As the summer sun finally triumphed over the clouds that plagued the Midwest all spring, the FDA released a timely proposal that may change regulations on a summertime necessity: sunscreen. In 1978, the FDA began instituting guidelines designed to keep up with the ever-changing research on sunscreen efficacy and safety. At that time, the ceiling for recommended SPF labeling value was set at 15, a world away from the sky-high numbers we see today. The FDA believes that these excessively high advertised SPF values are misleading to consumers because, against conventional wisdom, SPF 100 does not protect twice as well as SPF 50. Consequently, one of the main points of the new proposed rule is to cap SPF labeling at 60+, although the sale of products prepared with SPF values up to 80 will still be permitted as to not stifle beneficial research and innovative formulations.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is globally recognized as being at the forefront of food composition analysis for decades. This week they launched their latest compositional analysis tool - FoodData Central - bringing the USDA and the research community closer toward unlocking data unification at the federal level with reference to food and beverage composition databases.
“Did you know that ketchup has more sugar than ice cream?” You may have heard claims like this thrown around, but they aren’t entirely true. Yes, most often, if you eat a spoonful of ketchup and a spoonful of ice cream, you’d be getting more sugar from the ketchup, but who eats a spoonful of ketchup? It’s a questionable comparison. Luckily, the FDA has standard sizes for different types of foods called Reference Amounts Customarily Consumed (RACCs).
Consumer-facing product data for household cleaners is getting a major overhaul due to multiple state regulations mandating radical transparency. At a federal level, household cleaning products are not required to make their ingredient list publicly available. This year, that standard will change for any product sold in the states of New York and California. New York, in particular, is requiring that an unprecedented amount of information about household cleaning products be available for consumers online. Not only will brands have to disclose information about their “intentionally-added” ingredients, but they will also be required to provide consumers with insight into the by-products and contaminants that may be present in formulations. These “unintentionally added” ingredients may be present in the raw materials used to create the product or may have developed during the manufacturing process. In addition to a list of ingredients, brands will also have to disclose the function for each ingredient, the Chemical Abstracts Service registry number*, and whether or not that ingredient is present on a designated list of chemicals of concern.