Nutrition and Health

Bread and flour - the fig-leaf of fortification remains

4 September 2013 - 2:16pm -- Gerry Danby
Flour

Andrew Whitley of Bread Matters reflects on a missed opportunity in this guest blog post.

The Government has decided to leave The Bread and Flour Regulations 1998 unchanged after years of deliberation and a consultation. So the fig-leaf of fortification remains, but what we need is more nutrient-dense food.

Defra reviewed the need for the 1998 Regulations and a public consultation on ‘possible regulatory options’ ended on 13 March 2013. Ministers announced their decision – to do nothing – in early August, the traditional month for burying policy embarrassments. There has been predictably little reaction, which is a shame, because an opportunity has been missed to realign a part of the food system for good.

Raw milk: myths and evidence

19 June 2013 - 3:32pm -- Gerry Danby
Green Top Milk

Last month three quantitative microbial risk assessments (QMRAs), published in the Journal of Food Protection, and many other scientific papers on the topic of raw milk were the subject of a review presented at the British Colombia Centre for Disease Control in Canada. Quantitative microbial risk assessment is considered the gold standard in terms of food safety evidence and is internationally recognised.

The reviewer, Nadine Ijaz, in a presentation called ‘Unpasteurized milk: myths and evidence’, demonstrated how inappropriate evidence has long been mistakenly used to affirm the myth that raw milk is a high risk food. In the US today, green leafy vegetables are the most frequent cause of foodborne illness.

The Food Standards Agency abandons raw milk prosecution – did the penny finally drop?

16 May 2013 - 1:04pm -- Gerry Danby
Steve Hook

In January 2013 the Food Standards Agency (FSA) announced that it was to prosecute Steve Hook, the pioneering Dairy Farmer of the Year 2012 finalist, of Hook and Son and Selfridges for selling raw milk by means of a vending machine. The news came as no great surprise since Hook and Son’s regular newsletter on 15 January had foreshadowed the FSA’s announcement. In May, just four months later, the prosecution is dropped. Did the FSA come to regret their decision to prosecute?

Front of pack labelling – shuffling deck chairs or making a difference?

4 February 2013 - 11:13am -- Gerry Danby

On 31 January 2013 the Department of Health (DoH) published Front of Pack Nutrition Labelling: Joint Response to Consultation. The report is a response to the consultation carried out last summer on front of pack (FoP) nutrition labelling in which the Department of Health states its commitment to the provision of information aimed at helping people make healthy choices. Will it make a difference?

New EU Food Information Regulation - directly applicable in all member states

5 December 2011 - 10:40pm -- Gerry Danby

The new EU Food Information Regulation 2011, published on 22 November 2011, will be directly applicable in all member states and replaces earlier EU Directives on labelling and nutrition labelling. The new requirements under the Regulation will mostly apply in 2014 with nutrition labelling mandatory on 13 December 2016. The Regulation requires:

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