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Period: August 1, 2017 to September 1, 2017
Comment & Opinion or Companies, Organizations or Consumers or Controversies & Disputes or Deals, M&A, JVs, Licensing or Earnings Release or Finance, Economics, Tax or Innovation & New Ideas or Legal, Legislation, Regulation, Policy or Market News or Marketing & Advertising or Other or People & Personalities or Press Release or Products & Brands or Research, Studies, Advice or Supply Chain or Trends

L’Oréal Uses Bioprinting To Create Live Skin Tissue For Cosmetics Testing

The FDA may not require it, but L’Oréal says it has ended live-animal testing of new cosmetics and has turned to alternatives such as EpiSkin, a lab-grown human flesh-like tissue available in more than 100,000 samples representing numerous ethnicities. And lately the company has partnered with biotech Organovo to apply advanced 3-D bioprinting technology (left) to create skin tissue with hair follicles. The technology would allow mass production of skin tissue for lab testing. It is not unlikely that the 3-D printed tissue will become, like EpiSkin, a profit center for L’Oréal.

"L’Oreal Grows Human Skin to Replace Animal Testing", Care2, July 08, 2017

Courts Pass “Natural” Food Cases To FDA, Which Dithers About Definition

Food-related class action lawsuits have been rising over the last nine years, but dropped eight percent last year. A law firm that keeps track of the suits said the decline last year could be the result of the FDA grappling with the claim “natural.” There were 145 lawsuits filed in 2016, mostly in California and New York, alleging false labeling related to ingredients or the type of processing used in a product. The decrease in lawsuits seems to be related to the frequent application of the “primary jurisdiction” doctrine in food litigation. A judge can stay or dismiss actions pending an administrative agency’s resolution of a matter, viz., the FDA’s ongoing exploration of the definition of “natural."

"Fewer ‘Natural’ Lawsuits in 2016", New Hope Network, July 17, 2017

Company Says Sweet Potato-Based Sweetener Is More Healthful Than HFCS

A North Carolina food ingredients company that specializes in pioneering applications of sweet potatoes grown in the state has developed a sweetener it says is a more healthful alternative to high-fructose corn syrup and honey. “Carolina Sweet,” developed by Carolina Innovative Food Ingredients, is a 75-Brix (a measurement of sweetness), vegetable-based clean label sweetener that is rich in calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium. CIFI says it naturally adds consistency, allowing for the reduction or elimination of thickening agents.

"Sweetening with Sweet Potatoes: Carolina Sweet Replaces Undesirable Ingredients", News release, Carolina Innovative Food Ingredients, July 19, 2017

Senate Bill Would Ban Use Of Brain Damaging Pesticide

Seven Democratic senators have introduced legislation to ban the harmful pesticide chlorpyrifos, that has been found to cause brain damage in children. The Trump administration’s EPA recently denied a petition to ban the chemical on March 29. A federal appeals court on July 18 denied a petition by green groups to force the agency to reverse its decision and enact the ban. The bill, the “Protect Children, Farmers and Farmworkers from Nerve Agent Pesticides Act of 2017,” was introduced by Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) and six other Democrats. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, attorneys general in seven states have formally objected to the EPA’s refusal to ban the pesticide.

"This Harmful Pesticide Should Have Been Banned Years Ago. Now It Could Finally Happen.", Natural Resources Defense Council, July 25, 2017

Consumer Watchdog Accuses Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Of “Greenwashing”

The director of the Organic Consumers Association says Unilever’s Ben & Jerry’s ice cream brand continues to “greenwash” its products, advertising them as “all natural” though they are contaminated with herbicides. The association recently sent samples of Ben and Jerry’s top-selling ice-cream brands to an independent testing lab for analysis. The lab found that 10 out of 11 samples tested positive for Roundup (glyphosate and AMPA) herbicide contamination. Cherry Garcia was the only flavor that tested negative for glyphosate or AMPA. Testing of nationally-distributed organic ice cream brands found that three out of four tested negative for Roundup contamination. The Whole Foods' 365 brand was found to be contaminated with glyphosate.

"Only One Out of 11 Popular Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Flavors Tested Negative for Cancer-Causing Herbicide Glyphosate", AlterNet, July 26, 2017

Active Organic Chickens Offer Perdue Some Major Benefits

Poultry producer Perdue Farms is spurning traditional ways of growing chickens. Some long-time opponents – namely, animal welfare advocates – seem to approve. Representatives of the Humane Society of the U.S., Compassion in World Farming, and Mercy for Animals were positively impressed during a recent tour of facilities. They saw windows and light, and chickens flapping their wings and running around. The bright, airy environment and activity of the birds are very different from current methods of raising poultry. But Perdue acknowledges it’s not all about chicken welfare. The meat from more active, organically grown chickens is higher quality, more tender, and a different color. “Activity is the key,” says CEO Jim Perdue.

"Perdue Farms Signs Up For A Chicken Welfare Revolution", National Public Radio, July 27, 2017

PepsiCo Partners With Recycling Advocate

PepsiCo is collaborating with and funding the nonprofit Recycling Foundation’s efforts to increase recycling rates through local and national work. Less than half of recyclables in U.S. homes are being collected: 22 million tons out of an available 46 million tons every year. The Recycling Partnership has helped more than 400 local communities improve curbside recycling for 17 million households. Last year, PepsiCo announced it would strive to redesign all its packaging to be recoverable or recyclable by 2025, and to partner to increase packaging recovery and recycling rates.

"PepsiCo Joins the Recycling Partnership", News release, PepsiCo, July 27, 2017

Lucky British Pod People In Sainsbury’s Food Waste Test

British retail grocery chain Sainsbury’s is testing a device dubbed a “Fresh Pod” that sits in a household refrigerator and absorbs ethylene gas emitted by fresh produce as it ages, helping to keep it fresher four times longer. The technology, already in use in many commercial fridges, could help reduce the average £700 ($900) of food binned by U.K. homes every year. A village council in the U.K. won £32k ($41k) from Sainsbury’s to test the devices among its citizenry as part of the company’s five-year food waste initiative.

"Sainsbury's to Fund Thousands of Food Waste-Cutting Fridge Pods in Suffolk", The Grocer, August 01, 2017

Sodexo Commits To Cage-Free Boiled Eggs, Pork From Open Pen-Raised Sows

Food services company Sodexo has added hard-boiled eggs to its commitment to use only cage-free shell and liquid eggs by 2025. The company says 70 percent of its egg use will be cage-free by spring 2018. The company also announced that 12,500 organizational customers in the U.S. will begin to source open-sow-housed pork products this fall to improve the humane treatment of animals in its supply chain. The moves all under the company’s Better Tomorrow 2025 roadmap for improved corporate responsibility.

"Sodexo Cracks its Commitment to Buy Cage-Free Eggs and Open Sow Housed Pork in the U.S.", News release, Sodexo, August 08, 2017

New Spray Coating Preserves Fruits Much Longer

An advanced plant-based technology developed by South Korean scientists not only adds nutrients to fruits, it prolongs their shelf life. The technology comes in the form of a five-second spritz coating of Iron (III)-tannic acid-metal-organic coordination complex (Fe(III)-TA-MOC) for fruits. The spray forms a five nanometers-thick layer (more after additional coats). A field test that analyzed the post-harvest shelf-life of mandarin oranges found that, after 28 days of storage at 77ºF, more than a quarter of the uncoated mandarin oranges (10 out of 37) were rotten and covered with mold. Those spray-coated remained edible. A similar test on strawberries found that, after 58 days of storage at 77ºF, 56.3 percent of sprayed fruit were edible, but only 6.3 percent of the unsprayed.

"Antimicrobial spray nanocoating of supramolecular Fe(III)-tannic acid metal-organic coordination complex: applications to shoe insoles and fruits", Scientific Reports, August 11, 2017

Use Of Biodegradable Materials Is Changing The Packaging World

Companies in the food, beverages, chemicals, and pharmaceuticals industries are heavy users of returnable bulk shipment packaging, including pallets, bulk boxes, barrels, and plastic drums. It’s a $9 billion market that depends heavily on synthetic, petroleum-based plastics – the bane of the enviro-conscious world. Companies like Dow Chemical and Braskem, experimenting with environmentally-friendly packaging materials, are investing in bio-based polymers and biomass. New packaging options have led to another emerging trend that offers an ancillary benefit to vendors: they are more easily customizable in terms of height, length, and breadth.

"Three Trends in Returnable Packaging", BakingBusiness.com, August 11, 2017

Americans Support More Humane Methods Of Raising Chickens For Food

Eighty-three percent of Americans say they want food companies to reduce “the suffering” of chickens raised for food, according to a poll. Americans oppose growing chickens so quickly they can’t bear their own weight; oppose live-shackle slaughter; and oppose extreme crowding in cages. They support keeping chicken litter clean and providing environmental enrichment, such as straw bales and pecking objects. NRG Research Group singled out Tyson Foods for censure, noting that its poultry-raising standards “fail to adequately address the most pressing chicken welfare issues.”

"Four Out Of Five Americans Want Restaurants And Grocers To End Cruel Factory Farming Practices", News release, Mercy For Animals, August 13, 2017

Food-Pairing Technology Can Reduce Food Waste

IBM scientists believe the same artificial intelligence technology that beat Ken Jennings in Jeopardy can also be applied to cut food waste. For now, the advanced algorithm they have developed pairs unexpected ingredients based on flavor compounds, viz., a pudding made with porcini mushrooms, or a burrito made with chocolate and edamame. The scientists say they can expand food-matching or food-pairing software beyond that, however, using the same algorithm to provide personalized meal plans that would reduce food waste and create varied meals for people who have severe dietary constraints.

"Can a Computer Configure Food Pairings to Cut Down on Waste?", The San Francisco Chronicle, August 15, 2017

Distillery Based On Discarded Bread Offers Two Key Benefits

A start-up distillery in California has come up with a novel scheme to make money while cutting food waste. The idea is to turn bread products that can no longer be given away into vodka. Misadventure & Co. picks up a thousand pounds of bread from a local food bank each week. The bread is past its expiration date, but still useable. It is combined in a giant blender, and mashed into a sort of sweet porridge. Yeast is added to eat the sugar and create alcohol. This “bread beer” is heated to extract the alcohol that is eventually turned into vodka. The bread products from the food bank are free, so the beverages made can be sold for less. And it’s also keeping tons of food out of landfills.

"Your Corner: Turning Old Cupcakes and Bread Into Vodka", NBC San Diego, August 18, 2017

Canadian Zero-Waste Grocer Gets High Praise

Ottawa, Canada’s first zero-waste grocery store encourages customers to bring their own reusable containers to carry off their purchases. The goal is to eliminate packaging waste while selling dry food, fresh produce, and cleaning and beauty supplies. Nu Grocery store owner Valrie Leloup has not only won praise from Canada’s environment minister – “taking real action to tackle climate change, protect the environment, and employ a bunch of people” – she believes she has changed her customers’ minds about the problem of food and packaging waste. "I think that this store has triggered something," she said.

"Ottawa's First Zero-Waste Grocery Store Officially Opens", CBC News, August 20, 2017

Helping Needy Families Eat Healthy, Save Money, Cut Food Waste

A year-old food education program launched in Western Pennsylvania by the group 412 Food Rescue is helping families save precious dollars by giving them access to fresh food and teaching them how to cook it. Since last year, more than a hundred needy mothers have benefited from the training, which also includes nutrition education. By teaching people how to cook, they immediately begin saving money by not eating out, and they eat healthier. One participant said the training also meant that she cut waste of vegetables in half.

"Don’t Waste that Food — Oops, Dollar!", Post-Gazette, August 23, 2017

Teaching Bars To Use Food Waste To Make Creative Cocktails

An Australian has teamed with a Canadian to teach bars and bartenders how to put cocktail ingredients destined for trash bins to good use. The two, who refer to themselves as “Trash Tiki,” travel the world with a pop-up bar spreading a message of sustainability, one cocktail at a time. The two have taught bartenders and bar owners how to get more use out of lime wedges after spritzing into gin-and-tonics, and how to use ingredients like coffee grounds, avocado pits, almond croissants, and fermented pineapple to make flavorful drinks.

"From Trash to Tiki Cocktail: How a Travelling Pop-Up is changing the Way Bars Think About Waste", CBC News, August 23, 2017

Plenty Of Demand For Wonky Fruits And Vegetables

California-based Imperfect Produce, which sells subscriptions for delivery of blemished and misshapen fruits and vegetable, is expanding from San Francisco and Los Angeles to Portland, Ore., and eventually to the Seattle, Wash., area. The idea for the company came from the fact that most grocery stores won’t sell scarred plums or odd-shaped eggplants. They are discarded, even though they’re perfectly edible. The company gathers the unmarketable produce from 70 West Coast farms. After just three weeks of marketing in Portland, the service has added 1,500 new subscribers.

"'Ugly' Produce Delivery Service Expands to the Northwest", Oregon Public Broadcasting, August 23, 2017

Battle Over “Country Of Origin” Meat Labeling Rages On

A lawsuit filed by groups representing American cattle growers alleges that USDA regulations that allow imported beef and pork to be classified as “domestic products” not only confuses consumers and harms farmers, they violate the Meat Inspection Act. The suit says meat products should be labeled with “country of origin.” American consumers agree: 90 percent in a recent survey said they favored country-of-origin labeling for fresh meat. Such labeling had been required in the U.S. until two years ago, when the World Trade Organization determined that the requirements discriminated against Canadian and Mexican livestock.

"Large Majority of Americans Strongly Support Requiring Origin Information on Fresh Meat", Consumer Federation of America, August 24, 2017

Companies, Organizations  

PET Bottle Collection And Recycling Effort During Festival Proves Successful

Nearly 4.5 tons of empty, discarded plastic PET bottles that once contained water, fruit juice, and carbonated soft drinks, were collected for recycling during the recent Kataragama Perahera Festival in Sri Lanka. The effort, dubbed “Give Back Life” to the recyclable bottles, was supported and sponsored by Coca-Cola Beverages Sri Lanka Ltd., which partnered with a local waste management company to place an array of 1,000-liter and 5,000-liter bins in accessible locations. The festival ran from July 24 through August 10.

"Coca-Cola “Gives Back Life” to 4.5 Tons of PET Bottles in Katharagama", Daily Mirror, August 18, 2017

The parable of St Paul

Economist, August 31, 2017

Legal, Legislation, Regulation, Policy  

Plan To Increase Royalty-Free Draw Of NZ Spring Water Sparks Debate

A Chinese-owned company has stepped into a big puddle of controversy in New Zealand with an application to draw as much as 580 million liters of spring water – royalty free – for bottling and selling in China. Commercialization of spring water is a prickly issue a month ahead of national elections. The leader of the country’s labour party is promising to crack down on royalty-free use of limited water resources. Creswell NZ Ltd., a subsidiary of Nongfu Spring, currently draws two million liters of water a year for bottling.

"Chinese Company Seeks Consent to Draw 580 Million Litres of Pristine Spring Water", Stuff, August 13, 2017

Fewer ‘Natural’ Lawsuits in 2016

New Hope Network, July 17, 2017

Market News  

Recycling Instructions Added To Nestlé Waters NA Bottles

Nestlé Waters NA says it is putting “How2Recycle” instructional labels on its 16-ounce U.S. bottled water brands, including Pure Life, Poland Spring, Deer Park, Ice Mountain, Zephyrhills, Ozarka, and Arrowhead. The Sustainable Packaging Coalition, a membership-based collaborative comprising businesses, educational institutions, and government agencies, created the “How2Recycle” label in 2012. The label is used by more than 65 brands and retailers, and can be found on thousands of products.

"Nestlé Waters North America Launches New Recycling Labeling across all Major U.S. Bottled Water Brands", News release, Nestlé Waters NA , August 09, 2017

Marketing & Advertising  

New Coke Ads Deliver Recycling Message Through Animation

A new Coca-Cola stop-motion ad showing in the U.K. uses more than 1,500 recycled Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Smartwater and Honest Tea bottles and cans to get across the notion that the packaging is not only recyclable, it is recyclable over and over. The pun-packed ads, created by Ogilvey & Mather Berlin, tell of a romance between a Coke Zero Sugar bottle and a Fanta bottle who are separated, but continuously re-united, via recycling. The ads, to be shown in movie theaters and on social media platforms throughout the summer, are expected to reach 35 million Britons by the end of the year.

"Coke dishes out verbal pun-ishment in quirky animated love story encouraging recycling", Campaign Live UK, July 29, 2017

Products & Brands  

Health Consciousness Leads List Of Trends Affecting Beverage Makers

Beverage manufacturers are responding to a number of consumer trends in the U.K. this year, not the least of which is health consciousness. Governments and nutrition advocates globally have thoroughly demonized sugar, and brands have responded appropriately. PepsiCo responded with Naked Juice and the Tropicana Essentials Probiotics line. The company’s zero-sugar Pepsi Max was rebranded to Pepsi Zero Sugar in the U.S. Coca-Cola rebranded and reformulated Coke Zero to make Coke Zero Sugar. Red Bull introduced several exotic zero-sugar flavors targeting younger consumers. Other trends affecting beverage companies include drinks with functional ingredients, demands for sustainable packaging, and a significant increase in young teetotalers in the U.K., Europe and the U.S.

"Health-Conscious Millennials Turn to Zero-Calorie Drinks", BeverageDaily.com, August 10, 2017

Halal cosmetics: India proves prosperous

Cosmetics Design, August 21, 2017

Research, Studies, Advice  

Coca-Cola To Fund Search For Solutions To Citrus Greening Disease

With nearly all commercial orchards in Florida infected with citrus greening, a bacterial plant disease caused by an insect, Coca-Cola company announced it is funding collaborative research between Bayer and a nonprofit citrus research organization to find solutions to the problem. A Bayer crop scientist said unless such a solution is found, the Florida citrus industry could be dead within 10 to 15 years. Researchers will try to identify biological disease control solutions, or compounds that control the plants’ immune defenses. Bayer will have the rights to development and commercialization of any discoveries that result from the research.

"Coca-Cola Supporting Research Partnership to Combat Citrus Greening", News release, the Coca-Cola Company, August 23, 2017

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