Olive oil gets the nod

The FDA will allow a qualified health claim for monounsaturated fat from olive oil and reduced risk of coronary heart disease (CHD). The agency said there is limited but not conclusive evidence that suggests that consumers may reduce their risk of CHD if they consume monounsaturated fat from olive oil and olive oil-containing foods in place of foods high in saturated fat, while at the same time not increasing the total number of calories consumed daily. This is the third qualified health claim FDA has announced for conventional food since the process for establishing such claims took effect last year.

GAO questions recall system

A report by the General Accounting Offices raises concerns about the effectiveness of the government's food recall system-but it's a concern not shared by the food industry. Craig Henry, vice president of food safety programs for the National Food Processors Association, says the current system has been an effective means of removing dangerous food products from the marketplace for decades. Henry says USDA and the FDA do not need more recall authority, but should focus their resources on prevention of food safety problems. "Food companies have a vested interest in ensuring that no product posing any risk to consumers remains on the market and that all food products on the shelves are safe and wholesome. Both USDA and FDA have stated repeatedly that they believe the current recall system works well," Henry said.