Welch calls on FDA to investigate “natural” syrup product

first_imgRepresentative 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 Congresslast_img read more

Dubai Arena is Latest Project Unveiled Despite Weaker Growth

first_imgDUBAI, United Arab Emirates — This week, Dubai unveiled its latest megaproject: A stadium in the heart of a super luxe shopping and dining destination.The arena, which will host sports events and concerts, is located in a leisure retail and residential destination called City Walk, which itself is new and was developed by Meraas, a company owned by Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.It’s just one in a pipeline of projects the emirate is churning out in the lead-up to next year’s World Expo in Dubai, despite an economic slowdown and concerns that an oversupply is weighing down real estate prices.“Property is a cyclical business and we are in a period of a soft market,” said Craig Plumb, head of research in the Middle East for JLL, a real estate and investment management firm. Speaking at a real estate exhibition in Abu Dhabi, he noted that retail rents are also falling because landlords are responding to tougher market conditions by being much more flexible in their deals.Dubai’s major developers, like Meraas, Emaar and Nakheel, have plans for new cities, neighborhoods, malls, skyscrapers and fantastical concepts like floating homes with floor-to-ceiling glass rooms submerged in the waters off the emirate’s coast.The projects represent Dubai’s ambitions to grow as a tourism destination and financial hub, but the sheer scale of the developments is outstripping current demand.Already, real estate prices across the United Arab Emirates have fallen since oil prices began their slide in 2014. A boost in oil prices last year appeared to have little effect on Dubai’s bellwether real estate market.Real estate prices in Downtown Dubai fell by as much as 16% last year, according to a report by property agent Savills. Challenges surrounding a supply and demand mismatch are expected to continue through the year, the report said.Statistics released this week by Dubai’s government show that gross domestic product grew by 1.9% last year, a steady decline year-on-year since 2014 when growth clocked in at 4.6%.Despite the economic slowdown, major Dubai developers show no signs of slowing down their sprawling projects ahead of next year’s Expo.Nearly 10,000 residential units in Dubai were completed in the first quarter of 2019, according to JLL.Dubai predicts that the six-month-long World Fair, which runs from October 2020 to April 2021, will attract 25 million visits, although it is unclear how many of those will be visitors from outside Dubai.A study by Ernst & Young forecast that Expo 2020 will contribute around $6 billion to the UAE’s economy during the six-month-long duration of the fair. That figure is largely drawn from government data and EY stated in its report that it had not sought to establish the reliability of the sources it used nor had it verified the information provided to prepare the report. The report was commissioned by Dubai’s Expo organizers.Despite the building bonanza heading into the Expo and expectations it will be a boon for the economy, subcontractors are complaining of delays in payments rippling through supply chains in industries like the real estate sector.In a report issued last month, leading Dubai bank Emirates NBD also found that non-oil companies across the UAE had cut staff at their sharpest rate in nearly a decade amid the weaker economic growth — either through firing or a freeze on hiring.Foreigners make up the majority of the UAE’s population, but they are increasingly finding it difficult to keep up with the rising costs of living in Dubai and other neighboring emirates like Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. To alleviate surging school fees, Dubai barred private schools from raising their costs this year.When the cost of living becomes too high for families in Dubai, families reside in Sharjah and make the daily commute for work. Even that, however, has become too costly for some.“Families are going away,” said Balaskandan Raghunathan, managing director of an engineering consultancy that operates across the UAE.He said he knows of Indian families that have left Dubai because school costs were too high and there wasn’t enough job security.“They need to find a formula for families. The family should be here. Population growth is not enough,” he said.By: Aya Batrawy, Associated PressTweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more