Fruit and vegetable pesticide faces Australian ban
Australia’s chemical regulator, the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA), is considering banning dimethoate. The APVMA is concerned that the insecticide, widely used to control fruit fly in fruit and vegetables, may pose a health risk for consumers.
After completing a Residues and Dietary Risk Assessment, the APVMA said this week that the use of dimethoate on many crops exceeds the health standard established in January this year.
Global obesity levels calculated by Australian researchers
New research by Professor Boyd Swinburn and Gary Sacks, with the World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre for Obesity at Deakin University, Melbourne, has found that global obesity rates began to rise in the 1970s, and that by 2008 an estimated 1.46 billion adults were overweight while a further 502 million were obese.
Soy, fibre, and nuts important for lowering ‘bad cholesterol’
Research by some Canadians published this week by the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests that when it comes to lowering LDL levels (the so-called ‘bad cholesterol’), what you eat is more important than what you don’t eat.
Certain cholesterol-friendly foods can be more effective in lowering levels of LDL, or ‘bad cholesterol’ than foods merely low in saturated fats, according to the Canadian researchers.
Australian Food Standard baulks on raw milk products
Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) is consulting the general public on whether permission should be given for raw milk (non-pasteurised) products to be sold in Australia.
FSANZ is calling for public comment on its Proposal P1007, looking at permissions for raw milk products to be sold in Australia.
Exclusive ALDI range gets the Heart Tick
For the first, the National Heart Foundation has given an Australian supermarket group the Heart Tick endorsement an Australian retailer for an exclusive range of products.
ALDI is launching a range of exclusive-brand products that will display the National Heart Foundation Tick, said the company in a statement issued August 10 2011.
The rise of gluten-free foods in the UK
Rising diagnosis rates of coeliac disease, combined with an increased awareness of the perceived benefits of a gluten-free diet, are driving growth in the free-from sector in the UK.
Euromonitor forecasts that the gluten-free sector will grow by almost 10% between 2011 and 2015 to become a channel worth GBP95.5m (US$155.2m) a year.
According to Norma McGough, head of diet & health at charity Coeliac UK, some 14,000 people are newly diagnosed each year, a number which she says was “assumed to be much lower”.
FDA (USA) proposes gluten-free labelling standards
The US Food and Drug Administration has proposed standard definitions for manufacturers who want to label their products as being gluten-free.
The FDA said yesterday (2 August) that it is proposing that foods bearing the claim cannot contain “20 parts per million or more” gluten. The agency said the limit was based on the available methods for gluten detection, as current methods cannot reliably detect the amount of gluten in a food when the level was less than 20ppm.
The threshold is also similar to the labelling standards used by many other countries, and conforms to the standards set by the Codex Alimentarius Commission in 2008, the FDA said.
“Before finalising our gluten-free definition, we want up-to-date input from affected consumers, the food industry, and others to help assure that the label strikes the right balance,” said FDA deputy commissioner for foods Michael Taylor.
Weston’s flour and semolina mill back in business
Queensland’s largest flour mill and only durum semolina mill, owned by Weston Milling, has recommenced production after an extensive rebuild that followed the devastating Brisbane floods in January 2011.
The mill, located at Moorooka in Brisbane since 1954, is of strategic importance to Weston Milling’s supply of flour for domestic and international markets.