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Corporate altruism: Oxymoron or get-real solution?

Writing up an article on Kellogg’s World Food Day initiative yesterday, that age old question seemed to buzz through: is there really such a thing as a selfless good deed? And what about, dare we ask, on a corporate level?

International Congress of Nutrition: Big food booed for coming…but rude not to?

Thousands of nutritionists gathered in Granada, Spain, last week for the 20th International Congress of Nutrition. It was a huge event with eight simultaneous streams of seminars over a full week.

Lab grown meat? Surely it's a matter of taste...

I think everybody agrees that in vitro production of meat could have big potential in solving world hunger. But the technology will not be to everybody's tastes ... and until the technical challenges of flavour are addressed I imagine it will be to nobody's tastes!

Is the clamour for publicity making a mockery of real scientific progress?

The need for scientific celebrity seems to have spread like wildfire in recent years, and it’s making a mockery of real scientific progress.

Bittersweet Coke taste in Israel as personalized cans stoke controversy

As the Coke marketing machine rolls out personalized bottles with popular first names worldwide, it risks tarnishing its own by excluding some for fear of offending local ethnic sensibilities.

I observed the EFSA health claims panel in action; conspiracy theorists will be disappointed

Last week NutraIngredients was one of 10 organisations invited to observe the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) health claims panel in action for a day at its Parma, Italy, base.

Beer battle of bad taste: Carlsberg out shocks Heineken

Carlsberg UK has bent the bad taste envelope further still with an 'edgy' new online video that sees the drink’s fans phone their friends in the early hours and persuade them to visit a gambling den staffed by sinister characters or ‘actors’ to pay off their debts.

Acrylamide: A scandal in the making

Acrylamide is a recognised carcinogen that we’ve known is in our food at dangerous levels for a decade. Today, the food industry has tools to mitigate it, but uptake is slow.Industry, beware.  This is how scandals are made.

Pharma seeks bigger dose of booming nutra sector

In just a few years the global health and wellness (H&W) products sector will be worth $1 trillion dollars – that’s a lot of billion dollar blockbuster drugs.

Smell a rat? Flawed GM cancer study highlights flawed media approach

A French study on the effects of Monsanto’s genetically modified (GM) maize in rats has said little about the safety or otherwise of GM crops – but it has said plenty about how the media can be used to push an agenda.

Coke won’t kick the can in Bolivia, but must dance diplomatic can-can...

Bolivian officials have swiftly moved to play down reported remarks by the nation’s flamboyant foreign minister that the government would kick Coca-Cola out of the country by the end of the year.

Vitafoods: EU nutra space wriggles into new health claims clothes

Vitafoods celebrates its 15th birthday next week. It’ll be my 11th consecutive May visit to Geneva for the jamboree and promises to be one of the most intriguing chapters with the (partial and belated) resolution of years of ambiguity regarding health claims in Europe.

Lobbyists, start your engines: Can a new health claims formula be won in the European Parliament?

Five years ago the European Union nutrition and health claims regulation (NHCR) became law. Around the bloc, hopeful EU healthy foods and supplements stakeholders submitted more than 44,000 health claim applications.

EU researchers revolted as EFSA clears health claims vault

The European Food Safety Authority last week delivered the fifth batch of article 13, general function health claim opinions bringing the total issued to 2723. There are just 35 to go – to be published next month in a final mini-batch that will conclude the task begun in August 2008.

Risk, rationality and that schizophrenic beast called the food industry

If the food industry wants journalists and consumers to get real about risk, then it has to get real too.

Sodium vs. salt: Let’s agree to disagree

The United States lists sodium on nutrition labels while salt is more common in the European Union. Salt and sodium are not the same, and a standardized term would only cause confusion.

Novel foods progress may mean removing clones

All is not well down on the novel foods farm. If food innovation in Europe is to thrive anew, MEPs and the Council need to get past the recriminations over the failed talks and remove the troublesome question of cloned foods from the negotiating table.

Too early to start praising PepsiCo for new plant bottle

The new PepsiCo plant bottle appears to tick all the “green” boxes for a disposable drinks bottle but the innovation should not be taken too seriously until it arrives on shelves.

Women. The most wasted resource in food production

Today is Pancake Day. It is also International Women’s Day. An important date, then, not just for food lovers in countries where Mardi Gras is a big deal, but a day to consider the role – and the potential – of women involved in food provision all over the world.

The balancing act of allergen labelling

The food industry has a responsibility to label allergenic ingredients as big and bold as they can – but also not to over-egg the slimmest of slim possibilities that a trace amount of an allergen may have slipped into a product.

Arab Revolt underlines the need for action to remedy high food prices

When Tunisian street vegetable vendor Mohamed Bouazizi chose to end his life in fiery suicide, no one could have foreseen the firestorm his death would unleash across the Arab world. But, two months later, as the Arab Revolt shows no sign of fading, the lessons to be drawn about food security are becoming abundantly clear.

Why local foods systems are an opportunity for industry

The food industry should not rage against the idea of professionalised local food systems, nor unleash its lobbying force to uproot them before their green shoots can reach maturity. Rather, it should explore ways to benefit from local foods and, in turn, foster their development.

Sugar: regulatory sweet nothings leave food and drink makers in limbo

Jazz singer Nina Simone’s plaintive, “I want a little sugar in my bowl”, will strike the right note with Europe’s beleaguered sugar industry.

The naked truth about kids’ food advertising

It was an Emperor’s New Clothes moment for the US food industry last week, when it was revealed that a major initiative touting its responsible advertising to kids actually allows promotion of many unhealthy foods. Is anyone really surprised?

EC complacency on dioxins weakens Europe’s food safety standing

The complacency being exhibited by Brussels over the ongoing dioxin contamination incident is every bit as concerning as the carcinogenic chemical that has found its way into the food and feed chains since the end of last year.

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