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Latest news on food labels, marketing, advertising, health claims, social media

Food labeling and marketing

Manufacturers use numerous tools for positioning their products on the market, including on-pack symbols and claims, innovative advertising campaigns, and social media. The focus of food marketers may be firmly on the bottom line - but they are under increasing pressure to keep an eye on ethics too.

Hain Celestial targeted in unusual false advertising lawsuit over ‘100% natural’ teas allegedly containing pesticide residues above legal thresholds

Hain Celestial has been targeted in a first-if-its-kind putative class action lawsuit alleging that it falsely advertised Celestial Seasoning teas as 100% natural when they in fact contain “potentially dangerous”...

Coca-Cola targeted in third lawsuit over 'chemical preservative' and 'artificial flavor' phosphoric acid

Coca-Cola has been targeted in another proposed class action lawsuit alleging that it misrepresents Coke as being free from added preservatives and artificial flavors, despite containing phosphoric acid, an 'artificial flavoring' and 'chemical...

Boulder Brands: 5-10% of US wheat-based categories are going to be gluten-free in 3-5 years

While many grocery brands are struggling to generate any growth right now, top gluten-free brands Udi's and Glutino notched up combined net sales growth of 53% in the latest quarter,...

Clean label isn't as big as industry thinks, says DuPont

Demonization of ingredients and a lack of consumer understanding has fueled clean label, but it remains niche among a small group of consumers, DuPont Nutrition & Health says. 

Attorney on I-522: Maybe it is time for GMO labeling supporters to revise strategy and focus on clear legal standards for non-GMO labeling instead?

With early results from Washington State’s ballot on GMO labeling (I-522) suggesting voters may narrowly reject it (click here ) legal experts predict that while this particular battle may be lost, the...

I-522 vote: Initial returns suggest voters in Washington State say NO to GMO labeling; but too close to call yet

Initial returns indicate that voters in Washington State have given the thumbs down to GMO labeling proposal I-522, in similar proportions to the vote on California's GMO labeling proposal Prop 37. ...

News in brief

Cargill to label Finely Textured Beef

Cargill Beef is to label its branded ground beef products containing finely textured beef (FTB).

Kraft to pull artificial colors from some mac and cheese products

Kraft Foods will pull the artificial yellow coloring from five of its character-based shapes macaroni and cheese product lines starting in January 2014. 

Survey reveals consumers want to avoid pesticides, but are unsure how label certifications help them do that

Whether a food product contains genetically modified organisms, and whether the disclosure of that information should be mandatory on the label has dominated public discourse in recent years.  But that...

Special edition: Tackling diabetes. Formulating for healthy blood sugar

How can the food industry address the ticking time bomb of type 2 diabetes?

Given that one in three American adults is expected to develop type 2 diabetes by 2050, and poor diet and lack of exercise may be largely to blame, what can...

‘Unprecedented surge’ in food lawsuits is driven by plaintiffs’ lawyers and advocacy groups, not consumers, claims report

The number of consumer fraud class actions brought in federal court against food and beverage companies skyrocketed from 19 cases in 2008 to more than 100 in 2012, according to...

FNCE: Urban elites peddling ‘Old McDonald fantasy’ are driving food policy, says Michael Specter in speech dubbed by some as 'smug' and 'mocking'

Food policy must meet the needs of the rapidly growing global population, as well as urban elites in developed nations with “organic window boxes” promoting an ‘Old McDonald fantasy’, claimed...

FNCE 2013 highlights: Gluten-sensitivity, dairy and GHG emissions, energy drinks, portion sizes, GMOs, and what America eats for breakfast

From the risks and rewards of energy drinks to what Americans eat for breakfast, strategies to tackle mindless eating and the next generation of gluten-free foods, Houston was the place...

Comment

Bad science, good politics? Why the GMO labeling lobby is winning the PR war...

Despite recent renewed efforts, the food industry does not appear to be winning hearts and minds when it comes to persuading the public of the merits of GM crops, or...

News in brief

GMO labeling: GMA to establish Washington State political committee in wake of lawsuit over ‘No to I-522’ campaign funding

UPDATED: The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) says it will file paperwork with the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) establishing a political committee and will disclose the source of all...

GMO debate gets ugly as General Mills takes flak from GMO Inside and GMA is sued by Washington State attorney general

In new developments in the highly charged debate over GMOs, General Mills has been targeted in a report blasted by a plant geneticist as “a collection of discredited studies and...

Mars defends use of artificial colors in M&Ms as CSPI-backed petition urges it to ditch ‘neurotoxic chemicals’

Confectionery giant Mars has defended its use of artificial colors in M&Ms after being urged to ditch them in a petition on change.org accompanied by a press release from the...

Judge to General Mills: The courts, not the FDA, can decide if GMOs belong in ‘100% natural’ products

A federal judge handling three lawsuits vs General Mills over ‘100% natural’ claims on Nature Valley products claimed to contain GMOs and other allegedly ‘un-natural’ ingredients says the courts are...

PepsiCo: Disruptive innovation, not "ridiculous pricing", the answer to diet soda slowdown

The recent drop in diet soda sales in North America has been “a little more rapid than we expected” says PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi, but PepsiCo remains convinced that “significant disruptive...

Big interview: Ben F. Pierce Gore, Pratt & Associates

The plaintiff's attorneys taking aim at Big Food: Caped consumer crusaders or cynical opportunists out for a fast buck?

When you think of plaintiff's lawyers, two images probably come to mind: Consumer crusaders like Erin Brockovich or grubby ambulance-chasers in John Grisham novels. But where in this spectrum should...

Introducing Food e-Vangelists: The small, highly influential consumer segment no CPG marketer can afford to ignore

A group of increasingly influential consumers who want to impact the way food is raised, grown, packaged and sold are flying under the radar of most food product marketers, according...

Shareholder advocates to big food: Stay out of GMO labeling debate

With roughly a month to go until voters in Washington State decide whether GMO foods should be labeled, shareholder advocates are calling on the top 10 donors who helped fund...

Evaporated cane juice lawsuits update: Blue Diamond, Trader Joe’s, Wallaby Yogurt Co under fire, Chobani off the hook?

As a tidal wave of civil litigation over the use of the term ‘evaporated cane juice’ (ECJ) to describe dried cane syrup (aka sugar) continues to engulf the food industry,...

Reaction to CFSAN's priorities for 2013-14

UNPA: Does CFSAN’s plan for GMO labeling guidance signal a change of thinking at FDA?

The Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition's (CFSAN) priority to publish guidance to help manufacturers with voluntarily GMO labeling could signal a change in thinking at the agency, says...

News in brief

DuPont Tate & Lyle Bio Products partners with Symrise to launch natural alternative to petroleum-based flavor carriers

Joint venture DuPont Tate & Lyle Bio Products Company has teamed up with flavors giant Symrise to launch a new all-natural bio-based solvent and humectant as a carrier for compounded...