Category : Food Labeling

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Have Legitimate Food Fears? You May Be a Candidate For a Shrink

Lately, we’ve been hearing a lot about “food fears.” In the past few months, for example, we’ve seen a couple of university “studies,” both funded by the Corn Refiners Association, which represents makers of high fructose corn syrup, that suggested that consumers harboring such fears are really ill-informed or don’t deserve to be taken seriously by the food industry.

But now, allowing concern about food to impact your lifestyle could have an actual stigma attached to it – that is, if the authors of an article published earlier this year in the professional journal Pyschosomatics succeed in getting it classified as a form of mental illness.

All of which would seem to suggest that there’s something irrational about the idea that the food we eat poses a threat to our well-being. So it might be only fair to ask: Is there?

Read more at our sister site, FoodIdentityTheft.com: http://foodidentitytheft.com/having-legitimate-food-fears-may-soon-make-you-a-candidate-for-a-shrink/

Are Additives In These Formulas Suitable for Babies?

We’ve talked about the risk posed to babies by the presence of whey protein concentrate, an “excitotoxin” containing free glutamic acid, in the “Good Start” products currently being marketed by Gerber as a preventive for childhood allergies (a claim now being disputed in a lawsuit filed by the Federal Trade Commission). In this one, we’d like to talk about two other problematic baby-food ingredients.

The first is hexane-extracted soy, which can be found in soy-based infant formulas.

Hexane is a neurotoxic, highly flammable, volatile chemical that is a byproduct of gasoline refining. It’s used in industrial glues and cleaning solutions. It can also be found in gasoline and numerous other consumer products, mostly adhesives, sealants and coatings, such as Rust-Oleum. But the most common use of hexane is as a solvent to extract the oils from nonorganic soy, canola and corn.

The Cornucopia Institute has been investigating hexane since its 2009 report, Behind the Bean was issued. It says that “nearly every major ingredient in conventional soy-based infant formula is hexane-extracted.”

We called two companies that make soy-based formulas, Abbot Laboratories, which makes Similac, and Mead Johnson, that makes Enfamil, to see what they had to say about the hexane-processed ingredients they use.

The Abbot specialist read from a prepared statement saying that many edible oils that have a “long history of safe use throughout the world (are) produced using the hexane extraction method,” and that the soy protein used in the company’s formulations are extracted this way, with “our suppliers’ standard practice” being to remove traces of hexane, adding that Abbot products have “been safely fed to millions of babies…and they have grown and developed normally.”

Mead Johnson told us that they had no information about hexane and soy; however a member of its product information department called back the next day, not about the soy, but to tell us its fatty acid additives DHA and ARA, are “purified” with hexane and that the “suppliers’ standard practice” is to remove all “detectable” traces of the chemical (the DHA and ARA are produced from laboratory-grown algae and fungus).

The Cornucopia Institute notes that “(t)he effects of consuming foods that contain hexane-extracted ingredients are . . .

Read more at our sister site, FoodIdentityTheft.com: http://foodidentitytheft.com/are-the-additives-in-these-formulas-really-suitable-for-babies/

CFH Petition Calls for Accurate Labels for Products Containing HFCS and Other Sugars

hfcs_labeling_callout_240pxYour Turn to Comment on FDA’s Proposed Changes to Labeling Rules

We’re gaining momentum in the fight to change the labeling of added sugar on nutrition labels. As you may know, more and more food manufacturers are leaving HFCS out of their foods.

Most recently, the FDA announced proposed changes to the nutritional information on product labels that would include information on how much added sugar a food contains. We at Citizens For Health applaud this move, but we need your help to encourage the FDA to do more.

Specifically: we’re asking the FDA to:

  • Include “nutritive sweetener” after “Added Sugars”
  • Identify the name of the added sugar
  • Identify the percentage of fructose if the added sugar is high fructose corn syrup (HFCS)

We need your comments on the amendment, even if you already commented on the the original petition. More than 30,000 comments were received on our original petition; we want to increase that tenfold for the amendment.

 

Consumers Vindicated: Manufacturers Leaving HFCS Out of More Packaged Foods

nohfcsThe power of well-informed consumers to reverse harmful food industry practices has once again been demonstrated by the response of a major company to the concerns of its customers.

The company is General Mills, which has come out with a TV commercial proclaiming that “What matters most should always come first – which is why we use whole grains in every General Mills Big G cereal and why we never use high fructose corn syrup.”

Apparently, they haven’t been listening to the mantra of the Corn Refiners Association, which is that companies need not bother removing HFCS from their products because most consumers really don’t care about the fact that it’s there. Or, perhaps we should add, was put there without anyone bothering to consult them – or without the benefit of research that has since linked it to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and a bunch of other health problems.

But the, the CRA has dismissed such studies, done by scientists at some of the country’s leading universities and medical facilities, as so much “false science” – just like it dismisses the concerns that an increasing number of parents have about the cumulative effects of HFCS in a wide range of products as hazardous to their children’s health.

The corn refiners claim that marketing surveys have confirmed their premise that the addition of HFCS in products is of no real interest to people who buy them. Well, here at Food Identity Theft, we’ve talked to many shoppers in the course of our research “in the field” (that is, in supermarket aisles).  And the majority of those we speak with are quite concerned – and have told us they want no part of products containing HFCS.

Read more at Food Identity Theft: http://foodidentitytheft.com/more-and-more-no-hfcs-labels-prove-the-power-of-the-consumer/

A ‘study’ in collusion: Cornell and the Corn Refiners

When we refer to “a study” done at some prestigious university, we’re usually talking about scientific research in which the effects of a particular substance on animal or human subjects have been carefully evaluated over a period of time, and then published in a peer-reviewed professional journal.  A number of such studies cited in this blog, for example, have suggested a link between high fructose corn syrup consumption and obesity, diabetes and other ailments.

But that’s not the sort of “study” that recently made headlines (and even made the Today Show) after being conducted by a team of “researchers” from Cornell University.

Their 40-page paper, “Ingredient-Based Food Fears and Avoidance: Antecedents and Antidotes,” was published not in any kind of scientific or medical journal, but one entitled Food Quality and Preference.  According to its description, “This study investigates food fears that are ingredient-based, focusing on the case of high-fructose corn syrup” and was based on “results of a national phone survey of 1,008 U.S. mothers.”

But then, the lead author, Professor Brian Wansink, doesn’t exactly fit the conventional image of a scientist.  He’s rather a member of the university’s “Applied Economics and Management Department” with a Ph.D. in food psychology and consumer behavior. But he is the director and founder of a “laboratory” — the Cornell Food and Brand Lab, which “is independently funded by grants and consumer groups” and “focuses on better understanding consumers and how they relate to foods and packaged foods.”

Oh, and one other thing.  This particular Ivy League “study” was funded by the Corn Refiners Association, the industry group representing manufacturers of high fructose corn syrup. Or so we were informed in an e-mail Monday night by Dr. Aner Tal, an associate researcher on the project.

Are you starting to get the picture?

Read more at: http://foodidentitytheft.com/a-study-in-collusion-cornell-and-the-corn-refiners/

Consumers Compel Food Makers To Remove HFCS From Products

In response to a backlash from consumers, a growing number of food and beverage companies have changed their recipes to remove industrial sweeteners that people find objectionable.  We’ve named High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) as the most important ingredient to avoid, and you listened. Furthermore, concerned consumers are asking businesses to remove it from their products.  The food and beverage industry is listening, replacing HFCS with natural cane or beet sugar.

Rather than abandoning brands that contain controversial ingredients, consumers are using social media, personal blogs and online petitions to urge companies to change what goes into their products.  Even First Lady Michele Obama went public, saying at a recent White House event, “Our bodies don’t know what to do with High Fructose Corn Syrup, and don’t need it.”

Food and beverage makers are responding to mounting negative comments.  Ingredient changes include:

  • Sara Lee’s removal of HFCS from its Soft & Smooth and 100% Whole Wheat Breads because their consumers, particularly moms, asked them to.
  • Kraft Foods’ elimination of HFCS from its Capri Sun Juice Drinks, Nabisco Wheat Thins and Premium crackers, and many of its salad dressings.
  • Subway’s removal HFCS from its sandwich breads.
  • Pepsi’s introduction of a new line of soft drinks “made with real sugar.”
  • Yoplait’s eradication of HFCS from all products, citing the change came from Tweets and emails from customers.
  • Chick-fil-A’s taking High Fructose Corn Syrup out of its sauces and dressings.
  • Kroger Supermarkets removing HFCS from its store-brand cereals following surveys with consumers.
  • Wild Oats announcing a new line of products at Walmart stores will not contain “the unwanted ingredient” HFCS.

Over the past decade, the use of High Fructose Corn Syrup in packaged foods and drinks has fallen 18%! That is definitely a move in the right direction.

First Lady Disses Corn Syrup, and the Corn Refiners Association is Not Happy

Yesterday at the annual White House Easter Egg Roll, First Lady Michelle Obama made a comment about high fructose corn syrup that has raised the ire of The Corn Refiners Association.

According to the White House pool report, Mrs. Obama told her guest chef, celebrity chef Marc Murphy: “Our bodies don’t know what to do with high fructose corn syrup – and don’t need it.”

The corn syrup versus sugar debate is years old. Recently the New York Times reported that since 2008, the CRA appeared to have spent more than $30 million defending high fructose corn syrup.

Read the full story at USNews: http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/washington-whispers/2014/04/21/michelle-obama-disses-corn-syrup-trade-group-pushes-back

We encourage you to join Mrs. Obama in taking a stand against HFCS — Please sign our petition

Join the Food Revolution with Woody Harrelson, Alicia Silverstone & Jane Goodall

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Three years ago, our my friends John and Ocean Robbins began a modest summit that they hoped would help inspire people to learn more about healthy food. The information from that summit spread like wildfire and has inspired over 150,000 people from all over the world!

This year, they’ve stepped it up to a whole new level. There’s more urgency than EVER before… For you, your health, the health of your loved ones, as well as for our struggling planet.  Joining John and Ocean Robbins are celebrities like Woody Harrelson, Jane Goodall, Alicia Silverstone, Amy Goodman, and MORE! These cultural persuaders are joining with expert doctors and food activists because they’ve realized that if we don’t do something now, we’re in trouble. They’ve chosen to use their platforms and names to inspire a critical mass where health becomes the norm.

Without a revolution, we are left in the hands of companies like Monsanto and Coca-Cola, who have spent tens of millions of dollars in recent years trying to stop anything that would interfere with their relentless pursuit of profits.

Think they care about our health? No way. Their bottom line is green, all right. But when healthy food is gone, you can’t eat money!

Find out all about how to join the revolution here, at no cost, where for a week you’ll be fully empowered with all the latest information and TRUTH about your food, how it’s grown, and what the heck is in it.

This is a major globally broadcast summit. John and Ocean Robbins, the hosts, have made it completely complimentary for you to participate.

You can listen in the comfort and convenience of your own home, from your computer or phone.

Plus, this is cool: When you register, you’ll get a copy of The Real Food Action Guide, which reveals medical breakthroughs the corporate food industry hopes you never discover, and gives your family the truth about GMOs.

Sign up here

Again, there’s no cost to attend the online Food Revolution Summit event, happening April 26 – May 4. Get your access details now. You’ll hear directly from Jane Goodall, Woody Harrelson, Alicia Silverstone, and 20 more brilliant speakers!   

 

Get The “411” On GMOs This Friday

CFH has designated April 11 as the day to acknowledge how important it is to really know what’s in the foods and beverages we feed to ourselves and our families – and to share the “411”.

Visit our website to check out some of the things you can do to participate in this national day of communal education and acitivism – one of which is to sign our petition to properly label products containing high fructose corn syrup, or HFCS.

In this alert we’d like to re-focus your attention on another category of foods and beverages long overdue for accurate, informative labeling – those that contain genetically modified ingredients, commonly referred to as GMOs. While the push continues nationwide to pass laws requiring the labeling of products containing GMOs, so far it has been unsuccessful.

Commemorate Read Your Labels Day 2014 and make sure this success won’t elude us much longer by learning more about the issue – and sharing what you learn with friends and family.

GMO Mini SummitRecently we told you about the GMO Mini-Summit, a congregation of 20 of the world’s leading experts — such as Jeffrey Smith, Robyn O’Brien and Vandana Shiva — sharing breaking news about the health and environmental effects of GMOs. All the compelling content – including the additional interviews with experts conducted over the five weeks following the Summit – are still available in the Empowerment Package, a digital download of all 9 GMO Summit and all 9 Second Wave Presentations. Get the Empowerment Package, and 50% of the cost will be donated to CFH. Get informed and share it with friends and family, all the while knowing you are also empowering us at CFH to continue our work.

Do You Always Read the Labels on the Products You Buy?

CFH Chairman Jim Turner notes: “The majority of us don’t check the list of ingredients on food package labels. The big food manufacturers are counting on this. If we don’t read or understand the ingredients in their products, they can put pretty much whatever they want to into our food.

“We sponsored the first ‘Read Your Labels Day’ this last April to help Americans to be aware of how many chemicals are used in processed foods and beverages,” Mr. Turner added. “The response was tremendous. We had stories on TV stations around the country, and the news was covered by major grocery publications. Even some of the biggest supermarkets, including Whole Food Markets, hosted ‘Read Your Labels Day’ events in their stores. We’re expecting an even bigger success in 2014.”

What can you do to help make Mr. Turner’s prediction come true?

  1. For years CFH has tirelessly advocated for truth in labeling – re-acquaint yourself with our efforts to inform consumers about what’s really behind the flashy slogans and deceptive packaging. There’s the food coloring carmine, made from ground-up insects. Or the campaign by Mio to convince you that you need a colored stream of artificial ingredients to dress up your drinking water. Or tech and data company Vestcom’s in-store information program “healthyAisles” that does more to obfuscate than to enlighten.
  2. Sign the petition to accurately label products containing the artificial goop high fructose corn syrup, or HFCS.
  3. While you shop, look for the “Top 10 Ingredients to Avoid,” a list of questionable sweeteners, preservatives, and industrial chemical additives, such as HFCS, aspartame, and monosodium glutamate.
  4.  Take photos of products containing these awful ingredients and share them via Twitter, on Facebook, or Instagram (using the hashtag #ReadYourLabels).
  5. And, of course, share the “411” with friends, family, or the person in front of or behind you in the check-out line. An informed consumer is a force to be reckoned with.

Keep an eye out for more on this as “Read Your Labels Day” — April 11, (4/11) nears.