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NCA Business News: Policy & Regulation

August 7, 2014

 

August 7, 2014

 

NCA Ohio confections highlighted at Portman PAC event
Iconic Ohio confectionery treats from Fannie May Confections, Spangler Candy Company, McJak Candy Company, Esther Price, and Cheryl’s were enjoyed by Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and the entire Ohio Congressional delegation at the annual Chili Fest in Washington, D.C., in July 23.

Many members of the Ohio delegation have championed the industry’s sugar reform efforts, trade and other pro-business issues, and we thank all of the Ohio companies who participated in this event. Contact Kelsey Freeman.
     
Lawmakers support industry’s position on Mexican dumping case
The Coalition for Sugar Reform sent petitions signed by 17 senators and 63 representatives to Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack encouraging them not to settle the Mexican sugar dispute at this time as it would raise the price of sugar indefinitely. NCA and the Coalition believe that the claims should be investigated thoroughly to determine the appropriate resolution. Contact Liz Clark.
 
GMO bill defeated in Massachusetts
Proponents of biotechnology scored a victory in Massachusetts this July when the state’s legislature failed to vote on a genetically engineered-ingredient labeling bill, which mandated that all foods containing any genetically engineered ingredients be labeled, “produced with genetic engineering.” The Boston Globe writes, “Until there is a solid scientific reason to believe that genetically modified crops are unhealthy, a labeling requirement would only serve to confuse consumers.” Oregon and New York are expected to introduce similar laws.

NCA supports the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2014, introduced by Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.), which would establish a uniform set of national standards for food manufacturers and processors. Contact Alison Bodor.
 
Industry thanks GE-ingredient supporters
NCA joined over 50 food industry associations in support of the use of biotechnology, specifically thanking former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for her recent remarks supporting its use. The group also sent a letter to Congressional leadership of the House Agriculture Committee’s Horticulture, Research, Biotechnology and Foreign Agriculture Subcommittee thanking them for their leadership on the issue. Contact Kelsey Freeman.
 
National soda tax bill introduced
Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) introduced the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Tax (SWEET) Act last week, legislation that would impose a tax on the sale of soda and other sugary beverages. Specifically, the bill calls for a tax of 1 cent per teaspoon of sweetener, whether natural or artificial, to be used for “prevention, treatment and research of diet-related conditions.”

Rep. DeLauro said in a statement, “There is a clear relationship between sugar-sweetened beverages and a host of other health conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, obesity and tooth decay.” So-called sin taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages have routinely failed despite more than two dozen attempts to pass them since 2009. San Francisco and Berkeley, Calif., are slated to put similar taxes on ballots this November. Contact Alison Bodor.
 
Preliminary report finds “added sugars” leads to ambiguity, shopper confusion
A national online study among 1,088 adult consumers conducted by the International Food Information Council Foundation concludes that an “added sugars” line on the Nutrition Facts panel leads to consumer confusion. The survey indicates that rather than clarifying the total amount of sugars in a product, this extra line item causes consumers to believe that the products contain more sugars than they actually do. When shown illustrations of what the added sugars line might look like on the redesigned Nutrition Facts label, eight out of 10 consumers preferred the simpler, total sugars line item. The IFIC Foundation has submitted these preliminary findings to the Food and Drug Administration as it considers updates to the current Nutrition Facts panel. Contact Zara Khaleeli.
 
FDA closes NFP comment period; Canada proposes changes to Canadian Nutrition Facts
Last week, NCA submitted comments to FDA on the proposed changes to the Nutrition Facts panel. NCA requested that FDA provide three to five years for compliance with the final rule and asked for modifications to the proposed format for small packages. Furthermore, NCA highlights concerns related to added sugars including the enforcement mechanisms and the lack of consumer research.

Meanwhile, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency released proposed changes to the country’s version of the Nutrition Facts panel through its Food Labeling Modernization Initiative. Many of the proposed changes are similar to those being put forth in the U.S., such as bigger and bolder calories and added sugars, but there are some key differences. For example, a percent daily value of 100 grams for total sugars has been proposed. Additionally, all sugar-based ingredients added directly to a food are to be grouped under a “sugars” declaration in the ingredient statement, with all specific sweeteners listed parenthetically. Contact Laura Shumow.
 
Sweets, snacks take hit at Dietary Guidelines meeting
The 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee convened July 17-18 for its fourth meeting. The DGAC concluded that diets low in sweetened foods were linked to lowered risk of cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes and some forms of cancer, and as a result, has drafted recommendations to limit sugars and sweets. Furthermore, the snacks category (in which candy was included) was shown to contribute a substantial portion of calories and added sugars. Generally, the committee is focused on identifying broad dietary patterns that are healthful and sustainable, such as diets high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat proteins, and low in sweetened foods, red and processed meats. The committee also discussed the state of science on caffeine and aspartame and concluded these food components are safe at normal levels of consumption. Contact Laura Shumow.
 
 
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National Confectioners Association

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