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

H1N1 FLU BREAKING NEWS: US case count; newly affected countries; UK, Argentina situations; flu summit next week; more antiviral resistance

first_imgJul 2, 2009US cases rise to almost 34,000The United States’ number of pandemic flu cases climbed to 33,902, with 170 deaths, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported today. The new totals reflect 6,185 more cases and 43 more deaths than last week. In its new surveillance report today for the week ending Jun 27, the CDC said flu activity decreased but is still higher than normal for this time of year. The New York/New Jersey area is still reporting elevated activity, as is the Pacific Northwest.[Current CDC numbers]Malta, Uganda report first novel flu casesAuthorities in Malta today confirmed the country’s first two pandemic flu cases, two 26-year-old men who had recently traveled with a group to Spain, Deutsche Presse-Agentur reported. Others from the group also have flu symptoms. Before today’s confirmation, Malta was the only European Union country that had not reported a novel flu case. Elsewhere, Uganda today reported its first case, a 40-year-old British man who had recently arrived from Kenya, Xinhua, China’s state news agency, reported.[Jul 2 DPA article]Paraguay, China report first pandemic flu deathsParaguay’s health ministry today reported the nation’s first novel flu death, a man in his 60s, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported. No details were available about any preexisting conditions. Meanwhile, China’s state media said a woman who was hospitalized with a novel H1N1 infection was found dead yesterday in a hospital bathroom, according to the Associated Press. She was reportedly recovering and her death is under investigation.[Jul 2 AFP story]UK moves away from flu containment measuresThe United Kingdom is moving from a novel flu containment strategy to focus more of its resources on more vulnerable patients, AFP reported yesterday. Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced the change yesterday, noting that case numbers spiked by 2,000 over the past week and that a “more flexible and local approach” will be used in hard-hit areas. Media reports say hot spots include London, the West Midlands, and Glasgow.[Jul 1 AFP story]Argentina authorities criticize government’s flu responseSome health officials in Argentina are criticizing the government for rejecting calls to postpone the nation’s recent election, a move they say could have avoided the virus’s spread at crowded polling places and focused the public’s attention on pandemic issues, the New York Times reported yesterday. The officials said the health minister who just resigned was among those who recommended postponing the election. Increased flu cases prompted an emergency declaration in Buenos Aires.[Jul 1 New York Times article]Obama convenes flu summit for next weekPresident Obama has called a “flu summit” on Jul 9 to discuss the nation’s pandemic flu preparedness plans for the fall, CNN reported yesterday. The meeting will be held at the National Institutes of Health and be led by Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. On Jul 30 Obama met with federal officials who helped manage the 1976 influenza outbreak to discuss lessons learned from their experience.[Jul 1 CNN story]US to supply Tamiflu to Latin America, CaribbeanHHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced today that the country will supply 420,000 treatment courses of oseltamavir (Tamiflu) to the Pan-American Health Organization to fight novel H1N1 flu in Latin America and Caribbean countries. She announced the effort while attending a series of meetings in Cancun, Mexico, for health ministers throughout the Americas.[Jul 2 HHS statement]Japan reports its first antiviral resistant novel flu caseJapan’s health ministry today confirmed the country’s first instance of oseltamivir (Tamiflu) resistance in a novel flu virus, Reuters reported. The patient, from Osaka prefecture, was sick with the new H1N1 virus in mid May and has since recovered. A health ministry spokesman said the patient’s sensitivity to the drug has not been tested yet. Danish officials reported the world’s first oseltamivir-resistant novel flu case Jun 29.[Jul 2 Reuters article]last_img read more