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Lawsuit alleges Nestle misled consumers about GMOs in its food products

CBS | Posted on August 8, 2018

Nestle is facing a federal class-action lawsuit in Los Angeles alleging it sold products labeled as having "No GMO Ingredients" with genetically modified organisms.   The corporate parent behind such food brands as Stouffer's frozen dinners, Buitoni pasta, and Haagen Dazs ice cream also is accused on designing a seal on its product packaging with the intention to trick consumers into thinking that its products were certified by the non-profit Non-GMO Project. According to an 18-page court filing, Nestle's "No GMO Ingredients" label was developed by the Switzerland-based company to mimic the appearance of the Non-GMO Project seal, which is on more than 43,000 products. The suit also alleges that Nestle sold dairy from cows fed GMO grain, a violation of the non-profit's standards for its Product Verification Program. Nestle described the allegations as "baseless" and denied that it had broken the law."Our product labels that declare the absence of GMO ingredients are accurate, comply with FDA and USDA regulations and provide consumers with information to help them make informed purchasing decisions."

World food prices down 3.7 % in July

Reuters | Posted on August 7, 2018

World food prices fell 3.7 percent in July from the month before, the sharpest monthly drop since last December, with declines seen across all crop types, the United Nations food agency said.  The Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) food price index, which measures monthly changes for a basket of cereals, oilseeds, dairy products, meat and sugar, averaged 168.8 points last month, against an upwardly revised 175.3 in June.

Ex-Marine files suit over E. coli in ground beef

Meatingplace (free registration required) | Posted on August 2, 2018

A former U.S. Marine has filed a lawsuit against Sodexo for serving E. coli-tainted ground beef at a Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego, according to documents filed in the Southern District Court of California. Vincent Grano suffered permanent brain and kidney damage and developed epilepsy as a result of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) caused by eating E. coli O151:H7-tainted ground beef, according to the lawsuit. Sodexo provides food and facility management services for the U.S. Marine Corps Depot in San Diego.

Why antibiotics still work for Sanderson and the importance of story

Meatingplace (free registration required) | Posted on August 2, 2018

While many major poultry companies are moving away from antibiotics use in their chickens, Sanderson Farms has taken a stand on continuing their use, and that strategy is working well. Sanderson Farms President Lampkin Butts told attendees at the Chicken Marketing Summit here the company continues to expand production, including a new plant now under construction that will open next year. The reason for Sanderson’s success, he notes, is that most consumers are focused on taste, food safety and price. Also, the company can find no research that ties the type of antibiotics use the company practices (prevention and treatment, not for growth promotion) to antibiotics resistance in humans.

Bioproducts industry using waste plastics for fuels, sneakers and algae based packaging

Biofuels Digest | Posted on August 2, 2018

The pace of invention and change is just too strong, we’ve realized, to highlight annual or even quarterly or monthly rankings and summaries of significant product and service advances. some examples 1)  Adidas to use only recycled plastic by 2024 2) Bolt Threads Launches Biobased Knife from bioengineered spide silk. 3) Neste, a global leading producer of renewable diesel, is now exploring ways to introduce liquefied waste plastic as a future raw material for fossil refining. 4) JUST, a plant-based egg and clean meat company, announced a distribution deal with Eurovo to bring Just Egg to consumers across Europe. Just Egg, made from the mung bean, cooks and tastes like conventional chicken eggs and is currently launching nationally in the United States. 5)  Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory have developed a plant-based composite material for 3D printing. Using waste lignin from biofuel manufacturing and rubber, carbon fiber, and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, ORNL has developed a material with 100% improved weld strength between layers compared to ABS alone. 6)  a 100% biobased and biodegradable grill originally developed in Denmark has officially launched in the US market.
The one-time-use grill, dubbed CasusGrill, is made from cardboard, bamboo, and lava stone. It disintegrates on its own or can be burned in a campfire after use. 7)  A consortium is trialing the use of seaweed sachets for fast food condiments. 8) In Georgia, researchers have created a flexible plastic alternative for food packaging using crab shells and cellulose. 

Survey: Nearly Two-Thirds of Americans Oppose Cuts to SNAP Program

John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health | Posted on July 31, 2018

A majority of registered voters oppose recent efforts to scale back Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) food benefits and believe the government should be doing more to meet the needs of people facing food insecurity and other challenges. The survey, conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research from June 5 to June 12, explores voter attitudes on several key farm bill issues, including conservation programs designed to protect U.S. land, water and food supply. The farm bill, when passed, will replace the Farm Act of 2014, which expires this year. In addition to support for SNAP, a majority of survey respondents would like to see increased environmental regulations for the agricultural industry. The nationwide survey conducted by phone included 1,005 registered voters.Among survey respondents, almost two-thirds (61 percent) said that they were opposed to reducing funding for SNAP, more commonly known as Food Stamps. Among those opposed, over 73 percent said that they were “strongly opposed” to cuts. Registered voters are more divided on whether to cap the number of SNAP recipients in a single household.The survey also found that 85 percent of respondents support increased opportunities for beginning, socially disadvantaged, and veteran farmers and ranchers to participate in government support programs, and 57 percent support increased funding for small- and mid-sized farms.

In America, lactose-free milk is growing twice as fast as plant milks

Dairy Industries | Posted on July 26, 2018

Powered by lactose-free innovation, dairy is challenging the dominance of plant milks, with US sales of lactose-free milk set to catch up with – and perhaps even overtake – almond milk.

Agencies warn against raw pet food

Meat + Poultry | Posted on July 26, 2018

An outbreak of Salmonella Reading infections that so far has sickened 90 people included two individuals living in a household where raw turkey pet food was fed to pets. Both the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are warning pet owners against feeding their pets raw food. The outbreak strain was identified in samples taken from raw turkey pet food, raw turkey products and live turkeys, according to the CDC. “CDC does not recommend feeding raw diets to pets,” the agency said in advice to consumers. “Germs like Salmonella in raw pet food can make your pets sick. Your family also can get sick by handling the raw food or by taking care of your pet.”

Detroit Shows How Cuts to SNAP Affect an Entire Community

Civil eats | Posted on July 25, 2018

On the east side of Detroit, 42-year-old Roquesha O’Neal is one potential target of cuts to SNAP. She relies on the program to take care of herself and her disabled, teenage son. She receives a monthly Supplemental Security Income (SSI) check worth $750 for her son and makes an additional $150 a month babysitting and doing odd jobs for neighbors. After rent and utilities, her family is left with about $500 a month to live on. Even with SNAP, putting food on the table can still feel like a full-time job: SNAP recipients only receive on average $1.40 a meal. O’Neal gets even less than this, feeding herself and her son on $205 a month or roughly $1.13 per meal, per person. And this doesn’t include her daughter’s son, for whom she provides free childcare and also has to feed.O’Neal has had to be resourceful, visiting the local soup kitchen run by Capuchin Friars and “bargain shopping” with neighbors, making bulk purchases of staples like bread and rice to share. Luckily, O’Neal has a branch of the Aldi grocery store chain nearby, but she has to take public transportation or carpool with neighbors to get to the soup kitchen because she doesn’t have a car. She says that bus fare is her largest monthly expense.

As processor shutdown looms, nonprofit funds another month of SNAP at farmers markets

The Fern | Posted on July 25, 2018

A national farmers market advocacy group has stepped in to fund the processor’s operations for another month. The emergency funds will give markets across the country a few more weeks to figure out how to process SNAP once the Novo Dia Group ceases operations. The National Association of Farmers Market Nutrition Programs (NAFMNP) will provide 30 additional days of funding to Novo Dia, while advocates and farmers try to figure out a permanent solution to replace the processors’ services. The additional funding will allow 1,700 farmers markets across the country to continue processing SNAP through the end of August.