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Food Safety & Sustainability Archives - Greener Choices

Archive for the ‘Food Safety & Sustainability’ Category

America’s Most Wanted Food Labels Conference

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Consumer Reports’ Food Safety and Sustainability Center has prepared a guide to third-party certification labels commonly found on meat and poultry products. Labels have several advantages: publicly available standards, independent verification, and meaningful requirements for animal welfare that go beyond industry norms (e.g. prohibiting gestation crates, increasing living space requirements). In this way, meaningful, certified labels provide the highest level of assurance for consumers.

The Center’s guide highlights the policies of third-party labels regarding routine uses of all antibiotics, including those important in human medicine as well as animal antibiotics like ionophores, and other drugs like beta-agonists and hormones. We also review their animal welfare and farm management standards. You can use this detailed guide to make more informed decisions about the health, safety and sustainability of the meat and poultry you buy, and help move the marketplace in a better direction.

Food Labels

Americas Most Wanted

What consumers can do to take action against misleading labels. A comprehensive list of the facts about labels and the need to differentiate between the facts and the lies.

Conference

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The Organic Label on Food is highly meaningful and in manyways meets consumer expectations.It is backed by federal regulations which encourage sustainable farming practices...

What makes a good Label?

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Did you know?

Did you know?

Nearly half of consumers think the "natural" label is verified.

It isn't.

Labels

Makes a Good Label?

Generally, the best labels are seals or logos indicating that an independent organization has verified that the producer met a set of meaningful and consistent standards for environmental stewardship, animal welfare and/or social justice.

Rating labels

Criteria We Use to Evaluate Labels

When we evaluate and rate labels, we use the following criteria:

 

Labels should be backed by a set of meaningful standards. The standards should have requirements that go beyond the industry norm or basic legal requirements. These standards should be verifiable by the certifying group or another independent inspection organization.

A label used on one product should have the same meaning if it used on other products. Standards should be verifiable in a consistent manner for different products.

The organization behind a label should make information about its organizational structure, funding, board of directors, and certification standards available to the public.

Certifying organizations and their employees should not have any ties to, and should not receive any funding, sales fees, or contributions, from logo users except fees for certification. Employees of companies whose products are certified, or who are applying for certification, should not be affiliated in any way with the certifier.

All standards should be developed with input from multiple stakeholders including consumers, industry, environmentalists and social representatives in a way that doesn't compromise the independence of the certifier. Industry representatives, for example, can play an important advisory role without having direct financial, decision making or management ties to the certifier.

Know your Labels

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Consumer Reports

Food Safety and Sustainability

Know Your Labels

Don't fall for menu labeling traps. Make sure you know what the terms mean

The organic claim on wine can be tricky! 100% Organic, Organic, and made with Organic Grapes all have different official meanings.

Organic Watchdog

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Consumer Reports

Food Safety and Sustainability

Organic Watchdog

Antibiotic use in organic chicken hatcheries

The Secretary of Agriculture responded to our request to start the process of prohibiting antibiotics in organic chicken hatcheries. Currently, chickens that will be raised and sold as “organic” can be given antibiotics until the second day of life.

Misleading Food Labels

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Consumer Reports

Food Safety and Sustainability

December 2015

Tell FDA—Fix the “Natural” Label

In any grocery store aisle, you’re likely to see foods with labels like “natural” or “naturally raised.” According to a national phone survey by Consumer Reports’ Survey Research Center, almost 60 percent of consumers look for the natural label when they shop. Many consumers expect food labeled “natural” is similar to organic food:

Regulation & Legislation

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Consumer Reports

Food Safety and Sustainability

GMO Foods

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GMO Foods

Concerns Around GMOs

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GMO Foods

GMOs: What You Need to Know

What are GMOs? Why is labeling such a hot-button issue? What foods contain GMOs, and are they bad for your health? We've sifted through the facts and give you helpful information.

Consumer Reports Testing

We Tested Foods for GMOs

We wanted to determine the extent of genetically engineered (GE) corn and soy in processed foods and whether labels that suggest or claim to be non-GMO were meaningful.

Safety of individual products was not the primary purpose for testing. Rather, given the questions about safety, environmental contamination, and other factors (described below) that concern consumers, we wanted to provide a market snapshot and recommend labels that consumers could rely on for those who want to avoid GMOs.

 

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Taking Action

Letter to the Federal Trade Commission

In October 2014, we wrote to the Federal Trade Commission requesting that the commission investigate the potential misleading use of a "No-GMO" claim on packages of Xochitl Totopos de Maiz original corn chips. When we tested six different packages of this product, we found it contained significant amounts of genetically engineered corn.

Processed Foods

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Consumer Reports

Food Safety and Sustainability

April 2014

Federal Trade Commission responds to CU’s caramel color request

Federal Trade Commission responds to CU’s caramel color request

Fish and Seafood

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Consumer Reports

Food Safety and Sustainability

Metals: lead, mercury, & aluminum

Mercury in Fish Recommendations Methodology

In order to develop our recommendations we analyzed the FDA database of mercury in fish posted in 2011.

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Foodborne Illness

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Consumer Reports

Food Safety and Sustainability

July 2014

Statement from Dr. Urvashi Rangan, on Foster Farms Recall

We do not believe the current action taken to recall Foster Farms’ contaminated chicken goes far enough to protect the public’s health. We are calling on the government and the company to do more by widening the dates of the recall to the beginning of...

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November 2015

Our Shrimp Report

The Secretary of Agriculture responded to our request to start the process of prohibiting antibiotics in organic chicken hatcheries. Currently, chickens that will be raised and sold as “organic” can be given antibiotics until the second day of life.