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.

Soda industry spent $67 million fighting taxes, labels since 2009

The consumer group Center for Science in the Public Interest says the two major U.S. soft-drink bottlers, Coca-Cola and Pepsi, and the trade group American Beverage Association "have spent a minimum of $67 million since 2009 to defeat soda taxes and warning labels in 19 cities and states." Four cities will vote on local soda taxes on Nov. 8, and there are published reports in Chicago that the president of the Cook County Board is looking at a tax on sugary beverages.

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.

Lawsuit says ‘100% natural’ Quaker Oats laced with glyphosate

A lawsuit filed over the weekend on behalf of consumers in California and New York accuses PepsiCo of wrongfully labeling its Quaker Oats brand “100% natural” after small amounts of the pesticide glyphosate (commonly sold as RoundUp) were detected in some oatmeal, reports The New York Times.

Companies join White House on climate pledge

Thirteen of the largest U.S. companies "are joining President Obama" to push "a slew of policies meant to curb the effects of climate change," said The Hill newspaper.

PepsiCo lobbyist is named staff director for Senate Ag panel

Senate Agriculture chairman Pat Roberts named Joel Leftwich, a lobbyist for PepsiCo, as the committee's staff director and selected one of his Senate aides, Wayne Stoskopf, as a committee staff member, said a committee statement.

Soda makers vow to cut calories in beverage sales

The major U.S. soda companies set a goal to reduce by 20 percent the calories that each American consumes in beverages by 2025. Coca-Cola, Dr Pepper and Pepsi joined the American Heart Association and the Clinton Foundation in the initiative, said the American Beverage Association. It will promote smaller serving sizes and consumption of water or other no- or low-calorie drinks. The ABA said the project "is the single-largest voluntary effort by an industry to fight obesity."

Foodmakers cut trillions of calories from their products

Sixteen major food and beverage companies sold 6.4 trillion fewer calories in 2012 than they did in 2007, says the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which paid for an independent evaluation of sales. The companies had pledged to cut 1 trillion calories by 2012 and 1.5 trillion calories by 2015. In total, the companies sold products containing 60.4 trillion calories in 2007.

Russia bans ag and food imports from the West

President Vladimir Putin issued a decree that bans or reduces for one year imports of food and agricultural products from countries that have imposed sanctions on Russia in the crisis over Ukraine. "The Kremlin decree doesn't specify which items will be affected," said the BBC.