A perennial wheat, Kernza heads for the cereal and snack aisle
Under development for decades as an erosion-preventing perennial crop, Kernza, "a sweet, nutty-tasting new grain," is getting a big boost from General Mills, which intends to commercialize the drought-resistant crop, says the Associated Press. Kernza could appear in cereals and snack foods as early as next year, according to the foodmaker, which encourages other companies to help create a market for the food grain.
General Mills invests in bees
General Mills is teaming up with the Xerces Society, a wildlife conservation nonprofit, to help save pollinators, says The Guardian. The food manufacturer, which has contributed $4 million to other pollinator conservation projects since 2011,says it will give $2 million to the Xerces-led program to make 100,000 acres of North American farmland pollinator-friendly over the next five years.
Monsanto and other major U.S. firms tell Trump to respect Paris Agreement
More than 300 companies, including Monsanto and Unilever, called on President-elect Donald Trump, President Obama and Congress to continue U.S. participation in the Paris Agreement, reports NPR. The international treaty commits countries to lowering global climate emissions and keeping world temperature increases below two degrees beyond the pre-industrial standard.
Fifteen food companies pledge to cut food waste 50 percent
Fifteen companies, ranging from food processors to grocery and fast food chains, make up the inaugural class of "food loss and waste champions," said the EPA and USDA. The companies won the designation by agreeing to reduce food waste 50 percent by 2030, in line with an administration goal to conserve resources and to combat climate change.
More organic acres than ever in U.S.
The amount of U.S. acres in organic farmland increased 11 percent in 2016 from 2014 numbers to reach 4.1 million acres, says a report by the data-service company Mercaris. The individual number of organic farms also jumped in that period by 1,000, to 14,979. The increase is largely due to consumer demand and economics, Scott Shander, an economist at Mercaris, told Civil Eats.
CDC closes investigation of illnesses linked to flour
Federal health officials closed their investigation into foodborne illnesses linked to wheat flour milled by General Mills with a renewed warning to consumers to look for, and discard, packages of flour covered by the recall. "Consumers unaware of the recall could continue to use these recalled flour products and potentially get sick," said FDA.
Food companies agree to tackle water risks
Seven major food companies, with $124 billion in combined annual revenues, will work with growers around the world to reduce water use and pollution, said World Wildlife Fund and Ceres, a nonprofit group promoting sustainable food. The companies, Diageo, General Mills, Hain Celestial, Hormel Foods, Kellogg, PepsiCo and WhiteWave Foods, will submit detailed sustainable sourcing and water stewardship plans as part of the AgWater Challenge.
New illnesses prompt General Mills to expand flour recall for fourth time
For the fourth time since May 31, General Mills expanded its recall of flour because of illnesses linked to handling or eating uncooked flour dough and batter. The company said E. coli bacteria, which can cause food-borne illness, "has been detected in a small number of ... flour samples and some have been linked to new patient illnesses that fall outside of the previously recalled dates."
Could thrifty shoppers thwart cage-free producers?
Even though big food companies like Walmart, General Mills and McDonald’s pledged to sell only cage-free eggs, producers are growing wary of investing in cage-free housing because “those premium eggs simply are not selling well,” reports American Public Media’s Marketplace.
Dozens sickened by eating raw dough, FDA says
Dozens of people across the country have become ill by eating raw dough contaminated with a strain of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli, the FDA said. The doughs had been made with General Mills flour produced in a Kansas City, Missouri, facility.
General Mills recalls 10 million pounds of flour in food illness probe
The 10th-largest U.S. food processor, General Mills, is recalling 10 million pounds of wheat flour because it might be linked to an outbreak of food-borne illness, said NBC News. “It’s a huge recall of a item not normally linked with outbreaks of food-borne illness, but state and federal health …
As organic sales grow, so does discord within the industry
For years, organic food has been the fastest-growing segment of U.S. agriculture, with a sales total of nearly $36 billion a year at latest count. "A deepening divide" is splitting the industry and "sparking litigation and allegations that the well-known label marking foods as organic no longer assures consumers that foods are free from chemicals and other materials, or that organic meat was raised naturally," says Huffington Post.
Study pushes food companies to remove BPA from cans
Major food companies still frequently use Bisphenol A (BPA) to coat cans, says The Guardian, but a new study is helping to change that.
Impasse on GMO labeling: state pre-emption meets mandatory disclosure
A third major food company, Mars Inc., says it will put GMO labels on its products nationwide and pointed to Vermont's first-in-the-nation labeling law as the impetus.
Food industry: General Mills’ decision shows need to pre-empt states
General Mills will join Campbell Soup in alerting consumers when its products contain GMOs, but the companies are on opposite sides of the GMO-labeling issue.
General Mills to label foods containing GMOs
One of the largest US food companies, General Mills, said it will begin labeling foods that contain genetically modified ingredients.
Washington state seeks penalties against GMA in GMO lawsuit
Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson asked a court Monday to grant summary judgment and penalties for the Grocery Manufacturers Association in a suit stemming from the group's campaign against GMO labeling. GMA, a Washington D.C.-based trade association, was the largest donor to the “No on 522” campaign, which sought to block genetic labeling requirements in 2013.
Both sides in GMO labeling fight seek advocates from academia
Both Monsanto, the giant seed company, or Stonyfield Farm, the organic yogurt company, "have aggressively recruited academic researchers" to carry their banner in the tussle over labeling foods made with genetically modified organisms, says the New York Times.