Tag: FDA

FBI Forensic Scientist Applies Skills to Predicting Food Trends

By Joseph Calamia | August 9, 2010 3:54 pm

agentsupermarketWant to predict the next hot foodie craze? You might train for the FBI. After five years as a drug toxicologist, Suzy Badaracco decided to make a switch, from tracing murderers’ steps to pointing clients towards street food and South American cuisine. Actually, she told the Food Navigator, there is considerable overlap.

“For me, with drugs and baking, there’s no difference,” she said. “It’s just chemistry right?”

The Food Navigator reports that Badaracco worked as an ante-mortem toxicologist–analyzing drugs from crime scenes and tracing them back to the street in attempt to figure out where, for example, a serial killer might strike next. Badaracco says that her training in forensic anthropology, which taught her how to pick out patterns from chaotic systems, today helps her orchestrate diverse sources (from the FDA to food magazines) to predict consumer behavior.

According to her company website, Badaracco found a successful career in food following her crime-solving days. Besides a degree in criminalistics, Badaracco also has training in culinary arts and nutrition, and has worked for organizations including Mintel, the USDA, and Nestle. After all this, it seems fair to say that she has a pretty unique skill set. In jest, she told the Food Navigator:

“Being a dietitian, a chef and a toxicologist, I could cook a fabulous meal, poison you, get rid of the body and get away with it–a perfect circle.”

Related content:
Discoblog: Building a Better Dead Body Detector
Discoblog: Crime-Fighting Kitties: Cat Hair Could Be the Next Forensic Tool
Discoblog: Food Fraud: High Schoolers Use DNA Tests to Expose Fake Caviar
80beats: DNA Scanner Proves That NYC Sushi Contains Endangered Bluefin Tuna
80beats: DNA Forensics Traces Sharks Killed for Their Fins

Image: flickr / benuski

The FDA Warns POM: Stop Saying Pomegranate Juice Cures Cancer

By Smriti Rao | March 4, 2010 4:51 pm

pomtruthThe Web site for POM pomegranate juice makes some pretty extreme claims, strongly implying that the juice can prevent or help treat diseases like cancer, hypertension, diabetes, and even erectile dysfunction. Now, the Food and Drug Administration has said such claims are misleading and are not allowed on food products, according to a report in The New York Times. If POM wants to make such claims, the FDA stated, it will have to be regulated as a drug.

In a crackdown on companies with misleading labels, the FDA shot off warning letters asking 17 companies to clean up their act.

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