Friday, March 29, 2013

"Trends in High LDL Cholesterol, Cholesterol-lowering Medication Use, and Dietary Saturated-fat Intake: United States, 1976–2010" -CDC/NCHS Report

The CDC National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) has realeased the report "Trends in High LDL Cholesterol, Cholesterol-lowering Medication Use, and Dietary Saturated-fat Intake: United States, 1976–2010".
The report concludes:
"Despite recent advances in medical treatment, high cholesterol remains a significant public health problem in the United States, with more than one-quarter of adults aged 40–74 having high LDL–C. These findings may provide useful information for evaluation of programs and policy initiatives aimed at reducing the prevalence of high cholesterol in the adult population."
Key Findings
For adults aged 40–74:

  • The prevalence of high low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, or LDL–C, decreased from 59% to 27% from the late 1970s through 2007–2010.
  • The percentage of adults using cholesterol-lowering medication increased from 5% to 23% from the late 1980s through 2007–2010.
  • The percentage of adults consuming a diet low in saturated fat increased from 25% to 41% from the late 1970s through 1988–1994.
  • No significant changes in the percentage of adults consuming a diet low in saturated fat were observed from 1988–1994 through 2007–2010.

Trends in High LDL Cholesterol, Cholesterol-lowering Medication Use, and Dietary Saturated-fat Intake: United States, 1976–2010
NCHS Data Brief. No. 117. March 2013. Elena V. Kuklina, M.D., Ph.D.; Margaret D. Carroll, M.S.P.H.; Kate M. Shaw, M.S.; and Rosemarie Hirsch, M.D., M.P.H.
Each year, more than 2 million Americans suffer from acute cardiovascular events that account for approximately one-fourth of the total cost of inpatient hospital care (1). Control of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL–C) has been shown to substantially reduce cardiovascular disease morbidity and mortality (2). High LDL–C is LDL cholesterol above the treatment goals established by the National Cholesterol Education Program's Adult Treatment Panel III guidelines. It can be managed with lifestyle changes, medications, or a combination of these approaches (3). A diet low in saturated fat is recognized as one of the most effective lifestyle changes to decrease high LDL–C (4). This report evaluates the trends in high LDL–C, use of cholesterol-lowering medication, and low dietary saturated-fat intake from 1976–1980 through 2007–2010 among adults aged 40–74.
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2012 Membership Survey (Part 3)

We wanted to know how you communicate with us and how you prefer AOCS to communicate with you. Therefore, we had a section on “Communications” within the biannual Membership Survey. A short section of five questions. I guess this post will be short too.

Question 1 was on communication preference. How do you communicate with your peers, colleagues, and fellow members?

Answer: Almost all (92%) responded with “personal emails.”  And 42% stated the AOCS Membership Directory as a preferred communication resource. Blogs (5%) and Listsev posts (2%) adoption definitely is slower. And, I believe, we are seeing this on our newish blog too. I’m glad that you are an active reader of our blog!

We were also interested in knowing if you are interested in “Professional Networking Sites.” We were thinking of LinkedIn or if AOCS should manage a networking site. 36% responded to using such sites. AOCS does have a LinkedIn account. If you haven’t already found it, then here is the link. Some interesting discussions are happening there.

Remember, respondents could select more than one answer from the listing. Hence, the total greater than 100%.

Question 2 was on preferred ways to keep current on industry trends/research.

Answer: Half or more indicate using a mix of methods to stay current. Such as online articles, print journals/magazines, attending industry meetings/workshops, and electronic newsletters. This mix of traditional and somewhat newer media is preferred above a set of other programs. Those other programs included webinars, e-learning/distance learning, DVD/CDs of material, and podcasts.

Question 3 asked for your most relevant category to your primary professional role. 

Answer: In retrospect, perhaps this question should be in Section 5 (demographics). But it was in this section and this is how it was answered. Processing and Manufacturing (1st), Analysis (2nd), and Nutrition (3rd). This aligns closely with our Division membership. The 4 largest Divisions (based on 2012 membership) are Surfactants and Detergents, Processing, Analytical, and Health & Nutrition.

Question 4 asked you to rate the information you receive from AOCS.

Answer: 83% responded good or excellent to the relevance of communication you receive from AOCS. We do try to send information and marketing materials that would be of interest to you. It seems we are succeeding in providing relevant information – that we aren’t just cluttering your email in-box. Now if you disagree, please let me know.

Question 5 asked you to rate the frequency of communication you receive from AOCS.

Answer: Ah, maybe this is where you state that we are cluttering your email in-box. But no, 87% indicated “AOCS communicates as often as it should”. Only 8% thought we communicated more than you prefer.

And that ends the questions on “Communication.”

The final post will cover “Publications and Media Use.” Think the AOCS website for “media use”.

As always, let me know if you want to discuss the report more fully. Or just want to talk about AOCS.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Laboratory Methods Workshop- Registration Now Open!

AOCS Technical Services Workshop:  Laboratory Methods
July 16–17, 2013 • FFA Enrichment Center • Des Moines Area Community College • Ankeny, IA

Achieve, maintain, and promote peak levels of accuracy and performance in your lab! This inaugural AOCS Technical Services Workshop will include educational sessions designed specifically for lab technicians. Register by May 17 to receive the best rate!

Technical program includes:
•    Regulatory updates
•    Method troubleshooting for food, feed, and biofuel
•    Quality control and accreditation needs/requirements
•    Emerging pollutants
•    Publishing methods with AOCS

View full program.

Interested in presenting a poster or demonstrating equipment?
Poster and equipment demonstration opportunities are available for the Analytical Showcase. Contact for more information.

Organized by AOCS in cooperation with AACC and the Midwest Chapter of AOAC.

Organizing Committee: Edward F. Askew, Askew Scientific Consulting, USA; Gina Clapper, AOCS, USA; Garrett Zielinski, Covance Laboratories, USA; Carlos Navarro, Eurofins Scientific Inc., USA.

Find Out More

Phone: +1 217-693-4821

Monday, March 18, 2013

GAO Releases New Report on Dietary Supplements

On March 18, 2013, The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released the following report entitled, Dietary Supplements: FDA May Have Opportunities to Expand Its Use of Reported Health Problems to Oversee Products, to Congressional requesters. GAO was asked to examine the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) use of adverse event reports (AER) it received for dietary supplements. This report examines the (1) number of AERs FDA has received from 2008 through 2011, their source, and types of products identified; (2) actions FDA has taken to ensure that firms are complying with AER requirements; (3) extent to which FDA is using AERs to initiate and support its consumer protection efforts; and (4) extent to which FDA has implemented GAO's recommendations from a report issued in 2009.

Based on its investigation, GAO recommends FDA take the following five actions:

1. Continue efforts to explore all possible options to obtain poison center data if the agency determines that the data could inform FDA’s ability to identify potential safety concerns from adverse event reports for dietary supplements.

2. Incorporate a mechanism to collect information on when AERs are used to support and inform consumer protection actions (i.e., surveillance, advisory, and regulatory actions).

3. Implement the agency’s efforts to facilitate industry reporting of mandatory AERs electronically.

4. Determine what additional information FDA can provide to the public about dietary supplement AERs consistent with existing law and make the information publicly available and readily accessible on its website.

5. Establish a time frame for issuing final guidance for the draft (1) NDI guidance and (2) guidance clarifying whether a liquid product may be labeled and marketed as a dietary supplement or as a conventional food with added ingredients.

A copy of the report can be found at:
This guest post was provided by AOCS Chief ExecutiveOfficer Patrick Donnelly. Thank you Pat for writing and thank you for reading.

Friday, March 15, 2013

First to file effective date -Start your Engines!

The first-to-file provisions of the American Invents Act (AIA) take effect on March 16, 2013. Paul S. Tully, Ph.D., Partner, and Jeremy E. Noe, Partner, McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff LLP, kindly provided this guest post regarding the America Invents Act.

Patent application filings have spiked sharply in recent weeks as inventors race to the patent office ahead of the March 16, 2013 date that marks implementation of a key, sweeping aspect of the 2011 America Invents Act (“AIA”).  For many years, the U.S. Patent Office (“PTO”) evaluated and awarded patents based on a “first to invent” system, where a patent issued to the first person to conceive of the invention, with reduction to practice, even if that person was not the first to apply for the patent on the invention.

This Saturday marks the fundamental shift in U.S. patent law to a “first to file” system, where the PTO will award priority of invention to the first person to file an application, regardless of whether another applicant could prove he was the first to actually conceive of the invention.  This change ushered in by the AIA is intended to harmonize U.S. patent practice with the rest of the world’s patent rules, which have overwhelmingly adopted the “first to file” system.  However, the change may disfavor independent inventors and smaller companies, who will no longer have the luxury of time to evaluate commercial interest, yet do not have the resources to rapidly prepare and file patent application.  Such inventors and companies may feel as if they are racing uphill against larger and better-funded companies, who are well able to file numerous and perhaps initially more speculative patent applications in order to secure priority of invention on at least some aspects of an invention.

Interestingly, there is an important exception to the new first to file rules as they relate to inventors:  there is a limited one year grace period for publications by inventors.  Simply put, an inventor can general publish an invention, and still file a patent without his or her publication being used against them as prior art,, as long as a patent is filed within one year, and filing encompasses the disclosure.   This exception is limited to prior published “disclosures,” but does not encompass an on sale exception.  Moreover, the exception is personal to the inventor(s).  It appears, that after March 16th, this wrinkle in the rules may become a powerful sword and shield for inventors.

This Saturday also marks implementation of another change to U.S. patent practice, under which the universe of prior art the PTO can properly consider in evaluating patentability of an application will expand greatly.  Formerly, foreign patent applications were considered prior art only if they were published in English.  Under the AIA, foreign patent applications are considered prior art regardless of the language they are published in.  This change again may disfavor independent inventors and smaller companies, who may not have the resources to obtain and consider a prior patent application published, say, in Swahili.

Additionally, it is important to keep in mind that under the previous rules, novelty prior art was generally limited to public uses, sales that could be shown in the U.S. before priority date.  Under the new AIA rules, prior art now include public uses or sales outside of the U.S.:  U.S. patents, published U.S. patent applications, and published international applications are available as prior art as of their earliest filing date.  This includes the foreign filing date, which is a major change from pre-AIA procedures, wherein foreign filing dates could not be relied on as the “102(e) date” of a patent or published application.

Though many hail the changes wrought by the AIA, it remains to be seen whether it will accelerate or instead put the brakes on further innovation.

Paul Tully, PhD
Jeremy Noe

(Dr. Tully and Mr. Noe are patent attorneys/partners at MBHB in Chicago, and can be reached at or

Traceability comments due soon to FDA

Stakeholders have until April 4 to submit comments to the US Food and Drug Administration on recommendations contained in a report on two pilot projects on food product traceability conducted by the Institute of Food Technologists for FDA. The pilot projects were mandated by the Food Safety Modernization Act, which was signed into law in January 2011 but has yet to be fully implemented. A list of specific questions about the effect of implementing the report’s recommendations appears in the Federal Register notice announcing the comment period. Among the suggestions from IFT: FDA should request data from producers for more than one step up and one step down in the supply chain.

Find Out More

Meeting Materials Available
Presentations from the FSMA Public Meeting Concerning Proposed Rules for Preventive Controls in Human Food and Produce Safety Standards held on February 28 and March 1 2013 in Washington, DC are now available. View the presentations and additional information about the meeting.

 For more information on FDA's Food Safety Modernization Act, visit

Thursday, March 14, 2013

UPDATED- Agriculture Secretary to Deliver Major Speech on Health and Nutrition

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today outlined the need for a generational commitment to improve childhood nutrition, which will lead to a healthier generation of Americans. While health and nutrition are complex topics, Vilsack noted USDA has made significant focus on improving consumers' access to information and helping consumers have better access to food, which together will ensure progress as the nation battles both childhood obesity and malnutrition. Vilsack made his remarks at the Barbara Bush Children's Hospital at the Maine Medical Center where he was joined by Portland Mayor Michael Brennan, and representatives from the medical, nutrition, public health, education, military, and business communities.

"We must continue to take action today to ensure that today's young people grow up healthy and strong, or we will see more challenges – everything from soaring health care costs to diminished national security and decreased business competitiveness," said Vilsack. "Improving the nutrition of our young people has tremendous implications for our country's future."

Over the course of the past 30 years, the prevalence of childhood obesity nearly tripled. Nearly one in three American children and adolescents today are overweight or obese. Some of those children come from low-income families, where access to healthy food choices and opportunities for physical activity can be limited. Nearly a third of our nation's young people are at risk for preventable diseases like type-2 diabetes and heart disease. Preventable diseases have serious consequences – which is why health experts tell us that our current generation of children may well have a shorter lifespan than their parents.

Vilsack said that USDA empowers Americans to make healthier food choices by providing science-based information and advice:

  •  USDA's MyPlate symbol and the resources at provide quick, easy reference tools for parents, teachers, healthcare professionals and communities. The resources are based on scientific information included in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
  •  USDA created SuperTracker, a free online planning and tracking tool used by over two million Americans to help them improve food choices, maintain a healthy weight, and track physical activity.
  •  USDA education programs target these materials to recipients of food assistance programs to ensure they are well-informed and able to make healthy choices.

Vilsack also noted that American agriculture provides our nation with the tools we need to increase the availability, affordability and variety of nutritious food. American agriculture provides more than 80 percent of our food supply here at home, and U.S. families allocate a smaller percentage of their salary for food prepared at home than the people of any developed nation. He outlined USDA's efforts to help families provide the nutrition children need, by taking steps to increase access to healthy foods:

  • Through the Know Your Famer, Know Your Food initiative, USDA has worked to increase access to nutritious food through the development of strong local and regional food systems. The number of farmers markets increased by more than 67 percent in the last four years and there are now more than 220 regional food hubs in operation around the country.
  • USDA is making fresh fruits and vegetables more accessible for low-income families. More than 3,200 farmers markets and farm stands are now authorized to accept payment through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), an increase of nearly 100 percent since 2010.
  • USDA launched a new $5 million Farm to School grant program in 2012 to increase the amount of healthy, local food in schools. In its first year, the grants are supporting 68 projects serving nearly 2 million students.

Vilsack noted that USDA continues working with First Lady Michelle Obama on the Let's Move! initiative, which is helping to promote healthy eating and physical activity while empowering Americans to combat childhood obesity. Through the combined efforts of USDA and its partners, the United States is beginning to see progress and improvements in the health of our Nation's children.


TODAY, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will visit with officials from the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital in Portland, Maine to deliver a major speech on USDA efforts to improve childhood nutrition and prevent obesity to raise a healthier generation of Americans.

Secretary Vilsack will discuss USDA’s efforts to focus the national conversation on the importance of childhood nutrition, and the need for bold solutions to promote proper nutrition and increased physical activity for today’s youngest children. He will highlight the complexity of the challenge we face today and efforts to ensure the availability, affordability and range of options that will help ensure our children get the right nutrition to grow up healthy and strong.

Following his remarks, Secretary Vilsack will visit the U.S. Coast Guard Station in South Portland, where he will highlight the importance of nutrition to America’s military readiness. Today, only a quarter of Americans aged 17 to 24 are eligible to serve in the armed forces – in part because many are overweight or obese. He will hold a media availability on the Coast Guard station.

USDA has been focused on efforts to improve the health and nutrition of the American people in recent years and released the new MyPlate federal nutrition guidance graphic, published the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and continues to implement the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act law to upgrade school meal standards for the first time in more than 15 years. USDA also launched the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food initiative to enable greater access to healthy and nutritious food while providing greater economic opportunity for farmers.

Thursday, March 14, 2013
10:30 a.m. EDT

WHAT: Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will deliver a major policy speech where he will discuss USDA efforts to improve childhood nutrition and prevent obesity.

WHERE: Maine Medical Center – Dana Center Auditorium
22 Bramhall Street
Portland, ME

1:30 p.m. EDT

WHAT: Photo/B-roll opportunity and media availability: Agriculture Secretary Vilsack will visit the local U.S. Coast Guard Station to highlight the national security imperative for improving the health and nutrition of American people.

WHERE: U.S. Coast Guard Station South Portland
259 High Street
South Portland, ME

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

2012 Membership Survey results (Part 2)

I thought I’d start by restating the statistics which were presented in the Part 1 blog posting.

Survey Overview - We appreciated the 29% response rate to our request to participate in the survey.  In addition, we found that respondents have an overall similar profile to the overall AOCS membership demographics. In particular, demographics from the respondents were:

Gender : 73% male: 27% female
Location: 41% USA:  59% non-USA
Job Function: Process and Manufacturing, Analysis, and Nutrition

The survey was segmented into 5 sections, the last being used to cross tabulate the data. Part 1 was about Membership. In this posting (Part 2), I’ll focus on the second section (Programs and Services).

In thinking about the best way to discuss this section of the survey, I do believe images, tables, graphs, charts, and such might present the information better than straight text and my words. So let’s start with this chart.

Average Importance and Satisfaction Scores, by AOCS Service

That’s the big picture view of AOCS products and services. Overall, members are “satisfied” with the product or service - even those areas that are not deem core to member expectations.

Journals, Annual Meeting content, and AOCS membership are valued by the membership. And the membership equally is satisfied with the delivery of those products and services – along with Official Methods & Recommended Practices and Inform-print edition.

The area in which I’ll review over the next several months is why Leadership/volunteer opportunities are not seen as important services to our membership.  As I stated in the last blog posting - Over the next year staff will design a strategy to formalize a volunteer program. One of the goals is to show you all ways you can be involved with your Society.  You Can!

Interest in Possible Changes to AOCS Services

Members were asked to indicate their interest in a series of four possible changes to AOCS services.

  • Offer AOCS apps for smart phone and eBooks
  • Offer AOCS publications on Amazon/I-store websites
  • Alternative electronic methods of payment for AOCS dues and services such as PayPal and EFT (Electronic funds transfer)
  • Multi-year membership dues.
Receptivity toward them clustered with similar average scores and similar proportions to “definitely or might use”, suggesting that each require a certain amount of encouragement and communications of their benefits to achieve adoption among a slight majority of respondents.

With that being said, AOCS is already offering AOCS books on Amazon. So you have a choice of where to purchase the latest AOCS books. Also, we wanted to expand our offerings to those outside our community.

We are currently working with Apple to offer an AOCS app to our members. The app would have Inform-digital edition and bundled articles from Inform. These bundles would be articles from specific topic areas. Look for the app announcement this summer. We are finding out that Apple requires a lot of information (read that as paperwork) to offer an app.

The other 2 options are being reviewed by AOCS staff. Every year we refine the dues/renewal process. Paying dues by EFT/PayPal and offering multi-year memberships might be possible refinements to the dues processing. The uncertainty here is will your company pay for multi-year dues, and does your company pay dues by PayPal/EFT. We are finding more and more companies paying dues by EFT, but not PayPal. So the PayPal option would be for those members personally paying for AOCS membership and products.

The last question in this section addressed your opinion of AOCS. So let’s look at another chart.

Well, as I state in our membership marketing material – AOCS is THE premier organization for your scientific needs. I take these results to valid that statement.

What is of concern to me in this chart is the response to “AOCS services are well priced for the value they deliver.” Only 19% strongly agreed. My task is now to show you the value of your membership.

Have you seen the updated “Membership Opportunities” webpage. That page shows you the hard cost (savings) your membership provides. Summary: $1315 worth of products/services for $160. But I’m assuming that most of you responded with “membership dues” in mind when answering this question – not on the price of the annual meeting or a book, etc. You expect your Society to help you develop your career; provide “indispensable resources” – to help you solve a problem. 40% may not be finding that type of value within our membership. Hence, my task of showing you this type of value.  Check out our member videos on the AOCS YouTube channel (AOCS1909) – they tell you directly how they value AOCS membership.

Well, if you made it to this point of the message, I thank you. You must like data! Me too.

The next two posts will discuss:
Section 3: Communications
Section 4: Publications and Media Use
If you have any questions about the survey and its results, please contact me. Or if you disagree with anything I state, then let me know. I find it very helpful to have other opinions on what the data means.

Barb Semeraro
AOCS Membership

Monday, March 4, 2013

The Results are in! 2013-2014 Division Executive Steering Committees

Congratulations to those elected to AOCS Division leadership roles - volunteer leadership within AOCS Divisions is critical to the success of the society and we are excited to see what 2013 brings!

Division officers will be installed at the 104th AOCS Annual Meeting & Expo in Montréal, Québec, Canada, April 28 - May 1.

Without further adieu your 2013-2014 Division Executive Steering Committees....

Agricultural Microscopy
Chair: Kim Koch, Northern Crops Institute, USA
Vice Chair: Pascal Veys, EURL Animal Proteins, Belgium
Secretary-Treasurer: Glenn Kobata, California
Department of Food and Agriculture, USA

Chair: Sneh Bhandari, Silliker Inc., USA
Vice Chair: Mark Collison, Archer Daniels Midland Co., USA
Secretary-Treasurer: Tiffanie West, Bunge Oils Inc., USA

Chair: Suk Hoo Yoon, KFRI, South Korea
Vice Chair: Douglas G. Hayes, University of Tennessee, USA
Secretary-Treasurer: Richard Ashby, USDA, USA

Edible Applications Technology
Chair: Dennis Kim, Mondelēz International, USA
Vice Chair: George Cherian, Kelloggs North America Co.,USA
Secretary-Treasurer: Bita Farhang, Salerno Dairy, Canada
Health and Nutrition
Chair: Robert Ward, Utah State University, USA
Vice Chair: Holiday Durham, Louisiana State University, USA
Secretary-Treasurer: Khalid Mahmood, Johnson & Johnson, USA

Industrial Oil Products
Chair: Douglas Root, AURI, USA
Vice Chair: Rongpeng Wang, Missouri University of Science and Technology, USA
Secretary-Treasurer: Daniel Pioch, CIRAD, France

Lipid Oxidation and Quality
Chair: Usha Thiyam- Hollaender, University of Manitoba, Canada
Vice Chair: Roger Nahas, Kalsec, Inc., USA
Secretary-Treasurer: Shawn (Xiangqing) Pan, DuPont
Nutrition and Health Protein Solutions, Solae LLC, USA

Chair: Bernd Diehl, Spectral Service AG, Germany
Vice Chair: Matthias Rebmann, Perimondo, USA
Secretary-Treasurer: Swapnil Jadhav, Archer Daniels
Midland Co., USA

Chair: Ted Neuman, GEA Westfalia, USA
Vice Chair: Greg Hatfield, Bunge North America, Canada
Secretary-Treasurer: Roberto Berbesi, Oil-Dri Corporation, USA

Protein & Co-Products
Chair: Stephanie Jung, Iowa State University, USA
Vice Chair: Janitha Wanasundara, Agriculture and Agri-Food, Canada
Secretary-Treasurer: Naina Shah, Solae LLC, USA

Surfactants and Detergents
Chair: Edgar Acosta, University of Toronto, Canada
Vice Chair: Eric (Rick) Theiner, Air Products & Chemicals Inc., USA
Secretary-Treasurer: Steve (Sam) Adamy, Church & Dwight Co. Inc., USA

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