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    GMA Co-Sponsors Inaugural Import Safety Summit

    HHS and trade associations will team up to improve consumer product safety.

    The Grocery Manufacturers Association will join with 11 other trade groups to sponsor an inter-industry summit on import safety next month in Washington.

    The first-time-ever gathering of senior leaders from a broad cross-section of industries, including Secretary of Health and Human Services Michael Leavitt, will exchange successful supplier management practices and talk about how to bolster public-private partnerships to boost the safety of imported items.

    "In bringing together manufacturers and retailers from diverse industries and from across the supply chain, the Import Safety Summit will serve as a laboratory for sharing successful practices as we work continuously to strengthen America's food safety net," said GMA president and c.e.o. Cal Dooley.

    In addition to GMA, event co-sponsors are American National Standards Institute, Biotechnology Industry Organization, Consumer Healthcare Products Association, Food Marketing Institute, Generic Pharmaceutical Association, Healthcare Distribution Management Association, National Fisheries Institute, National Restaurant Association, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, Retail Industry Leaders Association, and Toy Industry Association, Inc.

    "While the industries sponsoring the Import Safety Summit are as diverse as the consumers they serve, their goal is singular: to ensure the delivery of the safest, highest quality goods and services to their customers," noted Dooley.

    Summit information can be found online at http://guest.cvent.com/EVENTS/Info/Summary.aspx?e=e4bb898f-5e1f-4647-88c....

    In other GMA news, the group yesterday released "High Fructose Corn Syrup: A Guide for Consumers, Policymakers and the Media," a science policy paper aiming to provide current and scientifically accurate information and resources for journalists, health professionals, and policymakers.

    "High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) has been widely adopted as an ingredient because it is safe, relatively inexpensive, and has numerous positive attributes ranging from taste, texture, and versatility,” said GMA chief science officer Robert Brackett. "An expert panel convened by the University of Maryland Center for Food, Nutrition, and Agriculture Policy concluded that 'HFCS does not appear to contribute to overweight and obesity any differently than any other energy sources', and research is conclusive that sugars do not cause diabetes. Consumers can be reassured that HFCS is just like any other caloric sweetener to be enjoyed in moderation in the context of a health-promoting lifestyle."

    The HFCS paper can be accessed at http://www.gmabrands.com/publications/SciPol_HFCS_0602.pdf.

    The GMA board of directors comprises c.e.o.'s from the association's member companies.

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