October's top stories: EU rejects GMO draft law, Kraft Heinz facility review

The European Parliament rejected a draft law that enables member states to ban the sale and use of EU-approved GMO foods in their territories, and Kraft Heinz is reviewing the operations of its three facilities in New York for a possible closure, as part of its efforts to control expenses. Foodprocessing-technology.com wraps up the key headlines from October 2015.


GMO Foods-top

European Parliament rejects draft law on national ban on import of GMO foods

gmo copy

The European Parliament rejected a draft law that would allow member states to impose a restriction or ban on the sale and use of EU-approved GMO foods or feed in its territories.

The proposal was tabled by the EU Commission on 22 April.

Members states are concerned that the law might not work or may lead to reintroduction of border checks between countries that are in favour of GMOs and those that are not. They called on the Commission to put in a new proposal.

Kraft Heinz reviews operations of three New York facilities for possible closure

heinz-copy

Kraft Heinz is reviewing the operations of its three facilities in New York for a possible closure, as part of its efforts to control expenses.

The facilities manufacture Lunchables, Cool Whip and Kraft cheese products.

Around 950 employees in total are working in these facilities.

2 Sisters plans to invest £150m in poultry business

poultry-copy

2 Sisters Food Group plans to inject £150m into its poultry business in order to revolutionise the unit, a move that comes just a week after the Birmingham, UK-headquartered firm announced that it intends to invest £55m into its ready meals business.

This plan was revealed when it published its fourth quarter results that saw a dip in operating profit and sales.

During the 13 week period ending on 1 August 2015, the firm's like-for-like operating profit and sales dropped by 20.3% and 3% to £22.8M and £773.6M respectively, compared with the same period of last fiscal due to tough operating environment.

Nestle India resumes production of Maggi noodles in three facilities

Nestle India resumed production of Maggi instant noodles at three of its facilities, with the product expected to hit store shelves following clearance from food testing laboratories, as mandated by the Bombay High Court.

The firm intends to relaunch the product into the Indian market by November, reported First Post, citing a spokesperson of the Switzerland-based food group.

The spokesperson told the publication: "We have resumed manufacturing of Maggi Noodles at three of our plants, at Nanjangud (Karnataka), Moga (Punjab) and Bicholim (Goa)."

Consumption of red meat and processed meat causes cancer, WHO report

red meat- copy

Consumption of red and processed meat can cause cancer in humans, according to the cancer agency of the World Health Organization, International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which evaluated the carcinogenicity of the meats.

These findings could bolster the argument for a plant-based diet.

The French-based cancer agency classified processed meat products, such as hot dogs, ham, sausages, corned beef, biltong or beef jerky, canned meat and meat-based preparations and sauces under Group 1, a list that indicates that there is enough proof of risk of cancer, and currently includes tobacco, diesel fumes and asbestos.

Kerry Group acquires three US businesses for $735m

The Tralee-based Kerry Group acquired three US businesses, Red Arrow Products, Island Oasis, and Wellmune, for a total amount of $735m, as part of its strategy to boost its core ingredients and flavours business, and expand its presence in the nutritional solutions segment.

The transaction was funded by Kerry's existing credit lines.

Each of these companies is considered a leading player in the ingredients sector. Red Arrow Products supplies natural smoke and savoury grill flavours to several food companies, Island Oasis offers cocktail mixes and customised beverage solutions, and Wellmune produces and markets functional nutritional ingredients.

PepsiCo opens China's first Quaker Oats facility

PepsiCo opened China's first Quaker Oats manufacturing facility, as part of its strategy to expand its nutrition business in the Asian country.

Located in the Daxing district of Beijing, the new plant has a production area of 30,000m2 and an annual production capacity of up to 50,000t.

The facility, expected to create 150 direct jobs and thousands of jobs indirectly, will provide Chinese consumers with healthy food products.

Canada lifts 19-year import ban on EU beef

Canada has lifted a 19-year ban on beef imports from the 19 member states of the European Union.

In 1996, the North American country imposed an import ban following the bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow disease, scandal.

The European Commission stated that Canada's move indicates the positive measures the European Union has taken to eradicate mad cow disease.