Natural Foods Merchandiser

News Beat

Whole Foods plans to label non-GM food
Whole Foods Market Inc. will label its house brand products as free of genetically modified organisms, the company said at its annual meeting April 4 in New York. Whole Foods came under fire from a consortium of socially responsible investment firms that criticized the Austin, Texas, supermarket chain for failing to highlight that its private label products are non-GMO. The investors, who control about $20 million in Whole Foods shares, had placed a motion on the shareholder proxy to require such labeling. The proxy measure failed, but Whole Foods Chief Executive John Mackey said the company intended to review ingredients in its private-label products. Certified organic products, which must be non-GMO to earn certification, will all be labeled as non-GMO, the company said on its Web site.

Groups request FDA ban antibiotics in feed
Public health and environmental groups have filed a formal petition with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to ban seven classes of antibiotics, including penicillins and tetracyclines, from livestock feed. The coalition, which includes the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Union of Concerned Scientists and the American Public Health Association, said that widespread use of antibiotics on healthy animals violates FDA?s public health standards. Widespread use of antibiotics to promote livestock growth and prevent disease has contributed to antibiotic resistance among humans, the group said. Bipartisan legislation banning antibiotics also was introduced to Congress on April 8, but previous versions of the legislation have failed twice.

New York schools put veggie foods on menu
Fat and cholesterol? Fuhgeddaboudit! That?s the attitude of New York City School District?s new SchoolFood program. The initiative aims to improve nutrition in the city?s 1,500 public school lunchrooms and teach better eating habits so that kids will come to school well-nourished and better able to learn.

SchoolFood includes training for school cafeteria cooks and managers, nutrition classes for parents, and a review of nutritional standards for every food and drink sold in schools, including in vending machines.

A ?Veggie Power? promotion in March offered middle- and high-school kids the chance to win an Apple iPod. It featured the Gardenburger Classic Burger, which is now offered at all secondary schools in the city. The goal for another program, called CookShop and centered in the South Bronx, central Brooklyn and Harlem, is to offer nutritious and kid-approved vegetarian choices three times a week.

Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXVI/number 5/p. 7

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