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[email protected]: 'Certified cocoa' uses child labor, harms forests | Amazon ships expired food

[email protected]: 'Certified cocoa' uses child labor, harms forests | Amazon ships expired food

Each day at 5 p.m. we collect the five top food and supplement headlines of the day, making it easy for you to catch up on today's most important natural products industry news.

Chocolate companies sell ‘certified cocoa,’ but some of those farms use child labor, harm forests

Emerging research and interviews are tarnishing the reputation of the leading organization responsible for policing standards in the global cocoa industry, a Dutch organization called Utz. Mars, Nestle, Hershey and other leading chocolate companies have essentially been duping consumers by relying on Utz’s subpar auditing of cocoa production facilities. Reports from former employees say that auditors are occasionally bribed or threatened with violence, and investigations of several cocoa villages in the Ivory Coast showed little evidence of their being kept up to standard by Utz. Read more at The Washington Post

Amazon is shipping expired food, from baby formula to old beef jerky, scaring consumers and putting big brands at risk

Food sellers on Amazon currently account for 58% of merchandise sold, but Amazon Marketplace’s recent tendency to ship expired food products is driving away consumers. Experts blame loopholes in Amazon’s technology and logistics system for the missteps, and consumer safety advocates only expect the problem to worsen as the platform grows. Read more at CNBC

Diversifying crops is good for the planet. But can it be good for farmers’ wallets?

The Sustainable Food Lab and the Practical Farmers of Iowa are collaborating with companies such as PepsiCo and Target to promote sustainable farming practices, such as water conservation and crop diversification. But the time and money, not to mention the education, that farmers must invest in these eco-friendly projects is proving to be a serious barrier to widespread adoption. Read more at NPR

Waiting on the Cosmic Crisp apple drop

The Cosmic Crisp apple is slated to reach shelves beginning Dec. 1, and its marketing platform has been robust and active in the past few months. However, the GMO apple that “the world has been waiting for” faces an oversaturated market and established consumer preferences; if it can live up to all that U.S. farmers hope it will be remains to be seen. Read more at Eater

By 2025, 43M children under the age of 5 will be overweight

Childhood obesity is skyrocketing—the proportion of children between the ages of 5 and 19 who are overweight almost doubled from 2000 to 2016 according to a recent report from UNICEF. The organization attributes this in part to an increase in globalization of commerce, as multinational food companies can now target and market to a bigger audience than ever before. Read more at New Food Economy

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