A federal judge put the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on the spot recently, asking the agency to decide whether genetically modified organisms (GMOs) can be present in food products labeled “natural.” The request from U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzales Rogers put on hold a class action suit against Gruma Corp., which markets tortillas and other products under the Mission brand name.
Phoenix, AZ—Sprouts Farmers Market, which operates over 150 stores and was the 2013 WholeFoods Retailer of the Year, officially set the terms of its initial public offering on the NASDAQ stock exchange. The company seeks to pay down $247.6 million in debt and other costs through the sale of 18.5 million shares, at prices ranging from $14–$16. The fully diluted market capitalization of the company at the midpoint of this price range would be $2.3 billion, according to the NASDAQ Web site.
Washington, D.C.—The Non-GMO Project Verified label, which has become more pervasive in recent months, has been approved for meat and liquid egg products by the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), a branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). It becomes the first non-genetically modified organism (non-GMO) label claim to be approved by USDA.
Minneapolis, MN—Furthering the trend of big-box retailers entering the rapidly growing natural and organic foods market, Target Corp. has begun to roll out a store brand of organic and natural foods called Simply Balanced. The first products in the line include drinks and snacks, but the retailer has plans to expand it to more than 250 products over the next several months.
Patna, India—The deaths of at least 22 schoolchildren in a rural Indian village were found by autopsies to be caused by toxic pesticide residue on a midday meal they were served, the Associated Press reported.
The 59th Summer Fancy Food Show, touted by organizers as presenting 180,000 specialty foods and beverages from 2,400 exhibitors hailing from over 80 countries, took place June 30-July 2, 2013, at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Manhattan. The show, hosted by the Specialty Food Association, moved back to New York City after being held in Washington, D.C., in recent years.
Broomfield, CO—Ending a process that began in late 2012 with an IPO that raised $368 million, WhiteWave Foods Company has finished its spin-off from parent company Dean Foods. WhiteWave is itself owner of the brands Silk Soymilk, Horizon Organic, International Delight and Alpro, among others.