News from industry food companies.

 On April 24, the “Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act” was introduced in congress with bipartisan support. If passed, it would require all food products containing genetically engineered ingredients to be labeled as such in the United States. The bill’s main sponsors are Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Congressman Peter DeFazio (D-OR).

Washington, D.C.—Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) has brought back the Local Farms, Food, and Jobs Act, a bill which would help support farmers, increase access to healthy foods for consumers, and provide funding to programs that support local agriculture. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) has introduced in the Senate companion legislation to the House of Representatives bill, which was first introduced in 2011 but not enacted.

Washington, D.C.—When President Obama signed the latest budget appropriations bill at the end of March, ensuring that the government would be funded through the end of fiscal year 2013, section 735 of that bill became law. Many sought to stop this 22-line provision, dubbed the “biotech rider” by opponents, on the grounds that it removes judicial authority over the planting of genetically modified (GM) crops.

News from industry food companies.

Sprout Foods added 22 new products to its line of organic food for children. These products include Peach Multigrain Cereal with Blackberries and Creamy Vegetables with Chicken for babies 8-18 months, plus Fruity Yogurt Bites and Crispy Fruit & Veggie Chews for toddlers. All Sprout Foods products and packages are eco-friendly.

Tofutti Brands is introducing a new frozen dish—a cheese ravioli that is completely egg and dairy free. Available in Jumbo and Bite-Sized, the raviolis are filled with Tofutti Better than Ricotta Cheese. The pasta contains seven grams of protein, no trans-fat and no cholesterol.

GO Veggie! (formerly Galaxy Nutritional Foods) has introduced GO Veggie! Dairy Free Mozzarella Style and Mexican Style Shreds. The non-GMO and dairy-, soy-, gluten-, lactose- and preservative-free shreds melt, stretch and taste like real cheese. Additionally, the products have no added sugars, have zero saturated and hydrogenated fats and are cholesterol free.

Those that self-define as vegans or vegetarians were once a rare breed, at least in Western culture. Less so today: Last year’s Gallup poll revealed that 5% of people in the United States think of themselves as vegetarians. 2% identified as vegan, and there’s not a lot of overlap between the two; most respondents that called themselves vegan marked down that they were not vegetarians (1).