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March 18, 2016

Food industry news of the week – UK sugar tax, UK industry and Brexit, US and GMOs, France and palm oil

The UK government's plan for a tax on sugary drinks surprised the market this week - and left the food sector pondering whether it would be next for fresh intervention. Meanwhile, the country's food industry association revealed it wants the UK to stay in the EU. In France, the country's lower house passed a proposal to up the tax on palm oil. And in the US, a bill wanting federal voluntary GMO labelling was blocked in the Senate.

By Dean Best

The UK government’s plan for a tax on sugary drinks surprised the market this week – and left the food sector pondering whether it would be next for fresh intervention. Meanwhile, the country’s food industry association revealed it wants the UK to stay in the EU. In France, the country’s lower house passed a proposal to up the tax on palm oil. And in the US, a bill wanting federal voluntary GMO labelling was blocked in the Senate. Click on the headlines for the full stories.

What could surprise UK sugar drinks tax mean for food industry?

The tax has angered the soft drinks sector in the UK but, in the country’s food industry, the question on many minds was: what could this move mean for us? The UK government is scheduled later this year to announce a strategy to try to tackle rising child obesity. Ben Cooper looks at what could lay ahead.

General Mills to introduce GMO labels in US

General Mills today (18 March) announced plans to label products containing genetically modified ingredients across the US.

US Senate rejects voluntary GMO labelling bill

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.

Food and Drink Federation opposes Brexit

The UK should remain in the EU, the Food and Drink Federation, the industry association representing food and soft drink manufacturers in the country, announced today (15 March).

Nestle, Unilever sign UK pledge to cut waste by 20%

Food manufacturers and retailers operating in the UK – including Nestle, Unilever, Tesco and Asda – have signed up to cut food and drink waste in the country by a fifth in ten years.

Murray Goulburn, Mead Johnson team up on infant formula

Murray Goulburn, the Australia-based dairy co-operative, has struck a deal to supply US infant formula manufacturer Mead Johnson with nutritional powders.

Eatwell plate – new UK guidelines call for lower dairy intake

New healthy eating guidelines from Public Health England calling for a cut in dairy consumption have been called “baffling and disappointing” by representatives of the dairy industry.

French national assembly approves palm oil tax hike

France’s National Assembly has agreed to raise taxation on palm oil but, faced with protests from producing countries Indonesia and Malaysia, the amount is considerably smaller than the recommendation by the Senate, the country’s upper house, earlier this year.

Hain Celestial’s Orchard House buy set for UK competition probe

The UK competition watchdog, the Competition and Markets Authority, has launched an investigation into the impact Hain Celestial’s acquisition of Orchard House Foods will have on competition in the market.

Universal Robina eyes M&A in south-east Asia

Universal Robina Corp., the Philippines-based consumer goods group, is looking to buy assets across south-east Asia.

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