News from industry food companies.

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Brattleboro, VT—More American families than ever before are adding organic products to their weekly shopping lists, says the Organic Trade Association (OTA). In the 2011 U.S. Families’ Organic Attitudes and Beliefs Study by the OTA, 1,300 families were polled about their feelings and buying habits when it comes to organic products. Four in 10 families said they are buying more organic foods than they were in the year prior. Of these families who have made the switch, three in 10 are brand new to the market.

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A new industry standard currently under development by the Natural Products Association (NPA) is set to help fill what many see as a troublesome gap in the market. Sometime next year, the trade association plans to roll out a definition and certification program for some “natural” food products.

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Washington, D.C.—Activities for the second annual Non-GMO month, a multi-faceted advocacy campaign directed against Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) in food, went off without a hitch this October, and drew more attention to the growing movement.

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News from industry food companies.

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High fructose corn syrup (HFCS), the oft-maligned and omnipresent sweetening agent, may be in for a major change if corn refiners get their way. The ingredient itself, frequently cited for its overconsumption and the target of many recent consumer health initiatives, won’t undergo a transformation, but the way it’s referred to on food labels could, pending a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) decision.

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News from industry food companies.

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Atlanta, GA—Data on outbreaks of foodborne illness occurring in 2008 in the United States have been finalized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and released in a report. Officially titled “Surveillance for Foodborne Disease Outbreaks—United States, 2008,” and appearing in an edition of CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the document indicates that for the most recent year with complete disease data, 1,034 separate foodborne outbreaks were reported.

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Farms that produce organic food are economically viable on a long-term basis, and are perhaps more profitable than conventional farms, according to new research. The study, conducted by the University of Minnesota and recently published in Agronomy Journal, analyzed 18 years of crop yields and other farm data. Findings included a lower risk of poor returns for organic corn and soybean crop rotations than for conventional rotations.

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) now has broader authority to levy fees for the re-inspection of imported food. The new fee structure comes as a result of certain sections of the recently passed Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), and some parties fear it may result in burdensome fees for small companies and in higher food prices.

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