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Lawmakers Ask Exemption For Maple Syrup, Honey From “Added Sugars” Labeling

Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle and both houses of Congress asked FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb urging an exemption for pure maple syrup and honey from new “added sugars” disclosure requirements in any rewrite of the Nutrition Facts box on food labels. The FDA has proposed changes that would require an added sugar disclosure for most products. An added sugars declaration on pure maple syrup or honey products, the lawmakers wrote in their letter, “may signal to consumers that these pure products … actually contain added sweeteners such as table sugar or high-fructose corn syrup. This is patently false."TheFDA's March 2, 2018, Draft Guidance allows manufacturers to add a symbol after the added sugars daily value pointing consumers

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"CRAMER, WELCH TO FDA: EXEMPT PURE MAPLE AND HONEY FROM "ADDED SUGAR" LABEL RULE", News release, Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), June 08, 2018

Elimination of “Country-Of-Origin” Labeling On Meat Sold Here Upheld By Court

Although federal judgeRosanna Malouf Peterson agreed with domestic livestock producers that the lack of country-of-origin labelling on beef and pork products sold here was harmful to business, she ultimately sided with the USDA and dismissed their lawsuit asking that such labeling be required.Meat producers filed suit in Spokane in June 2017 after U.S. legislation called for the USDA to remove the country-of-origin labeling requirements following sanctions imposed by the World Trade Organization.Peterson said that unfortunately the legal clock had run out for any challenge to the underlying 1989 federal law, and that the U.S. Congress had clearly intended to have the labeling end. The livestock producers vowed to continue the fight. [Image

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"Federal judge in Spokane dismisses suit seeking to reinstate country-of-origin labels on imported meat", The Spokesman-Review (Spokane, Wash.), June 07, 2018

Bipartisan Bill Seeks To Protect U.S. Consumers From Inaccurate Food Labels

Eight Republican and Democratic congressmen joined to introduce a bill that would provide American consumers with “clear, accurate, meaningful” nutrition information on food products and prevent inaccurate and misleading labels that drive up prices. According to lead sponsor of the bill Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), the Accurate Labels Act (H.R. 6022) would establish science-based criteria for labeling requirements and ensure that “legitimate risks” are taken seriously. The bill would allow state-mandated product information to be provided through smartphone-enabled "smart labels" and on websites and ensure that covered product information is risk-based.It has the support of the American Chemistry Council, the Grocery Manufacturers Association,

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"Congressmen Kinzinger And Schrader Join Senator Moran To Introduce Accurate Labels Act", News release, Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), June 07, 2018

Clean Label Muffin Start-up Secures $2.5M In Seed Funding

N.Y.-based clean label muffin bakery start-up Soozy’s has snagged $2.5 million in seed funding from two VC companies. The company's products are certified gluten-free, certified paleo, Non-GMO Project Verified, and contain no gums, fillers, refined sugars, grains, dairy, peanuts, soy or additives. Soozy's products can be purchased online or in 500 retail outlets in Texas, the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, including H-E-B and Wegmans. Investors include BIGR Ventures, a growth equity fund, and AccelFoods, an investment fund that focuses on innovative, high-growth packaged food and beverage companies. [Image Credit: © Soozy’s]

"Soozy's Closes on $2.5 Million in Seed Capital From BIGR Ventures and AccelFoods", PRNewswire, June 07, 2018

New FDA Menu Labeling Regulations Now In Effect

With no plans by the Trump administration to interfere, FDA menu nutrition labeling took effect last month over the objections of major grocers and retailers. Meanwhile, the House passed legislation (H.R. 772) that would ease compliance, but the Senate hasn’t yet acted on the bill. The new FDA rules apply to all restaurants and similar retail food establishments nationwide with 20 or more locations; do business under the same name; and offer substantially the same menu items. Among other requirements, all menu boards must conspicuously mention that nutrition information is based on a 2,000 calories-a-day diet, and that more written information is available. Menu boards are defined as all primary writings – in-store, Internet, and take-home

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"United States: FDA Menu Labeling Rules Unfreeze", Mondaq Business Briefing, June 06, 2018

USDA Proposal On Disclosure Of Bioengineered Food Ingredients Release

The USDA’s long-awaited proposed rule providing a national standard for disclosure of bioengineered food ingredients was released in May with a public comment period extending to July 3.The proposed rule implements the2016 National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard Act, which pre-empts state GMO labeling schemes, including Vermont’s. The final rule is supposed to take effect on July 29. However, Chicago law firm Seyfarth Shaw LLP says it is likely that deadline will be missed because there are several unanswered questions: for example, how will the presence of "bioengineered" ingredients be disclosed?  Which foods and food manufacturers will be exempted from the labeling requirements. These open questions mean food manufacturers,

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"United States: The USDA's Proposed National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard", Mondaq Business Briefing, June 06, 2018

Clean Label Seaweed-Based Pig Feed Debuts In America

Ireland’s Ocean Harvest Technology Ltd. announced it is introducing in the U.S. pork products from swine raised on its Oceanfeed Swine seaweed-based feed ingredient formulated for pork. Farmers supplying poultry and livestock producer Heritage Foods are feeding their pigs with the feed made from a proprietary blend of red, brown, and green seaweed species. Brooklyn-based Heritage Farms is committed to providing heritage breed poultry and livestock raised on pasture without antibiotic growth promoters to American consumers. Customers who have tried Oceanfeed, a natural prebiotic, see enhanced animal health, more efficient nutrient uptake, and reduced mortality rates. [Image Credit: © Ocean Harvest]

"Ocean Harvest Technology Introduces North American Heritage Breed Pork Products Enhanced With Seaweed-Based Feed Ingredients", Business Wire, June 05, 2018

Bakery Debuts Line Of Clean Label Minicakes

Family-owned California bakery Sugar Bowl Bakery has launched a line of clean label miniature “Button Cakes” in four flavors. The minicakes are made with butter and eggs, contain real fruit and vanilla bean seeds, but no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives. The Button Cakes – available in tropical mango, wild blueberry, lemon zest and madagascar vanilla flavors – will be sold in eight- and 16-count packages in retail stores throughout the U.S.  They were introduced at the recent International Dairy Deli Bakery Association Show in New Orleans, La. [Image Credit: © Sugar Bowl Bakery]

"Sugar Bowl Bakery Expands Product Line with Launch of its New Button Cakes At The International Dairy Deli Bakery Association Show", Globe Newswire, June 04, 2018

Healthful Baked Snacks For Kids Who Are “Picky Eaters”

Freedom Foods North America, a unit of the Australian company, is introducing a line of healthful, affordable snacks for kids who are “picky eaters.” Messy Monkeys are baked whole grain non-GMO sorghum and quinoa bites available in kid-friendly flavors, including pizza, cheese, and apple. Each serving contains 14 percent protein, seven percent fiber, one gram of sugar, and less than 100 mg of salt. Messy Monkeys are sold in a 10-pack for $5.99 and are available for now only through Amazon. The company said distribution partnerships with multiple natural foods retailers will be announced soon, and the snacks will be selling nationwide by the end of the year. [Image Credit: © Freedom Foods North America]

"Messy Monkeys balances nutrition with affordability for US launch", FoodNavigator-USA.com, June 01, 2018

Midwest Supermarket Chain Hy-Vee Has Success Selling Sourdough Breads

A Hy-Vee supermarket in Urbandale, Ill., sells about 400 half- and full-loaves of sourdough bread every week in four varieties: regular, roasted garlic, rye, and jalapeño-cheddar. The volume sold makes sourdough one of the most popular breads at the store and inspired the store manager to sell sourdough rolls. The Hy-Vee experience is an example of a trend among supermarkets to offer more