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[email protected]: FDA to discuss safety, labeling of lab-grown meat with industry | Dietary fiber definition expands

Thinkstock/AlexRaths lab-grown meat
Each day at 5 p.m. we collect the five top food and supplement headlines of the day, making it easy for you to catch up on today's most important natural products industry news.

Lab-grown meat startups backed by Bill Gates, Tyson Foods face FDA oversight

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has plans to clear up some of the regulatory uncertainty surrounding meat grown from harvested animal cells. At a public meeting it’s planning to hold on July 12, the agency will hear industry input on the safety and labeling of clean meat products. “This is a dynamic space that’s gaining interest among companies for various reasons, including appealing to consumers motivated by animal welfare concerns and commercial incentives,” Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a statement. “Our intent is to engage in a public discussion on this evolving technology to ensure we understand and consider all aspects as we determine the FDA’s approach to these novel products.” Read more at Bloomberg…


Fiber One brownies and packaged foods get boost from FDA fiber decision

The FDA has added eight new non-digestible carbohydrates to the list of ones that food manufacturers can count as fiber on their nutrition or supplement facts labels: mixed plant cell wall fibers (includes sugar cane fiber and apple fiber), arabinoxylan, alginate, inulin and inulin-type fructans, high amylose starch, galactooligosaccharide, polydextrose and resistant maltodextrin/dextrin. “These determinations are based on a careful review of the scientific evidence suggesting that each of these additional fibers has a beneficial physiological effect,” the agency said in a news release. A final rule issued by the FDA in 2016 declared that for an ingredient to count as dietary fiber, it must have a proven health benefit. At that time, FDA identified only seven types that did so; since then, industry has been petitioning for various types of fiber to count. But, within the new batch of approved fibers are some that have benefits outside of the digestive benefits that consumers presumably associate with fiber. Read more at Politico…


AP investigation: Local fish isn’t always local

The Associated Press may have just busted Sea to Table, a national distributor of what it claims is wild-caught fish that are traceable to a U.S. dock. But the investigation traced the company’s supply chain to foreign waters and workers who described labor abuses and unethical practices. Read more at The Washington Post…


Food waste is going to take over the fashion industry

Food waste isn’t just being upcycled in the form of other food products—thanks to sustainable fashion vet Isaac Nichelson, it’s also being used to make clothing. His startup, Circular Systems, turns food crop waste—banana peels, pineapple leaves and the like—into natural fiber. The company recently won a $350,000 grant from H&M Foundation to scale up its operations and integrate its materials into more clothing. Read more at Fast Company…


Why Panera’s experiment with pay-what-you-want dining failed

Nearly all of the chain’s pay-what-you-want cafés, called Panera Cares, have closed. The concept was designed to be self-sustaining, with the idea that those who could afford it would pay more, while those who couldn’t would pay less. In a paper exploring why the cafes didn’t work, marketing professor and co-author Giana Eckhardt says that the company’s leadership, “was so unaware of how consumers think and act and feel in the marketplace.” Read more at Fast Company…

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