By Carol McCracken (Post # 593)
Ben & Jerry’s delicious ice cream has agreed to phase out its claim of “All Natural” on labels on its ice cream and yogurt products that contain “alkalized cocoa, corn syrup, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, or other ingredients that are not natural,” said a press release from “Sustainable Food News,” today.
This action was taken by Ben & Jerry’s in response to a complaint issued by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) because it threatened to take its concerns to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and state attorneys general unless the company dropped the “all-natural” claim. The letter from the CSPI said that at least 48 products were improperly labeled.
The USDA which “regulates meat and poultry lets products be labeled “natural” if they do not include artifical colors or ingredients, or are not more than ‘minimally processed’ by which the agency means a process that doesn’t fundamentally alter the raw ingredient,” said the same press release.
On another note, “Sustinable Food News” also reported that Alaska’s Governor Sean Parnell has expressed “opposition to the approval of genetically engineered Atlantic salmon for human consumption.” In a letter written to The Food and Drug Administration (FDA”) the Governor said questioned whether the “application has received sufficent scientific and public scrutiny.” He was concerned about the lack of tranparency in the review process. He went on to say: “Alaska’s salmon industry is critically important to the state’s economy and a primary source of employment, revenue and food for Alaskans. Putting a product like this on the shelf only serves to undermine our efforts to educate consumers about the health benefits of salmon consumption. At the very minimum, FDA must ensure genetically engineered salmon are labeled as such, giving consumers a choice.”
The “Sustainable Food News” is published by Hill resident Dan McGovern. It’s the largest, daily, on-line news service to the organic food industry. For more information, please contact Dan at: (207) 749-5249.