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Article | June 30, 1997
Dietary supplements Kellogg wants claim Where's the fat?
ACalifornia State Dept. of Conservation study of that state's beverage container recycling law recommends changes that would simplify the way the bottle deposits fund recycling, potentially reducing paperwork for packagers.
Under the proposed overhaul bottle deposit fees collected from consumers would be held in separate accounts based on material type-e.g. one for glass another for plastic etc. Those materials that aren't being recycled will start to accumulate more money in the material-specific fund. The fund would then pay a premium-called a recycling dividend-to recyclers for collecting that specific material. Unlike current law only those materials that can be economically recycled would be collected. And packagers would not pay into or receive money from the fund unlike the current system. A spokesperson for the California Dept. of Conservation says it will mull over the report's recommendations this summer. It is not yet known if or when legislation will be introduced to overhaul the existing law. Responding to more than 800 reports of adverse side effects the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has proposed tough new regulations including warning labels for products containing ephedrine an herbal stimulant used in a wide array of over-the-counter dietary supplements. Under the proposed regulations warning labels would be required instructing consumers not to consume more than 24 mg of the stimulant per day and not to use the product for more than seven days. Products containing ephedrine marketed as stimulants would be required to add a warning label stating "Taking more than the recommended serving may result in heart attack stroke or death." FDA linked ephedrine use to at least 18 deaths since 1994. FDA is accepting comments on its proposal until August 18 1997 and expects to issue a final rule early in 1998. Following the trail blazed by Quaker Oats Kellogg Co. has petitioned FDA for permission to include a health claim on its cereal boxes linking wheat bran to the reduced risk of colon cancer. In January FDA approved the first food-specific health claim for oats which appears to have boosted sales of Quaker'soatmeal-based hot cereals. FDA wouldn't give a timetable on its evaluation of Kellogg's petition but Quaker's petition took a year to be approved. The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) wants the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) to require ground beef to comply with the same nutrition labeling requirements as all other foods. Consumers have no way of knowing how many grams of fat ground beef contains because current package labels list only "percent fat" or "percent lean" complained CSPI. USDA is studying the matter. FPA protests EPA clean air proposals Some 60 members of the Flexible Packaging Assn. (FPA) met with their representatives in Congress in late May to lobby against proposals by the Environmental Protection Agency to tighten clean air standards. FPA estimates such proposals could cost the converting industry $3.5 billion which would undoubtedly affect prices packagers pay for flexible packaging. FPA members reportedly were pleased with legislators' response. "We are cautiously optimistic about the prospects for EPA reducing the harshness of its proposals" said FPA spokesperson Marjorie Valin.
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