House panel votes to block two Trump rules restricting SNAP access

The Trump administration would be barred from implementing two rules that would end SNAP benefits for an estimated 700,000 people during the coronavirus pandemic under a USDA-FDA funding bill approved by a Democratic-controlled House subcommittee on Monday. The provisions on SNAP rules may be …

Label low- and no-calorie sweeteners, says sugar group

The Sugar Association, which describes itself as "the scientific voice of the U.S. sugar industry," petitioned the FDA on Wednesday to require clearer labeling of foods that contain alternative low- and no-calorie sweeteners. The FDA has six months to respond to the petition.

USDA’s keep-it-open power extended to fruits and vegetables

The USDA and the FDA have agreed that the USDA can use its authority under the Defense Production Act to tell foodmakers, including fruit and vegetable processors, to operate during a coronavirus outbreak at their facilities. The directions could override decisions by state or local health officials. (No paywall)

FDA eases nutrition labeling rules for restaurants clearing inventory

To facilitate the distribution of food during the coronavirus pandemic, restaurants and food manufacturers will be temporarily allowed to sell packages of food that lack the Nutrition Facts label normally required for retail sale, said the FDA on Thursday. (No paywall)

FDA mulls ‘risk-based’ approach to CBD products

Americans are consuming the cannabis derivative cannabidiol (CBD) in food, beverages, and supplements, and dosing their pets with it as well, but "there is still much that we do not know about ... potential risks," said FDA commissioner Stephen Hahn on Thursday.

Balance safety, innovation in gene-edited animals, says FDA chief

Gene editing has enormous potential to improve health and food production, but innovation must be governed by well-rooted standards of safety and effectiveness, said FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn. "The agency is a trusted global regulator and we are committed to overseeing this space in a manner that fosters innovation, protects consumer confidence and protects the public health."

FDA won’t endorse CBD as ‘generally recognized as safe’

In a potential blow to the hottest-selling hemp product, the FDA said it "cannot conclude that CBD (cannabidiol) is generally recognized as safe among qualified experts for its use in human or animal food" because a lack of scientific evidence. The warning came as USDA gathers public comment on a rule that opens the way for nationwide cultivation of industrial hemp in the new year.

Trump chooses cancer doctor to lead FDA

Dr. Stephen Hahn, a hospital executive and cancer specialist, is President Trump's choice for FDA commissioner, said the White House. Hahn had been rumored for the post for weeks. But in a surprise, Health Secretary Alex Azar said FDA's interim leader, Ned Sharpless, would return immediately to his previous post of director of the National Cancer Institute because he had hit a statutory time limit  of 210 days for service as an acting agency chief.

USDA embraces hemp as a crop, but many hurdles remain for growers

At the same time that the agency opened the gate for farmers across the nation to grow industrial hemp in 2020, the USDA tempered optimism about a new, money-making crop on Tuesday with caution of obstacles for an emerging industry. The hottest hemp product, cannabidiol (CBD), is sold in a gray …

Will high risks on industrial hemp bring high rewards?

Industrial hemp faces more regulatory and legal hurdles than many other newly hatched industries, says a report from agricultural lender CoBank. While growth in the industry is driven by cannabidiol (CBD), widely available in foods and as a supplement, two other markets hold potential: the fiber and the grain and seed sectors.