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The future of the Food Standards Agency, the UK food watchdog, dominated the headlines in the early part of the week and again brought to the fore the UK coalition’s emerging policy on food and health. The interplay between food and regulation was also brought into sharp relief with the latest proposals from the EU on GM food. Some light relief, however, came with the high-spirited AGMs held by UK retailers Sainsbury’s and Marks and Spencer.

UPDATE 3: UK: Government issues further FSA clarification
After a day of rampant speculation concerning the future of the Food Standards Agency (FSA), the UK’s Department of Health (DoH) has issued a statement in a bid to clarify the current status of the country’s independent food watchdog.

UK coalition’s vision on food and health dismays campaigners
The UK government’s intention to cancel the GBP75m (US$115.3m) social advertising campaign supporting the Change4Life programme has dismayed campaigners who remain equally concerned about the future of the Food Standards Agency, the UK’s independent food watchdog. Ben Cooper assesses reaction from industry and campaigners to the new coalition government’s emerging thinking on food and health.

EU: Brussels gives EU states right to ban GM crops
The European Commission today (13 July) formally proposed giving EU member states the right to ban or allow the cultivation of GM food on their territory.

UK: Sainsbury’s considers international expansion
Sainsbury’s, the UK retailer, today (14 July) reaffirmed plans to study possible overseas expansion.

UK: Waitrose to move all British organic products under Duchy Originals
Waitrose plans to shift all of its UK organic products into its licensed Duchy Originals brand.

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UPDATE: US: Campbell eyes M&A for “meal makers” range
Campbell Soup Co. has said it sees opportunities for M&A to add to its “meal makers” business as the US food group looks to ramp up growth in emerging markets.

In the spotlight – Carrefour at a crossroads
For Carrefour watchers, these are uncertain times. At first glance, the French retail giant’s second-quarter and half-year sales figures give rise for some optimism but, as Dean Best reports, the devil is in the detail.

GREECE: Discount giant Aldi to exit market
Discount grocery retailer Aldi is withdrawing from Greece, it was confirmed today (16 July) 

UK: Ocado slams claims of funding fears
Ocado has hit out against claims that the UK online grocery retailer needs float to stay in business. 

NETHERLANDS: Greencore to sell Dutch unit
Ireland-based food group Greencore is set to sell Dutch convenience foods business Greencore Continental to local firm Convenience Foods Europe.