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Brewer fights for GMO labelling

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A Quebec brewery is taking on the Canadian Food Inspection Agency in a pitch to promote its produce as free of genetically-modified ingredients.

The CFIA recently certified Unibroue’s beers for having no GMO content, and the company is using that certification in a televised ad campaign – breaking a long-standing agency rule that stipulates that food companies are not permitted to use the CFIA in ads.

Unibroue backed their decision, claiming that it was necessary in order to back their GMO-free claim – if a company is going to sell beer to concerned or environmentally-conscious customers on the basis that it is GMO free, the customer should have some kind of guarantee that it’s true.

Rather than remove the ads, Unibroue president Andre Dion has vowed to change the CFIA’s policy.

If he is successful, Unibroue will set a precedent for other companies who wish to advertise their products as certified GMO-free.

Grape juice scientists promote hail health benefits of grape juice

Georgetown University Researchers, with a grant from Welch Foods Incorporated, report that drinking purple grape juice contributes to healthy cardiovascular functioning.

"What we are seeing for the first time is that the flavonoids in purple grape juice work in two related pathways," says Jane E. Reedman, M.D. "First, they have a protective effect on antioxidants, allowing them to provide active protection against oxidative stress for longer periods. Second, they also seem to have a direct, positive effect on a number of biological functions like platelet activity, nitric oxide production, and signalling in cells, all of which may be protective factors."

It also turns tongues purple and stains carpets, but neither of these phenomena were investigated by the researchers.

In the study, 20 subjects drank two cups of juice a day for 14 days, the dose determined by body weight. After the two weeks, subjects had an average of 13 per cent more vitamin E in their plasma than at the start of the test, the antioxidant capacity of their plasma increased by 50 per cent, the nitric oxide production from platelets increased by 70 per cent, and platelet activity significantly decreased. Conversely, the study found that the production of superoxides – potentially damaging oxidants – was reduced by a third.

The complete study is available at www.circ.ahajounals.org.

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