Subway Comes Clean on Chemical In Breads After Activist Outcry

Posted by Dale Buss on February 6, 2014 04:57 PM

Conscious of the concerns of food activists, Subway said that it plans to remove a chemical from its breads that raised the ire of a food blogger. It's the latest health-conscious step by a chain that recently engaged Michelle Obama in a promotion for its new initiative to get kids to put veggies on Subway sandwiches.

In a bid to be more transparent and better keep to its "Eat Fresh" mantra, the largest fast-food chain said it is taking out a chemical known as Azodiacarbonamide from its sandwich breads. Vani Hari, who runs the site, has criticized its presence because of the substance's other industrial uses and because it is banned in the UK, Europe and Australia.

Subway has used the ingredient as a "bread conditioner" which adds elasticity and whitens the dough. The chemical, though, is especially damning in the food industry because of its other broad uses in plastics, rubber and synthetic leather production.Continue reading...

brands under fire

Greenpeace Goes After Coca-Cola in Ongoing Recycling Battle in Australia

Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 10, 2013 03:47 PM

Greenpeace is targeting Coca-Cola in its latest campaign, a crowd-funded TV ad that is a call-to-action for Australia’s "Cash for Containers" recycling program, which they say the giant bottler has sabotaged. “Behind Coke’s slogans and sunshine, the beverage giant is trashing Australia,” said Reece Turner, senior campaigner at Greenpeace Australia Pacific. 

In March, Coca-Cola won its court case to stop a recycling refund scheme in the Northern Territory—a program that doubled recycling rates and has run successfully in South Australia for more than 30 years, according to Greenpeace. The program added 10 cents to retail prices for manufacturers like Coke, but consumers would get a refund for recycling the containers in appropriate bins. 

Clean Up Australia estimates that Australians use between 13 to 14 billion drinks containers a year and that 45 percent of the plastic waste that is collected on Clean Up Australia Day is beverage industry-related. “This loose rubbish is estimated to affect up to 65 percent of Australian seabirds. Some mistake the plastic for food. When they swallow too much, their tiny stomachs become so full they're unable to ingest any food—literally starving to death on a full stomach,” according to Greenpeace.Continue reading...

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McDonald's Faces Heat Over London Olympics, Hospital Franchises

Posted by Dale Buss on April 16, 2012 06:05 PM

You're running McDonald's and you're the world's most successful fast-food chain, growing lately all over the world. That would seem to indicate an ever-expanding (no pun intended) audience of consumers worldwide who want to partake of your burgers, fries, salads and smoothies — right?

Yet across the United States and halfway across the world, more folks seem to be falling all over themselves demanding that McDonald's stay as far away from them as possible. Blame an obesity fixation.

In the U.K., for example, a leading medical academic (acamedic? or in this case, activist-medic) is calling McDonald's "unhelpful" for being a leading sponsor of the London Olympics this summer, along with another "unhelpful" corporate ogre, that Coca-Cola Company.Continue reading...


Apple Foxconn Fallout: "The goal should not be raising the standards of Foxconn"

Posted by Abe Sauer on April 3, 2012 10:01 AM

A little anecdote from the booming Chinese port city of Dalian will tell you two different (but equally important) things about Apple's popularity in mainland China and what the brand is going through there.

It seems that the security detail from Mall 1 showed up at Mall 2 to "send a message." That message was communicated when Mall 1's security guards arrived at Mall 2 and knocked down billboards advertising the soon-to-open Apple store. That Apple store, set to the world's largest, will soon open at Parkland Mall. The mall is high-end and home to numerous foreign luxury brands. In fact, a close look at the video of the brouhaha, above, reveals it was shot from a Starbucks patio. (Starbucks, by the way, is plowing its way through China lately, too.)

And all this during a week when Apple CEO Tim Cook visited China, from the Foxconn factory floor to the vice premier, and the March 29th report on Foxconn seemed to make all Apple's Foxconn woes disappear.Continue reading...

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Daisey Chain: Apple Foxconn Critic Took "Shortcuts" With Truth

Posted by Abe Sauer on March 16, 2012 02:18 PM

Did Apple just get its biggest break ever in its ongoing PR crisis over its Chinese manufacturing partner Foxconn? It turns out that one the most vocal, most popular critics of Apple's China-side manufacturing arrangements manufactured details of his visits to those very factories.

Marketplace look into the claims made by Mike Daisey—the former Mac fanboy turned Apple China labor critic and performer of the popular one-man monologue "The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs"—reveals numerous inaccuracies between story and truth.

Daisey's detailed stories of meeting teenage and poisoned workers outside the Foxconn plants have been shared and traded around the globe. TechCrunch, HuffPo, HBO's Bill Maher, all retold Daisey's story as fact. As did we.Continue reading...

corporate citizenship

Amazon Harpooned Over Whale Meat Sales on Japanese Site

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 21, 2012 05:09 PM, ranked at #9 among U.S. retail brands on Interbrand's new Best Retail Brands report, has found itself in hot water with environmentalists.

The Seattle-based company “allows” (or at least has turned a blind eye to) its Japanese website to "traffic in whale and dolphin products,” according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

Whaling has been illegal since 1982. Britain's the Mirror states that “animal rights groups found 147 illegal items advertised including whale curry, whale bacon, whale stew and tinned whale hamburger” on the site. That's right: whale burgers.Continue reading...

corporate citizenship

McDonald's Responds to Critics with Pork-Raising Move

Posted by Dale Buss on February 14, 2012 04:01 PM

McDonald's is taking another step to mollify critics as it agrees to push its pork suppliers to stop confining sows in small pens. These "gestation stalls," as explained above, are "not a sustainable production system," the chain said, and there are alternatives that "are better for the welfare of sows."

The move is the latest by McDonald's to engage some of its many critics, demonstrate concern about issues such as animal welfare where it's deemed possible for the business, and make some changes. Recently, for example, McDonald's decided to stop using ammonium hydroxide in its burgers after celebrity chef Jamie Oliver criticized the use of the filler ingredient as "not fit for a dog."

McDonald's announced its move in conjunction with the Humane Society of the U.S. The stalls confine adult female hogs whose offspring are raised and slaughtered for bacon and sausage, giving the sows enough room only to stand up and sit down. They're among the practices criticized by Chipotle on Sunday in its lengthy ad during the Grammy music awards.Continue reading...

corporate citizenship

McDonald's Responds to Animal Welfare Concerns with Temple Grandin Video

Posted by Shirley Brady on February 6, 2012 07:27 PM

McDonald's USA released a video today addressing its animal welfare practices and standards, following animal rights and food activists' complaints over its poultry contractor compliance and food sourcing. The outcry over farm practices has also drawn celebrities including Ryan Gosling and Jamie Oliver to lobby the quick-serve food giant to lead the fast food industry by raising the bar on ethical food practices, while the restaurant chain defends its sustainable supply chain policies.

Discussing the issues in a new video above: Todd Bacon, McDonald's USA Senior Director of Quality Systems, suppliers (a group that McDonald's has been featuring in its farm-to-front-counter advertising campaign) and animal welfare experts incuding Dr. Temple Grandin, the well-known animal behaviorist who is a member of the chain's Animal Welfare Council. Watch the video and weigh in with a comment below.

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