Each week, Just Food’s journalists select tweets that summarise the social media buzz in our sector, underpinned by GlobalData’s analytics.

These social media signals help us understand sentiment for brands and the themes driving conversations on social platforms. This new, thematic coverage is driven by our underlying Disruptor data, which tracks all major deals, patents, company filings, hiring patterns and social media buzz across our sectors.

UK government announces packaging fees delay

The UK’s Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) this week said it had decided to defer its extended producer responsibility (EPR) scheme for packaging by one year.

The scheme would ensure manufacturers pay the cost of recycling their packaging.

The deadline has been pushed from October 2024 to October 2025, a move, according to Defra, taken together with the UK’s devolved administrations.

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By GlobalData

However, the delay was criticised by recycling firms and campaigners.

US consumer watchdog slams regulator packaging decision

US non-profit The Center for Science in the Public Interest rebuked a decision on chemicals it says leach into food and drinks.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) denied a petition requesting the agency reconsider its denial of a citizen petition issued in May 2022. The citizen petition requested a ban on the use of eight ortho-phthalates and a revocation of the prior sanctioned uses for five ortho-phthalates in food based on alleged safety concerns.

“We evaluated the reconsideration petition and concluded that it does not provide a basis for modifying the FDA’s response to the original citizen petition. Our response explains that we adequately considered relevant information and views contained in the administrative record when responding to the original citizen petition,” the FDA said.

The CSPI describes phthalates as “a class of toxic chemicals” used in food packaging and food production equipment.

It argues there is “mounting scientific evidence that phthalates in food cause serious health harm”.

The FDA currently allows nine phthalates in food contact applications (eight for use as plasticizers and one for use as a monomer) in the production of food contact polymers. Phthalates are not authorised to be directly added to food.

Canada data shines light on food industry margins

Profits in the food sector have been under scrutiny across markets – and have sparked fierce debate. This week, Dr. Sylvain Charlebois, director of the Agri-Food Analytics Lab at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, a frequent commentator on food-industry issues in Canada, pointed to fresh data from the Canadian government on sector margins. His tweet, unsurprisingly, attracted a mix of responses.