Here in the U.S., we have food safety regulations — a lot of them. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for making sure foods (and a bunch of other stuff) adhere to some basic health and safety rules to reduce the likelihood these products will hit store shelves and make a million people sick. So far, so good… but there’s a major food safety system that the FDA uses that, it turns out, is neither standard nor safe — despite its name.
Last month, the Food and Drug Administration announced that it would be investigating claims from consumers that the “cleansing conditioner” Wen, purportedly developed by celebrity hairstylist Chaz Dean, had caused scalp irritation and even made some users’ hair fall out. The FDA looked into the situation after receiving 127 complaints about the product, but didn’t know that the marketer, Proactiv maker Guthy-Renker, had received more than 21,000 complaints about the product that it wasn’t obligated to report to the FDA. [More]
Mercury poisoning doesn’t sound fun, but it also doesn’t necessarily sound like something the average consumer runs into a lot in modern cosmetic aisles, what with federal regulations banning dangerous levels of the stuff. However, there are a slew of illegal skin care products for sale out there that contain mercury, and the Food and Drug Administration doesn’t want folks slathering them on their bodies. [More]
For the first time in the U.S., health officials believe local mosquitoes may have transmitted the Zika virus to humans. [More]
When you see ads for dietary supplements, there are often scientists in lab coats looking at beakers and flasks, saying science-y things. In the real world, just about anyone with a credit card can make and market a supplement, even one that contains potentially unhealthy ingredients. Just ask our colleagues at Consumer Reports, the creators of the new (totally fake) weight-loss supplement Thinitol. [More]
Haircare products are supposed to do just that — care for your hair. So when consumers start reporting hair loss, balding, itching, and rash associated with using a certain product, the Food and Drug Administration is going to take those reports seriously. [More]
How long should a drug company be allowed to be the exclusive manufacturer and seller of their product? Crestor, a best-selling statin (cholesterol-lowering drug) that has enjoyed exclusivity for the last 12 years, is due to lose that protection today. AstraZeneca, the maker of Crestor, is fighting that decision, hoping to squeeze a little more time as the drug’s exclusive manufacturer before generics hit the market. [More]
While you may have a personal choice of antibacterial hand-sanitizing product to wipe, slather, and squirt your way to germ-free mitts, there’s one thing all those products all have in common: they should actually work. [More]
Two years ago, Vermont became the first state to pass a law requiring clear disclosures of foods containing genetically modified/engineered ingredients. A number of packaged food giants — including PepsiCo, Mars Inc., General Mills, and Campbell Soup Co. — have already made the decision to label their products on a nationwide basis in advance of the July 1 start of the new rules. With that deadline approaching, a pair of agribusiness-backed senators have introduced legislation that would kill the Vermont law, prevent other states from enacting similar regulations, and give companies two years to create a label with little to no information. [More]
Listeria and other unsanitary conditions were found at a Whole Foods plant in Massachusetts earlier this year, the Food and Drug Administration revealed in a warning letter telling the grocery store chain to take immediate action to fix the issues. [More]
Having a migraine can bad enough, but getting literally burned by a product that’s supposed to help alleviate that pain makes it an even more painful experience. That’s why the makers of a patch called Zecuity, which is marketed for migraine relief, are yanking it from shelves, after users reported burns and scarring. [More]
Hundreds of millions of years ago, the seven continents that we know today were one big land glob called Pangaea. When choosing a name for an international operation to nab sellers of unapproved drugs, regulators and law enforcement agencies took this idea of one united world and called their project “Pangea,” or the International Internet Week of Action. Led by Interpol, agencies took action to look for unapproved drugs passing in the mail. [More]
Five years ago, the Food Safety Modernization Act granted the Food and Drug Administration the statutory authority to compel food producers to recall tainted products. However, a new report from a federal investigator shows that people are falling ill while the FDA sometimes takes months to issue recalls, even after it has evidence of contamination. [More]
What’s “evaporated cane juice”? It’s a sweetener produced from the liquid that comes out of sugar cane when you cut or shred it. However, the Food and Drug Administration notes that it’s also a term that food producers use in ingredients list to avoid using the word “sugar.” The FDA has had enough of this, and issued guidance telling food marketers that they need to just call ECJ what it is: sugar. [More]
It’s something most of us learned to do decades ago: you see an inviting package on the supermarket shelf. You pick it up, have a look at the front to see if you might like that flavor, and then flip it over to stare intently at the familiar white nutrition label on the back. Well now, finally, after much hemming and hawing, those nutrition labels are getting an overdue upgrade.