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health and globePublic health organisations back call for Traffic Light labelling

Australian public health organisations have co-signed a letter from consumer advocacy group CHOICE, urging Federal Government to adopt the Traffic Light front-of-pack food labelling scheme.

Botched bakery batch

Kerry Pinaccle Pty Ltd is recalling batches of their Choc Cherry Slice and Choc Chip Flapjack Slice sold in NSW and interstate in Coles supermarkets.

The batches are being recalled because they contain eggs and sulphites without the required declaration on the label. Eggs and sulphites are allergens for some people.

The recalled product is:

Choc Cherry Slice and Choc Chip Flapjack Slice in a 500g 12 pack, with plastic flo wrap and a clear front. Multiple ‘best before’ dates. The affected product was available for purchase between 17 October 2011 and 25 October 2011.

The recall applies only to the above batches of this product.

Consumers with an allergy or intolerance to eggs or sulphites should not consume the product.

Consumers can return the product to the place of purchase for a refund.

National workshop to inject health into food

A food innovation workshop in Werribee, Victoria yesterday attracted more than 120 participants from government, the food industry and research organizations to share ways to make Australian food healthier.

The workshop highlighted the work of the ‘Australian Government Food and Health Dialogue’ (the Dialogue) established in March 2009 following a 2007 children’s nutrition and physical activity survey which found that many Australian children were consuming a diet high in salt and saturated fat and low in essential vitamins and minerals.

Asian vegetables jam packed full of healthy folate, research finds

New research from the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC) has found that several types of Asian vegetables contain folate levels equal to or greater than spinach, making them one of the richest sources of folate known.

The research team, led by scientists at the Queensland Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation (DEEDI) used new technologies to measure the folate levels of ten Asian vegetables including buk choy, choy sum and wombok and compared them to spinach.

RIRDC’s Managing Director Craig Burns said, “We know that Asian vegetables are being eaten by a growing number of Australians because they look and taste great, and now we have research confirming another one of their positive health attributes.

“Folate deficiency has been implicated in a number of disorders including Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, breast and colon cancers, depression, dementia, cleft lip/palate and hearing loss.”

FSANZ calls for submissions on GM soybean application

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) today called for submissions on an application to change the Food Standards Code to allow food derived from a genetically modified soybean.

FSANZ Chief Executive Officer Steve McCutcheon said the application was seeking permission to allow food derived from a soybean genetically modified to be tolerant to the herbicide dicamba.

Dicamba controls annual and perennial rose weeds in grain crops and highlands, and it is used to control brush and bracken in pastures, as well as legumes and cacti.

Mr McCutcheon said, “All genetically modified (GM) foods undergo a comprehensive premarket safety assessment by FSANZ before being approved in the Food Standards Code. This application, submitted by Monsanto, is for a soybean line containing a gene derived from a soil bacterium that inactivates dicamba.

“FSANZ welcomes comments from government agencies, public health professionals, industry and the community on the application.”

Business SA calls for South Australia’s GM crop ban to be lifted

A business lobby group in South Australia is calling for the State Government to lift its ban on genetically modified crops.

There are currently no GM crops grown commercially in South Australia with the possible exception of blue carnations and carnations with an extended vase life. Apart from Tasmania, South Australia is the only State to have a ban on GM crops.

The Chief Executive Officer of Business SA, a group that lobbies on behalf of the businesses in South Australia, Peter Vaughan said that the State’s GM ban is detrimental to the food industry.

In a statement passed on to Australian Food News, Mr Vaughan said that regulatory “burdens” throughout the food supply chain must be eased to encourage greater efficiency for businesses in South Australia.

Mr Vaughan said, “Genetically modified crops have overcome many of the challenging conditions faced by growers and an extensive trial would address the issues, concerns and benefits.

Junk food diet can lead to infertility in males, study finds

Scientists from America and Spain have announced that a diet of junk food can lead to infertility in healthy males.

A series of studies were conducted by scientists from the Harvard School of Public Health, University of Rochester and the University of Murcia, in Spain. The findings were presented today at the 67th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine.

The University of Rochester’s study recruited men aged between 18 and 22. Diets were assessed via a questionnaire and semen quality via standard measures of sperm concentration, motility and morphology in semen samples. Statistical methods were used to control for potentially confounding factors such as race, tobacco use and BMI. Using a factor analysis, the men’s diets were identified into two types: a ‘Western diet’, characterized by high intakes of red meat and refined grains, or a ‘prudent diet’, with high intakes of fish, vegetables and whole grains. Adherence to a Prudent diet was associated with higher sperm motility.

Almost half of Australians failing to eat their five-a-day vegetables

Almost half of Australian adults are failing to meet the recommended daily intake of vegetables due to ‘lack of convenience’, according to a survey by kitchenware brand Tefal.

According to Tefal, the survey of 2,500 Australians revealed that 45 per cent of Australians failed to meet the recommended daily intake of five vegetable portions. Of these people, 39 per cent said that preparing and cooking vegetables wasn’t convenient as part of their busy lifestyle, and this was major impediment to vegetable consumption.

Publishing the survey’s findings this week, Tefal reported that the second biggest barrier to consuming vegetables was a lack of culinary skills, with 37 per cent of people stating that they often avoided vegetables as they weren’t confident about how to prepare and cook them. Of those surveyed, 15 per cent claimed they weren’t aware they should be consuming five portions of vegetables a day in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle.


Read these stories and more at Australian Food News

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