Posts Tagged ‘FDA’

Food Manufacturers Confess They Have No Idea if Their Food is Safe

By Janelle Sorensen
(Thanks to Janelle for her permission to re-post this article.)

I, like many others, have lost track of all the food recalls that have happened in the last 18 months. Pot pies, pizzas, peanuts, tomatoes, egg rolls, spices, flour, and more. The number of illnesses and the amount of food thrown away is staggering.

Fortunately, none of the tainted foods have impacted my kitchen. Our culinary choices thus far have been safe. But, my faith in the FDA, who I once relied on as an invisible guardian watching over my plate, has been shattered. My optimistically naïve belief that food, of all things, should be safe, has gone the way of childhood beliefs in Santa and the Easter Bunny. And, I’m not just being dramatic – here’s why:

According to an article in the New York Times, “increasingly, the corporations that supply Americans with processed foods are unable to guarantee the safety of their ingredients…companies do not even know who is supplying their ingredients, let alone if those suppliers are screening the items for microbes and other potential dangers…”

They don’t know where the ingredients are coming from? Seriously??

Commence paranoia.

Not only are many major manufacturers openly admitting that they’re pretty clueless about what’s in their food, instead of owning up to their mistakes, they’re placing the burden for safety on the consumer. We are now responsible for what’s called “the kill step,” and it’s not clear what that entails. Some companies are resorting to detailed diagrams and “food safety” guides outlining how to heat foods in a microwave and then check the temperature in several locations with a food thermometer. Others advise against using a microwave altogether. Frozen convenience foods suddenly seem very inconvenient.

Even if simply educating people to warm food to an adequate temperature was a reasonable solution, which it’s not, it wouldn’t address non-pathogenic contaminants like the arsenic found in a huge variety of processed foods around the globe a few months back.

What’s a mother to do? I’ve been a loud proponent for whole foods, local and organic when possible, for many years now, but I still have some processed foods in my pantry. I mean, who really makes things like crackers and cereal from scratch? I also buy a lot of frozen veggies – and I’ve never checked to see if I’ve warmed them to 165 degrees.

Clearly, we have problem on our hands. What do you think should be done? Do you think food safety is up to the consumer? Do you think it’s up to the government? What if safer food meant it cost a bit more? Are you willing to pay?

Find more from Janelle Sorensen at Healthy Child Healthy World, WebMD, MomsRising, and on Twitter (@greenandhealthy).

Follow me on Twitter!

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Safer Sunscreens 2009

It’s that time of year again — planning for beach trips, the pool, biking, or whatever outdoor activities interest you.

california-baby-spf-30-natural-sunscreen

Last year, the folks at the Environmental Working Group published a report on the effectiveness of sunscreens. They studied 952 common sunscreens and found 4 out of 5 do not do their job.  Additionally, 53% of sunscreen make claims on the bottle that are simply inaccurate and are terms the FDA has said are unacceptable terms or misleading. 

They also found zinc and titanium based formulas to be the most effective.

What to avoid. Avoid ingredients like those with anything “–paraben” in the name, fragrance (likely contains phthalates), PEG compounds, polyethylene, oxybenzone,  triethanolamine, BHT,  benzyl alcohol, and others. This is not a complete list, just some of the ones you may find. Definitely consult the EWG’s Cosmetic Databse for more information on specific ingredients.

Again, read those labels and remember formulas frequently change!

Here is a little summary on the EWG website, plus their recommended top 10 sunscreens that are safe and effective. They also offer a list of “common brand names” and specifically which product in that line is safe and effective. **A little disclaimer though about the cosmetic database.** I have personally found discrepencies in the ingredients they have listed in their database than what is actually listed on the bottle. This is because formulas change frequently and it’s difficult, if not impossible, to keep up with each and every product. So definitely still consult the databse as a guide, but as always read the labels before you buy!!

EWG’s recommended Top 10 sunscreens (and their hazard rating. Rating is based on level of hazard, 0 being safest, 10 being highest hazard)
1. Keys Soap Solar Rx Therapeutic Sunblock, SPF 30   0
2. Trukid Sunny Days Facestick Mineral Sunscreen UVA/UVB Broad Spectrum, SPF 30+  0
3. California Baby Sunblock Stick No Fragrance, SPF 30+   0
4. Badger Sunscreen, SPF 30       0
5. Marie Veronique Skin Therapy Sun Serum    1
6. Lavera Sunscreen Neutral, SPF 40     1
7. Vanicream Sunscreen, SPF 35      1
8. UV Natural Sunscreen, SPF 30+      1
(there is also a Baby version)
9. Sun Science Sport Formula, SPF 30     1
10. Soleo Organics Sunscreen all natural Sunscreen, SPF 30+  1

From 10 Common Brands (and their hazard rating. Rating is based on level of hazard, 0 being safest, 10 being highest hazard). If more than 1 product is listed for that entire brand’s line, I put the range, so be sure to get the ones specified below)
** Please note, these are safer common brands (meaning easier to find), does not mean they are free of harmful ingredients. Other than California Baby, I would personally NOT recommend any of the below or use these for myself or my family.
1. Blue Lizard anything without oxybenzone    (1-7)
2. California Baby anything with SPF 30+     (0-2)
3. CVS with zinc oxide       (2-7) 
4. Jason Natural Cosmetics Sunbrellas Mineral Based Sunblock  (1-7)
5. Kiss My Face “Paraben Free” series     (2-7)
6. Neutrogena Sensitive Skin Sunblock     (2-7)
7. Olay Defense Daily UV Moisturizer (with zinc)    (2-7)
8. SkinCeuticals Physical UV Defense     (2-3)
9. Solar Sense Clear Zinc for Face      (1-2)
10. Walgreens Zinc Oxide for Face, Nose, & Ears   (1-7)

Personally, I am a HUGE fan of TruKids and California Baby. TruKids is a little less expensive. My husband and I both used it last year during our traditional week at the beach and I use California Baby on my then 2 year old. She enjoyed using the TruKids face stick on all 3 of our faces! None of us got burned, and our relatives who used Bull Frog did get burned.

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High Fructose Corn Syrup contains mercury

A new study shows half the samples tested contained mercury. This includes 1/3 of 55 popular name brands where HFCS is the first or second ingredient.

Mercury contamination is very harmful and toxic in all forms. It should be avoided. Pregnant women are advised to avoid certain fish because of high levels of mercury.

High fructose corn syrup is a synthetic sweetner that has replaced sugar in many items. It’s much cheaper than sugar, so is used by many companies in all types of foods and all kinds of brands. 

“Mercury is toxic in all its forms. Given how much high-fructose corn syrup is consumed by children, it could be a significant additional source of mercury never before considered. We are calling for immediate changes by industry and the [U.S. Food and Drug Administration] to help stop this avoidable mercury contamination of the food supply,” said the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy’s Dr. David Wallinga, a co-author of both studies.

The use of mercury-contaminated caustic soda in the production of HFCS is common. The contamination occurs when mercury cells are used to produce caustic soda. So the good news is HFCS can be produced without caustic soda, the bad news is us consumers do not know if the HFCS containing products we are consuming are produced using caustic soda or not.

What can you do? Avoid HFCS. Read the labels, if it contains HFCS, put it back on the shelf. This is what I have done, even before knowing about the mercury contaimination.

We try to avoid sythetically produced ingredients in our house, opting for the safe and natural stuff. HFCS has also been linked to behavioral problems, but not sure anything has been proven there. Though I know several kids who were taken off HFCS and their behavior improved drastically with this change alone. Proof enough for me. 

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Products affected by peanut butter recall

The FDA is warning people not to eat any products containing peanut butter because of a salmonella outbreak. Officials say the major brands of peanut butter, sold in jars and plastic containers are not a problem.

Nearly 500 people have gotten sick from salmonella poisoning in 43 states. The contamination may also be linked to six deaths.

The FDA has created a searchable database for the recalled products. It seems like the list will continue to grow, so it would be wise to check it before consuming any peanut butter containing foods.

Here is a list of the products so far recalled:

Peanut Corporation of America, King Nut and Parnell’s Pride
Several King Nut and Parnell’s Pride-branded peanut butter products and peanut butter paste made by Peanut Corporation of America have been recalled. These products were sold to institutions and food processors, not retailers.

The original recall, announced Jan. 9, was expanded several times — on Jan. 13, Jan. 16 and again on Jan. 18. The following is an updated list of all products associated with the company’s recalls:

Stock # — Pack Size — Description

551000 — 6 ct / 5 lb — Creamy Stabilized Peanut Butter
551000 AZ — 6 ct / 5 lb — Creamy Stabilized Peanut Butter with Sugar
551006 — 6 ct / 5 lb — Crunchy Stabilized Peanut Butter
551020 — 35 lb — Creamy Stabilized Peanut Butter
551022 — 35 lb — Natural Course Peanut Paste
551025 — 35 lb — Old Fashioned Creamy Peanut Butter w/ 1% Salt
551026 — 35 lb — Old Fashioned Crunchy Peanut Butter w/ 1% Salt
551034 — 35 lb — Crunchy Stabilized Peanut Butter
551035 — 35 lb — Crunchy Natural Peanut Butter
551040 — 35 lb — Creamy Natural Peanut Butter
551049 — 50 lb — Sugar Free Creamy Stabilized Peanut Butter
551050 — 50 lb — Creamy Stabilized Peanut Butter
551050-PO — 50 lb — Creamy Stabilized Peanut Butter with Palm Oil
551050-D — 50 lb — Dark Creamy Stabilized Peanut Butter
551050-XS — 50 lb — Creamy Extra Stabilized Peanut Butter
551051 — 50 lb — Creamy Stabilized Peanut Butter with Monodiglyceride
551053 — 50 lb — Crunchy Stabilized Peanut Butter
551053-OS — 50 lb — Extra Crunchy Stabilized Peanut Butter
551059 — 475 lb — Creamy Natural Peanut Butter with Stabilizer
551060 — 35 lb — Organic Natural Creamy Peanut Butter
551061 — 35 lb — Organic Old Fashioned Crunchy Peanut Butter
551062 — 35 lb — Organic Crunchy Natural Peanut Butter
551063 — 35 lb — Organic Old Fashioned Creamy Peanut Butter
551064 — 35 lb — Organic Natural Creamy Peanut Butter
551072 — 45 lb — Peanut Butter Variegate
551080 — 475 lb — Creamy Natural Redskin Peanut Butter with Salt
551082 — 475 lb — Creamy Natural Peanut Butter
551082-DR — 475 lb — Dark Roasted Creamy Natural Peanut Butter
561000 — 35 lb — Pet Food Paste
561000 — 475 lb — Feed Grade Peanut Butter
100TPASTE — 1700 lb — Creamy Natural Peanut Butter
RM-PASTE — 1700 lb — Peanut Paste

Lot Numbers Affected by Above:
8183 8184 8185 8186 8187 8188 8189
8190 8191 8192 8193 8194 8195 8196 8197 8198 8199
8200 8201 8202 8203 8204 8205 8206 8207 8208 8209
8210 8211 8212 8213 8214 8215 8216 8217 8218 8219
8220 8221 8222 8223 8224 8225 8226 8227 8228 8229
8230 8231 8232 8233 8234 8235 8236 8237 8238 8239
8240 8241 8242 8243 8244 8245 8246 8247 8248 8249
8250 8251 8252 8253 8254 8255 8256 8257 8258 8259
8260 8261 8262 8263 8264 8265 8266 8267 8268 8269
8270 8271 8272 8273 8274 8275 8276 8277 8278 8279
8280 8281 8282 8283 8284 8285 8286 8287 8288 8289
8290 8291 8292 8293 8294 8295 8296 8297 8298 8299
8300 8301 8302 8303 8304 8305 8306 8307 8308 8309
8310 8311 8312 8313 8314 8315 8316 8317 8318 8319
8320 8321 8322 8323 8324 8325 8326 8327 8328 8329
8330 8331 8332 8333 8334 8335 8336 8337 8338 8339
8340 8341 8342 8343 8344 8345 8346 8347 8348 8349
8350 8351 8352 8353 8354 8355 8356 8357 8358 8359
8360 8361 8362 8363 8364 8365 8366
9001 9002 9003 9004 9005 9006 9007 9008 9009
9010 9011 9012 9013 9014 9015 9016

PCA Stock # — Pack Size — Description

561058 — Tanker — Coarse Natural Paste

Lot Numbers Affected by Above:
8169
8170 8172 8173 8174
8184 8185 8186 8187
8203 8204 8205 8206
8214 8215 8216 8217 8219
8220 8221 8222 8223 8225 8226 8227 8228
8259
8260 8261 8262 8263 8264
8280 8281 8282 8283
8302 8303 8304 8305 8308 8309
8310 8311
8343 8344 8345 8346 8347
8350 8351 8352

For information on Peanut Corporation of America-related recalls, call 1-877-564-7080 or visit www.peanutcorp.com.

Kellogg’s, Keebler, Austin and Famous Amos cookies, crackers and snacks
On Jan. 16, Kellogg recalled several Austin-, Keebler- and Famous Amos-brand cookies, crackers and snacks. People should destroy the following snacks, all produced after July 1, 2008, and seek a refund from Kellogg Consumer Response Center at 877-869-5633.

Austin Quality Foods Cheese Crackers with Peanut Butter – all sizes
Austin Quality Foods Cheese & Peanut ButterSandwich Crackers – all sizes
Austin Quality Foods Mega Stuffed Cheese Crackers with Peanut Butter – all sizes
Austin Quality Foods PB & J Cracker Sandwiches – all sizes
Austin Quality FoodsSuper Snack Pack Sandwich Crackers
Austin Quality Foods Chocolate Peanut Butter Sandwich Crackers – all sizes
Austin Quality Foods Toasty Crackers with Peanut Butter – all sizes
Austin Quality Foods Reduced Fat Cheese & Peanut Butter Sandwich Crackers
Austin Quality Foods Reduced Fat Toasty Crackers with Peanut Butter Sandwich Crackers
Austin Quality FoodsCookie/Cracker Pack
Austin Quality FoodsVariety Pack
Keebler Cheese & Peanut Butter Sandwich Crackers – all sizes
Keebler Toast & PB’n J Flavored Sandwich Crackers – all sizes
Keebler Toast & Peanut Butter Sandwich Crackers – all sizes
Famous Amos Peanut Butter Cookies (2- and 3-ounce)
Keebler Soft Batch Homestyle Peanut Butter Cookies (2.5-ounce)

City Line distributors
On Jan. 16, another tub of King Nut peanut butter was found to be contaminated with salmonella, this time at City Line distributors, in New Haven, Conn. It was the first unopened tub of peanut butter to show contamination, convincing officials that they had identified the source. The distributor had already sent possibly contaminated peanut butter to Connecticut, New York, Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

Hy-Vee cookies, party mixes and fudge
On Jan. 17, Hy-Vee Inc., of Des Moines, Iowa, recalled cookies, party mix and fudge because those products may be contaminated with the bad peanut butter. The products recalled, including products with all “sell-by dates” sold at Hy-Vee stores in Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota and Minnesota, include:

Peanut Butter Cookies
Monster Cookies
Peanut Butter Reese’s Pieces Cookies
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Lunchbox Reese’s Pieces Cookies
Lunchbox Peanut Butter Cookies
People Chow Party Mix and Assorted Truffle Fudge

Perry’s, Wegmans and Shurfine ice cream
On Jan. 17, Perry’s Ice Cream recalled a number of ice cream products distributed to New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland and Virginia that may contain tainted peanut butter. Consumers should destroy the ice cream and call Perry’s Consumer Affairs Department for a refund at 1-800-873-7797 between the hours of 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday EST. For updated recall information, or to leave a message during non-business hours, please call 716-562-0260.

Here’s a list of the recalled ice creams:

Perry’s Premium Peanut Butter Cup Craze Ice Cream 1/2 Pint
Perry’s Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream 1.5 QT, 1.75 QT AND 3 GL
Perry’s Peanut Butter Chip Frozen Yogurt 1.5 QT, 1.75 QT and 3 GL
Perry’s Peanut Butter Sundae Crunch Ice Cream Bar Bulk 24 pack
Perry’s Premium Peanut Butter Fudge Ice Cream 1.5 QT and 1.75 QT
Perry’s Perfectly Churned Light Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream 1.5 QT and 1.75 QT
Perry’s Light Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream 1.75 QT
Shurfine Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream 1.75 QT
Wegmans Chocolate Nutty Cone Ice Cream 1.75 QT
Wegmans Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream 1.75 QT and Pint
Wegmans Peanut Butter Swirl Ice Cream 1.75 QT
Wegmans Peanut Butter Sundae Ice Cream 1.75 QT
Wegmans Peanut Butter Pretzel Ice Cream 1.75 QT
Wegmans Peanut Butter Crunch Ice Cream Bar 6 pack
Wegmans Peanut Butter Candy Sundae Cup Ice Cream 4 pack
Wegmans Peanut Butter Sundae Cup Ice Cream 4 pack

McKee Foods’ Little Debbie brand sandwich crackers
On Jan. 18, McKee Food Corp. announced the recall of two Little Debbie products, both of which were manufactured after July 1, 2008, and both of which are manufactured by the Kellogg Company, which has previously announced recalls associated with its use of Peanut Corporation of America peanut paste:

Little Debbie Peanut Butter Toasty sandwich crackers — all sizes.
Little Debbie Peanut Butter Cheese sandwich crackers — all sizes.
Consumers who have purchased the recalled products are urged to discard the crackers but retain the freshness code and contact the company’s Consumer Affairs at 1-800-522-4499. The FDA press release on this recall did not specify whether or not the company is offering a refund.

South Bend Chocolate Company and retail brand chocolates
Also Jan. 18, the South Bend Chocolate Company, of South Bend, Ind., recalled several chocolate products, produced under its own brand and for other unspecified retailers after July 1, 2008:

South Bend Chocolate Company Assorted chocolates: 5 ounce (Product 121)
South Bend Chocolate Company Assorted chocolates: 8 ounce box (Product 122)
South Bend Chocolate Company Assorted chocolates: 12 ounce box (Product 123)
South Bend Chocolate Company Assorted chocolates: 26 ounce box (Product 124)
South Bend Chocolate Company Hoosiers 5 ounce (Product 010, UPC# 4482300011)
South Bend Chocolate Company Hoosiers 3.5 ounce (Product o11, UPC# 4482300010)
South Bend Chocolate Company Valentine Heart, 14 ounces (Product 1020)
The following recalled chocolates were sold to retail stores in bulk for sales of of smaller quantities directly to customers. (TDG note: It’s not clear how customers can distinguish these products from those from other manufacturers without asking the retailer who its supplier is.)

4.5 lb. Peanut Butter Fudge, Product 228
4 lb. Hoosiers, Product 410
5 lb. Peanut Butter Meltaway, Milk Chocolate, Product 204
5 lb. Peanut Butter Meltaways-Dark Chocolate, Product 204D
4.5lb Peanut Butter Chocolate Fudge, Product 229

Consumers should return the product to the place of purchase. For information, contact The South Bend Chocolate Company at 574-233-2577.

Ralcorp, Lofthouse, Food Lion, Parco Foods’, Chuck’s Chunky, Pastries Plus and Wal-Mart peanut butter cookies
Also Jan. 18, Ralcorp Frozen Bakery Products recalled several products sold at its Food Lion stores because the products were made with peanut products from Peanut Corporation of America. All products will have a lot code of 9200 or less.

Food Lion Bake Shop peanut butter cookies (sold nationwide in 12-count clear plastic clamshell containers in the in-store bakery sections of Food Lion grocery stores)
Lofthouse peanut butter cookies (12-count, sold nationwide in clear plastic clamshell containers at in-store bakery sections of grocery stores)
Lofthouse peanut butter no-bake cookies (12-count, sold nationwide in clear plastic clamshell containers at in-store bakery sections of grocery stores)
Lofthouse peanut butter fudge no-bake cookies (9-count or 12-count, sold nationwide in clear plastic clamshell containers at in-store bakery sections of grocery stores)
Parco Foods’ Chuck’s Chunky food serve brand peanut butter cookies (distributed nationally in 5-lb. boxes in the food service channels)
Pastries Plus gourmet cookies (sold in 21-count plastic containers in select club stores nationally.
Wal-Mart Bakery peanut butter cookies (sold in the in-store bakery section in all state except Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hamshire and Maine)
Wal-Mart Bakery peanut butter no-bake cookies (sold in the in-store bakery section in all state except Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hamshire and Maine)
Wal-Mart Bakery peanut butter fudge no-bake cookies (sold in the in-store bakery section in all state except Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hamshire and Maine)
Additional information about Wal-Mart brand cookies recalled:

Description — SKU (scan number on product bottom)

Wal-Mart Bakery Peanut Butter Cookie, 12 Count Clear Plastic Container — 70897161809
Wal-Mart Bakery Harvest Peanut Butter Fudge No-Bake,9 Count Clear Plastic Container — 70897190990
Wal-Mart Bakery Peanut Butter Fudge No-Bake, 9 Count Clear Plastic Container — 70897190954
Wal-Mart Bakery Peanut Butter Fudge No-Bake, 12 Count Clear Plastic Container — 70897161843
Consumers can get a full refund from the place of purchase. For information, call 1-888-421-4699.

Meijer peanut butter sandwich crackers and ice cream
On Jan. 19, Meijer recalled peanut butter sandwich crackers and ice cream sold in its stores and gas stations in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky.

Meijer Cheese and Peanut Butter Sandwich Crackers, UPC #0-41250-56235
Meijer Toasty Peanut Butter Sandwich Crackers, UPC #0-41250-56239
Meijer Peanut Butter and Jelly Ice Cream, UPC #00000007-19283-96635-3
Meijer Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream, UPC #00000007-19283-96843-2
Consumers can get a refund by returning the product to Meijer. For more information, call 800-543-3704.

City Market, Fred Meyer, Fry’s, King Soopers, QFC and Smith’s ice cream
Also Jan. 19, Kroger recalled two ice cream varieties sold at City Market, Fred Meyer, Fry’s, King Soopers, QFC and Smith’s stores in Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming:

Private Selection Peanut Butter Passion Ice Cream sold in 48-ounce containers with a “Sell by” date of 9-13-2009 under the following UPC Code Number: 0001111054437.
Private Selection Peanut Butter Passion Ice Cream sold in 56-ounce containers with a “Sell by” date of 8-11-2009 under the following UPC Code Number: 0001111052816.
Consumers can return the product to the store of purchase for refund or replacement. For more information, contact Kroger toll-free at (800) 632-6900 or www.kroger.com/recalls.

Abbott’s ZonePerfect and Nutripals peanut butter bars
Also Jan. 19, Abbott Nutrition recalled three energy snack bars sold in the U.S., Mexico, New Zealand and Singapore (but not Canada):

ZonePerfect Chocolate Peanut Butter bars, all sizes and quantities
ZonePerfect Peanut Toffee bars, all sizes and quantities
NutriPals Peanut Butter Chocolate nutrition bars, all sizes and quantities
Consumers can get a refund by contacting Abbott Nutrition Consumer Relations at (800) 986-8884, Monday through Friday, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. ET.

Clif Bar, ZBaR and Luna energy snack bars
Also Jan. 19, Clif Bar & Company recalled several products sold in grocery, warehouse and other retail stores throughout the United States:

Clif Bar Chocolate Chip Peanut Crunch
BEST BY/SELL BY: 21JUN09 to 01OCT09, and 03NOV09 to 28NOV09
Clif Bar Crunchy Peanut Butter
BEST BY/SELL BY: 21JUN09 to 01OCT09, and 03NOV09 to 28NOV09
Clif Bar Peanut Toffee Buzz
BEST BY/SELL BY: only 13SEP09
ZBaR Peanut Butter
BEST BY/SELL BY: 07JUL09 to 05SEP09, and 12NOV09
Clif Builders Peanut Butter
BEST BY/SELL BY: 19JUL09 to 30SEP09, and 05NOV09 to 18NOV09
Luna Nutz over Chocolate
BEST BY/SELL BY: 29JUL09 to 03OCT09, 11NOV09 to 14NOV09
Luna Peanut Butter Cookie
BEST BY/SELL BY: 02OCT09 to 03OCT09, and 11NOV09 to 14NOV09
All Clif Mojo Bars
BEST BY/SELL BY: 30APR09 to 21JUN09

Consumers should save the “Best By/Sell By” code found on the back of the package and seek a refund by contacting Clif Bar & Company at 1-800-CLIFBAR (1-800-254-3227). For more information, visit www.clifbar.com.

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FDA to continue to studies on BPA

Taking heat from, well everyone outside the FDA and the plastic industry, the FDA has stated they will continue to study BPA. Scientists and other government health agencies have linked BPA with health issues, stating infants are most at risk. But the FDA maintains it’s safe.

Blah, blah, same story different day. But I guess their “goodwill” gesture to continue the study on the substance is better than nothing.

Read the entire article here.

Did the plastics industry write the FDA’s report on BPA?

I found this article awhile back saying the FDA’s report on the safety of BPA, released in August, may have been written by the folks at the plastics industry, who obviously have a large stake here.

MILWAUKEE, WISC.; October 23, 2008 (WPVI) — A government saying that bisphenol A, a controversial chemical in plastics was safe came largely from research supplies by the plastics industry.

In a special report, writers for the Milwaukee Sentinel-Journal say the FDA’s own documents say most of the work was prepared by major stakeholders in keeping bisphenol A, also called BPA, on the market.

That includes Stephen Hentges, executive director of the American Chemistry Council’s group on bisphenol A, who commissioned a review of all studies of the neurotoxicity of bisphenol A and submitted it to the FDA. The FDA then used that report as the foundation for its evaluation of the chemical on neural and behavioral development. The American Chemistry Council is a trade group representing chemical manufacturers.

The FDA’s report, which came out in August, said concerns about BPA were unfounded. It is used in baby bottles, water bottles, the linings of infant formula containers, dental sealants, eyeglasses, and inside food cans.

One month later, advisers from the National Toxicology Program – an FDA advisory panel – came to the opposite conclusion – that there is cause for concern on how BPA affects fetuses, infants, and children, as well as how it affects development of the brain and prostate gland.

A congressional committee is now investigating the August report, and the FDA’s links to the plastics industry. The agency had been criticized before for using industry figures to make its case for BPA’s safety. The FDA has promised to do an independent study on BPA safety, but that has yet to be done.

Bisphenol A has been detected in the urine of 93% of those tested.

Last weekend, the Canadian government officially declared BPA as a toxin, and banned its use in baby bottles and children’s products.

Numerous university studies on BPA using lab aninmals showed the potential for serious health effects.

A government committee is currently analyzing the initial FDA report finding no harm. Its report is due out on in Washington next Friday, October 31st.

/end article

Additionally, there was a report earlier this week that one of the top FDA officials reviewing the BPA case accepted a bribe from the plastics industry. 

The good news is there are folks in the US who are taking action.
- Attorneys general of 3 states have written letters to 11 companies asking them to ban the use of BPA in their products. This includes popular bottle and formula makers.
- The Environmental Working Group continues to study BPA in formula and issue the findings so parents can choose safer formulas.
- Blogs by concerned parents are helping spread the word and providing parents with lists of BPA-free options so they may choose safer products for their children.

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FDA ruling on BPA Flawed

So I am a little late posting this. But in a Washington Post article on Oct 29, several scientists and government agencies state the FDA did not take into consideration all the evidence regarding the safety of BPA. An except from the article states:

“In a highly critical report to be released today, the panel of scientists from government and academia said the FDA did not take into consideration scores of studies that have linked bisphenol A (BPA) to prostate cancer, diabetes and other health problems in animals when it completed a draft risk assessment of the chemical last month. The panel said the FDA didn’t use enough infant formula samples and didn’t adequately account for variations among the samples.”

This is no shock to say the least, but it is very, very troubling that the government agency who is supposed to protect consumers from toxins, sides with the plastics industry time and time again. The studies ignored in the FDA’s assessment reaffirms that BPA has no place in infant products, or in any other form that would ever come in contact with foods and beverage.

Canada has declared BPA a hazardous substance and has banned BPA in baby bottles.   Retailers including Target, Wal-Mart and Babies R Us have promised to stop selling baby bottles containing BPA.

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Why has the FDA not banned BPA?

Because it is a lucrative industry. Plain and simple as this article portrays and I agree with. Canada has labeled BPA as toxic and banned it from baby bottles early this year. SO far no other country has follow suit. Why?

This excerpt sheds some light:
According to Dr. Wade Welshons, a professor in the endocrine disruptors group at the University of Missouri, the lack of regulation in other countries is a result of industry’s efforts to keep the ten-billion-dollar per year industry going.

“BPA [constitutes] such a large and lucrative market that it just carries itself along. In 1999, the chemical industry hired a tobacco industry lobbyist – the Wienberg group – to protect the product. They did a very thorough job of creating doubt that second-hand smoke was dangerous, and the same kind of techniques are just being applied more broadly to BPA,” Welshons said.

Of course the industry folks claim the paper released in September 2008 showing BPA may cause diabetes, liver and heart disease cannot prove BPA causes these diseases, just that there is a correlation. Honestly, a correlation is enough for me to want to stay away.

Animals must be used in such studies because it would be illegal to inject a human with BPA. And most adults have higher levels of BPA in their bodies than the levels used in these animals studies. And while scientists would like to do a study on humans, it would require years of research to follow humans around who have regular exposure to BPA and track the effects on their health. So until then, we need to continue to be exposed to this very likely toxic chemical.

Excerpt:
But while scientists spend years building an unassailable fortress of evidence that BPA causes disease, the chemical continues to tamper with fetal development and potentially harm adult health. ….. According to Maricel Maffini, a professor at Tufts University, regulatory agencies shouldn’t wait on studies that may take many years.

“Because these studies are so long- term, research on laboratory animals needs to be taken more seriously. In any science you do, animals are considered a gold standard – except in the field of endocrine disruptors like BPA,” Maffini said.

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Silicone bottles: the latest in BPA-free bottles

I had heard about a silicone baby bottle and thought, what in the world is that? So I Googled it (like I do everything!) and it sounds very interesting! The Innobaby Silicone bottle is derived from safe, natural ingredients like pebbles and sand and grow with your baby. This bottle will be available January 2009.

In poking around, I saw on The Soft Landing blog that Momo is also coming out with a silicone baby bottle in October, so just a few short weeks. And Nuby is coming out with a silicone bottle in January 2009 as well.

Check back and I will post when these are available and where to buy.

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Which Sassy products are BPA-free?

Sassy recently cleared up which of their products were BPA-free and which were not. Previously they had claimed certain products did not contain BPA and turns out some of them did. So which ones really are safe?

Unfortunately, Sassy does not have a great list on their website like other companies do. Hopefully they will step it up and add this soon. However, The Soft Landing has created a list of safe, BPA-free Sassy products and posted it here.

Sassy products can be found at most discount retail stores or shop online for the best selection.

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