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Archive for July, 2008

This InBev’s For You

Monday, July 14th, 2008

It’s official, Belgium-based InBev, owners of Stella Artois and Beck’s beers, will indeed consummate the buyout of Anheiser-Busch. Sounds like it wasn’t such a friendly takeover either, according to these articles from Bloomberg and Yahoo! News.

The vegan connection? Admittedly tenuous, but it is on the list. :)

There is, however, another acquisition that strikes closer to the hearts of our Merry Band of Vegans—that of Larabar by General Mills. In this case, the founder seems very pleased. And who can blame her? The story of how she took her dream of a healthy raw food snack bar from its inauspicious start to a multi-million dollar company is inspiring.

By the sounds of the article, I don’t think we’ve much to worry about with this one. General Mills already owns Cascadian Farms and Muir Glen, and they’ve not botched the job too much, right? Seriously though, has anyone noticed a degradation in their quality since Small Planet was purchased eight years ago?

That’s not rhetorical; I really don’t know. The only thing I have noticed is their frozen berries now come in smaller sizes (by weight) and the prices have gone up! It’s interesting too, the local health food store has decided to drop them. Something about not getting assurances regarding ingredients from China. (!?)

The Declaration Of Independence

Friday, July 4th, 2008

Happy 4th of July to my US readers! I hope you’re all out enjoying time with family, grilling up some portabello mushrooms, and sharing a watermelon and a huge salad. :)

In celebration of the historical import of this day in United States history, I put together a PDF download of the Declaration of Independence for you all. Still a powerful read 232 years later!

Speaking of our rights, and more on topic, have you heard about this? The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), way back in 1992 (it’s amazing how long these things take) had basically issued a cease-and-desist against the Native Essence Herb Company, requesting they take down information pertaining to the historical use of various herbs contained in their products.

Of course, consumer protection is very important, as can be seen from many high-profile whistle-blowing efforts, such as those of Ralph Nader and even other FTC actions. However, herein lies the rub. The “claims” on their site were just about how the herbs have been used traditionally, and the source of most of it was from government websites!

Thankfully, there are brave examples, such as the couple who owns this particular company, who don’t take these things lying down. They have sued the FTC, not so much for their own interests, but for clarification of the guidelines and indeed the scope of the agency’s authorization. It takes a lot of guts and stamina to put yourself through the kind of lengthy, open-ended litigation that often ensues, like the seven year ordeal portrayed in the documentary McLibel.

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