Monthly Archives: December 2010
Canada's Federal Health Minister, Leona Aglukkaq, recently announced the new warning label requirements for cigarette packaging. The labels will be more graphic, take up 75 percent of the pack and include the phone number to a anti-smoking hotline.
The graphic images appearing on the labels will be of Barb Tarbox, emaciated and on her death-bed. Tarbox died in 2003 of lung cancer and her image was captured by Edmonton Journal photojournalist, Greg Southam. The caption by her image reads, "This is what dying of lung cancer looks like. Barb Tarbox died at 42 of lung cancer caused by smoking."
According to Tarbox's family and Southam, she would be pleased with Canada's decision to use her image.
"In fact, I know exactly what she would say," said Southam to the source.
"Her favorite expression was, 'Phenomenal.' She would really mean it now. It took way too long for this to happen, but they've made the right decision," he added.
Yum! Brands, the parent company of KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and Long John Silver's fast food chains, has announced its global packaging sustainability strategy, which focuses on reducing and recycling, in its 2010 Corporate Social Responsibility Report.
"Our commitment to corporate social responsibility is helping us achieve our vision of building The Defining Global Company that Feeds the World," David Novak, chairman and CEO of Yum! Brands, said to Packaging Digest.
"We believe that our strongest impact and contribution to sustainability lies in the critical parts of our business, the success and diversity of our associates, feeding people, health and nutrition, our supply chain, the environment and community development," he added.
The company outlined its sustainability in the report, citing that its U.S. brands use napkins made from 100 percent recycled content and have molded fiber drink cup carriers.
Over the last year, KFC became the first fast-food restaurant to introduce a reusable food container. In the new year, KFC plans to reduce its foam packaging by 62 percent and its total plastic use by 17 percent.
Fiji will implement laws in the new year to make sure that food products imported into the country do not have labels bearing foreign languages.
According to the website Fijivillage News, the Ministry of Health issued instructions to all manufacturers and retailers requiring them to remove any labels that had instructions in foreign languages from their shelves. Because of the language barrier, consumers are unable to read important information such as expiration dates and product ingredients.
The issue should have been resolved years ago, said Aiyaz Sayed-Khiayum, Attorney General and Minister for Trade in Fiji, to the source. He also confirmed that the Ministry of Health is looking into the current regulations and will be amending them in order to stop the importation of items bearing foreign labels.
In addition to food items, the source reported that it had found household items, such as cooking appliances and electrical appliances, that had labels with instructions written in foreign languages, potentially leaving consumers misinformed on how to properly operate them.
Citizens in Lincolnshire, England, recently took supermarket chain Sainsbury's to court for the "excessive packaging" of its high-priced and overly packaged premium cuts of meat.
According to The New York Times, the Lincolnshire County Council sued the chain for packing its Taste the Difference Slow Matured Ultimate Beef Roasting Joint in layers of plastic, cardboard and Styrofoam. At nearly $9 per pound the cut is considered a luxury item and sold plastic-wrapped on a PET tray, under a clear plastic cover and wrapped in a cardboard sleeve.
All the excess packaging violated British regulations that first went into effect in 2003 in an attempt to reduce landfill waste. Rules were strengthened two years ago, requiring manufacturers to keep packaging to a minimum for "products' safety, hygiene and consumer acceptance," according to the source.
Two days before the court date, the council dropped the case because the grocery store had responded by reducing its packaging by more than half.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has instituted a new rule that will require the labels of 40 of the most common cuts of meat to disclose nutritional information.
Beginning January 1, 2012, labels on common cuts of poultry, pork, beef and lamb will now inform consumers of a product's number of calories, calories from fat, total grams of fat and saturated fat. The labels will also include information about protein, cholesterol, sodium and vitamins in the meat, The Los Angeles Times reported.
"We need to do all we can to provide nutrition labels that will help consumers make informed decisions," said Tom Vilsack, Agriculture Secretary, to Bloomberg.
Included in the requirement are raw, single-ingredient meat and poultry such as whole or boneless chicken breasts and beef cuts such as brisket, tenderloin and hamburger.
The new rule is being implemented to help Americans make healthier, more informed decisions regarding the meat they purchase. Much of the decision comes as a result of consumer advocates' and lawmakers' fight against obesity.
Berri Australian Fresh juice is renaming and rebranding itself to Australian Grown after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission raised issue with the product's fresh squeezed juice being mixed with juice that had been kept in cold storage for up to one year.
"Some consumers may be prepared to pay a premium for fresh products," said Graeme Samuel, chairman of the ACCC, to the source.
"Companies wanting to take advantage of consumer preference for fresh products have to be very careful that they do not make misleading claims," he added.
National Foods Limited, which manufactures the juice, claimed that the cold stored juice made up only a small amount of the Australian Fresh product. It noted that the cold stored juice was preservative and additive free and, on average, was used within six months despite the 12-month shelf-life. All apple juice was fresh.
The brand will stop supplying the Australian Fresh products and change its labeling by March 14, 2011.
To promote healthier diets among citizens in the Philippines, a recent piece of legislation is pushing a bill that would require food manufacturers and distributors to clearly place nutrition facts on their products' labels.
Not only would the effort help promote health consciousness among consumers, it would keep consumers aware of those foods that contain ingredients that are beneficial or hazardous to their health, according to the website Top News.
Camarines Sur Representative Diosdado Arroyo and his mother Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo are pushing the House Bill 1469, or the Nutrition Act of 2010, which was absent before the effort.
The bill requires that "a commodity bear a label specifying the identity of the commodity, as well as the name and place of business of the manufacturer, packer or distributor," according to The Inquirer.
Additionally, "it requires a separate label that contains information on the number of servings or other units, total number of calories, and any vitamin, mineral or other nutrient to assist consumers in 'maintaining healthy dietary practices,'" the source added.
To help reduce theft on the slopes, Park City, Utah, ski resorts are pushing for ski gear to be registered and labeled with red stickers by the city police ski registry.
Since instituting the policy two years ago, the make, model and registration number of some 2,000 skis and snowboards have been documented with officials, and no registered gear has been reported stolen, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.
"The chances of recovering [unregistered gear is] next to nothing."said Wade Carpenter, Park City Police Chief, to the source.
Registered equipment bear a two-square-inch metallic label reading "Park City Police" and an identification number, according to The Standard-Examiner. Out-of-state visitors and tourists are encouraged to register their gear, in addition to regular in-state skiers.
According to The Salt Lake Tribune, the 2,000 skis and snowboards that are registered stand to be only a small amount of gear in the snow-heavy state. Other ski towns are looking to Park City, The Standard-Examiner reported, to learn how to implement their own registration systems.
In response to Japanese consumer's complaints about the iPhone 4's lack of near-field communication technology, Japanese wireless carrier Softbank has released an NFC sticker designed specifically for the phone.
"Once the sticker/card is charged with e-money, users can tap their iPhone on card readers installed in train stations, convenience stores and other places in Japan to make offline payments," wrote Serkan Toto on Mobile Crunch.
According to the source, the iPhone 4 is one of the few Japanese phones without NFC technology.
Although marketed as a sticker, the label itself covers the majority of the back of the iPhone, but is thin enough for owners to continue to use an Apple Bumper cover, the website 9 to 5 Mac reported. It will not cover the phone's camera area, either. The stickers will be available in Japan in February for approximately $36 a piece.
The stickers do not actually interact with the phone, but instead act as a "NFC terminal," according to website Mac Rumors. The technology is being launched first in Japan because of the strong adoption rate the country has seen with the technology.