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OPINION
March 14, 2014
Re "The labels on generic drugs," Editorial, March 12 The Times objects to a Food and Drug Administration proposal to allow generic drug manufacturers to update safety labeling to warn of newly discovered risks, as brand-name manufacturers have long been permitted to do. The editorial is based on the misperception that the law requires branded and generic labeling to be identical. In fact, FDA regulations allow generic labeling to "include differences in expiration date, formulation, bioavailability, or pharmacokinetics," among other things.
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HEALTH
March 14, 2014 | By Mary MacVean
When you shop for food, are you thinking of your devotion to the environment or to animal welfare? Do your primary concerns involve allergies or genetically modified (GMO) ingredients? Even as the federal government is working to simplify food labels, manufacturers and marketers are increasingly adding icons to appeal to shoppers' priorities. Those efforts were front and center at the mammoth Natural Products Expo West, held last week at the Anaheim Convention Center, where tens of thousands of convention-goers examined thousands of products, ranging from those invented in home kitchens to items produced by major companies.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 14, 2014 | By Mikael Wood
Not long ago, Barbara and Ethan Gruska - the fresh-faced siblings at the core of L.A.'s Belle Brigade - were deep in a rehearsal with their two bandmates. The goal that afternoon was reworking the songs on the Belle Brigade's self-titled 2011 debut so that they fit alongside tunes from the group's just-finished follow-up. It took some doing. A sunny blast of retro West Coast folk-pop, "The Belle Brigade" pulled deeply (and openly) from crowd-pleasing forebears such as the Beach Boys and Fleetwood Mac. The new album, by contrast, begins with a digitally processed train whistle laid atop a booming drumbeat.
OPINION
March 12, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
When Congress gave generic drugmakers a shortcut onto the market 30 years ago, it required them to provide the same warnings as the brand-name medicines they were copying. Two recent Supreme Court rulings applied that stricture in an unexpected way: Even if generic drugmakers learned of a new side effect, they could not be expected to warn about it unless and until the brand-name drug did. In response, the Food and Drug Administration has proposed a rule to let generic makers add new warnings unilaterally - and allow them to be sued if they don't.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 10, 2014 | By Dawn C. Chmielewski and Randy Lewis
Apple Inc. has begun pressuring the major record companies to offer new releases exclusively through its iTunes store - a move that would initially block availability on streaming services such as Spotify or Beats Music, according to several people familiar with the matter. Apple executives contend that on-demand music services have begun to cannibalize download sales, and its representatives are demanding the labels create a period reserved for digital purchasing. Music industry insiders, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals from the industry's dominant retailer, said Apple's push for a new release window - similar to the one that some Hollywood studios impose for films newly released for home viewing - shows the Cupertino, Calif., tech giant is scrambling to retain its competitive advantage in an evolving digital music market.
OPINION
March 2, 2014
Re "U.S. to revamp nutrition labels," Business, Feb. 27 Thanks for spotlighting Michelle Obama's campaign to change food labels. I am a registered nurse, and I frequently educate my patients on nutrition. It is indisputable that diet has an impact on health. Still, I have found that the majority of the patients I educate have some deficiency in their knowledge of nutrition. Several patients have expressed to me that they have difficulty navigating through the grocery store attempting to figure out which foods are healthful.
OPINION
February 28, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
The U.S. Food and Drug administration broke new ground in consumer protection when it required, more than 20 years ago, the now-familiar nutrition labels on virtually every bit of packaged food. Now, the labels are being revamped - in ways that have both benefits and downsides. One of the most noticeable changes - and the least justifiable - would be the addition of a new sub-category: the number of grams of added sugar in the food, in addition to the existing measure of total sugar.
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...
SCIENCE
February 27, 2014 | By Melissa Healy
Aiming to give Americans the tools to make healthier dietary choices, the Food and Drug Administration has unveiled a revamped version of one of the nation's most recognized graphics -- the "Nutrition Facts" box that appears on the back or side of packaged foods and beverages. The proposed new information box increases the visibility of the "serving size," allowing consumers to see without mental gymnastics the size of a normal portion, as well as the nutrients it contains. It advertises the calorie content of a serving in larger typeface than any other information on the label, shouting a clear message over the cacophany of dietary advice: that too many of these are, first and foremost, the cause of obesity.
BUSINESS
February 26, 2014 | By Daniel Rothberg
WASHINGTON - The Obama administration on Thursday will propose the first major revamp of nutrition labels in more than two decades, an update that would emphasize calorie information, include the amount of added sugars and revise serving sizes to reflect how people really consume food. The revision is aimed, in part, at addressing serious public health issues, including obesity and other chronic diseases. Administration officials believe the new labels could lead consumers to make more healthful food choices and encourage the food industry to reformulate some products, particularly those with high amounts of added sugar.
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