to Require Food Manufacturers to List Food Allergens
"I applaud Congress for the passage of FALCPA," said Andrew C. von Eschenbach, M.D., Acting FDA Commissioner. "Chairman Joe Barton and Ranking Member John D. Dingell in the House, Energy and Commerce Committee were instrumental in moving this bipartisan legislation forward. Representative Nita Lowey was the original sponsor of the legislation. FDA also applauds the dedication and leadership of the legislation's sponsors in the Senate, which include Senators Judd Gregg and Edward Kennedy."
This labeling will be especially helpful to children who must learn to recognize the presence of substances they must avoid. For example, if a product contains the milk-derived protein, casein, the product's label will have to use the term "milk" in addition to the term "casein" so that those with milk allergies can clearly understand the presence of the allergen they need to avoid.
It is estimated that 2 percent of adults and about 5 percent of infants and young children in the United States suffer from food allergies. Approximately 30,000 consumers require emergency room treatment and 150 Americans die each year because of allergic reactions to food.
"The eight major food allergens account for 90 percent of all documented food allergic reactions, and some reactions may be severe or life-threatening," said Robert E. Brackett, PhD, Director of FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. "Consumers will benefit from improved food labels for products that contain food allergens."
FALCPA does not require food manufacturers or retailers to relabel or remove from grocery or supermarket shelves products that do not reflect the additional allergen labeling as long as the products were labeled before the effective date. As a result, FDA cautions consumers that there will be a transition period of undetermined length during which it is likely that consumers will see packaged food on store shelves and in consumers' homes without the revised allergen labeling.
For more information about FALCPA, visit FDA's food allergy page at http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/wh-alrgy.html.
Coli Found In Dee Creek Farm Milk (The Daily News, WA)
Coli Found In Dee Creek Farm Milk
(The Daily News, WA)
Unpasteurized milk from Woodland's
Dee Creek Farm tested positive for E. coli, further linking
Also Tuesday, state Sen. Mark Doumit said he wants to block the "cow share" system used to distribute the milk, fearing it's an attempt to skirt the law.
Doumit, D-Cathlamet, will introduce legislation during the upcoming session if need be, he said.
The state Department of Agriculture tested milk provided by the farm and some of the farm's customers -- called shareholders because they purchase a part of one of the farm's cows instead of milk directly. Preliminary results found the same type of E. coli that has sickened 18 people, most of them children.
Further tests will now be done by the state Public Health laboratory. Scientists will run DNA tests on the E. coli bacteria found in the milk and compare it to the DNA of the bacteria found in patients, said Marni Storey, public health manager with the Clark County Health Department.
If the DNA in the milk E. coli matches the DNA in the patients, that would provide a direct link between the milk -- or unsanitary handling or bottling -- and the infections.
State lab tests already linked four of the E. coli cases among patients, finding that four patients' bacteria had the same DNA. That bolsters officials' belief that all the cases are connected to the milk, since everyone who reported E. coli symptoms drank milk from the farm, according to Clark County officials.
The number of people with E. coli has fluctuated as health officials contacted and interviewed the dairy's customers. Some suspected cases were eliminated after interviews were conducted and tests were run, Storey said. Tuesday, she put the total number at 18; 10 in Clark County, five in Cowlitz County and three in Oregon's Clatsop County.
Two Clark County children remain hospitalized, but both are in stable condition and improving, Storey said.
Last week, farm owners Anita and Michael Puckett said their own tests cleared their milk on three different occasions. The Pucketts did not immediately return telephone calls Tuesday asking for comment on the new results.
The farm owners believe their cow share program shields them from a state ban on selling unpasteurized milk without a license, but state officials warned them in August that was not the case.
Doumit said he'll need to talk to state officials about the current regulations. But if cow shares are some sort of loophole to the license law, he'll introduce legislation to close the exemption.
"And if the law doesn't
allow (cow shares), then I think we'll have to make sure it's enforced,"
he said. "Personally, I think what these people were doing was a
mistake. We've known for
A spokeswoman for the state
Attorney General's office said Tuesday they've received media calls about
the legality of cow shares but did not know if the office itself was looking
into the case. Last week Cowlitz County's civil prosecutor said he believed
any criminal charges would come from the state, since it's a state agriculture
regulation in question. 12-21-05
for Kelly, but Garibaldi pain lingers on
arthritis due to previous infection
alternative is not healthy
alert system for food and feed (RASFF)
Pet Food Recalled Due to Aflatoxin
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- Diamond Pet Food has discovered aflatoxin in a product manufactured at our facility in Gaston, South Carolina. Aflatoxin is a naturally occurring toxic chemical by-product from the growth of the fungus Aspergillus flavus, on corn and other crops.
Out of an abundance of caution, we have notified our distributors and recommended they hold the sale of all Diamond Pet Food products formulated with corn that were produced out of our Gaston facility (see complete list below). Please note that products manufactured at our facilities in Meta, Missouri and Lathrop, California are not affected. The Gaston facility date codes are unique from other Diamond facility codes in that either the eleventh or twelfth character in the date code will be a capital "G" (in reference to Gaston). The range of date codes being reviewed are "Best By 01-March-07" through Best By " 11-June-07". Diamond's quantitative analysis records substantiate that Diamond's corn shipments were definitively clear of aflatoxin after December 10. As such, "Best By 11-June-07" date codes or later are not affected by this notice.
States serviced by our Gaston facility include Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky (eastern), Main, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia, Vermont, and Virginia.
We are rapidly analyzing retained samples of all products produced in Gaston so we can isolate specific lot numbers impacted and provide this information to our distributors, retailers and customers as quickly as possible.
Meanwhile, if your pet is showing any symptoms of illness, including sluggishness or lethargy combined with a reluctance to eat, yellowish tint to the eyes and/or gums, and severe or bloody diarrhea, please consult your veterinarian immediately.
Product quality and customer satisfaction are important to us. We pledge to keep you updated as new developments occur.
Gaston Facility Products Removed From Sale
Diamond Low Fat Dog Food
New Guidance to Further Reduce Children¡¯s Risk From Lead Exposure in Certain
FDA has taken this action to significantly reduce the current guidance level for lead in food after testing of certain types of Mexican candy products showed evidence of lead contamination at levels above those presently allowed. The new guidance level that is proposed is 0.1 part per million (ppm) of lead, significantly lower than the current guidance level of 0.5 ppm.
"This new guidance level will further reduce an already minimal risk from lead exposure in candy," said Acting FDA Commissioner Dr. Andrew von Eschenbach. "Today's action is part of our ongoing effort to educate consumers, promote good manufacturing practices, and protect public health, especially the health of our young children."
FDA has always recognized that some amount of lead in food and food ingredients can occur due to unavoidable background levels present in our environment. However, the adverse health effects of elevated lead levels in children are well documented and may have long-lasting or permanent consequences. Thus FDA's goal is to reduce to the greatest extent possible the amount of lead in candy.
While most domestic and imported candies contain lead levels of 0.1 ppm or less, data that FDA gathered through sampling imported candy from Mexico and other information received by FDA revealed that certain ingredients often used in these candy products may be a source of avoidable lead exposure. These ingredients include chili powder and certain types of salt, which are used in these candies. Examples of these products include lollipops coated with chili, and powdery mixtures of salt, lemon flavor, and chili powder sold as a snack item.
In addition, FDA is concerned that there may be certain manufacturing processes or conditions that contribute to elevated lead levels in some of these candies, such as packing products or storing ingredients in improperly glazed ceramic vessels that may leach high levels of lead into the product.
To protect consumers, FDA will:
Continue to closely monitor
the lead levels in Mexican candy and other domestic and imported candy
products, work with our Mexican counterpart regulatory agencies, and take
appropriate regulatory action;
Written comments on the draft guidance may be submitted up to 75 days from the date it is published. Comments should be sent to FDA's Docket Management Branch (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, Md. 20852.
The draft guidance is accessible on the FDA Website at http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/pbguid2.html.