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How Innovation in Biotechnology Can Feed the World »

April 19, 2016

By: Robert Burns, Ph.D., Vice President Health and Nutrition Policy

In the next 35 years, the world will add another 2.4 billion people.  As demand for food, feed, fiber, and fuel increases, so does our need to deliver greater productivity in agriculture (i.e. producing more with less) while conserving increasingly scarce natural resources.

Today at the GMA Science Forum, Margaret M. Zeigler, Ph.D., Executive Director, Global Harvest Initiative, spoke about strategies to improve global food security, nutrition, and to build resilience to climate challenges.

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Whole Genome Sequencing – At the Frontiers of Food Safety »

April 19, 2016

By: Melinda Hayman, Ph.D., Director, Microbiology and Ai Kataoka, Scientist, Science Operations

Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS), sometimes also referred to under the wider umbrella of next generation sequencing (NGS), has gathered a lot of steam in the food safety arena in a very short time.  This is largely due to the efforts of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the US Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC).  Dr Eric Brown and Dr Peter Gerner-Smidt of the FDA and CDC respectively have led the implementation of this technology in the US. At the GMA Science Forum they explained how this technology is used for food safety.  Mr. Joseph Levitt from Hogan Lovells shared an industry case study.

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“Last Thing I Ate” Myth »

March 10, 2016

By: Steve Leslie, Director and Counsel, Claims Program

 Here at the GMA Claims Program, one of the most common consumer complaints we receive is “this product made me sick!”  Certainly, no one questions whether contaminated food and beverage products can cause an illness.  However, many such claims are based on nothing more than a product being the last thing the consumer ate before the start of illness symptoms.  This fact alone is insufficient to support a foodborne illness claim, and actually tends to point to other sources of an illness.

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The War Against Allergens »

March 4, 2016

By: Akhila Vasan, PhD, SEF Fellow and Project Manager

My friend Sara has a food allergy that requires her to be very careful in ordering food at restaurants. One afternoon, Sara and some friends were at a Spanish restaurant and ordered tapas for the table. As the waiter was taking down the order, Sara mentioned that she had a food allergy – peanuts! The menu had to be carefully chosen and prepared so there was no cross contact during food preparation.

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Listeria in Lettuce; What You Can do to Protect Yourself »

January 29, 2016

By: Melinda Hayman, PhD, Director of Microbiology, Jennifer McEntire, PhD, Vice President, Science Operations

The CDC estimates that over 48 million people suffer from foodborne illness annually but serious illness disproportionately impacts vulnerable populations such as the young, elderly and immune-compromised.

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Transparency is vital to meeting growing consumer demands for product information »

January 25, 2016

By: Jim Flannery, Senior Executive Vice President, Operations and Industry Collaboration

A new study shows that consumers are basing their food purchases more and more on new factors beyond price, taste and convenience, and it offers some important lessons for food manufacturers and retailers on the imperative to give consumers the information they want.

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