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Missing Link To Longevity Discovered In The Plant Kingdom – Texas A&M University

Posted: November 21, 2019 at 12:48 am

lead researcher Dorothy Shippen, Ph.D., (left), graduate student Jiarui Song, first author (center) and postdoctoral fellow Claudia Castillo-Gonzlez, second author (right).

Texas A&M AgriLife

A breakthrough discovery by Texas A&M University and Arizona State University professors could provide a key component in understanding the human aging process and even aid in the battle against cancer.

Dorothy Shippen, Ph.D., is a University Distinguished Professor and Regents Fellow in Texas A&MsDepartment of Biochemistry and Biophysicsand withTexas A&M AgriLife Research, College Station.

Shippen co-led a study with Julian Chen, Ph.D., professor of biochemistry, Arizona State Universitys School of Molecular Sciences. First author, Jiarui Song, is a graduate student with Shippen.

Their study, The conserved structure of plant telomerase RNA provides the missing link for an evolutionary pathway from ciliates to humans, is being published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Our discovery of this key component of the telomerase enzyme in the plant kingdom provides an evolutionary bridge, and a novel path forward, for understanding how humans keep their DNA safe and enable cells to divide indefinitely, Shippen said.

Moreover, since plants often evolve interesting solutions to fundamental biological problems, some of the lessons we learn from plant telomerases may provide new ways for addressing stem cell disease and cancer.

We found a core component of the telomerase enzyme that had been missing all these years, Shippen said. And by finding this component in plants, we not only learn new lessons about how telomerase evolved, but we also open the door to learn new things about the human enzyme.

Back in 2001, Shippen published a paper outlining the discovery of the catalytic subunit of the telomerase enzyme from plants. The catalytic component is one of two absolutely critical parts of the enzyme, and it is now very well understood.

However, the second component, the RNA subunit, that provides the enzyme with information about what to do with chromosome ends, was missing.

Our new discovery is the RNA subunit of telomerase from the plant kingdom. In the plant telomerase RNA, we can now see the signatures for the human telomerase and telomerase from simple organisms like bakers yeast and the microbes in pond scum.

The missing piece always was this subunit. Now that we have found the correct one, its opened up a lot of interesting insights.

Plants have different, innovative solutions to so many biological challenges, and insight into these may provide important clues on how human telomerase is regulated, she said.

We can study the telomerase enzyme more deeply and see so much more now, and it can help us understand how the human enzyme is going to work. It really is this missing middle ground.

In the 1930s, Barbara McClintockwas studying the behavior of chromosomes in maize and was one of the first scientists to appreciate the importance of telomeres.The Shippen Labin the 1990s followed up on the pioneering work of McClintock in model plant systems and discovered the telomerase enzyme, which is required for maintaining these structures on the ends of chromosomes.

Shippens longtime studies on telomerase, which play an essential role in chromosome stability and cell proliferation capacity, has led her to be considered the worlds expert in plant telomere research.

The telomere is like a biological clock. There is a certain amount of telomeric DNA at the end of chromosomes. As cells divide, they lose part of this DNA.

She has likened telomeres to the plastic tip on the end of a shoelace they form a protective seal on the ends of chromosomes in plants and animals. Like the plastic tip that wears out, allowing the shoelace to fray and become hard to use, so does the telomere break down in most cells in the human body over time.

The telomerase enzyme is capable of replenishing the lost DNA at chromosome ends and it is available in cells that are immortal, Shippen said. Its active in the stem cells, but not active in other places of the body normally.

Theres a whole connection between immortality and telomerase that needs to be studied.

Why is telomerase only active in stem cells, turned off in other cells and why does it get reactivated in cancer cells? Shippen said. Weve learned a lot about the human telomerase from pond scum, but plants can provide still more clues because their growth and development is so plastic. If you cut a flower from a plant growing in the garden, it will grow another flower. But if you cut off the tip of your finger, you wont be growing a new one.

Its a big mystery.

But Shippen said the plant telomerase is still very similar to the human telomerase.

It is remarkable that even in plants, telomerase is active only in cells that need to divide many times.

She expects that what is learned in the plant system will ultimately be translatable and have significant impact in human medicine.

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Missing Link To Longevity Discovered In The Plant Kingdom - Texas A&M University

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2nd Annual Innovation Summit Focuses on Needs of Older Adults and Longevity Economy – PRNewswire

Posted: November 21, 2019 at 12:48 am

WASHINGTON, Nov. 20, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The Washington Innovation in Longevity Summit, produced by Mary Furlong & Associates and the Centre for Aging + Brain Health Innovation, kicks off its second annual event on December 9th & 10th at the National Press Club. The successful inaugural event featured government agencies, nonprofits, investors, thought leaders in aging, media, and private companies focused on the needs of older adults and the burgeoning longevity economy.

Keynote speakers for the 2019 Summit include Nancy LeaMond, Executive Vice President, Chief Advocacy and Engagement Officer for AARP; and George Vradenburg, Co-founder and Chairman for UsAgainstAlzheimer's.

Jean Accius, PhD, Senior Vice President, AARP Thought Leadership and International Affairs, AARP International, and Jim Firman, EdD, President and CEO, National Council on Aging (NCOA)will open the Summit to share their unique perspectives on the unmet needs and market opportunities in serving the needs of millions of older people in the US and globally.The two-day summit focuses on the themes of Mobility, Money, Memory, Military and Media.

"Last year's Summit in Washington surpassed our expectations in terms of thought leadership, attendees, and the partnerships that were created," said Mary Furlong, Executive Producer and CEO of Mary Furlong & Associates. "We are excited to bring the Washington Innovation in Longevity Summit to our nation's capital. Our goal is to foster a learning community and network for entrepreneurs, investors, regulators, NGOs and the media, all focused on the growth of the longevity economy and serving the needs of older adults. This conference is the epicenter."

The Washington Innovation in Longevity Summit Day 1 Agenda focuses on the collaborative power of nonprofits, media, and government regulators, working in concert with entrepreneurs and investors. Day 2 is dedicated to global health partnerships in brain health, understanding go to market strategies worldwide, and helping entrepreneurs from other countries navigate the U.S. and Canadian markets.

The full agenda and summit details are here. Summit registration is available here. Key sponsors for the Summit include:

Platinum: AARP, Center for Aging + Brain Health InnovationGold: Ageless Innovation, CareLinx, Sodexo, Thrive Alliance, Posit Science

About Mary Furlong & AssociatesFor 17 years, Mary Furlong & Associates (MFA), headquartered in the San Francisco Bay area, has developed strategies for marketing and business development for companies focused on opportunities with the senior and baby boomer markets and the longevity economy. Dr. Furlong is the executive producer of three conferences annually: What's Next Boomer Business Summit, Silicon Valley Boomer Venture Summit, and Washington Innovation in Longevity Summit. She also co-produces What's Next Canada and is scheduled to add a fourth conference in Paris, France, focused on international aging.

INFORMATION:Ben Adkins 229649@email4pr.com502.619.4267

SOURCE Mary Furlong & Associates

2nd Annual Innovation Summit Focuses on Needs of Older Adults and Longevity Economy - PRNewswire

Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

Building the Body | News Center – UNLV NewsCenter

Posted: November 21, 2019 at 12:48 am

Laypeople may think of engineering as being more about numbers and materials than human beings. But thats not the case, especially with bioengineering. Its a field that synthesizes engineering techniques with the biological sciences. Electrical and computer engineering professor Pushkin Kachroo and his department have been committed to expanding bioengineerings reach since his arrival at UNLV more than 10 years ago. With the creation of the universitys School of Medicine, the opportunities for collaboration are growing.

Its a common-sense link that health, medicine and engineering, should be connected together, Kachroo said. Thats where health is going.

Thanks to the new Howe Fellowship in Bioengineering at UNLV, the work of two engineering graduate students is getting a boost in showcasing the ways engineering can materially benefit human health and well-being.

Lina Chato was always good at math growing up in her native Iraq, but she found her real passion when her school opened a new computer lab. Fellow students showed her some simple programs, let her borrow books, and before long she had written her first program about computer-aided learning for electrical circuit design. She was only 13 years old.

Chato received a bachelors degree in computer engineering and a masters degree in mechatronics engineering from the University of Technology, Baghdad. She joined the faculty and published three papers, but when the country became unstable due to the war, she fled with her family to the United States. She settled in Las Vegas, where two of her sisters already lived, and applied to UNLV's College of Engineering. Chato worked as a research assistant before beginning her doctorate program.

I came as a refugee, without any source of money, she said. This first opportunity was really appreciated and important to start my Ph.D. study.

Chato became interested in using machine learning to try to better analyze MRI images of brain tumors. Her work revolves around developing models to predict survival time for Glioma tumor patients. These types of tumors represent nearly three quarters of all malignant tumors.

We still dont know how these tumors behave, she said. The behavior of tumors is an important factor in predicting survival. This model can describe how a brain tumor develops. If we can know that, we can use this in the treatment stage.

When he graduated from the Las Vegas Academy of the Arts, Jadin Tredup wasnt sure what he wanted to do pursue music or study math. So he entered UNLVs then newly created entertainment engineering program.

It seemed like a pretty good blend of the two, Tredup said.

At UNLV his focus shifted away from music toward mechanical engineering, and then again toward electrical engineering. His journey took him from robotics to machine learning and artificial intelligence, to the problem of applying brain wave signals.

Now, having just finished his masters degree, hes working on a model to help patients he characterizes as having profound intellectual and multiple disabilities people with very severe and limited cognitive and motor functioning and an inability to communicate verbally.

The idea is, because our bodies carry so much more information beyond what we can produce in words, if we can sense all these physiological signals we can then translate them using AI and machine learning into a language and vocabulary for people, he said.

Tredups work leverages a theory about how the environment impacts how we communicate. For instance, EEGs can measure brain waves and translate them into emotional states; sensors can measure galvanic skin response (sweat, basically, an indicator of emotional state); and eye tracking can measure what patients are paying attention to. They can detect nearly instantaneous changes, allowing researchers to deduce, for example, that a barking dog might be causing anxiety. You can translate the data into a basic language, like Im feeling anxious because of the dog barking.

The next step is to develop a needs assessment for a few specific patients at a care facility, then further develop the algorithm.

No one model is easily applicable person-to-person, Tredup said. We have to create a generalizable model.

Tredup began his doctorate program at UNLV this fall. (He is the fourth in his family after his parents and brother to graduate from UNLV.) The Howe Foundation Fellowship will afford him more time to concentrate on research instead of juggling full-time research and a full-time job. Similarly, Chatos award will help her focus more energy on her research and spend less time as a teaching assistant.

Working with algorithms is cool, but it doesnt mean much unless it has applicability to the world around it, said Tredup. I can use everything Ive learned and help better peoples lives.

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Building the Body | News Center - UNLV NewsCenter

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University’s Seed Grant Initiative Helps Researchers’ Pursuits Blossom – University of Texas at Dallas

Posted: November 21, 2019 at 12:48 am

Text size: research

Grants Invest in Interdisciplinary Work That May Produce Bigger, Federally Funded Projects

Nov. 21, 2019

The first year of The University of Texas at Dallas seed grant initiative has provided $2.2 million to a diverse range of research and scholarly projects with the aim of providing faculty a springboard to earning larger, highly competitive grants.

The Office of Research program, announced last fall, was conceived by Dr. Joseph Pancrazio, vice president for research, who described it as among the largest such programs in the state.

Research, scholarship and creativity play a key role in our growth as an institution, said Pancrazio, who is also a professor of bioengineering in theErik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science. These programs build upon the interdisciplinary work that is a hallmark of the UTDallas experience for our faculty and students. The hope is that this seed funding leads to new ideas that then become the source for new grant proposals and projects.

Distributions to UTDallas from the National Research University Fund (NRUF), a source of state research funding that the University first qualified for in 2018, freed up resources to create the seed grants.

By investing in our faculty while incentivizing collaboration, we are reinforcing a research culture that will encourage prospective investigators to join our academic community as well as earn a return-on-investment relative to federally sponsored research, Pancrazio said.

The seed grants fall into seven categories and will fund work in seven of the Universitys schools.

The program is overseen by Dr. Nicole Leeper Piquero, Robert E. Holmes Jr. Professor of Criminology, who said the program is an exciting way to invest in faculty and encourage interdisciplinary collaboration.

We offer 10 different ways to support researchers from all across our campus, including opportunities for them to showcase their work with workshops both here at UTDallas as well as in Washington, D.C., said Piquero, who is also associate vice president for research development.

Among the seven programs is the Collaborative Biomedical Research Award (CoBRA), which was specifically designed to stimulate interdisciplinary research between faculty at UTDallas and UTSouthwestern Medical Center. Three projects led by Dr. Danieli Rodrigues, associate professor of bioengineering; Dr. Lloyd Lumata, assistant professor of physics; and Dr. Lawrence Reitzer, professor of biological sciences, each received $250,000.

Lumatas grant supports research to develop biomedical imaging techniques, and Reitzers work focuses on combating urinary tract infections.

Rodrigues said the CoBRA award will enable her team to expand the application of an immune-interactive coating she is developing for titanium orthopedic implants that may reduce the implantation failure rate for diabetic patients.

This initiative will give us the opportunity to generate data that will support development and feasibility demonstrations, helping our team to pursue larger grant opportunities in the future, Rodrigues said. It will also promote interdisciplinary training by enabling UTD graduate students and residents from UTSouthwestern to work together on new ways to boost implant healing in immune-compromised cases.

Another program, called the Major Extramural Grant Award (MEGA), assists researchers who are gathering preliminary data to support their pursuit of individual external grant opportunities of at least $6 million. The two MEGA recipients, Dr. Roderick Heelis, director of the William B. Hanson Center for Space Sciences, and Dr. Bart Rypma, the Meadows Foundation Chair in Behavioral and Brain Sciences, each received $200,000 for their proposals.

The Office of Research invites potential applicants to Proposers Day on Friday, Nov. 22, to learn more about the internal funding opportunities available in the next cycle of seed grant initiatives. Registration is required.

Rypmais investigating brain-imaging techniques, while Heelis work aims to better understand Earths space environment and how it affects areas such as communication, navigation and the reentry of space vehicles. His MEGA project seeks to develop innovative techniques to measure the dynamics of particles and gases in the environment around orbiting satellites.

The experiments we do in space are really expensive. Sponsors like NASA and the Air Force wont give you all the money for a project just based on one proposal, said Heelis, Distinguished Chair in Natural Sciences and Mathematics.

Backing from the University allows us to turn our experiments and our conceptual ideas into real things: Heres the prototype device; here are the results from testing it in the lab, Heelis said. And we can put those forward in our second-phase grant proposal. This gives us a much more competitive chance of winning.

The Office of Research awarded seed grants in seven programs:

Media Contact: Stephen Fontenot, UT Dallas, (972) 883-4405,[emailprotected]or the Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [emailprotected]

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University's Seed Grant Initiative Helps Researchers' Pursuits Blossom - University of Texas at Dallas

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Global Bio Decontamination Equipment Market, Forecast to 2026: Drivers, Restraints, Opportunities, Developments, Segments & Players -…

Posted: November 21, 2019 at 12:48 am

DUBLIN--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The "Global Bio Decontamination Equipment Market Analysis 2019" report has been added to's offering.

The Global Bio-decontamination Equipment market is expected to reach $224.24 million by 2026 growing at a CAGR of 8.1% from 2018 to 2026.

Factors such as rise in use of these equipments in hospitals and other healthcare institutions and increasing number of government initiatives are driving the market growth. Though, the high expenses of the product, particularly powered and strict government regulations in some countries is projected to inhibit the growth of the market. Moreover, rising number of technological applications may provide ample opportunities for the market growth.

By application, pharmaceutical manufacturing segment acquired significant growth in the market owing to aging population and rising chronic and infectious diseases, the pharmaceutical producers are investing heavily in these equipments. Microbial testing and equipment decontamination can be offered as a value-added service to pharmaceutical manufacturers.

The key vendors mentioned are Bioquell, STERIS Life Science, TOMI Environmental Solutions, Fedegari Group, Howorth Air Technology, JCE Biotechnology, Weike Biological Laboratory, Tailin BioEngineering and Noxilizer.

Key Questions Answered in this Report

Key Topics Covered

1 Market Synopsis

2 Research Outline

3 Market Dynamics

3.1 Drivers

3.2 Restraints

4 Market Environment

4.1 Bargaining power of suppliers

4.2 Bargaining power of buyers

4.3 Threat of substitutes

4.4 Threat of new entrants

4.5 Competitive rivalry

5 Global Bio Decontamination Equipment Market, By Product Type

5.1 Introduction

5.2 Type 1

5.3 Type 2

6 Global Bio Decontamination Equipment Market, By Type

6.1 Introduction

6.2 Room Decontamination

6.3 Chamber Decontamination

6.4 Starch Blend with PLA

6.5 Starch-Based

7 Global Bio Decontamination Equipment Market, By Product

7.1 Introduction

7.2 Isolator

7.3 Steam Sterilizers

7.4 Pure Steam & Water Systems

7.5 Washers & Dryers

7.6 VHP Sterilization & Biodecontamination

7.7 Transfer Airlocks

7.8 Vaprox Hydrogen Peroxide

7.9 Incubators

7.10 Containers

8 Global Bio Decontamination Equipment Market, By Application

8.1 Introduction

8.2 Bioscience Research

8.3 Pharmaceutical Manufacturing

8.4 Life Science Industry

8.5 Hospital & Healthcare

8.6 Biomedical

8.7 Vitro Fertilization (IVF)

8.8 Animal Care

8.9 Biotechnological

9 Global Bio Decontamination Equipment Market, By Geography

9.1 Introduction

9.2 North America

9.3 Europe

9.4 Asia-Pacific

9.5 South America

9.6 Middle East & Africa

10 Strategic Benchmarking

11 Vendors Landscape

11.1 Bioquell

11.2 STERIS Life Science

11.3 TOMI Environmental Solutions

11.4 Fedegari Group

11.5 Howorth Air Technology

11.6 JCE Biotechnology

11.7 Weike Biological Laboratory

11.8 Tailin BioEngineering

11.9 Noxilizer

For more information about this report visit

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Global Bio Decontamination Equipment Market, Forecast to 2026: Drivers, Restraints, Opportunities, Developments, Segments & Players -...

Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

FDA’s and USDA’s Upcoming New Regulations and the Delays – Food Safety Magazine

Posted: November 21, 2019 at 12:48 am

FSM eDigest | November 19. 2019

By By Cori Annapolen Goldberg and Sung W. Park

As food regulatory attorneys, we become somewhat excited when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issues a new law or policy; we think about how it affects our clients and whether the new law or policy truly promotes the public good. What we often notice, however, is that implementation of such rule or policies often becomes delayed, or an extra grace period is provided for the companies to comply. For example, FDA recently announced that it will not require compliance with the new 2016 nutrition labeling rule until July 1, 2020 for certain companies.[1] Similarly, USDA is also providing a buffer period for enforcement for the bioengineering disclosure rule until January 1, 2022, although the official effective date of the rule is January 1, 2020. Such enforcement discretion or buffer periods can be helpful in ensuring that the changes in laws do not affect business negatively. We have been receiving many questions about these laws and regulations recently. Although the agencies may delay enforcement again, we wanted to take this opportunity (and the extra time) to address a few questions regarding the new upcoming FDA and USDA labeling regulations.

First, the question that we probably receive the most often is: which party is ultimately responsible for ensuring compliance with the new regulations? The modern food supply chain is complex. The majority of food and food ingredients are imported from overseas, sometimes processed in the United States (oftentimes by contract manufacturers), at times repackaged by third-party distributors, and only then finally marketed to the public. This complex supply chain means that deciding who is responsible for regulatory compliance can be difficult because so many parties are involved in the process. The short answer to this question is that theoretically, any party that is responsible for introducing the food into interstate commerce is responsible for correct labeling. This is because federal law[2] prohibits sales, marketing, or distribution of any products that violate the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act or its implementing regulations.

In practice, however, FDA is likely to consider certain parties to be more responsible for compliance than others. In fact, FDA mentions some of these examples in its guidance.[3] For example, FDA may consider a private label distributor to be more responsible than the contract manufacturer for labeling compliance because the private label distributor is directly responsible for introducing the product to consumers. On the other hand, FDA states that the supplier of a food ingredient is responsible for the accuracy of the information it provides to the processor if there is no suitable way for the processor to determine nutrient values; this is because here, the supplier is the one that can ensure compliance. While the answer to the question of who is responsible will differ in every case, a good way of solving this issue in advance is to delineate in the contract the regulatory obligations of each party (e.g., label review before the final release of the product). This will help ensure regulatory compliance and in the unfortunate event that any noncompliance is found, the parties will able to resolve the disputes more effectively, hopefully without resorting to costly and lengthy dispute resolution mechanisms.

In addition, we often hear about what exact changes were made to the nutrition labeling rule. FDA made several key changes to nutrition labeling. Importantly, FDA instituted a new requirement for Added Sugarssugars that are added during processing of the food. This is applicable to many types of sugars, including syrups and honey, certain concentrated fruit or vegetable juices, and free-, mono-, or disaccharide forms of sugars (for general changes to the format, please refer to the graphic below graphic from FDA; on the left is the old panel, and on the right is the new panel). Importantly, what many industry members overlook is that the new rule includes record-keeping requirements. For example, records must be kept for 2 years to support the declaration of dietary fiber in the product. Similarly, manufacturers must keep a record of the amount of added sugars in foods that may go through nonenzymatic browning or fermentation, because it may not be technologically possible to distinguish between naturally occurring sugars and added sugars in such circumstances. This may be a particularly important change both from regulatory and consumer litigation perspectives, given that plaintiffs attorneys regularly scrutinize the food labels for any potential sources of lawsuits.

Lastly, although not an FDA requirement, while were on the subject of labeling changes, we would like to note that a new USDA bioengineering labeling requirement will become effective on January 1, 2020,[4] although the agency will not enforce until January 1, 2022. While this might seem far away, the bioengineering disclosure rule may require changes to the product formulations or the supply chain. In short, the USDAs bioengineering labeling rule requires disclosure on whether a product contains detectable genetic materials that have been modified in labs and not found in the nature (i.e., genetic engineering). While certain exemptions exist (e.g., foods subject to the USDA labeling jurisdiction with the predominant ingredient also regulated by the USDA; incidental additives), generally speaking, food containing genetically engineered ingredients will need to disclose such inclusion through graphic or textual messages (e.g., bioengineered food, contains a bioengineered food ingredient, or a symbol). Interestingly, the USDA stated that although the implementation date is January 1, 2020, the agency will begin enforcement on January 1, 2022. While some time remains, companies will want to review this quickly to determine the proper marketing and regulatory strategy given that this may result in formulation changes.

In sum, there is likely to be a sea change in the regulatory environment for food manufacturers, distributors, and marketers because of the new FDA labeling regulations and USDA disclosure rules coming into effect beginning in 2020 through 2022. We understand first-hand from working with our clients how much time, money, and effort it can take to update the labels. While such changes may be challenging at first, manufacturers, distributors, or marketers that embrace and prepare for the changes in advance will be able to minimize the risk of regulatory enforcement and focus their energy on building their business. We would like to invite you to review these rules closely, and begin the preparation. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.

Cori Annapolen Goldberg, a partner in the ReedSmith Life Sciences Health Industry Group, focuses her practice on FDA regulatory issues for the food, drug, medical device and cosmetic industries across the supply chain, including companies investing in these industries.Sung W. Park is an associate in the Life Sciences Health Industry Group in the Washington D.C. office. His practice focuses on providing regulatory counsel to companies developing, distributing, and marketing FDA-regulated products, and responding to regulatory and administrative enforcement actions by federal and state agencies such as FDA, USDA, and state Attorneys General offices.

References1. The Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. 21 U.S.C. 301(a).3. FDA Guidance to the Industry, Nutrition and Supplement Facts Labels: Questions and Answers Related to the Compliance Date, Added Sugars, and Declaration of Quantitative Amounts of Vitamins and Minerals: Guidance for Industry (November 2018).4. For certain small food manufacturers, the effective date is January 1, 2021.

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FDA's and USDA's Upcoming New Regulations and the Delays - Food Safety Magazine

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