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Trends and Issues

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FDA proposes trans fat nutrition labeling

In a move that could lead to significant changes in nutrition labeling requirements, FDA proposed the amount of trans fatty acids, or trans fat, be included in the nutrition facts panel on food labels.
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OSHA wants more muscle

Agency is looking to build up its access to get confidential consultant reports and hold companies to higher ergonomics standards.
Feature Article
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A spoonful of guidance makes the packaging go down

FDA clarifies aspects of just-released ‘new’ drug packaging guidance. However, industry is very anxious about upcoming ‘old’ drug guidance.
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Processors urge no labeling of biotech foods

Food industry representatives stressed the safety of biotech foods in testimony at a hearing of the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee in early October.
Supplier News
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Wine labeling being reviewed

In February 1999, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms granted authority to wine makers to include a mention that moderate consumption of wine is associated with a lower risk of heart disease for some people.
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Soy health claim OK

Foods containing soy protein may now bear a health claim on the product label stating they can cut the risk of heart disease. According to a rule issued by FDA, which took effect Oct.
Products such as these may soon be able to claim they help prevent heart disease.
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FDA urged to approve soy health claim

The National Food Processors Assn. and the Grocery Manufacturers of America are urging FDA to approve a pending health claim for labels that links soy protein with the prevention of coronary heart disease.
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Is recycling sacred in California?

If you've read through Michele Raymond's report on the upcoming battle over plastic containers and recycling in California (see p. 44), you recognize you're reading a piece that originates from someone with a pro-recycling bias.
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FDA pressed to 'repackage' 120-day approval program

Congress appears likely to provide at least part of the $6 million needed to get a new 120-day notification program off the ground by Oct. 1. But many manufacturers are concerned with how the FDA will administer the program.
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House: Delay OHSA's ergonomics standard Supplement labels

In written testimony to FDA on structure/function claims for dietary supplements, Grocery Manufacturers of America (GMA) says that while consumer safety is obviously FDA's top priority, real risks are few and far between.
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House: Delay OHSA's ergonomics standard Single food agency

Representatives of both the National Food Processors Assn. (NFPA) and GMA told a Senate subcommittee that a coordinated approach is preferable to a single food safety agency.
Supplier News
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Supplier news: Appointments, promotions

Ungaretti & Harris (Chicago, IL): Eric F. Greenberg, an attorney specializing in packaging law and regulations, joins as partner.
Products such as these General Mills cereals may state a new health claim on its boxes.
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New health claim for whole grains

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has cleared a new health claim for labels of foods containing 51% or more of whole grain ingredients by weight. Labels of products meeting this standard may state: "Diets rich in whole grain foods and other plant foods and low in total fat, saturated fats and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease and certain cancers." This is the eleventh health claim approved by FDA for food labels and the first one to link a food's effect with two diseases.
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Sugar labeling

The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) wants FDA to change its nutrition labeling requirements to include a line for "added sugars," charging that consumers should be able to tell when sugars are added in processing as opposed to occurring naturally in the food.
Fresh Plus is the brand for modified-atmosphere-packed sandwiches that are packaged on thermoform and seal machines using barrie
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Home meal replacements on the move

Increased consumer demand for home meal replacement spurs development of new technologies, new markets. A Packaging World special report.
Feature Article
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Label helps curb product diversion

A holographic labeling program instituted by hair-care manufacturer Sebastian Intl. helps to identify distributors and salons that sell or resell products to unauthorized retailers.
Ranpak uses virtual reality modeling to demo its protective packaging equipment
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Site answers food label approval questions

Food packagers seeking guidance on obtaining approvals from USDA's Food Safety & Inspection Service (FSIS) may want to visit Prime Label Consultants' (Washington, DC) site at www.primelabel.com.
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A kinder, gentler FDA?

FDA needs to revise its constricted approval process to provide "an efficient, effective and timely process for dealing with health claims for foods and beverages," GMA told the agency in comments on the FDA Modernization Act of 1997, adding that the First Amendment prohibits FDA from acting as a "national censor." Both GMA and NFPA urged the agency to be more flexible in accepting authoritative statements to support health claims by a wider group of "federal scientific bodies." Currently, only two groups can make authoritative statements: a federal government scientific body with responsibility for public health protection or research directly related to nutrition (such as the National Institutes of Health or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) or the National Academy of Sciences and its subdivisions.

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