Food companies and farmers active at Climate Action Summit

If the Trump administration’s effort to stymie action on climate change is having an impact on food and farming, it isn’t apparent at the Global Climate Action Summit underway in San Francisco this week. (No paywall)

Big-name companies abandon food industry trade group

A Washington heavyweight among food industry trade groups, the Grocery Manufacturers Association, has lost two additional members who are long-time titans in the sector, Hershey and Cargill, reported Politico.

Nestle, Coca-Cola and Smithfield top water sustainability list

On average, food companies improved their management of water by 10 percent compared to 2015, according to the report Feeding Ourselves Thirsty, published by the nonprofit investor coalition Ceres.

Food industry tries to shape food policy, says nonprofit group

A series of emails obtained under a state freedom of information law suggest major food companies have a "roadmap for dealing with scientific challenges," says the leader of the nonprofit group U.S. Right to Know in a Bloomberg story. The emails by current and former Coca-Cola executives suggest actions such as enlisting outside organizations to question dietary advice that was contrary to their business interests.

Food companies go their own way on certifying what’s ethical, sustainable

In an effort to save money and better serve their brand image, some major companies are breaking from third-party certifiers, such as FairTrade and the Rainforest Alliance, and developing their own schemes for certifying which products meet standards of sustainability and ethics, reports Reuters. 

Parents oppose ads that pitch unhealthy food to children

A large majority — 85 percent — of the parents polled about food marketing said foodmakers should reduce advertising to induce children to eat unhealthy foods, said the Rudd Center for Food and Obesity. The University of Connecticut center said that since 2012 support increased among parents for "policies to promote healthy eating habits for their children in the media, schools and communities."

Health group expands its food-fraud database

The U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention, a global health organization, has expanded its food-fraud database to give food manufacturers a more holistic picture of fraud and help them detect patterns of abuse over time, according to Feedstuffs.

Merger in China may create a rival to ‘ABCD’ grain giants

A Chinese government commission announced the merger of COFCO, the nation's largest food trader, with Chinatex Corp., one of the country's main textile and grain-trading groups, said China Daily. The new company will be "a bigger rival to compete with the so-called ABCD companies." The "ABCDs" are the long-time international farm export and processing companies — ADM, Bunge, Cargill and Louis Dreyfus.

‘A major part of the food business’ is hostile to GMOs, says McConnell

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he hasn't given up on passing a bill to pre-empt states from requiring special labels on food made with genetically modified organisms.