Food Roundup: Beverage-Free Cadbury, Phelps-Free Kellogg, WTO Complaints, and More

Last Updated Mar 12, 2009 8:33 PM EDT

Cadbury done with drink market -- Cadbury is selling Schweppes in Australia, the last of its beverage holdings, to Japanese brewer Asahi for $767 million. The two companies reached a conditional agreement in December, but the Coca-Cola Company still had the right to negotiate with Cadbury over any potential sale. Coca-Cola confirmed it will not exercise that right, allowing the deal to become official. [Sources: AP, MarketWatch]

Kellogg donates Phelps cereal to food bank -- Kellogg gave a San Francisco food shelf two tons of cereal, all of it in boxes featuring Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps. Last month, Kellogg made a show of refusing to renew its contract with Phelps after pictures emerged of the athlete smoking marijuana. This sparked a boycott among pot-smokers, and apparently created a market on eBay for Phelps cereal boxes. [Sources: NPR, So Good]

China to challenge U.S. poultry ban -- The country plans to file a complaint with the World Trade Organization arguing that the U.S. ban on poultry imports from China is "discriminatory and protectionist." The ban was implemented in 2004 amid outbreaks of avian influenza, and China also stopped importing poultry from the U.S. But China has since rescinded the ban, whereas the U.S. has not, even though China has upped its food safety standards for poultry. [Source: Meat&Poultry]

Mexico says dolphin-safe label discriminates -- The WTO will consider a complaint by Mexico against U.S. dolphin-safe tuna labeling. Mexico does not produce any tuna that meets the requirements for dolphin-safe labeling, but it says its methods are sustainable and comply with international standards. According to the complaint, dolphin-safe labeling creates "unnecessary obstacles to trade" and its objective could be "addressed in a less trade-restrictive manner." [Sources: ICTSD, International Economic Law and Policy Blog]

Starbucks, Dunkin' Donuts calorie listings flawed -- New York station WCBS-TV found that menu items at local Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts chains had more calories than reported. New York City requires larger chains to include nutrition information on their menus, and its 2008 law has inspired similar legislation across the country. In response to the report, Starbucks temporarily pulled from its menu one of the items cited, and Dunkin' Donuts said it is also addressing the issue. [Source: Nation's Restaurant News]

Coffee taster's tongue worth millions -- London-based Costa Coffee has insured the tongue of its chief coffee taster for nearly $14 million. Gennaro Pelliccia personally tastes every batch of the company's coffee and has 18 years of experience. The insurer said Pelliccia's tongue is as important as the legs of a dancer or the vocal chords of a singer. [Source: BBC]

  • Katherine Glover