Lawsuit calls Hebrew National’s kosher claims into question
OMAHA, Neb. — A class action lawsuit recently was filed against ConAgra Foods for claiming that its Hebrew National products are kosher, the company confirmed.
Hebrew National, a more-than-100-year-old brand known for its hot dogs and other packaged products, has touted kosher status since its establishment, ConAgra Foods said, who added that this lawsuit "is without merit."
"Hebrew National’s kosher status is certified by a well-recognized and authorized third-party," ConAgra Foods said in a statement. "There is close rabbinical supervision of the food preparation process and packaging equipment. For more than 100 years, Hebrew National has followed strict dietary law, using only specific cuts of beef that meet the highest standards for quality, cleanliness, and safety with no by-products, artificial flavors, or artificial colors."
According to a recent Mintel research, more than one-quarter of new food and beverage products introduced in 2011 touted a kosher on-package claim.
Cascade Ice brings beverages to more stores
LOS ANGELES — Unique Beverage Co. has expanded the availability of its Cascade Ice zero-calorie water beverage line.
The Cascade Ice portfolio — which includes zero-calorie sparkling water, organic zero-calorie sparkling water and sparkling cocktail mixers — now is available for purchase at Albertson’s, A&P, Safeway and more. The beverages also are slated to be available Winn-Dixie stores in the coming months.
With the expansion, the beverages now are available for purchase across 46 states. A complete list of state availability can be found here.
CRN: FDA plans to reissue revised New Dietary Ingredient Notification draft guidance
WASHINGTON — The Council for Responsible Nutrition on Wednesday commended the Food and Drug Administration for its plans to reissue a revised New Dietary Ingredient Notification Draft Guidance. The FDA’s announcement to revisit the draft guidance came following a meeting with agency officials including FDA commissioner Margaret Hamburg and deputy commissioner Mike Taylor and Sens. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and Tom Harkin, D-Iowa.
“We are grateful to FDA for its willingness to have an open and ongoing dialogue with our industry," CRN president and CEO Steve Mister said. "We understand the complexities involved for FDA in developing practical and workable regulation, and we remain willing to work cooperatively to help ensure the guidance will be manageable for industry and enforceable for FDA, and will ultimately benefit consumers.”
CRN credits the industry’s perseverance in communicating to the agency its legitimate concerns about the original draft guidance, issued last July, combined with misgivings voiced from numerous members of Congress. According to CRN, the agency will revisit the five specific areas of concern that CRN and other industry trade associations highlighted as particularly problematic for the industry, including:
Industry responsibility for proving grandfathered status of particular ingredients;
The permissibility of using synthetic versions of botanical components in supplements;
The definition of the term “chemically altered”;
NDI submissions for an ingredient versus finished products; and
The level of data necessary to demonstrate the safety of NDIs.
“We pledge to continue to help educate the industry about the statutory requirements for NDI notifications, even as we engage in dialogue with the agency about specifics of FDA’s interpretation of the law," Mister said.