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Halloween candy, vegan drinks, banning GMO corn – news to October 30 2011

People with food restrictions may want to be careful with their Halloween candy – excessive black licorice candy may cause harm in people with heart problems and hypertension, and many candies contain gluten or animal products such as gelatin. Vegans may be extra careful to check the ingredients in their drinks, as many contain animal products. Organic or local food is not a guarantee of food safety. A coalition of health, food safety and environmental organizations said they have collected more than 264,000 petition signatures from consumers who do not want to buy Monsanto genetically modified corn.

Halloween foods – licorice, animal products, and artificial colors

Excessive black licorice candy and high blood pressure or heart conditions Oct-27-11 Consumer Reports Health
FDA food experts say licorice contains a compound called glycyrrhizin, a sweetening chemical. The glycyrrhizin compound can lower potassium levels, which can lead to abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmia), high blood pressure, edema (swelling) or even congestive heart failure.

Animal products in candy Oct-28-11 HuffPost Green
Candies may contain gelatin, lard, and carmine food coloring (made from bugs) may include gummi bears, candy corn, Starburst, gummy worms, Junior Mints, marshmallows, red candy, nerds, jello, Altoids, Rice Krispie treats, and frosted Pop Tarts.

Necco reinstates artificial colors due to consumer demand Oct-28-11 New Hope 360
In 2009, the New England Confectionery Company changed its recipe—sugar, corn syrup, cornstarch, flavors, gums and colors—to incorporate natural, not artificial, flavors and colors. Lifelong fans hated it, and sales dropped by 35%. Now they’re putting the artificial colors back in.

Gluten-free Halloween candy Oct-30-11 UPI.com
The Web site WhatisGluten.net says it compiled a list of gluten-free candy and points out more companies have added notices about gluten on their Web sites. Hershey’s, Mars, Nestle, Tootsie, Necco, Spangler, Wonka, Palmer, Just Born, and Farley’s and Sathers all produce gluten-free candy.

Vegetarianism and veganism – at home/away, school canteen guidelines, vegan drinks

Chef is vegan only at home Oct-25-11 HuffPost DC Restaurants
Todd Gray may be a meat lover at his downtown restaurant, Equinox, but at home the celebrated chef is a “domestic vegan.” Being a vegan at home, he believes, is an easy way to eat healthier without giving up meat entirely.  “I enjoy eating meat … but in proper intake.”

French government ‘banning vegetarianism’ in school canteens Oct-26-11 The Guardian (UK)
Concern is mounting that new legal nutrition requirements for French school canteens effectively impose meat consumption on six million schoolchildren

Drinks suitable for vegans Oct-28-11 HuffPost Food
As well as drinks containing cream, honey, and egg whites, vegans may avoid drinks containing Worcestershire sauce, sugar refined using charred bones, honey-based beverages, beer and wine filtered (‘fined’) using animal products.

Other – gluten-free restaurant dishes, organic food safety, ban GMO corn

App to find gluten-free food in restaurants Oct-24-11 Celiac.com
The GlutenLess Dining App lists over 3,200 gluten free menu items offered by over 150 top national restaurant chains.

Organic not a guarantee of food safety Oct-25-11 USA Today
A small outbreak of salmonella in organic eggs from Minnesota shows that no food is immune to contamination. While many people like to buy cage-free eggs, those chickens may be exposed to bacteria on the grounds where they are roaming.

Food companies petitioned to ban new Monsanto GMO corn Oct-27-11 Reuters
Opponents of Monsanto’s new genetically modified sweet corn are petitioning national food retailers and processors to ban the biotech corn, which is not labeled as being genetically altered from conventional corn. A coalition of health, food safety and environmental organizations said they have collected more than 264,000 petition signatures from consumers who do not want to buy the corn.

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