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PepsiCo, Feed the Children help combat hunger in Buffalo, N.Y.

BY Ryan Chavis

BUFFALO, N.Y. — PepsiCo and Feed the Children, along with corporate partners, on Wednesday helped out families in the Buffalo, N.Y., area with food essentials and also supplied Avon products. Eight-hundred families paid a visit to Buffalo Charter School and were able to take home boxes containing essentials.

Feed the Children, PepsiCo, Tops Markets, Buffalo Dream Center and Avon provided the following goods to help support a family of four for up to a week: 25 lbs. of food, 10 lbs. of essentials, a box of Avon products, Frito-Lay variety packs, Quaker and Rice-A-Roni products, Pepsi-brand beverages and fresh produce, as well as shelf-stable foods donated by Tops Markets. Buffalo Dream Center pre-identified the families receiving donations.

"We believe in a world where no child goes to bed hungry — a world in which kids can be kids and grow up wide-eyed, curious, playful, eager to learn, strong, joyful and full of dreams," said Kevin Hagan, Feed the Children president and CEO. "PepsiCo, its employees and our friends at Tops Markets are not just providing food and essentials today."

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FDA commissioner affirms importance of gluten-free labeling compliance

BY Ryan Chavis

WASHINGTON — Michael Taylor, who currently serves as the Food and Drug Administration's deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine, outlined the importance for companies to adhere to gluten-free guidelines in a post on FDA Voice. The agency last year issued a rule that set criteria for what defines "gluten-free" and the characteristics of food products that carry the label. Tuesday marked the compliance date for the rule.

"Honest and accurate 'gluten-free' labeling will strengthen consumers’ confidence in the products that carry it. One of the rule’s requirements is that it establishes a threshold of 20 parts per million — meaning that to be labeled as free of gluten, each kilogram of the product must contain less than 20 mg of the protein," Taylor said. "This is consistent with the threshold established by other countries and international bodies that set food safety standards."

Taylor stressed the seriousness of celiac diesease and why it's critical that consumers be able to prepare meals without the fear of putting their health in danger: for 3 million Americans dealing with the disease, a gluten-free diet is the only choice.

"I commend companies that have already stepped up to the plate to meet the definition for 'gluten-free' labeling," he added. "They make it possible for consumers to have labels they can trust as they make well-informed food choices."

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NAD determines Chattem can support its advertising claims supporting Nasacort 24HR

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — The National Advertising Division on Wednesday determined that Chattem can support certain advertising claims for “Nasacort Allergy 24HR,” an over-the-counter allergy relief medication. The claims were challenged by Merck Consumer Care.
 
NAD considered whether the advertising implied that Nasacort provides relief for ocular allergy symptoms; is more effective than medicines in other classes of allergy medication, including Claritin; or provides 24-hour relief with a single dose.
 
In this case, the key issue for NAD was whether the advertiser’s scientific evidence was sufficient to provide a reasonable basis for its claims that “Nasacort and nasal sprays in the same medication class are considered the most effective treatment for hay fever and other respiratory allergies” and that Nasacort is “the most effective OTC medicine for the treatment of nasal allergy symptoms.”  
 
The challenger contended that Chattem offered no head-to-head testing to support its broad superiority claim regarding other over-the-counter medication, nor did it provide head-to-head testing against other oral antihistamines, oral nasal decongestants or decongestant nasal sprays. In addition, the challenger noted that Chattem failed to address commonly used combination drug products, like Claritin-D, which treat more symptoms of allergies, including nasal congestion and ocular symptoms.  
 
It was Merck’s position that, in order to substantiate its categorical claims that Nasacort is (a) the “most effective treatment for hay fever and other upper respiratory allergies” and (b) the “most effective OTC medicine for the treatment of nasal allergy symptoms,” Chattem must have head-to-head tests showing that Nasacort is statistically significantly superior to the products in every other class of medications on both points. 
 
However, NAD noted in its decision that there can be “no question that when making comparative performance claims, head-to-head studies of the parties’ allergy relief products remain the gold standard of claim substantiation. At the same time, NAD recognizes that head-to-head testing is not the sole way to provide support for comparative performance claims, particularly when there is strong scientific consensus with regard to product efficacy.”
 
Following its review of the evidence in the record, NAD determined that the advertiser established a reasonable basis for each of the challenged claims. 
 
NAD recommended that Chattem modify the claim that “INSs, such as Nasacort Allergy 24HR, can help clear up the full range of allergic rhinitis symptoms, including nasal congestion, for 24 hours,” to clearly convey that Nasacort is indicated for use in treating nasal allergy symptoms.
 
Chattem, in its advertiser’s statement, said the company “values the self-regulatory process and appreciates NAD’s close attention to the record in this matter.”
 
NAD is an investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation. It is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus. 
 
 
 
 
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