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USDA's GMO move may block mandatory labels

The labelling of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in food products is a massive hot potato in the US. Not least because states like Ver...

Sustainability Watch: The US packaging challenge

The degree to which structural factors are inhibiting food companies from making faster progress on using recycled material in packaging and...

Ben Cooper | 24 Feb 2015

With a call for nutrient taxes and linking the impact of diet on the environment, the advisory committee's recommendations for the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans has been met with criticism by parts of the food industry. Ben Cooper argues the committee deserves praise.

Katy Askew | 9 May 2014

The GMO debate has again taken centre stage in the US, with Vermont becoming the first state to require the labelling of genetically modified organisms in food products.

Ben Cooper | 30 Jan 2014

Having witnessed an unprecedented level of discussion in the US over the past year or so, the labelling of genetically modified foods is set to become an even more hotly and frequently debated subject stateside in the coming year. Ben Cooper reports.

Ben Cooper | 30 Jan 2014

Resource shortage and an understanding that "good business is good business" mean that the discourse around sustainability issues have entered the mainstream and will continue to demand the spotlight in 2014. Ben Cooper examines the key themes likely to emerge in the coming year.

Latest Interviews

Katy Askew | 24 Jun 2014

Ben & Jerry's is supporting the campaign to introduce GMO labelling in the US. Unlike the majority of conventional US food manufacturers, the Unilever-owned ice cream maker is also throwing its weight behind the introduction of such legislation on a state-by-state basis. Katy Askew spoke to Ben & Jerry's social mission activism manager Chris Miller to find out more.

Ben Cooper | 29 Feb 2012

The Grocery Manufacturers Association, which represents US food companies, has just published a report highlighting achievements in environmental sustainability by its members. Ben Cooper spoke with GMA sustainability director Meghan Stasz about the initiatives and the potential for further progress.

Latest News

Katy Askew | 6 May 2016

Nestle has said it aims to reduce the amount of salt across its global portfolio and – in the US – has thrown its weight behind the introduction of government-backed salt reduction targets. 

Katy Askew | 17 Mar 2016

The US Senate has blocked a federal bill that would require the voluntary labelling of GMOs in food and thereby override state legislation demanding the mandatory labelling of GMO ingredients. 

Katy Askew | 8 Jan 2016

The US government outlined new dietary guidelines yesterday (7 October) that will inform both health care professionals, consumers and – significantly -policy decision making over the next five years. The response has – predictably – been mixed.

Hannah Abdulla | 3 Dec 2015

More than 30 US food companies including the likes of ConAgra Foods, Smucker, Kellogg and General Mills have signed up to SmartLabel technology, committing to being more transparent about the ingredients that go into their products.

Katy Askew | 27 Oct 2015

US anti-GMO campaigners have singled out General Mills for criticism as they called for increased transparency over whether products contain GMOs. 

Katy Askew | 14 Sep 2015

The US Food and Drug Administration has finalised its long-awaited new food safety rules, with a compliance deadline for larger businesses of September next year.

Dean Best | 27 Jul 2015

The US Food and Drug Administration has proposed including the percentage daily value for added sugars on the Nutrition Facts label used in the country.

Dean Best | 24 Jul 2015

The US House of Representatives has backed a bill that blocks moves to introduce mandatory labelling of food containing genetically modified ingredients.

Katy Askew | 15 Jul 2015

The Safe and Accurate Food Labelling Act, which would require the voluntary nationwide labelling of GMOs in the US, has passed the House Committee on Agriculture.

Hannah Abdulla | 11 May 2015

This week, Kellogg reported its first-quarter results and, despite sales and profits being down, CEO John Bryant said the firm was on the right track. Elsewhere, Mondelez International took steps to bolster its e-commerce efforts, announcing a tie-up with technology firm ChannelSight. Dean Foods announced it was bringing its 31 milk brands under one label, a move we analysed to find out whether it could put the dairy maker back on the road to recovery after a string of loss-making quarters. Here is the week in quotes.

Katy Askew | 28 Apr 2015

A US federal court has denied a motion from the Grocery Manufacturers Association to block the implementation of GMO labelling laws in Vermont.

Hannah Abdulla | 23 Jun 2014

This week shares dipped in both Premier Foods and ConAgra Foods after the firms said they were likely to miss earnings forecasts for their respective quarters. Elsewhere, PepsiCo and Mondelez both showed their commitment to R&D through the opening of new facilities. Danone debuted its desserts range in the US, but in the UK was in hot water with the advertising watchdog who claimed its Nutricia Growing Up Milk ad implied the health of kids that didn't consume the product would suffer. Here is the week in quotes

Hannah Abdulla | 16 Jun 2014

US food industry groups have filed a lawsuit in Vermont in a bid to overturn a new law requiring manufacturers to label products made using genetically modified ingredients.

Dean Best | 27 Feb 2014

The US government today (27 February) set out plans to change the Nutrition Facts labels on food and beverages sold in the country.

Katy Askew | 17 Jan 2014

Non-GMO Grape-Nuts Original cereal will be available in US stores this month, Post Holdings has revealed.

Katy Askew | 11 Nov 2013

Last week saw the question of whether regulators or industry should take the lead in promoting good nutrition come to the fore, when US policy makers signalled that they could be preparing a clamp-down on "unsafe" trans fats.

Katy Askew | 7 Nov 2013

The US Food and Drug Administration signalled its intention to reduce trans fats in processed foods today (7 November), when the regulator suggested artificial trans fats are "not generally recognised as safe" for use in food.

Katy Askew | 18 Sep 2013

The US debate over the labelling of genetically modified organisms took a new turn yesterday (17 September) when a campaign group filed a lawsuit alleging the Grocery Manufacturers Association is illegally concealing the identity of campaign donas in its drive to block the introduction of compulsory GMO labelling in Washington State.

Dean Best | 19 Apr 2013

Hershey will put front-of-pack nutrition labels on the front of products on sale in the US and Mexico later this year.

Michelle Russell | 7 Jan 2013

The US food industry has welcomed the publishing of two major requirements by the US Food and Drug Administration aimed at helping prevent foodborne illnesses and improve food safety.

Dean Best | 3 Dec 2012

ConAgra Foods' deal to buy US private-label group Ralcorp Holdings last week added some spice to a pedestrian year for M&A. Staying with acquisitions in the US, Hostess Brands said it had received more than 100 bids for its assets. In Europe, Dutch retailer Ahold said it would up its cost cuts, with a focus on sourcing and promos. And in the UK, leading grocers signed up to a new code of special offers.

Katy Askew | 8 Oct 2012

Kraft Foods officially completed its split into two companies last week: high-growth global snacks firm Mondelez International and Kraft Foods Group, a North American grocery powerhouse. Tesco and Sainsbury's updated the market on their first-half results, highlighting the uphill struggle facing the larger Tesco as it looks to improve its UK performance. Also in UK retail, Morrisons indicated that it is preparing to step up its drive into convenience. Meanwhile, just-food brought live coverage from the GMA/FMI Sustainability Summit in Washington DC.

Latest blogs

Dean Best | 7 Jan 2016

The US government has today (7 January) formally announced its latest dietary advice for consumers in the country - and changes to the guidelines on added sugars, cholesterol and meat jump out.

Dean Best | 28 Oct 2014

A mobile app that claims to be the "most comprehensive food-rating database available" to US consumers has raised the hackles of the country's food manufacturers.

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