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Period: January 1, 2018 to January 15, 2018
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

When It Comes To Diet Sodas, Moderate Imbibing Is Fine

A pediatric physician/researcher says consumers needn’t worry too much about drinking a Diet Coke once in a while. Aaron Carroll M.D. writes in “The Bad Food Bible” that if someone has a yen for a soft drink, a diet version is a better health choice, because the danger is “incredibly small.” It’s better to skip the sugar, which has been strongly linked to diabetes and obesity. Artificial sweeteners just haven’t been scientifically proven to be harmful to humans. However, a researcher who specializes in the health effect of artificial sweeteners says studies have  shown that regular ingestion has been linked to Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, strokes, dementia and obesity. But she agrees that a Diet Coke once in a while is okay.. 

"Diet Coke Might Not Be So Bad For Your Health After All", New York Post, December 12, 2017

Mass. Cage-Free Eggs Law Is Targeted By 13 States In Supreme Court Suit

Led by Indiana, thirteen states have sued Massachusetts in the U.S. Supreme Court to prevent enforcement of a state law that bans the sale of eggs produced by caged chickens, and meats from caged pigs or calves. A similar action is being pursued by states against California and its cage-free law. The plaintiffs claim that Massachusetts is attempting to impose its own regulatory standards on farmers in other states, in violation of the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution. The Massachusetts law defines an overly restrictive cage as one that would prevent an egg-laying hen, breeding pig or calf raised for veal from standing up, turning around or fully extending its limbs. 

"13 States Sue to Stop Cage Free Eggs Law in Massachusetts", Daily News, December 18, 2017

Pork Suppliers Say They Have Greatly Reduced Reliance On Antibiotics

The National Pork Board, which represents the 60,000 pig farmers in the U.S., says its constituents have made great strides in reducing the use of antibiotics while continuing to protect the health and welfare of pigs. Data from the USDA support the progress, says NPB President Terry O'Neel, a Nebraska pig farmer, though figures for antibiotic use are not species-specific. Nevertheless, USDA numbers show that America's pig farmers produced over five million more market hogs in 2016 than in 2009, as market weights increased by 16 pounds. The figures suggest that pig farmers are using far less total antibiotics per pound of pork produced, and are using them in close cooperation with veterinarians to ensure that they are FDA-approved. 

"Antibiotic Use in Farm Animals Drops", AgriNews, December 19, 2017

Dunkin’ Removes All Synthetic Dyes From Donuts

Dunkin’ Donuts has removed all artificial dyes from its donuts in the U.S., almost a year before its original deadline. Calling the accomplishment ”an incredible milestone moment,” the company said it took years of research to make the transition to simpler donut ingredients and hopes to continue the trend with “innovative new flavors” in the months ahead. The company said it is on track to meet its end-of-2018 deadlines for removing synthetic dyes from its entire menu, including donut icings, fillings and toppings, and frozen beverages such as Coolatta frozen beverages, baked goods, breakfast sandwiches and coffee flavorings. Sister brand Baskin-Robbins is also working to remove synthetic dyes from its products.

"To Ring in the New Year, Dunkin' Donuts Removes Artificial Dyes from Donuts", News release, Dunkin' Donuts, January 04, 2018

Food Company Shareholders Submit Antibiotics Resolutions

Members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, a coalition of corporate investors, have each filed shareholder resolutions with three big food companies urging them to stop buying or producing meat raised with antibiotics. The resolutions submitted to McDonald’s Corp., Denny’s, and Sanderson Farms will be voted on at shareholder meetings unless challenged ahead of time. Last year, McDonald’s stopped buying chicken from suppliers who used antibiotics. The new resolution calls on the company to extend the practice to pork and beef. Rivals Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. and Panera Bread Co. already serve chicken, pork, and beef from animals raised without antibiotics. 

"Investors Call on Sanderson, Denny's, McDonald's to Cut Antibiotics", Reuters, January 14, 2018

Companies, Organizations  

British Fruit Farm Cotchel Juices Its Unsold Pears, Apples

On a mission to reduce food waste, British fruit juice company Cotchel has unveiled four variants of bottled apple and pear juice using fruits that can’t be otherwise marketed because they are too big, too small, or too ugly. The unsold apples and pears used to make the juices are grown, pressed and bottled on a family farm in Essex. They are sold in four versions, including Braeburn; Opal; Topaz and Evelina; and Conference, Topaz and Evelina. “Cotchel is all about creating a great-tasting fruit juice using fruit we can’t sell,” says farmer Pete Thompson, “and taking small steps towards reducing food waste.”

"Cotchel unveils four-strong juice range made with unwanted fruit", FoodBev , January 08, 2018

What efforts for sustainability is Henkel making?

Cosmetics Design, January 05, 2018

Innovation & New Ideas  

Demand For Bioplastics Is Growing, But Still Not Competitive With Petrochemicals

Packaging that uses bioplastics made from sugar cane, wood, and corn – instead of petrochemical-based plastics – is expected to grow by 50 percent by 2023. Several big bioplastics companies have entered the packaging segment to meet growing demands for more eco-friendly bottles and other containers from companies like Coca-Cola and Lego A/S. A research group that focuses on the oil industry says the trend is troubling news for the oil industry because the use of biochemicals and bioplastics will depress demand for oil-based containers, “much like recycling can erode overall virgin plastics demand.” But industry watchers say demand for bioplastics packaging will have to increase significantly – not just from Coca-Cola, but from consumers and retailers – to compete effectively against oil-based plastics.

"Oil's Dream to Grow in Plastics Dims as Coke Turns to Plants", Bloomberg, January 02, 2018

Market News  

Survey: Eating Healthful Foods Goes Hand In Hand With Clean Labels

A survey of 1,023 Americans by a product transparency advocacy group has found that two-thirds have made buying healthful or socially-conscious foods a priority in 2018, along with labels that are transparent regarding ingredient identification. The main emphasis will be on cutting down sugar consumption, with almost half saying they will eat less sugar or buy more “no sugar added” foods and beverages. According to Label Insight, the survey found that Americans want better-defined and more transparent food labels, especially ones that provide information they can better understand in 2018 (25 percent). Greater transparency into ingredients (14 percent) is another desire, along with and easier-to-identify “clean” or minimally processed products (14 percent). 

"Americans are planning to Avoid Sugar and Eat More Sustainably in 2018, Says Survey from Label Insight", News release, Label Insight, January 04, 2018

Products & Brands  

Westrock’s Packaging For Carlsberg Beer Line Is Certified By Cradle To Cradle

U.S. corrugated paper and packaging company WestRock is working with Danish brewer Carlsberg Group to provide eco-friendly primary and secondary beverage packaging for its beer brands. The WestRock 6-pack carton for Kronenbourg 1664, made from Carrier Kote Coated Natural Kraft paperboard, received Cradle to Cradle Bronze certification.  The durable material provides sharp, clear printed graphics and optimal protection to the glass bottles. Nonprofit Cradle to Cradle’s Certified Product Standard guides designers and manufacturers through five quality categories: material health, material reutilization, renewable energy and carbon management, water stewardship, and social fairness.

"WestRock Product Granted Cradle to Cradle Certification for Beverage Packaging", BevNET, December 26, 2017

China’s Cruelty-Free Beauty Dilemma

L2 Inc., December 08, 2017

How to Reduce Waste with Fermented Vegetables

Bangor Daily News, December 27, 2017

Fighting Climate Change, One Laundry Load at a Time

The New York Times, January 01, 2018

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