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Group changes name to National Co+op Grocers

The National Cooperative Grocers Association said Tuesday it is changing its name to National Co+op Grocers to better represent its role as a business-services cooperative.

The group, founded in 1999 and based in Iowa City, Iowa, said it has 143 members and associate co-ops operating more than 190 units in 38 states with combined annual sales exceeding $ 1.7 billion.

“NCG is not a typical trade association, which often focuses on public relations, marketing and network services for its members,” said CEO Robynn Shrader. “We do provide these services, but we also negotiate purchasing contracts, execute national promotional strategies and offer a wide range of development services.


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“Although the name, look and feel is new, our commitment to being a dynamic and transparent organization with clear and meaningful ways for our co-ops to participate remains the same. Our role is really more that of a virtual grocery chain.

“Whether advocating for food policies in Washington D.C. or helping the banking community understand the cooperative business model, identifying as National Co+op Grocers helps us better reflect our relationship to our coops and our shared purpose.”

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SD Soybean Group Launching Food-Safety Campaign

A soybean industry group in South Dakota plans to launch a TV, print and radio ad campaign in January with the goal of “dispelling misconceptions” about farming and food safety.

Entitled “Hungry for Truth,” the campaign hopes to spread the message to the relatively urban areas of the state, such as Sioux Falls and Rapid City, by using farmers talking about what they do.

“People deserve to know the facts about farming today, and we have nothing to hide,” said John Horter, who farms near Andover, SD, and is president of the South Dakota Soybean Association.

Funded through checkoff money from the South Dakota Soybean Research and Promotion Council, the campaign used focus groups and a phone survey and hired a professional marketing firm to craft and target the message.

Survey results indicated that food safety was the main concern of respondents when they thought about farming, especially concerns about pesticides, antibiotics, growth hormones and genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

Two-thirds of those surveyed by phone said that companies should be required to label GMO foods. Those who had that opinion tended to be women, seniors and those living in western SD.

While the survey revealed that people don’t trust farming technology, they do tend to trust farmers because nine out of 10 South Dakotans personally know one. Most farms in SD are family-run, and most survey respondents believe that the state’s farmers put quality over profit.

As part of the campaign, a new site is scheduled to debut next month featuring videos of farmers sitting around a table talking about their work. Some planned topics will be how farmers operate, how they grow crops, and how they treat animals.

Food Safety News

Alliance Retail Group expands to 630 members

Alliance Retail Group, Nashville, Tenn., said Tuesday the number of independent supermarkets it serves has risen to 630 in 19 states, with combined retail volume exceeding $ 3.5 billion.

ARG is a self-negotiating cooperative for members of Associated Wholesale Grocers, Kansas City, Kan., that specializes in vendor negotiations, advertising services and technology services for its members.


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According to Joe Wolf, ARG president, the alliance has added more than 130 stores since April, when it opened an office in Overland Park, Kan., to strengthen its position in Middle America. “That momentum continues to strengthen our negotiating position on behalf of our retailers,” he said.

At the time it opened the office, ARG said it represented 525 independent supermarkets in nine states with aggregated sales volume of $ 3 billion. The company was established in January 2004 with 56 stores supplied by AWG.

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No Recommendation From Stakeholders Group on Marijuana Edibles in Colorado

The marijuana edibles issue is being dropped like a hot potato into the newly split Colorado Legislature after an advisory group’s mandate ran out before it could come to any kind of consensus. It will pit the state’s nearly one-year-old, cash-rich recreational marijuana industry against public health and anti-marijuana group Smart Colorado.

The last chance a legislatively mandated working group had to reach a consensus came last week and time ran out with many ideas, but no agreement. That group of stakeholders was created by House Bill 14-1366, which was adopted late in last year’s session just as edibles were running into some troubles.

Food infused with marijuana is the cause of two problems in Colorado. First, over- or under- dosing is a concern because it’s often difficult to combine hash oil with other ingredients and have it come out evenly distributed. Second, there are now so many products— more than 300 according to Smart Colorado – that it’s not possible to distinguish the infused from the non-infused.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment made a last-ditch effort to get the stakeholders group to support a three-part approach that would include:

1. A method for identifying the product outside of the package;

2. Child-resistant packaging; and

3. The ability of the edible to be consistently produced, stored and transported in a manner that maintains the product’s integrity and protects it from foodborne pathogens

The proposal went nowhere, stopped by the group that was dominated by the marijuana industry and by a legal status now protected by the state constitution after voters made marijuana legal in any and all forms.

In its recommendation to the final stakeholders meeting, CDPHE said, “Labeling alone is insufficient to prevent unintentional poisoning, and young children often do not recognize products as dangerous from packaging alone.”

CDPHE says labeling policies need review because including normal food information like the standard nutritional panel just makes it more likely marijuana-infused products will be mixed up with regular products.

The Denver Post, the state’s largest daily newspaper, met the collapse of the stakeholders group with an editorial demanding that the Legislature do whatever it takes to make marijuana edibles distinguishable from regular foods.

“After months of futile meetings, a state task force that was supposed to make recommendations regarding the apperance of edible marijuana products has failed,” the Post editorial says. “But this effort should by no means be over. Lawmakers need to step up and act when they convene in January.”

Voters in Colorado split on legislative power this year, giving control of the Senate to the GOP and the House to the Democrats. Since passage of the voter initiative that made recreational marijuana legal, Colorado lawmakers have generally been either for it or willing to let the experiment “run its course.”

The Post wants either a stamp or a sprayed-on color that will mark marijuana edibles, be they for recreational or medical use. The editorial writers said it was disappointing the group that contained law enforcement officials, parents and industry representatives could not come to an agreement.

“The industry that has been manufacturing these products has a vested interest in keeping the status quo,” the Post said. “And critics have the difficult job of putting the cork back in the bottle.” The newspaper called up the Legislature to “scale back the anything goes edible market.” It says one manufacturer is buying familiar candies in bulk, infusing them and then repackaging them for resale.

“There is no constitutional provision that says edible marijuna must be available as granola, soda pop, or candy bars that look like what children eat without any way to distinguish the difference,” the Post said.

CDPHE had earlier recommended edibles be limited to lozenges and liquid drops, but did so without Gov. John Hickenloopers support. The Democratic governor was narrowly reelected with the financial support of the marijuana industry.

Food Safety News

No Recommendation From Stakeholders Group on Marijuana Edibles in Colorado

The marijuana edibles issue is being dropped like a hot potato into the newly split Colorado Legislature after an advisory group’s mandate ran out before it could come to any kind of consensus. It will pit the state’s nearly one-year-old, cash-rich recreational marijuana industry against public health and anti-marijuana group Smart Colorado.

The last chance a legislatively mandated working group had to reach a consensus came last week and time ran out with many ideas, but no agreement. That group of stakeholders was created by House Bill 14-1366, which was adopted late in last year’s session just as edibles were running into some troubles.

Food infused with marijuana is the cause of two problems in Colorado. First, over- or under- dosing is a concern because it’s often difficult to combine hash oil with other ingredients and have it come out evenly distributed. Second, there are now so many products— more than 300 according to Smart Colorado – that it’s not possible to distinguish the infused from the non-infused.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment made a last-ditch effort to get the stakeholders group to support a three-part approach that would include:

1. A method for identifying the product outside of the package;

2. Child-resistant packaging; and

3. The ability of the edible to be consistently produced, stored and transported in a manner that maintains the product’s integrity and protects it from foodborne pathogens

The proposal went nowhere, stopped by the group that was dominated by the marijuana industry and by a legal status now protected by the state constitution after voters made marijuana legal in any and all forms.

In its recommendation to the final stakeholders meeting, CDPHE said, “Labeling alone is insufficient to prevent unintentional poisoning, and young children often do not recognize products as dangerous from packaging alone.”

CDPHE says labeling policies need review because including normal food information like the standard nutritional panel just makes it more likely marijuana-infused products will be mixed up with regular products.

The Denver Post, the state’s largest daily newspaper, met the collapse of the stakeholders group with an editorial demanding that the Legislature do whatever it takes to make marijuana edibles distinguishable from regular foods.

“After months of futile meetings, a state task force that was supposed to make recommendations regarding the apperance of edible marijuana products has failed,” the Post editorial says. “But this effort should by no means be over. Lawmakers need to step up and act when they convene in January.”

Voters in Colorado split on legislative power this year, giving control of the Senate to the GOP and the House to the Democrats. Since passage of the voter initiative that made recreational marijuana legal, Colorado lawmakers have generally been either for it or willing to let the experiment “run its course.”

The Post wants either a stamp or a sprayed-on color that will mark marijuana edibles, be they for recreational or medical use. The editorial writers said it was disappointing the group that contained law enforcement officials, parents and industry representatives could not come to an agreement.

“The industry that has been manufacturing these products has a vested interest in keeping the status quo,” the Post said. “And critics have the difficult job of putting the cork back in the bottle.” The newspaper called up the Legislature to “scale back the anything goes edible market.” It says one manufacturer is buying familiar candies in bulk, infusing them and then repackaging them for resale.

“There is no constitutional provision that says edible marijuna must be available as granola, soda pop, or candy bars that look like what children eat without any way to distinguish the difference,” the Post said.

CDPHE had earlier recommended edibles be limited to lozenges and liquid drops, but did so without Gov. John Hickenloopers support. The Democratic governor was narrowly reelected with the financial support of the marijuana industry.

Food Safety News

No Recommendation From Stakeholders Group on Marijuana Edibles in Colorado

The marijuana edibles issue is being dropped like a hot potato into the newly split Colorado Legislature after an advisory group’s mandate ran out before it could come to any kind of consensus. It will pit the state’s nearly one-year-old, cash-rich recreational marijuana industry against public health and anti-marijuana group Smart Colorado.

The last chance a legislatively mandated working group had to reach a consensus came last week and time ran out with many ideas, but no agreement. That group of stakeholders was created by House Bill 14-1366, which was adopted late in last year’s session just as edibles were running into some troubles.

Food infused with marijuana is the cause of two problems in Colorado. First, over- or under- dosing is a concern because it’s often difficult to combine hash oil with other ingredients and have it come out evenly distributed. Second, there are now so many products— more than 300 according to Smart Colorado – that it’s not possible to distinguish the infused from the non-infused.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment made a last-ditch effort to get the stakeholders group to support a three-part approach that would include:

1. A method for identifying the product outside of the package;

2. Child-resistant packaging; and

3. The ability of the edible to be consistently produced, stored and transported in a manner that maintains the product’s integrity and protects it from foodborne pathogens

The proposal went nowhere, stopped by the group that was dominated by the marijuana industry and by a legal status now protected by the state constitution after voters made marijuana legal in any and all forms.

In its recommendation to the final stakeholders meeting, CDPHE said, “Labeling alone is insufficient to prevent unintentional poisoning, and young children often do not recognize products as dangerous from packaging alone.”

CDPHE says labeling policies need review because including normal food information like the standard nutritional panel just makes it more likely marijuana-infused products will be mixed up with regular products.

The Denver Post, the state’s largest daily newspaper, met the collapse of the stakeholders group with an editorial demanding that the Legislature do whatever it takes to make marijuana edibles distinguishable from regular foods.

“After months of futile meetings, a state task force that was supposed to make recommendations regarding the apperance of edible marijuana products has failed,” the Post editorial says. “But this effort should by no means be over. Lawmakers need to step up and act when they convene in January.”

Voters in Colorado split on legislative power this year, giving control of the Senate to the GOP and the House to the Democrats. Since passage of the voter initiative that made recreational marijuana legal, Colorado lawmakers have generally been either for it or willing to let the experiment “run its course.”

The Post wants either a stamp or a sprayed-on color that will mark marijuana edibles, be they for recreational or medical use. The editorial writers said it was disappointing the group that contained law enforcement officials, parents and industry representatives could not come to an agreement.

“The industry that has been manufacturing these products has a vested interest in keeping the status quo,” the Post said. “And critics have the difficult job of putting the cork back in the bottle.” The newspaper called up the Legislature to “scale back the anything goes edible market.” It says one manufacturer is buying familiar candies in bulk, infusing them and then repackaging them for resale.

“There is no constitutional provision that says edible marijuna must be available as granola, soda pop, or candy bars that look like what children eat without any way to distinguish the difference,” the Post said.

CDPHE had earlier recommended edibles be limited to lozenges and liquid drops, but did so without Gov. John Hickenloopers support. The Democratic governor was narrowly reelected with the financial support of the marijuana industry.

Food Safety News

No Recommendation From Stakeholders Group on Marijuana Edibles in Colorado

The marijuana edibles issue is being dropped like a hot potato into the newly split Colorado Legislature after an advisory group’s mandate ran out before it could come to any kind of consensus. It will pit the state’s nearly one-year-old, cash-rich recreational marijuana industry against public health and anti-marijuana group Smart Colorado.

The last chance a legislatively mandated working group had to reach a consensus came last week and time ran out with many ideas, but no agreement. That group of stakeholders was created by House Bill 14-1366, which was adopted late in last year’s session just as edibles were running into some troubles.

Food infused with marijuana is the cause of two problems in Colorado. First, over- or under- dosing is a concern because it’s often difficult to combine hash oil with other ingredients and have it come out evenly distributed. Second, there are now so many products— more than 300 according to Smart Colorado – that it’s not possible to distinguish the infused from the non-infused.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment made a last-ditch effort to get the stakeholders group to support a three-part approach that would include:

1. A method for identifying the product outside of the package;

2. Child-resistant packaging; and

3. The ability of the edible to be consistently produced, stored and transported in a manner that maintains the product’s integrity and protects it from foodborne pathogens

The proposal went nowhere, stopped by the group that was dominated by the marijuana industry and by a legal status now protected by the state constitution after voters made marijuana legal in any and all forms.

In its recommendation to the final stakeholders meeting, CDPHE said, “Labeling alone is insufficient to prevent unintentional poisoning, and young children often do not recognize products as dangerous from packaging alone.”

CDPHE says labeling policies need review because including normal food information like the standard nutritional panel just makes it more likely marijuana-infused products will be mixed up with regular products.

The Denver Post, the state’s largest daily newspaper, met the collapse of the stakeholders group with an editorial demanding that the Legislature do whatever it takes to make marijuana edibles distinguishable from regular foods.

“After months of futile meetings, a state task force that was supposed to make recommendations regarding the apperance of edible marijuana products has failed,” the Post editorial says. “But this effort should by no means be over. Lawmakers need to step up and act when they convene in January.”

Voters in Colorado split on legislative power this year, giving control of the Senate to the GOP and the House to the Democrats. Since passage of the voter initiative that made recreational marijuana legal, Colorado lawmakers have generally been either for it or willing to let the experiment “run its course.”

The Post wants either a stamp or a sprayed-on color that will mark marijuana edibles, be they for recreational or medical use. The editorial writers said it was disappointing the group that contained law enforcement officials, parents and industry representatives could not come to an agreement.

“The industry that has been manufacturing these products has a vested interest in keeping the status quo,” the Post said. “And critics have the difficult job of putting the cork back in the bottle.” The newspaper called up the Legislature to “scale back the anything goes edible market.” It says one manufacturer is buying familiar candies in bulk, infusing them and then repackaging them for resale.

“There is no constitutional provision that says edible marijuna must be available as granola, soda pop, or candy bars that look like what children eat without any way to distinguish the difference,” the Post said.

CDPHE had earlier recommended edibles be limited to lozenges and liquid drops, but did so without Gov. John Hickenloopers support. The Democratic governor was narrowly reelected with the financial support of the marijuana industry.

Food Safety News

No Recommendation From Stakeholders Group on Marijuana Edibles in Colorado

The marijuana edibles issue is being dropped like a hot potato into the newly split Colorado Legislature after an advisory group’s mandate ran out before it could come to any kind of consensus. It will pit the state’s nearly one-year-old, cash-rich recreational marijuana industry against public health and anti-marijuana group Smart Colorado.

The last chance a legislatively mandated working group had to reach a consensus came last week and time ran out with many ideas, but no agreement. That group of stakeholders was created by House Bill 14-1366, which was adopted late in last year’s session just as edibles were running into some troubles.

Food infused with marijuana is the cause of two problems in Colorado. First, over- or under- dosing is a concern because it’s often difficult to combine hash oil with other ingredients and have it come out evenly distributed. Second, there are now so many products— more than 300 according to Smart Colorado – that it’s not possible to distinguish the infused from the non-infused.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment made a last-ditch effort to get the stakeholders group to support a three-part approach that would include:

1. A method for identifying the product outside of the package;

2. Child-resistant packaging; and

3. The ability of the edible to be consistently produced, stored and transported in a manner that maintains the product’s integrity and protects it from foodborne pathogens

The proposal went nowhere, stopped by the group that was dominated by the marijuana industry and by a legal status now protected by the state constitution after voters made marijuana legal in any and all forms.

In its recommendation to the final stakeholders meeting, CDPHE said, “Labeling alone is insufficient to prevent unintentional poisoning, and young children often do not recognize products as dangerous from packaging alone.”

CDPHE says labeling policies need review because including normal food information like the standard nutritional panel just makes it more likely marijuana-infused products will be mixed up with regular products.

The Denver Post, the state’s largest daily newspaper, met the collapse of the stakeholders group with an editorial demanding that the Legislature do whatever it takes to make marijuana edibles distinguishable from regular foods.

“After months of futile meetings, a state task force that was supposed to make recommendations regarding the apperance of edible marijuana products has failed,” the Post editorial says. “But this effort should by no means be over. Lawmakers need to step up and act when they convene in January.”

Voters in Colorado split on legislative power this year, giving control of the Senate to the GOP and the House to the Democrats. Since passage of the voter initiative that made recreational marijuana legal, Colorado lawmakers have generally been either for it or willing to let the experiment “run its course.”

The Post wants either a stamp or a sprayed-on color that will mark marijuana edibles, be they for recreational or medical use. The editorial writers said it was disappointing the group that contained law enforcement officials, parents and industry representatives could not come to an agreement.

“The industry that has been manufacturing these products has a vested interest in keeping the status quo,” the Post said. “And critics have the difficult job of putting the cork back in the bottle.” The newspaper called up the Legislature to “scale back the anything goes edible market.” It says one manufacturer is buying familiar candies in bulk, infusing them and then repackaging them for resale.

“There is no constitutional provision that says edible marijuna must be available as granola, soda pop, or candy bars that look like what children eat without any way to distinguish the difference,” the Post said.

CDPHE had earlier recommended edibles be limited to lozenges and liquid drops, but did so without Gov. John Hickenloopers support. The Democratic governor was narrowly reelected with the financial support of the marijuana industry.

Food Safety News

No Recommendation From Stakeholders Group on Marijuana Edibles in Colorado

The marijuana edibles issue is being dropped like a hot potato into the newly split Colorado Legislature after an advisory group’s mandate ran out before it could come to any kind of consensus. It will pit the state’s nearly one-year-old, cash-rich recreational marijuana industry against public health and anti-marijuana group Smart Colorado.

The last chance a legislatively mandated working group had to reach a consensus came last week and time ran out with many ideas, but no agreement. That group of stakeholders was created by House Bill 14-1366, which was adopted late in last year’s session just as edibles were running into some troubles.

Food infused with marijuana is the cause of two problems in Colorado. First, over- or under- dosing is a concern because it’s often difficult to combine hash oil with other ingredients and have it come out evenly distributed. Second, there are now so many products— more than 300 according to Smart Colorado – that it’s not possible to distinguish the infused from the non-infused.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment made a last-ditch effort to get the stakeholders group to support a three-part approach that would include:

1. A method for identifying the product outside of the package;

2. Child-resistant packaging; and

3. The ability of the edible to be consistently produced, stored and transported in a manner that maintains the product’s integrity and protects it from foodborne pathogens

The proposal went nowhere, stopped by the group that was dominated by the marijuana industry and by a legal status now protected by the state constitution after voters made marijuana legal in any and all forms.

In its recommendation to the final stakeholders meeting, CDPHE said, “Labeling alone is insufficient to prevent unintentional poisoning, and young children often do not recognize products as dangerous from packaging alone.”

CDPHE says labeling policies need review because including normal food information like the standard nutritional panel just makes it more likely marijuana-infused products will be mixed up with regular products.

The Denver Post, the state’s largest daily newspaper, met the collapse of the stakeholders group with an editorial demanding that the Legislature do whatever it takes to make marijuana edibles distinguishable from regular foods.

“After months of futile meetings, a state task force that was supposed to make recommendations regarding the apperance of edible marijuana products has failed,” the Post editorial says. “But this effort should by no means be over. Lawmakers need to step up and act when they convene in January.”

Voters in Colorado split on legislative power this year, giving control of the Senate to the GOP and the House to the Democrats. Since passage of the voter initiative that made recreational marijuana legal, Colorado lawmakers have generally been either for it or willing to let the experiment “run its course.”

The Post wants either a stamp or a sprayed-on color that will mark marijuana edibles, be they for recreational or medical use. The editorial writers said it was disappointing the group that contained law enforcement officials, parents and industry representatives could not come to an agreement.

“The industry that has been manufacturing these products has a vested interest in keeping the status quo,” the Post said. “And critics have the difficult job of putting the cork back in the bottle.” The newspaper called up the Legislature to “scale back the anything goes edible market.” It says one manufacturer is buying familiar candies in bulk, infusing them and then repackaging them for resale.

“There is no constitutional provision that says edible marijuna must be available as granola, soda pop, or candy bars that look like what children eat without any way to distinguish the difference,” the Post said.

CDPHE had earlier recommended edibles be limited to lozenges and liquid drops, but did so without Gov. John Hickenloopers support. The Democratic governor was narrowly reelected with the financial support of the marijuana industry.

Food Safety News

No Recommendation From Stakeholders Group on Marijuana Edibles in Colorado

The marijuana edibles issue is being dropped like a hot potato into the newly split Colorado Legislature after an advisory group’s mandate ran out before it could come to any kind of consensus. It will pit the state’s nearly one-year-old, cash-rich recreational marijuana industry against public health and anti-marijuana group Smart Colorado.

The last chance a legislatively mandated working group had to reach a consensus came last week and time ran out with many ideas, but no agreement. That group of stakeholders was created by House Bill 14-1366, which was adopted late in last year’s session just as edibles were running into some troubles.

Food infused with marijuana is the cause of two problems in Colorado. First, over- or under- dosing is a concern because it’s often difficult to combine hash oil with other ingredients and have it come out evenly distributed. Second, there are now so many products— more than 300 according to Smart Colorado – that it’s not possible to distinguish the infused from the non-infused.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment made a last-ditch effort to get the stakeholders group to support a three-part approach that would include:

1. A method for identifying the product outside of the package;

2. Child-resistant packaging; and

3. The ability of the edible to be consistently produced, stored and transported in a manner that maintains the product’s integrity and protects it from foodborne pathogens

The proposal went nowhere, stopped by the group that was dominated by the marijuana industry and by a legal status now protected by the state constitution after voters made marijuana legal in any and all forms.

In its recommendation to the final stakeholders meeting, CDPHE said, “Labeling alone is insufficient to prevent unintentional poisoning, and young children often do not recognize products as dangerous from packaging alone.”

CDPHE says labeling policies need review because including normal food information like the standard nutritional panel just makes it more likely marijuana-infused products will be mixed up with regular products.

The Denver Post, the state’s largest daily newspaper, met the collapse of the stakeholders group with an editorial demanding that the Legislature do whatever it takes to make marijuana edibles distinguishable from regular foods.

“After months of futile meetings, a state task force that was supposed to make recommendations regarding the apperance of edible marijuana products has failed,” the Post editorial says. “But this effort should by no means be over. Lawmakers need to step up and act when they convene in January.”

Voters in Colorado split on legislative power this year, giving control of the Senate to the GOP and the House to the Democrats. Since passage of the voter initiative that made recreational marijuana legal, Colorado lawmakers have generally been either for it or willing to let the experiment “run its course.”

The Post wants either a stamp or a sprayed-on color that will mark marijuana edibles, be they for recreational or medical use. The editorial writers said it was disappointing the group that contained law enforcement officials, parents and industry representatives could not come to an agreement.

“The industry that has been manufacturing these products has a vested interest in keeping the status quo,” the Post said. “And critics have the difficult job of putting the cork back in the bottle.” The newspaper called up the Legislature to “scale back the anything goes edible market.” It says one manufacturer is buying familiar candies in bulk, infusing them and then repackaging them for resale.

“There is no constitutional provision that says edible marijuna must be available as granola, soda pop, or candy bars that look like what children eat without any way to distinguish the difference,” the Post said.

CDPHE had earlier recommended edibles be limited to lozenges and liquid drops, but did so without Gov. John Hickenloopers support. The Democratic governor was narrowly reelected with the financial support of the marijuana industry.

Food Safety News

No Recommendation From Stakeholders Group on Marijuana Edibles in Colorado

The marijuana edibles issue is being dropped like a hot potato into the newly split Colorado Legislature after an advisory group’s mandate ran out before it could come to any kind of consensus. It will pit the state’s nearly one-year-old, cash-rich recreational marijuana industry against public health and anti-marijuana group Smart Colorado.

The last chance a legislatively mandated working group had to reach a consensus came last week and time ran out with many ideas, but no agreement. That group of stakeholders was created by House Bill 14-1366, which was adopted late in last year’s session just as edibles were running into some troubles.

Food infused with marijuana is the cause of two problems in Colorado. First, over- or under- dosing is a concern because it’s often difficult to combine hash oil with other ingredients and have it come out evenly distributed. Second, there are now so many products— more than 300 according to Smart Colorado – that it’s not possible to distinguish the infused from the non-infused.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment made a last-ditch effort to get the stakeholders group to support a three-part approach that would include:

1. A method for identifying the product outside of the package;

2. Child-resistant packaging; and

3. The ability of the edible to be consistently produced, stored and transported in a manner that maintains the product’s integrity and protects it from foodborne pathogens

The proposal went nowhere, stopped by the group that was dominated by the marijuana industry and by a legal status now protected by the state constitution after voters made marijuana legal in any and all forms.

In its recommendation to the final stakeholders meeting, CDPHE said, “Labeling alone is insufficient to prevent unintentional poisoning, and young children often do not recognize products as dangerous from packaging alone.”

CDPHE says labeling policies need review because including normal food information like the standard nutritional panel just makes it more likely marijuana-infused products will be mixed up with regular products.

The Denver Post, the state’s largest daily newspaper, met the collapse of the stakeholders group with an editorial demanding that the Legislature do whatever it takes to make marijuana edibles distinguishable from regular foods.

“After months of futile meetings, a state task force that was supposed to make recommendations regarding the apperance of edible marijuana products has failed,” the Post editorial says. “But this effort should by no means be over. Lawmakers need to step up and act when they convene in January.”

Voters in Colorado split on legislative power this year, giving control of the Senate to the GOP and the House to the Democrats. Since passage of the voter initiative that made recreational marijuana legal, Colorado lawmakers have generally been either for it or willing to let the experiment “run its course.”

The Post wants either a stamp or a sprayed-on color that will mark marijuana edibles, be they for recreational or medical use. The editorial writers said it was disappointing the group that contained law enforcement officials, parents and industry representatives could not come to an agreement.

“The industry that has been manufacturing these products has a vested interest in keeping the status quo,” the Post said. “And critics have the difficult job of putting the cork back in the bottle.” The newspaper called up the Legislature to “scale back the anything goes edible market.” It says one manufacturer is buying familiar candies in bulk, infusing them and then repackaging them for resale.

“There is no constitutional provision that says edible marijuna must be available as granola, soda pop, or candy bars that look like what children eat without any way to distinguish the difference,” the Post said.

CDPHE had earlier recommended edibles be limited to lozenges and liquid drops, but did so without Gov. John Hickenloopers support. The Democratic governor was narrowly reelected with the financial support of the marijuana industry.

Food Safety News

No Recommendation From Stakeholders Group on Marijuana Edibles in Colorado

The marijuana edibles issue is being dropped like a hot potato into the newly split Colorado Legislature after an advisory group’s mandate ran out before it could come to any kind of consensus. It will pit the state’s nearly one-year-old, cash-rich recreational marijuana industry against public health and anti-marijuana group Smart Colorado.

The last chance a legislatively mandated working group had to reach a consensus came last week and time ran out with many ideas, but no agreement. That group of stakeholders was created by House Bill 14-1366, which was adopted late in last year’s session just as edibles were running into some troubles.

Food infused with marijuana is the cause of two problems in Colorado. First, over- or under- dosing is a concern because it’s often difficult to combine hash oil with other ingredients and have it come out evenly distributed. Second, there are now so many products— more than 300 according to Smart Colorado – that it’s not possible to distinguish the infused from the non-infused.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment made a last-ditch effort to get the stakeholders group to support a three-part approach that would include:

1. A method for identifying the product outside of the package;

2. Child-resistant packaging; and

3. The ability of the edible to be consistently produced, stored and transported in a manner that maintains the product’s integrity and protects it from foodborne pathogens

The proposal went nowhere, stopped by the group that was dominated by the marijuana industry and by a legal status now protected by the state constitution after voters made marijuana legal in any and all forms.

In its recommendation to the final stakeholders meeting, CDPHE said, “Labeling alone is insufficient to prevent unintentional poisoning, and young children often do not recognize products as dangerous from packaging alone.”

CDPHE says labeling policies need review because including normal food information like the standard nutritional panel just makes it more likely marijuana-infused products will be mixed up with regular products.

The Denver Post, the state’s largest daily newspaper, met the collapse of the stakeholders group with an editorial demanding that the Legislature do whatever it takes to make marijuana edibles distinguishable from regular foods.

“After months of futile meetings, a state task force that was supposed to make recommendations regarding the apperance of edible marijuana products has failed,” the Post editorial says. “But this effort should by no means be over. Lawmakers need to step up and act when they convene in January.”

Voters in Colorado split on legislative power this year, giving control of the Senate to the GOP and the House to the Democrats. Since passage of the voter initiative that made recreational marijuana legal, Colorado lawmakers have generally been either for it or willing to let the experiment “run its course.”

The Post wants either a stamp or a sprayed-on color that will mark marijuana edibles, be they for recreational or medical use. The editorial writers said it was disappointing the group that contained law enforcement officials, parents and industry representatives could not come to an agreement.

“The industry that has been manufacturing these products has a vested interest in keeping the status quo,” the Post said. “And critics have the difficult job of putting the cork back in the bottle.” The newspaper called up the Legislature to “scale back the anything goes edible market.” It says one manufacturer is buying familiar candies in bulk, infusing them and then repackaging them for resale.

“There is no constitutional provision that says edible marijuna must be available as granola, soda pop, or candy bars that look like what children eat without any way to distinguish the difference,” the Post said.

CDPHE had earlier recommended edibles be limited to lozenges and liquid drops, but did so without Gov. John Hickenloopers support. The Democratic governor was narrowly reelected with the financial support of the marijuana industry.

Food Safety News

No Recommendation From Stakeholders Group on Marijuana Edibles in Colorado

The marijuana edibles issue is being dropped like a hot potato into the newly split Colorado Legislature after an advisory group’s mandate ran out before it could come to any kind of consensus. It will pit the state’s nearly one-year-old, cash-rich recreational marijuana industry against public health and anti-marijuana group Smart Colorado.

The last chance a legislatively mandated working group had to reach a consensus came last week and time ran out with many ideas, but no agreement. That group of stakeholders was created by House Bill 14-1366, which was adopted late in last year’s session just as edibles were running into some troubles.

Food infused with marijuana is the cause of two problems in Colorado. First, over- or under- dosing is a concern because it’s often difficult to combine hash oil with other ingredients and have it come out evenly distributed. Second, there are now so many products— more than 300 according to Smart Colorado – that it’s not possible to distinguish the infused from the non-infused.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment made a last-ditch effort to get the stakeholders group to support a three-part approach that would include:

1. A method for identifying the product outside of the package;

2. Child-resistant packaging; and

3. The ability of the edible to be consistently produced, stored and transported in a manner that maintains the product’s integrity and protects it from foodborne pathogens

The proposal went nowhere, stopped by the group that was dominated by the marijuana industry and by a legal status now protected by the state constitution after voters made marijuana legal in any and all forms.

In its recommendation to the final stakeholders meeting, CDPHE said, “Labeling alone is insufficient to prevent unintentional poisoning, and young children often do not recognize products as dangerous from packaging alone.”

CDPHE says labeling policies need review because including normal food information like the standard nutritional panel just makes it more likely marijuana-infused products will be mixed up with regular products.

The Denver Post, the state’s largest daily newspaper, met the collapse of the stakeholders group with an editorial demanding that the Legislature do whatever it takes to make marijuana edibles distinguishable from regular foods.

“After months of futile meetings, a state task force that was supposed to make recommendations regarding the apperance of edible marijuana products has failed,” the Post editorial says. “But this effort should by no means be over. Lawmakers need to step up and act when they convene in January.”

Voters in Colorado split on legislative power this year, giving control of the Senate to the GOP and the House to the Democrats. Since passage of the voter initiative that made recreational marijuana legal, Colorado lawmakers have generally been either for it or willing to let the experiment “run its course.”

The Post wants either a stamp or a sprayed-on color that will mark marijuana edibles, be they for recreational or medical use. The editorial writers said it was disappointing the group that contained law enforcement officials, parents and industry representatives could not come to an agreement.

“The industry that has been manufacturing these products has a vested interest in keeping the status quo,” the Post said. “And critics have the difficult job of putting the cork back in the bottle.” The newspaper called up the Legislature to “scale back the anything goes edible market.” It says one manufacturer is buying familiar candies in bulk, infusing them and then repackaging them for resale.

“There is no constitutional provision that says edible marijuna must be available as granola, soda pop, or candy bars that look like what children eat without any way to distinguish the difference,” the Post said.

CDPHE had earlier recommended edibles be limited to lozenges and liquid drops, but did so without Gov. John Hickenloopers support. The Democratic governor was narrowly reelected with the financial support of the marijuana industry.

Food Safety News

No Recommendation From Stakeholders Group on Marijuana Edibles in Colorado

The marijuana edibles issue is being dropped like a hot potato into the newly split Colorado Legislature after an advisory group’s mandate ran out before it could come to any kind of consensus. It will pit the state’s nearly one-year-old, cash-rich recreational marijuana industry against public health and anti-marijuana group Smart Colorado.

The last chance a legislatively mandated working group had to reach a consensus came last week and time ran out with many ideas, but no agreement. That group of stakeholders was created by House Bill 14-1366, which was adopted late in last year’s session just as edibles were running into some troubles.

Food infused with marijuana is the cause of two problems in Colorado. First, over- or under- dosing is a concern because it’s often difficult to combine hash oil with other ingredients and have it come out evenly distributed. Second, there are now so many products— more than 300 according to Smart Colorado – that it’s not possible to distinguish the infused from the non-infused.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment made a last-ditch effort to get the stakeholders group to support a three-part approach that would include:

1. A method for identifying the product outside of the package;

2. Child-resistant packaging; and

3. The ability of the edible to be consistently produced, stored and transported in a manner that maintains the product’s integrity and protects it from foodborne pathogens

The proposal went nowhere, stopped by the group that was dominated by the marijuana industry and by a legal status now protected by the state constitution after voters made marijuana legal in any and all forms.

In its recommendation to the final stakeholders meeting, CDPHE said, “Labeling alone is insufficient to prevent unintentional poisoning, and young children often do not recognize products as dangerous from packaging alone.”

CDPHE says labeling policies need review because including normal food information like the standard nutritional panel just makes it more likely marijuana-infused products will be mixed up with regular products.

The Denver Post, the state’s largest daily newspaper, met the collapse of the stakeholders group with an editorial demanding that the Legislature do whatever it takes to make marijuana edibles distinguishable from regular foods.

“After months of futile meetings, a state task force that was supposed to make recommendations regarding the apperance of edible marijuana products has failed,” the Post editorial says. “But this effort should by no means be over. Lawmakers need to step up and act when they convene in January.”

Voters in Colorado split on legislative power this year, giving control of the Senate to the GOP and the House to the Democrats. Since passage of the voter initiative that made recreational marijuana legal, Colorado lawmakers have generally been either for it or willing to let the experiment “run its course.”

The Post wants either a stamp or a sprayed-on color that will mark marijuana edibles, be they for recreational or medical use. The editorial writers said it was disappointing the group that contained law enforcement officials, parents and industry representatives could not come to an agreement.

“The industry that has been manufacturing these products has a vested interest in keeping the status quo,” the Post said. “And critics have the difficult job of putting the cork back in the bottle.” The newspaper called up the Legislature to “scale back the anything goes edible market.” It says one manufacturer is buying familiar candies in bulk, infusing them and then repackaging them for resale.

“There is no constitutional provision that says edible marijuna must be available as granola, soda pop, or candy bars that look like what children eat without any way to distinguish the difference,” the Post said.

CDPHE had earlier recommended edibles be limited to lozenges and liquid drops, but did so without Gov. John Hickenloopers support. The Democratic governor was narrowly reelected with the financial support of the marijuana industry.

Food Safety News

No Recommendation From Stakeholders Group on Marijuana Edibles in Colorado

The marijuana edibles issue is being dropped like a hot potato into the newly split Colorado Legislature after an advisory group’s mandate ran out before it could come to any kind of consensus. It will pit the state’s nearly one-year-old, cash-rich recreational marijuana industry against public health and anti-marijuana group Smart Colorado.

The last chance a legislatively mandated working group had to reach a consensus came last week and time ran out with many ideas, but no agreement. That group of stakeholders was created by House Bill 14-1366, which was adopted late in last year’s session just as edibles were running into some troubles.

Food infused with marijuana is the cause of two problems in Colorado. First, over- or under- dosing is a concern because it’s often difficult to combine hash oil with other ingredients and have it come out evenly distributed. Second, there are now so many products— more than 300 according to Smart Colorado – that it’s not possible to distinguish the infused from the non-infused.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment made a last-ditch effort to get the stakeholders group to support a three-part approach that would include:

1. A method for identifying the product outside of the package;

2. Child-resistant packaging; and

3. The ability of the edible to be consistently produced, stored and transported in a manner that maintains the product’s integrity and protects it from foodborne pathogens

The proposal went nowhere, stopped by the group that was dominated by the marijuana industry and by a legal status now protected by the state constitution after voters made marijuana legal in any and all forms.

In its recommendation to the final stakeholders meeting, CDPHE said, “Labeling alone is insufficient to prevent unintentional poisoning, and young children often do not recognize products as dangerous from packaging alone.”

CDPHE says labeling policies need review because including normal food information like the standard nutritional panel just makes it more likely marijuana-infused products will be mixed up with regular products.

The Denver Post, the state’s largest daily newspaper, met the collapse of the stakeholders group with an editorial demanding that the Legislature do whatever it takes to make marijuana edibles distinguishable from regular foods.

“After months of futile meetings, a state task force that was supposed to make recommendations regarding the apperance of edible marijuana products has failed,” the Post editorial says. “But this effort should by no means be over. Lawmakers need to step up and act when they convene in January.”

Voters in Colorado split on legislative power this year, giving control of the Senate to the GOP and the House to the Democrats. Since passage of the voter initiative that made recreational marijuana legal, Colorado lawmakers have generally been either for it or willing to let the experiment “run its course.”

The Post wants either a stamp or a sprayed-on color that will mark marijuana edibles, be they for recreational or medical use. The editorial writers said it was disappointing the group that contained law enforcement officials, parents and industry representatives could not come to an agreement.

“The industry that has been manufacturing these products has a vested interest in keeping the status quo,” the Post said. “And critics have the difficult job of putting the cork back in the bottle.” The newspaper called up the Legislature to “scale back the anything goes edible market.” It says one manufacturer is buying familiar candies in bulk, infusing them and then repackaging them for resale.

“There is no constitutional provision that says edible marijuna must be available as granola, soda pop, or candy bars that look like what children eat without any way to distinguish the difference,” the Post said.

CDPHE had earlier recommended edibles be limited to lozenges and liquid drops, but did so without Gov. John Hickenloopers support. The Democratic governor was narrowly reelected with the financial support of the marijuana industry.

Food Safety News

No Recommendation From Stakeholders Group on Marijuana Edibles in Colorado

The marijuana edibles issue is being dropped like a hot potato into the newly split Colorado Legislature after an advisory group’s mandate ran out before it could come to any kind of consensus. It will pit the state’s nearly one-year-old, cash-rich recreational marijuana industry against public health and anti-marijuana group Smart Colorado.

The last chance a legislatively mandated working group had to reach a consensus came last week and time ran out with many ideas, but no agreement. That group of stakeholders was created by House Bill 14-1366, which was adopted late in last year’s session just as edibles were running into some troubles.

Food infused with marijuana is the cause of two problems in Colorado. First, over- or under- dosing is a concern because it’s often difficult to combine hash oil with other ingredients and have it come out evenly distributed. Second, there are now so many products— more than 300 according to Smart Colorado – that it’s not possible to distinguish the infused from the non-infused.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment made a last-ditch effort to get the stakeholders group to support a three-part approach that would include:

1. A method for identifying the product outside of the package;

2. Child-resistant packaging; and

3. The ability of the edible to be consistently produced, stored and transported in a manner that maintains the product’s integrity and protects it from foodborne pathogens

The proposal went nowhere, stopped by the group that was dominated by the marijuana industry and by a legal status now protected by the state constitution after voters made marijuana legal in any and all forms.

In its recommendation to the final stakeholders meeting, CDPHE said, “Labeling alone is insufficient to prevent unintentional poisoning, and young children often do not recognize products as dangerous from packaging alone.”

CDPHE says labeling policies need review because including normal food information like the standard nutritional panel just makes it more likely marijuana-infused products will be mixed up with regular products.

The Denver Post, the state’s largest daily newspaper, met the collapse of the stakeholders group with an editorial demanding that the Legislature do whatever it takes to make marijuana edibles distinguishable from regular foods.

“After months of futile meetings, a state task force that was supposed to make recommendations regarding the apperance of edible marijuana products has failed,” the Post editorial says. “But this effort should by no means be over. Lawmakers need to step up and act when they convene in January.”

Voters in Colorado split on legislative power this year, giving control of the Senate to the GOP and the House to the Democrats. Since passage of the voter initiative that made recreational marijuana legal, Colorado lawmakers have generally been either for it or willing to let the experiment “run its course.”

The Post wants either a stamp or a sprayed-on color that will mark marijuana edibles, be they for recreational or medical use. The editorial writers said it was disappointing the group that contained law enforcement officials, parents and industry representatives could not come to an agreement.

“The industry that has been manufacturing these products has a vested interest in keeping the status quo,” the Post said. “And critics have the difficult job of putting the cork back in the bottle.” The newspaper called up the Legislature to “scale back the anything goes edible market.” It says one manufacturer is buying familiar candies in bulk, infusing them and then repackaging them for resale.

“There is no constitutional provision that says edible marijuna must be available as granola, soda pop, or candy bars that look like what children eat without any way to distinguish the difference,” the Post said.

CDPHE had earlier recommended edibles be limited to lozenges and liquid drops, but did so without Gov. John Hickenloopers support. The Democratic governor was narrowly reelected with the financial support of the marijuana industry.

Food Safety News

Environmental Working Group Releases First ‘Dirty Dozen’ List for Food Additives

The Environmental Working Group – famous for its list of produce most likely to be contaminated with pesticides – has now released a “Dirty Dozen” guide for food additives.

There are more than 10,000 additives in food distributed in the U.S., and EWG is trying to highlight “some of the worst failures of the regulatory system,” it says.

The list includes:

  1. Nitrates and nitrites
  2. Potassium bromate
  3. Propyl paraben
  4. Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA)
  5. Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT)
  6. Propyl gallate
  7. Theobromine
  8. Secret flavor incredients
  9. Artificial colors
  10. Diacetyl
  11. Phosphates
  12. Aluminum additives

The report goes into detail about the concerns surrounding each additive. Some of them are known or possible carcinogens and some can have reproductive and developmental effects.

EWG recommends that consumers avoid or consider avoiding the Dirty Dozen. Not only could this mean avoiding risky chemicals, but it could also mean improving overall diet, says the group, since food additives are most often found in highly processed, unhealthy foods. For the additives without definitive links to health concerns, EWG recommends limiting consumption until more information is available.

The other aim of the list is to draw attention to problems surrounding food regulation, particularly those with “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) designations.

The category has been controversial because it allows companies to determine whether a substance is GRAS without having to seek FDA approval. Consumer groups like EWG claim that some additives with GRAS status don’t meet the same safety standard as food additives.

“There are some additives that are classified generally recognized as safe and we really question that classification because they’re not free of health concerns,” said Johanna Congleton, EWG senior scientist.

For example, propyl paraben is an endocrine-disrupting chemical but is considered GRAS. The report references studies that found that rats fed with the FDA’s Acceptable Daily Intake of propyl paraben had decreased sperm counts and decreases in testosterone.

EWG argues that companies shouldn’t be allowed to certify the safety of their own ingredients and wants consumers to urge FDA to strengthen its regulatory system for food additives.

Congleton says she finds nitrates and nitrites — often used as preservatives in cured meats such as bacon, salami, sausages and hot dogs — to be the most alarming additives. Nitrites, which can form from nitrates, react with naturally occurring components of protein called amines, forming nitrosamines, which are known cancer-causing compounds. Nitrosamines can form in nitrite or nitrate-treated meat or in the digestive tract, EWG says.

In 2010, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer declared that ingested nitrites and nitrates are probable human carcinogens, and the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment is currently considering listing nitrite in combination with amines or amides as a known carcinogen.

The Dirty Dozen Guide to Food Additives is based on scientific studies of hundreds of additives and data gathered from EWG’s Food Scores database, launched on Oct. 27, which includes information on more than 80,000 foods. The database scores foods based on nutrition, ingredients of concern (including food additives), contaminants (such as the likely levels of pesticide residue) and how processed the foods are.

Food Safety News

Environmental Working Group Releases First ‘Dirty Dozen’ List for Food Additives

The Environmental Working Group – famous for its list of produce most likely to be contaminated with pesticides – has now released a “Dirty Dozen” guide for food additives.

There are more than 10,000 additives in food distributed in the U.S., and EWG is trying to highlight “some of the worst failures of the regulatory system,” it says.

The list includes:

  1. Nitrates and nitrites
  2. Potassium bromate
  3. Propyl paraben
  4. Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA)
  5. Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT)
  6. Propyl gallate
  7. Theobromine
  8. Secret flavor incredients
  9. Artificial colors
  10. Diacetyl
  11. Phosphates
  12. Aluminum additives

The report goes into detail about the concerns surrounding each additive. Some of them are known or possible carcinogens and some can have reproductive and developmental effects.

EWG recommends that consumers avoid or consider avoiding the Dirty Dozen. Not only could this mean avoiding risky chemicals, but it could also mean improving overall diet, says the group, since food additives are most often found in highly processed, unhealthy foods. For the additives without definitive links to health concerns, EWG recommends limiting consumption until more information is available.

The other aim of the list is to draw attention to problems surrounding food regulation, particularly those with “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) designations.

The category has been controversial because it allows companies to determine whether a substance is GRAS without having to seek FDA approval. Consumer groups like EWG claim that some additives with GRAS status don’t meet the same safety standard as food additives.

“There are some additives that are classified generally recognized as safe and we really question that classification because they’re not free of health concerns,” said Johanna Congleton, EWG senior scientist.

For example, propyl paraben is an endocrine-disrupting chemical but is considered GRAS. The report references studies that found that rats fed with the FDA’s Acceptable Daily Intake of propyl paraben had decreased sperm counts and decreases in testosterone.

EWG argues that companies shouldn’t be allowed to certify the safety of their own ingredients and wants consumers to urge FDA to strengthen its regulatory system for food additives.

Congleton says she finds nitrates and nitrites — often used as preservatives in cured meats such as bacon, salami, sausages and hot dogs — to be the most alarming additives. Nitrites, which can form from nitrates, react with naturally occurring components of protein called amines, forming nitrosamines, which are known cancer-causing compounds. Nitrosamines can form in nitrite or nitrate-treated meat or in the digestive tract, EWG says.

In 2010, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer declared that ingested nitrites and nitrates are probable human carcinogens, and the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment is currently considering listing nitrite in combination with amines or amides as a known carcinogen.

The Dirty Dozen Guide to Food Additives is based on scientific studies of hundreds of additives and data gathered from EWG’s Food Scores database, launched on Oct. 27, which includes information on more than 80,000 foods. The database scores foods based on nutrition, ingredients of concern (including food additives), contaminants (such as the likely levels of pesticide residue) and how processed the foods are.

Food Safety News

Environmental Working Group Releases First ‘Dirty Dozen’ List for Food Additives

The Environmental Working Group – famous for its list of produce most likely to be contaminated with pesticides – has now released a “Dirty Dozen” guide for food additives.

There are more than 10,000 additives in food distributed in the U.S., and EWG is trying to highlight “some of the worst failures of the regulatory system,” it says.

The list includes:

  1. Nitrates and nitrites
  2. Potassium bromate
  3. Propyl paraben
  4. Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA)
  5. Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT)
  6. Propyl gallate
  7. Theobromine
  8. Secret flavor incredients
  9. Artificial colors
  10. Diacetyl
  11. Phosphates
  12. Aluminum additives

The report goes into detail about the concerns surrounding each additive. Some of them are known or possible carcinogens and some can have reproductive and developmental effects.

EWG recommends that consumers avoid or consider avoiding the Dirty Dozen. Not only could this mean avoiding risky chemicals, but it could also mean improving overall diet, says the group, since food additives are most often found in highly processed, unhealthy foods. For the additives without definitive links to health concerns, EWG recommends limiting consumption until more information is available.

The other aim of the list is to draw attention to problems surrounding food regulation, particularly those with “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) designations.

The category has been controversial because it allows companies to determine whether a substance is GRAS without having to seek FDA approval. Consumer groups like EWG claim that some additives with GRAS status don’t meet the same safety standard as food additives.

“There are some additives that are classified generally recognized as safe and we really question that classification because they’re not free of health concerns,” said Johanna Congleton, EWG senior scientist.

For example, propyl paraben is an endocrine-disrupting chemical but is considered GRAS. The report references studies that found that rats fed with the FDA’s Acceptable Daily Intake of propyl paraben had decreased sperm counts and decreases in testosterone.

EWG argues that companies shouldn’t be allowed to certify the safety of their own ingredients and wants consumers to urge FDA to strengthen its regulatory system for food additives.

Congleton says she finds nitrates and nitrites — often used as preservatives in cured meats such as bacon, salami, sausages and hot dogs — to be the most alarming additives. Nitrites, which can form from nitrates, react with naturally occurring components of protein called amines, forming nitrosamines, which are known cancer-causing compounds. Nitrosamines can form in nitrite or nitrate-treated meat or in the digestive tract, EWG says.

In 2010, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer declared that ingested nitrites and nitrates are probable human carcinogens, and the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment is currently considering listing nitrite in combination with amines or amides as a known carcinogen.

The Dirty Dozen Guide to Food Additives is based on scientific studies of hundreds of additives and data gathered from EWG’s Food Scores database, launched on Oct. 27, which includes information on more than 80,000 foods. The database scores foods based on nutrition, ingredients of concern (including food additives), contaminants (such as the likely levels of pesticide residue) and how processed the foods are.

Food Safety News