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    Today, the United States spends $218 billion a year growing, processing, transporting, and disposing of food that is never eaten. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to reduce food waste.Click here to read IFT Achievement Awardee Edward Hirschberg’s solution for how we can address food loss due to poor transportation and storage. Link available in bio or copy/paste this link: http://bit.ly/IFTFoodWaste Today, we are celebrating women in science for International Women's Day! The International Women's Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. These particular five women have been at the forefront of some of today’s most complex and controversial scientific issues including genetic engineering and lab-grown meat. In addition to highlighting their work, these interviews explore the influence of gender in food and science. Click link in bio #IWD2017 #internationalwomensday #womeninstem #foodscience http://hubs.ly/H06wKB60 Roughly one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year — approximately 1.3 billion tons — gets lost or wasted. Fruits and vegetables have the highest wastage rates of any food. What can we do with spilled, wilted, blemished produce? Click here to read IFT Achievement Awardee Edward Hirschberg’s solution for bringing life back to the "ugly" lettuce. Link available in bio or copy and paste the following to view solution: http://bit.ly/IFTFoodWaste #Repost @hanna_instruments ・・・
The Hanna Texas team had a great time at @iftfoodscience's Lunch & Learn at @nasajohnson on 2/23. Hanna USA proudly sponsored this event featuring a talk by @nasa scientist Dr. Shannon Walker, a tour of the food lab facility, and behind-the-scenes tour of Mission Control! Thank you again to IFT and NASA for an incredible event.

BPA Returns to the Consumer Stage

A recent issue of Consumer Reports contains results of a limited monitoring program that detected Bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical used in the manufacture of polycarbonate plastics that include some food packaging materials, in several of the 19 name-brand foods tested. While the findings were predictable, the article drew national headlines with its contention that consumers could be facing serious risks from exposure to BPA in their foods.

The controversy stems from the debate over what levels of consumer exposure to BPA should be of concern. The US Environmental Protection Agency and the European Food Safety Authority consider an acceptable daily level of BPA exposure to be 50 micrograms per kilogram of body weight per day. In contrast, the Consumer Reports article argues for an acceptable daily level of 0.0024 micrograms per kilogram of body weight per day, which is more than 20,000 times lower than the U.S. and European levels. This much more strict level is based upon results of a single controversial study suggesting abnormal reproductive effects at low doses of BPA.

Consumer exposure from BPA continues to be very low. A comprehensive study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2007 using urine samples from more than 2,000 individuals concluded that typical daily exposures to BPA are about one million times lower than the levels that showed no adverse effects on reproduction or development in comprehensive multigenerational animal studies.

Nov. 30, 2009 was the deadline for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to provide a safety assessment of BPA in foods, which it apparently did not meet. This deadline was self-imposed by the FDA after its science board recommended that the FDA consider findings of additional toxicological studies before determining an appropriate acceptable level of exposure. The Developmental and Reproductive Toxicant Identification Committee of the California Environmental Protection Agency recently reviewed BPA toxicology studies and reached the conclusion in July 2009 that BPA offered no clear evidence of developmental or reproductive harm to consumers.

Decisions as to the acceptability of exposure to chemicals such as BPA require a thorough review of exposure levels and toxicology information, with the ultimate decisions based upon a “weight of evidence” approach. The “pick-and-choose” approach advocated in the Consumer Reports article is unlikely to sway scientific opinion regardless of its impact of raising fears and distrust among consumers.

Carl WinterCarl K. Winter, Ph.D.
Director, FoodSafe Program and Extension Food Toxicologist
Department of Food Science and Technology
University of California

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