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Meat-free Monday? Not if you want a quiet week

Consumption patterns are quickly shifting towards fewer livestock products. The food industry is moving with the times and politicians looking for votes should do the same, says David Burrows.

Will the free-range egg industry crack under the strain of avian flu?

The global spread of the highly pathogenic avian flu (HPAI) has set the cat among the pigeons in the free-range egg industry.

Good time to push sustainability schemes

Can voluntary certification schemes really play a “crucial role” in the food sector's progress towards 2030 Sustainable Development Goals? Maybe, but they have to keep up with the pioneers, says David Burrows.

What are the sustainable scores on the board? Who cares?

Hardly a week goes by without a scorecard on sustainable sourcing, an index on environmental performance or new rankings for ethical business practices. There’s little doubt these have made a few businesses buck up in the face of adverse publicity but I have a feeling that many of these assessments have become redundant.

Can ‘happy’ pizza make sad days go away?

Food marketers claim pizza and puppies can bring happiness, but bad marketing and dodgy pseudoscience won't make the January blues go away.

A cheese by any other name: Let plant-based alternatives use traditional dairy terms

Why call something 'vegan cheese' when you could call it 'a plant-derived, oil-based dairy analog'? How about because it is vegan cheese. It's time for the dairy lobby to see plant-based alternatives as complementary rather than competitive.

What now for climate change & food?

The climate change agreement struck in Paris a year ago entered into force on Friday. Some 55 countries representing 55% of global greenhouse gas emissions have ratified the accord and all of them, including the EU, China, India and the US, now have an obligation to keep global warming in check.

Obesity plan 'dismantling' leaves bare bones of a strategy

Details of the UK’s childhood obesity plan as it stood in June – back when David Cameron was Prime Minister and the UK was still debating whether to stay in or leave the EU - were this week revealed on British current affairs programme Dispatches.

Brexit bites: Marmite maul will spread far beyond Unilever-Tesco

The spat between Marmite-maker Unilever and supermarket Tesco has made many of the front pages in the UK this morning, but this spreads much further than these two gorillas of the world’s grocery industry. SMEs could be hardest hit. 

Kids' 'healthy food' response and parents' influence overlooked in obesity prevention

A study by Cancer Research UK has found … wait for it … kids like sweets, crisps and fast food. The adverts for these products are also far too funny, addictive and tempting, so they should be banned before 9pm. 

Caffeine claim calamity should give nutrient profiles wings

The European Commission has started the first phase of its investigation into the need for nutrient profiles, with a report expected in spring 2017. Yet with the caffeine claim fiasco ongoing, it’s never been clearer how necessary the profiles are.

Gulfood: Big, noisy, and very intense

Gulfood’s record numbers and fever-pitch atmosphere only tell part of the show’s story – beneath the noise, the exhibition is becoming increasingly important.

Legally defining sustainability: Edible palm oil must follow in biofuel footsteps

Voluntary measures and government targets are great – but it is legislation that will push European palm oil users to true sustainability. The food sector could learn a lesson or two from biofuel here.

Processed meat and cancer: Let's cut the nonsense

After reviewing years of research that had suggested a link, yesterday the WHO classified processed meat as carcinogenic. Cue sensationalist headlines and huge industry backlash against these ‘obviously biased claims’. Can both sides please cut the nonsense?

Protein: Maybe it’s not just about what’s trendy, but what’s needed

Protein is one of the hottest ingredients in food and nutrition currently, but maybe we should focus more attention on developing protein-rich products for those who actually need more protein.

Let’s stop talking about ‘sin taxes’ as if they are the saviour of mankind

Stop talking about food taxes like they are some sort of panacea that will alter consumer behaviours overnight, and magically eliminate obesity and diabetes. They won’t.

Obesity: Are food taxes the answer?

Food taxes were raised again last week as a way to help stem obesity rates – but are they really necessary? And would they work?

First things first Europe: Set pan-EU max limit for caffeine

Europe must push for united mandatory upper caffeine limits for all products with added caffeine if it is to counter current member state disparity. 

Naturally opposed? Balancing new technologies with consumer perceptions

New technologies are vital to the future growth of the food and nutrition industry, but their future success depends on much more than the science behind them.

Is the tide turning on hunger this World Food Day?

The number of hungry people in the world fell by more than 100 million over the last decade – so is this World Food Day a time to rejoice?

Confusion reigns over EU labelling legislation

Draft guidance on the Food Information for Consumers Regulation 2014 was issued by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) last month.

Weighing up the responsibility: Should obesity be classed as a disability?

If the European Court redefines obesity as a disability, the rules of responsibility could shift horribly away from the parties involved - including the food industry.   

Halal: Out of certification chaos comes criticism (and Islamophobia?)

The sensationalist media coverage around so called ‘stealth halal’ is only fuelled by the lack of certification harmonisation, Food Navigator’s Annie-Rose Harrison-Dunn argues.

Smoke signals: Sugar industry needs to embrace moderation (like the rest of us)

Sugar is not like tobacco. So why does the sugar industry keep borrowing tobacco industry terms?

What do the eco heretics mean for GM golden rice?

Dr Patrick Moore – Greenpeace founding member and GM defector – represents a fear that lurks in the heart of all ideologists: Am I on the right side of the fence? Am I the goodie or the baddie? 

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