Representative Peter Welch on Wednesday called on the Food and Drug Administration to investigate a new syrup product that appears to violate FDA labeling rules.The ‘All Natural Syrup’ marketed by Log Cabin Syrup, a division of Pinnacle Foods LLC, appears to include ingredients the FDA does not allow in products labeled as ‘natural.’‘Vermont’s hardworking maple sugar makers are known far and wide for producing the highest quality maple syrup available. Any artificial syrup product masquerading as ‘natural’ confuses consumers and dilutes the value of one of Vermont’s finest products,’ Welch said. ‘I am asking the FDA to take swift action to enforce its regulations and preserve honesty in labeling.’The House Committee on Energy and Commerce, of which Welch is a member, has jurisdiction over the FDA.Welch joins Vermont Secretary of Agriculture Roger Allbee in urging regulators to determine whether Log Cabin Syrup has violated FDA standards.‘Pure Vermont maple syrup is a signature product of our state, and any product that is mislabeled and tries to imitate it must be dealt with,’ Allbee said. ‘Congressman Welch’s letter to the FDA is greatly appreciated.’Welch’s letter is copied below:September 8, 2010Margaret Hamburg, M.D.CommissionerFood and Drug Administration10903 New Hampshire Ave.Silver Spring, MD 20993Dear Dr. Hamburg,Log Cabin Syrup, a division of Pinnacle Foods LLC, recently began marketing what it is calling a new, ‘All Natural Syrup.’ According to FDA guidelines, a product labeled ‘natural’ may not contain added colors, flavors or artificial substances.This so-called ‘natural’ product includes the following ingredients: syrup (brown rice, sugar, maple [4 percent]), water, natural flavor, xanthan gum (natural thickener), caramel color, citric acid. Log Cabin’s product appears to violate the FDA regulations.While most Vermonters have a discerning eye ‘ and palate ‘ for real maple syrup, the countless consumers outside of our state who have come to expect quality from natural Vermont products may be fooled by this misleading labeling. Therefore, I ask your agency to immediately investigate this product and determine whether it is in violation of FDA policies.I look forward to hearing back from your agency on the progress of your investigation.Sincerely, PETER WELCHMember of Congress
RIKEN, Japan’s network of national labs, today announced a new investigation into two papers reporting a sensational but now-discredited way of making stem cells. A brief announcement on RIKEN’s website states that the committee will look into issues concerning the papers and related cell lines that have emerged since a previous committee probing for research misconduct completed its work. The earlier committee found lead author Haruko Obokata, of the RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology in Kobe, Japan, guilty of research misconduct for fabrications and falsifications in the papers, published online in Nature on 29 January, which describe a strikingly simple way of deriving stem cells called STAP, for stimulus-triggered acquisition of pluripotency. Nature retracted the papers on 2 July.One possible target of the investigation is the apparent introduction of material from a mouse strain not being used in the experiments into the STAP cell lines. A RIKEN official told Science that the committee members are still being selected and that their names will not be made public until they complete their report.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)A third RIKEN-appointed committee recommended institutional reforms in the wake of the debacle. Another panel reported on 27 August that so far it has been unable to reproduce the STAP results following the protocol given in the papers.