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Food Safety News

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Kelly Damewood

Articles Written by Kelly Damewood

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Tracing Food Controversies Back to GRAS

Update: This article has been edited to remove references to caramel coloring. What do trans fat, caffeine and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have in common? Each of these distinct, seemingly unrelated food controversies actually shares a common origin: the generally recognized as safe (GRAS) process. In fact, a wide range of food controversies — from sweeteners to… Continue Reading

The GRAS Process: How Companies Legally Add Ingredients to Food

Do you ever wonder how controversial ingredients end up in your food in the first place? For instance, why are energy drink companies allowed to add novel ingredients such as botanical extracts to their products? And why were companies ever allowed to use partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs), a major source of artificial trans fat, in… Continue Reading

When Does a Cottage Food Law Become a House Food Law?


Last week on Food Safety News, Dan Flynn wrote an article discussing Virginia’s plans to loosen its cottage food laws. Cottage food laws are basically laws that allow small-time producers to use appliances in their homes to bake, cook, can, pickle, dry or candy certain low-risk foods for sale. By contrast, state laws require all… Continue Reading

FSMA’s Small Farm Exemption Has Its Limits

Food and farm advocates seem to agree that the U.S.  Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is somewhat limited in what it can do for small farmers and producers as it implements the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). When Congress passed FSMA in 2011, it gave FDA a statutory mandate, as well as a degree of… Continue Reading

Understanding Small Farm Exemptions Under FSMA’s Produce Safety Rule

With the comment period finally closed on the Food Safety Modernization Act’s (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is one step closer to implementing FSMA. FDA must now review the comments as it considers final changes to the proposed rule, which sets standards for the safe production and harvesting of… Continue Reading

Tribes Frustrated with FDA’s Failure to Consult Them on FSMA Rules

On Nov. 5, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hosted a two-hour webinar with American Indian tribes to discuss FDA’s proposed rules on the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). During the webinar, FDA emphasized that it will work with tribes to implement FSMA regulations. However, tribes remain concerned and frustrated with FDA’s failure to… Continue Reading

FSMA Rules Pose Unique Hardships for Tribal Communities

The proposed Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) regulations have sparked debates about the costs of compliance and other impacts on small- to medium-sized producers. But American Indian tribes face notably unique challenges under the new rules. Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hosted a two-hour webinar to consult with tribes on FSMA. In… Continue Reading

Colorado Considers Cannabis Potency Regulations

The Colorado Department of Revenue’s Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED) is hosting five working groups to establish additional regulations for retail sales of medicinal and recreational marijuana. The Mandatory Testing and Random Sampling Working Group recently met to discuss potential testing requirements for pesticides, microbials, molds, filth, residual solvents, harmful chemicals, and potency. The term “potency”… Continue Reading