

New York Judge Lifts 2-Year Stay on KIND “All Natural” Suit (subscription to Law360 required)

A New York federal court ordered a consumer class action against KIND LLC to move forward after a two-year stay. Consumers are suing KIND for allegedly mislabeling its snack products as both “non-GMO” and “all natural,” even though the products purportedly contain synthetic and genetically modified ingredients.  On September 15, 2016, U.S. District Judge William … Continue Reading

FDA to Strengthen Dietary Supplements Regulation

On February 11, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D. announced a new plan for modernizing and strengthening dietary supplement regulation and oversight. In making the announcement, Dr. Gottlieb pointed out that supplement use is increasing with three out of every four American consumers taking a dietary supplement on a regular basis. Also, since Congress passed the … Continue Reading

FDA Takes Action Against Retailers Selling Tobacco Products to Minors

On February 7 FDA initiated enforcement action against a Miami, Florida Walgreens and a Charleston, South Carolina Circle K store for repeated sales of tobacco products to minors.  The enforcement action, called a no-tobacco-sale-order (NTSO) would prevent the individual stores from selling any tobacco product for thirty days. In its press release, FDA noted that … Continue Reading

Proposed EU Hygiene Rules for Insects Used in Food

Novel Food Regulation (EU) 2015/2283 describes the authorization process for novel food products in the European Union (EU). “Novel food” is defined as food that had not been consumed to a significant degree by humans in the EU before May 15, 1997. “Novel Food” can be newly developed, innovative food, food produced using new technologies … Continue Reading

New York City, Ohio, and Maine Crackdown on Food Products with CBD

City and state officials in New York, Ohio, and Maine have placed embargoes on food products containing cannabidiol (CBD).  The embargoes, which appear to have all begun in January, require restaurants and retailers to remove all CBD-containing food products from their shelves and prohibit their sale.  In all three jurisdictions, however, restaurants and retailers were … Continue Reading

More States Attempt to Ban Sodas from Kids’ Meals

Recently introduced Kids’ Meal Bills in Connecticut and Rhode Island would prohibit restaurants from including soft drink beverages on children’s menus and in children’s meals. More specifically, Connecticut House Bill 7006 would limit beverages listed on children’s menus to “water, sparkling water, flavored water with no added sweeteners, unflavored milk or a nondairy milk alternative,” … Continue Reading

Court Rules En Banc for Injunction Against San Francisco’s Health Warning Requirement for Soft Drink Ads

  As previously covered on this blog, the City of San Francisco passed legislation in June 2015 that required health warnings to be placed on advertising for sugar-sweetened beverages (i.e., nonalcoholic beverages with caloric sweeteners that contain more than 25 calories per 12 oz.). Specifically, the warning would have read: “WARNING: Drinking beverages with added … Continue Reading

Cannabis Quick Hits

A look at some recent news that we are following: There has been a lot of action in state legislatures towards legalization of cannabis for medical use, recreational use, or both.  A recent Boston Globe article addresses the ten states where legalization is most likely this year. New York state appears to have had a … Continue Reading

Raw Turkey Pet Food Linked to Human Illness in Minnesota

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) has issued a recall notice for three lots of raw turkey pet food manufactured by Woody’s Pet Food Deli after linking a human case of Salmonella Reading infection to the product. The infected person served the recalled food to a pet, which also tested positive for Salmonella but a … Continue Reading

Plant-Based Milk Labeling Comment Period Ends; Debate Continues

As previously reported in September on this blog, FDA requested comments on the use of dairy terms—such as milk, yogurt, and cheese—in the labeling of plant-based products. FDA’s Standards of Identity define milk in part as the “lacteal secretion, practically free from colostrum, obtained by the complete milking of one or more healthy cows.” The original deadline … Continue Reading

FDA and USDA Are Back to Work, But Getting Back to “Normal” May Still Take Time

  FDA and USDA employees furloughed during the 35-day partial government shutdown have returned to work this morning after the President signed legislation on Friday to temporarily reopen the government for 3 weeks.  While this is very good news, it will take some time before all activities are running smoothly again. FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb’s … Continue Reading

New Nebraska Bill Defining Meat as Derived from Livestock or Poultry

Last week, we blogged about Nebraska Legislative Bill 14 (LB 14), which would have limited the use of the term “meat” to the edible portions of livestock or poultry carcasses.  It would have specifically excluded insect- or plant-based products as well as lab-grown products from the definition.  Under the proposed bill, engaging in any misleading … Continue Reading

Canada’s New “Food Guide” Does Not Include Separate Dairy Category

Canada has released its updated “Food Guide” for 2019.  Later this year, Health Canada will release Part II of the Guide, which will include descriptions of healthy eating habits with recommendations on amounts and types of foods in a balanced diet.  While the changes as a whole shift the focus of the guide to a … Continue Reading

Senators Ask FDA to Update Federal Regulations Governing Use of CBD in Food, Beverages, and Dietary Supplements

As previously reported on this blog, the Agriculture Improvement Act (also known as “the 2018 Farm Bill”) removed hemp from the Controlled Substances Act, which means it is no longer an illegal substance under federal law.  However, the 2018 Farm Bill does not affect FDA’s authority to regulate derivatives of cannabis (e.g., CBD) or other … Continue Reading

USDA and FDA Continue to Call Back Workers Amid Partial Shutdown

As previously reported on this blog, without either a fiscal year 2019 appropriation or a Continuing Resolution, a partial government shutdown, which began on December 22, 2018, has continued to impact both the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. This blog has also reported that as of January 15, FDA resumed inspections … Continue Reading

NGO Publishes Report on Food Safety

The United State Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) published “How Safe is Our Food? Recent trends and case studies, and what they mean for our health”, a review and commentary of the food safety system in the United States.  PIRG reviewed trends in food safety, with an emphasis on recalls, as well as case studies … Continue Reading

What to Know about California’s New Proposition 12 Requirements on Farm Animal Confinement

During the November 2018 election, California voters passed a ballot initiative known as Proposition 12, which establishes new standards for confinement of certain farm animals and bans the sale of products that do not comply with the new confinement standards.  The ballot initiative amended an existing California Health and Safety Code section, Chapter 13.9 (“Farm Animal Cruelty”).  … Continue Reading

FDA Resumes Inspections of High-Risk Food Facilities

As previously reported on this blog, the partial federal government shutdown stalled FDA’s ability to conduct routine inspections of domestic food facilities.  However, as of January 15, FDA resumed inspections of food facilities that produce high risk foods, such as cheeses, other dairy products, seafood, produce, and infant formula, which had been stopped as a result of … Continue Reading

Nebraska Bill Defines Meat as Derived from Livestock or Poultry

Introduced January 10, 2019, Nebraska Legislative Bill 14 would prohibit “misrepresenting a product as meat that is not derived from livestock or poultry.” The bill, which was referred to the Agriculture Committee on January 14, was introduced by Sen. Carol Blood. “I’m not bringing this bill to tell people what they can and can’t eat. All … Continue Reading

CDC Declares End to Latest E. Coli Outbreak Linked to Romaine

As previously reported on this blog, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have been investigating a multistate outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 illnesses that were likely linked to romaine lettuce. This latest outbreak, which began in the Fall 2018, is not related to the E.coli outbreak … Continue Reading
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