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Period: May 21, 2011 to June 18, 2011
Comment & Opinion or Companies, Organizations or Consumers or Controversies & Disputes or Deals, M&A, JVs, Licensing or Earnings Release or Finance, Economics, Tax or Innovation & New Ideas or Legal, Legislation, Regulation, Policy or Market News or Marketing & Advertising or Other or People & Personalities or Press Release or Products & Brands or Research, Studies, Advice or Supply Chain or Trends
Legal, Legislation, Regulation, Policy  

OTA Disputes The Washington Times Op-Ed ‘Rant’ Against Organic Products

The Organic Trade Organization (OTA) has called an Op-Ed piece by David Mastio in The Washington Times a "biased, inaccurate and just plain irresponsible” attack against the organic food industry. OTA claims that Mastio is using misinformation and public hysteria over the recent Escherichia coli outbreak to attack organic food producers and points out that Federal food safety rules also cover the organic products industry and no evidence exist showing organic products are more at risk of E. coli contamination than chemically produced foods. It added that organic producers also have to meet third-party standards of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Organic Program, including emphasis on sanitation in the production process.

"OTA responds to "MASTIO: Dead bodies demand organic food moratorium" in The Washington Times", Organic Trade Association, June 09, 2011

Nestlé To Launch BabyNes Capsule System Outside Switzerland In 2012

Nestlé SA plans to roll out its BabyNes infant-formula capsule system next year after initially launching it in Switzerland in May. BabyNes took over six to develop, and it costs 249 Swiss francs. Nestlé would like it to emulate the success of Nespresso, the company's single-serve capsule coffee dispensing system. Nespresso's success encouraged companies, such as Sara Lee Corp. and Ethical Coffee Co., to manufacture capsules compatible with the system. Nestlé responded by taking both to court. BabyNes machines will include a chip to prevent use of non-Nestlé capsules, with the company denying anticompetitive behavior and claiming it merely wants to ensure hygiene and safety standards are maintained.

"Nestlé to Take BabyNes Global ", The Wall Street Journal, June 07, 2011

Market News  

E. Coli Outbreak Is Hurting Produce Sales, But Effect On Organic Industry Will Be Temporary

A British analyst firm focusing on the organic industry says the recent E. coli outbreak in Europe that has killed 22 people and sickened more than two thousand others will probably have limited impact on organic devotees over the long haul. The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control traced a German farm and are analyzing 18 sprouts including bean and broccoli to determine if they’re the source of the outbreak. Amarjit Sahota, director of Organic Monitor, says sales of organic produce have taken a hit all over Europe  but he doesn’t expect the outbreak to hurt the organic industry in the long term. Organic buyers are more worried about health issues associated with traditional farming, he notes.

"E.Coli Won’t Have ‘Significant Impact’ on Organic Food Industry", Bloomberg, June 06, 2011

EFSA Asks For Current Scientific Data For Safety Assessment Of Aspartame

To determine the safety of the sweetener aspartame, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) announced it is seeking all available scientific data available on its use as a food and drink additive and tabletop sweetener. Prompted by the European Commission, the agency will conduct a full re-evaluation of aspartame to be completed in 2012. The call for data extends to September 2011 “to ensure that EFSA’s risk assessment of the safety of aspartame will be the most thorough and up-to-date yet.”  The agency wants all available scientific and technical data, whether published, unpublished or newly generated, related to the use of aspartame, a low-calorie sweetener that is about 200 times sweeter than sugar.

"EFSA launches a public call for scientific data on aspartame", EFSA, June 01, 2011

Organic Foods Buyers See Safety in Worms

Moscow Times, June 10, 2011

Supply Chain  

German Food Safety Officials Relax Warnings About EHEC Outbreak

The Robert Koch Institutes and the German government have rescinded earlier recommendations that people in the northern areas of Germany refrain from eating cucumbers, tomatoes and lettuce because of the outbreak of the rare O104:H4 strain of enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC). They  concluded that tainted bean sprouts grown on an organic farm in Northern Germany were the probable source of the deadly bacteria.They recommended  that, in addition to practicing good hygiene, people should not eat raw sprouts and should dispose of any sprouts in stock along with any food items that might have come in contact with the sprouts. The new advisory is the result of a continually declining number of hospital emergency room admissions related to the EHEC outbreak.

"Information update on EHEC outbreak", Press release, Robert Koch-Institut,, June 10, 2011

Report Decries “Cover-Up” Of Scientific Evidence That Herbicide Roundup Causes Birth Defects

A report by a group of scientists and researchers says that the chemical industry and regulatory authorities in Europe has known for decades ago that the herbicide Roundup causes birth defects in lab animals, but did not share their knowledge with the public. One of the industry studies reporting on the damaging effect of Roundup’s active ingredient glyphosate was conducted by the product’s manufacturer, Monsanto. The report says German officials knew about the harmful effects – at low doses – as long ago as 1990, and the European Commission has been aware of the problem since 2002. According to one of the authors, Claire Robinson, the report sheds light on “a thirty-year cover-up by industry and regulators” that “has certainly placed the public at risk.”

"Public kept in the dark on Roundup link with birth defects - new report", Press release, GMWatch, June 07, 2011

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