Ben & Jerry’s Israel boycott row intensifies as Ecuadorian supermarket chain pulls ice creams from shelves

ECUADOR – Ben & Jerry’s Israel boycott row is getting thicker by the day, threatening the existence of the brand in countries with strong ties with Israel.   In Ecuador for instance, El Rosado Group, which owns one of the largest supermarket chains in the country with more than 180 stores, has taken the decision to withdraw from all its businesses all ice cream manufactured by Unilever.  According to the company, the decision was prompted by Ben & Jerry’s statement that said the company believes it is inconsistent with its values “for Ben…

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UK consumers to face higher food prices as government regulations on junk food come into force

UK – The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) has warned that consumers will inevitably face higher food and drink prices if manufacturers are forced to absorb the cost of proposed Government policies during the next few years.  In the report, entitled ‘Eating into household budgets: the Government’s recipe for food price inflation’, the FDF estimates that proposed government policies around public health and sustainability will cost the national industry at least £8 billion (US$9.3 billion).    The association notes that if these were passed on directly to consumers, it would increase the price of…

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Federal regulations critical in ensuring safety of CBD products – Consumer Brands

USA – The Consumer Brands Association has renewed its call for urgent government action on cannabidiol (CBD) regulation, asserting that federal engagement is critical to ensuring consumer safety.   The call comes after a new report from Consumer Brands showed that the lack of a clear federal law on CBD use in foods was putting the safety of consumers using the product at risk.   The report noted that absent of a regulatory framework, consumers cannot have confidence their products are being manufactured in compliance with existing and applicable manufacturing, processing, distributing, and claim requirements.  Additionally, the…

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Unilever’s Ben & Jerry’s pulls out of Israeli-occupied territories attracting the ire of authorities

ISRAEL –  Ben & Jerry’s, a fully owned subsidiary of Unilever, has decided to stop selling ice cream in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT).  Ben & Jerry’s is popular in Israel, its ice cream coming in special flavours to mark Jewish festivals or national events.   It is also sold in Israeli settlements – something that has seen activists in the US put pressure on the company, known for its progressive views.  Bowing to pressure, Ben & Jerry’s said in a statement that it had reached the decision to withdraw from OPT as its continued stay…

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Philippines bans use of trans fat to control spread of non-communicable diseases

PHILIPPINES – The Philippines government is stepping up efforts to protect its people from non-communicable diseases with a new order against the production of industrial trans fats.  Titled the “National Policy on the Elimination of Industrially Produced Trans-Fatty Acids for the Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases,” the new administrative order (AO) aims to remove trans fats from the Fili by 2023.  Under the AO, industrially produced TFA and processed food products containing TFAs shall be prohibited from being produced, imported, and distributed for commercial sale.  Once it becomes effective, it will be illegal to sell Partially-Hydrogenated Oils (PHO) to…

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USDA to invest US$500m in enhancing resiliency, competitiveness in US meat industry

US – The United States Department of Agriculture is committing more than US$500 million to expand meat and poultry processing capacity, as part of efforts to increase competition in the market.  The pledge comes after President Joe Biden enacted a new executive order aimed at cracking down on anti-competitive practices in major sector sectors of the economy including agriculture, healthcare, and technology.     According to the USDA, key agricultural markets have become more concentrated and less competitive; with farmers and ranchers having fewer options to sell their products.  In the new US$500 million Initiative, the department will…

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US Food Industry targeted in new law against anti-competitive practices

US — The Biden administration has enacted a new executive order aimed at cracking down on anti-competitive practices in major sector sectors of the economy including agriculture, healthcare, and technology.   According to the US White House, in more than 75% of US industries, “a smaller number of large companies control more of the business” than was the case 20 years ago.  This according to the Biden Administration has resulted in consolidation of markets particularly in healthcare, technology, finance, and agriculture with little to no competition among the existing players.  The result was higher prices for consumers and…

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UK issues stringent regulations for junk food marketing to curb rise of unhealthy eating habits

UK – The government of the United Kingdom has banned late-night advertising of junk food in an effort to promote a healthy society.  The law is the latest attempt by the UK government to tame unhealthy eating habits that are causing its citizens to suffer from lifestyle diseases such as obesity and diabetes.  Obesity is a common problem that affects around 1 in every 4 adults and around 1 in every 5 children aged 10 to 11 in the UK, according to the UK National Health Service.  According to a report by the Guardian, a “growing obesity crisis” has…

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India’s advertising watchdog partners food safety authority to fight misleading claims in foods & beverages ads

INDIA –  The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) and the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) have partnered to bolster the fight against misleading claims in food and beverage (F&B) ads.   Advertising is seen as misleading if it involves false, misleading, or deceptive information that is likely to cause the average consumer to act in a way they might otherwise not.    Ads may also be considered misleading if important information that the average consumer needs to make an informed decision is left out.    Misleading advertising covers claims made directly to consumers by manufacturers, distributors, and…

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5-year truce on aircraft dispute hands temporary relief to European dairy industry

EUROPE – A recently announced five-year truce in a long-running trade dispute over subsidies for Boeing and Airbus has brought relief to Europe’s dairy industry which found itself in the crossfire between the US and the European Union. Beginning in October 2019, many EU dairy lines have been subject to an additional tariff of 25 percent on arrival in the US. The additional tariffs imposed on EU dairy exports reached hundreds of millions of dollars and severely impacted EU and US-based businesses alike. Dairy producers in the EU lost business…

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