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BUSINESS
March 30, 2014 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO - The high-stakes battle over labeling foods with genetically engineered ingredients is back. Less than two years after California voters narrowly turned down a labeling ballot measure, the state Senate is grappling with the issue. The 2012 campaign cost the food industry $46 million to fight, five times more than the amount spent by the measure's proponents. By a 5-2 vote last week, the Health Committee approved Senate Bill 1381, by Sen. Noreen Evans (D-Santa Rosa)
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BUSINESS
November 7, 2012 | By Marc Lifsher, Los Angeles Times
SACRAMENTO - Despite Tuesday's loss at the polls, proponents of labeling genetically engineered foods vowed to press ahead for tougher regulation nationwide of food with genetically manipulated ingredients. By 53.1% to 46.9%, voters defeated Proposition 37, a ballot measure that would have made California the first state in the nation to require such labels on some fresh produce and processed foods, such as corn, soybeans and beet sugar, whose DNA has been altered by scientists. The measure fell victim to a media blitz bankrolled by $46 million in campaign contributions from big biotech companies, including Monsanto Co., grocery manufacturers and agricultural firms.
NATIONAL
January 29, 2012 | By Richard Fausset, Los Angeles Times
Ronda Storms is a Republican state senator from Florida. She is also a mom who buys the groceries for her family of four. A few months ago, Storms, 46, started noticing that some fellow shoppers were using federal food stamp money to purchase a lot of unhealthful junk. And it galled her - at a time when Florida was cutting Medicaid reimbursement rates, public school funding and jobs - that people were indulging in sugary, fatty, highly-processed treats on the public dime. "If we're going to be cutting services across the board," she said, "then people can live without potato chips, without store-bought cookies, without their sodas.
SCIENCE
April 14, 2014 | By Mary MacVean
A 15% reduction in salt consumption was likely “an important contributor” to a 40% reduction in stroke and heart disease deaths in the last decade in England, researchers said Monday. The “single largest” contribution to the decline in deaths was a decrease in blood pressure, they said. Smoking and blood cholesterol also declined over the period, 2003-11; produce consumption and body mass index rose. At the same time, there were improvements in treatment for high blood pressure and heart disease, they said in the online British Medical Journal Open.
NEWS
September 23, 2000 | MELINDA FULMER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
In the first-ever product recall of a food because of its genetically engineered ingredients, Taco Bell brand taco shells are being pulled from supermarket shelves after tests confirmed the presence of an ingredient not approved for human consumption. The Taco Bell restaurant chain also said that, as a precautionary measure, it has begun substituting taco shells sold in its 7,000 locations nationwide. The Kraft Foods unit of Philip Morris Co.
OPINION
May 29, 2011
If only food were as simple as cigarettes. There are no ambiguities about the evils of smoking. It sickens people who do it and endangers those around them. Despite remarkable progress in persuading people not to take up the habit in recent decades, smoking is still the No. 1 preventable cause of death in this country, and it has no known health benefits. Overeating, especially of low-nutrition junk food, is a bad habit too. Obesity is a fast-rising threat to American health. Yet, unlike with cigarettes, we can't "quit" food.
BUSINESS
January 4, 2013 | By Neela Banerjee and Alana Semuels, Los Angeles Times
The Food and Drug Administration has proposed sweeping rules to curtail food-borne illnesses that kill thousands of Americans annually - and, in the process, to transform itself into an agency that prevents contamination, not one that merely investigates outbreaks. The rules, drafted with an eye toward strict standards in California and some other states, enable the implementation of the landmark Food Safety Modernization Act that President Obama signed two years ago in response to a string of deadly outbreaks of illness from contaminated spinach, eggs, peanut butter and imported produce.
NEWS
May 8, 2012 | By Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times/For the Booster Shots Blog
They sifted through about 800 programs to prevent and fight obesity--to find the ones most likely to counter the nation's growing girth. In the end, a panel of independent experts asserted that only by implementing many of those initiatives at once can the nation make real progress. Reversing the nation's "obesogenic," or fat-promoting, culture will require sweeping changes across all aspects of daily life, "modifying factors that shape individual choices and incidental behaviors," the Institute of Medicine concluded in a report issued Tuesday.
NEWS
February 27, 2014 | By Kathleen Hennessey
WASHINGTON  - The way nutritional information is displayed on food is “simply not acceptable,” First Lady Michelle Obama declared on Thursday as she endorsed an administration effort that would force the food industry to more clearly label the amount of fat, sugar and salt in its products.  “As consumers and as parents, we have a right to understand what's in the food we're feeding our families,” Obama said from the East Room of the...
BUSINESS
August 28, 2012 | By Tiffany Hsu, Los Angeles Times
Shades of Mildred Pierce may be cropping up throughout the state as lawmakers are set to decide whether mothers and others are allowed to sell homemade muffins, cakes and pies at local stores and restaurants and directly to consumers. Slammed by the economy, many households are looking to follow in the footsteps of the fictional heroine by earning a bit of money on the side with home-cooked confections - without the huge upfront costs in leasing certified commercial kitchens and complying with myriad business rules.
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