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May 12, 2013

Fifth Expo Gastronomía finishes in Caracas

Fifth Expo Gastronomía finishes in Caracas

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Sunday, May 12, 2013

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The event was held for the first time in the Plaza Francia in Altamira , Caracas.
Image: Paulino Morán/Flickr.

Caracas, Venezuela — The fifth edition of the Expo Gastronomía food event finished its run yesterday in Caracas at the Plaza Francia in Altamira. It was the first time the event was held at this particular location. Starting on Thursday, it was the first edition of the event to be held in 2013, and was organized by Carlos Garcia and Yolanda Martin.

In its fifth version, the exhibition organizers estimated to receive between 10,000 and 13,000 people to the event, which had nine pavilions representing eight countries around the world. The exhibitors were divided into four categories: typical food of the country they represent, handicrafts, gastronomy (comprised of cooking books and products, and metalwork((es))), and hotel businesses and tourism.

The event was sponsored by Coca-Cola, La Granja, Oroweat, G2000 Events, CGYM Group, and the Chacao Mayor’s Office. In addition, the food company Cosecha San José participated as one of the exhibitors. According to organizers, the sixth edition of the event is planned for later this year.

The festival first took place on April 2011, with a attendance of around 3,000 people. On that occasion, eight countries participated in the event.

Expo Gastronomía, V Edición, Altamira - Mayo 2013 1.jpg Expo Gastronomía, V Edición, Altamira - Mayo 2013 5.jpg
Expo Gastronomía, V Edición, Altamira - Mayo 2013 3.jpg Expo Gastronomía, V Edición, Altamira - Mayo 2013 4.jpg
Expo Gastronomía
Image: Hahc21.



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June 17, 2009

Diet Coke advert featuring singer Duffy cleared by advertising watchdog

Diet Coke advert featuring singer Duffy cleared by advertising watchdog

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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Duffy performing live
Image: Jim Porter.

A new television advert for Diet Coke featuring singer Duffy has been cleared by the Advertising Standards Authority in the United Kingdom after they received twenty two complaints.

The advert depicts Duffy cycling through a supermarket during a concert she was performing in. Eighteen viewers complained because she was not wearing reflective clothing and her bicycle had no lights. Four other viewers complained because they believed children could copy her actions.

ASA upheld Coca Cola’s argument that the ad was supposed to reflect Duffy’s fantasy and her escape from the pressures of celebrity and that children would realise cycling around a supermarket was not a realistic idea.



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June 11, 2009

Venezuela bans Coke Zero over unspecified health problems

Venezuela bans Coke Zero over unspecified health problems

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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Coca-Cola Zero

Coke Zero, a product of the Coca-Cola Company has been banned in Venezuela by the government. Jesús Mantilla, the health minister for Venezuela stated the ban is to preserve the health of Venezuelans but did not specify what problems could be caused with consuming Coke Zero. Coca-Cola agreed to abide by the ban but claimed that Coke Zero contained no harmful ingredients.

“Coca Cola Zero is made under the highest quality standards around the world and meets the sanitary requirements demanded by the laws of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela,” said Coca Cola in a statement.

Coke Zero, which was first sold in 2005 in the United States, was launched in Venezuela in April and Coca-Cola Femsa, the Mexican company who bottles the drink, hoped to increase the market share for low calorie drinks by up to 200 percent. Coke Zero contains no sugar and was created to be an alternative to Coca-Cola Classic.

Venezuela is currently in the process of nationalizing much of its economy. Earlier in the year the government seized a rice mill and a pasta factory owned by American food production company, Cargill. Legal action has also been threatened against pharmaceutical company Pfizer.



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August 23, 2008

Calls for bottled water bans grow in Canada

Calls for bottled water bans grow in Canada

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Saturday, August 23, 2008

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London, Ontario is the latest in a string of Canadian cities to have acted on increasing public demand to ban bottled water. On Monday, the decision to eliminate bottled water sales in city-run facilities was passed by London’s city council with a vote of 15-3 in favour. The move was driven by a desire to reduce waste and shipping, have a lower impact on the environment and promote tap water as a cheap and safe alternative.

London’s new restrictions will be implemented over the next several months in buildings that are already equipped with water fountains. Bottled water will still be permitted at many city-run events, such as upcoming summer festivals. Privately-owned retailers will not be affected by the ban.

Bottled water

Other cities, such as Vancouver, Ottawa and Kitchener, that are already engaged in debate on the issue, may now be watching London carefully for how the ban plays out. Other areas have already begun to phone London with questions on the details of its new regulations. Toronto has begun taking a look at bottled water packaging as part of its waste diversion strategy, and its public school board is looking into the possibility of a total restriction on bottled water sales.

In recent years, an awareness of the energy that is required to manufacture, transport and recycle the product has spread nation-wide. Proponents of the ban point to the fact that it can produce as much as 150 times the volume of greenhouse gas when producing bottled water as compared to supplying the same volume of tap water. They also point out that the water that goes into bottled water products is not inspected as frequently as tap water in Canadian cities.

Some have taken this cause to heart more than others, such as British Environment Minister Phil Woolas, who called the use of bottled water “morally unacceptable.” Restaurant critic Giles Coren of The Times of London criticizes those who use the product as “the new smokers.”

Canada’s beverage industry has come down with criticism on the increasing opposition to bottled water. Spokesman Scott Tabachnick for Coca-Cola Co., which produces Dasani brand bottled water, commented on the convenience of the product: “It’s hard to bring your kitchen sink with you.”

Cquote1.svg It’s hard to bring your kitchen sink with you. Cquote2.svg

—Scott Tabchnick

Vancouver City Councillor Tim Stevenson thinks that bottled water’s time has come and gone: “Bottled water companies have had a fabulous ride on an unnecessary fad.” Vancouver officials are still determining how bottled water restrictions, which have been voted for by the City Council, can be phased in.

Next month, the city is planning to initiate a marketing campaign encouraging Vancouver residents to choose tap water and to remember to carry reusable drinking containers whenever possible.

Renowned environmental activist Dr. David Suzuki has praised London’s decision, saying that it represents a turning point for people’s perceptions on the issue: “I’m really delighted that London has done this because it really makes us focus on some fundamental issues.” He hopes that someday people will “look at anyone who hauls out a bottle of water and say, ‘What the hell’s wrong with you?'”



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June 6, 2007

Pen-Ek Ratanaruang\’s latest film makes Thailand premiere

Pen-Ek Ratanaruang’s latest film makes Thailand premiere

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Wednesday, June 6, 2007

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From left, Lalita Panyopas, Apinya Sakuljaroensuk and Pornwut Sarasin, chat with the press.

Following a world premiere during the Director’s Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival, the latest film by Thai auteur Pen-Ek Ratanaruang made its Thailand premiere on Tuesday night in a screening for the press and celebrities.

Before the screening of the new film, Ploy, the director and his stars took the rostrum for a question-and-answer session, during which Pen-Ek pulled out a digital camera and took photos of the presenter, the press and the actors.

Film plot

Ploy is a drama film, about a middle-aged Thai-American couple, portrayed by popular Thai soap opera actress Lalita Panyopas and Pornwut Sarasin, a first-time actor whose day job is working as vice president of Thai Namthip, the distributor of Coca Cola in Thailand. The couple have returned to Thailand for the first time in many years to attend the funeral of a relative.

They arrive at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport at 5 a.m. after a long-haul flight from the U.S., and check in to a hotel. The wife, Dang, just wants to sleep, but the husband, Wit, wants some cigarettes, so he goes to the hotel bar to buy some. There, he strikes up a conversation with a 19-year-old girl named Ploy (17-year-old first-time actress Apinya Sakuljaroensuk), who’s waiting at the hotel for her mother.

Wit then invites the girl to his and Dang’s room, so she can take a shower and relax. This poor judgment by Wit ignites feelings of jealousy and anger in Dang, and causes the couple to review their marriage of seven years.

Lao-Australian leading man Ananda Everingham is in a supporting role as the hotel bartender. As a counterpoint to Wit’s and Dang’s bickering, the bartender engages in an erotic tryst with a hotel maid (model-actress Porntip Papanai) in a nearby room.

Pen-ek Ratanaruang, second from left, snaps photos with his digital camera, during a press conference for his new film Ploy, which co-stars, starting third from left, Ananda Everingham, Porntip Papanai and Thaksakorn Pradabpongsa.

Censorship fears

The press screening was held at SF World Cinemas at CentralWorld shopping mall in Bangkok. Given the presence of Coca-Cola’s Pornwut in the cast, it was perhaps not a coincidence that cans of Coke Zero, a new soft drink that is just being introduced in Thailand, were being doled out for free.

According to early reviews at Cannes, Ploy contains a high level of nudity and eroticism, which is uncommon for a Thai film, because Thailand has no film-ratings system and instead adheres to a strict censorship code that excises nakedness and sex scenes.

Ahead of its Thailand premiere, Aphiradee Iamphungphorn, co-producer for Five Star Production, said she knew the film would have to be re-edited for Thailand, but “hopefully not more than we can bear.” To get past the censors, Pen-ek created a special Thailand of the film, in which the sex scenes are toned down.

Ploy is the director’s sixth feature film since he made his debut in 1997 with Fun Bar Karaoke, which premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival. Since then, his films are regularly featured on the festival circuit, and are submitted by Thailand’s film industry for consideration by the Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film.

Pen-Ek’s latest film is a return to screenwriting, after his previous two films, Last Life in the Universe and Invisible Waves, were scripted or co-scripted by Thai writer Prabda Yoon. It also marks a reunion with leading actress Lalita, who starred in his second feature, 1999’s black comedy, Ruang Talok 69, as well as Porntip, who co-starred in Pen-Ek’s 2001 musical-comedy-drama Monrak Transistor.

Ploy opens in Thailand cinemas on Thursday.

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August 14, 2006

PepsiCo names Nooyi CEO as Reinemund retires

Filed under: Archived,Coca-Cola,Economy and business,United States — admin @ 5:00 am

PepsiCo names Nooyi CEO as Reinemund retires

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Monday, August 14, 2006

PepsiCo Inc. is in line to get its first female chief executive before the end of the year. Steven S. Reinemund, chairman and CEO of the U.S. soft drink and snack food giant, announced his retirement via press release effective in May, 2007. Reinemund, 58, said he was leaving to spend more time with his family.

The same PepsiCo release confirmed that Indra Nooyi, currently president and CFO, will take over for Reinemund. Nooyi’s current position will be split in two. The first is scheduled to be filled by Richard Goodman, 57, currently CFO of PepsiCo International, who will become CFO. Hugh Johnston, 44, currently senior vice president of transformation, was promoted to the newly created post of executive vice president of operations, procurement and information technology.

Nooyi, 50, is a Yale-educated daughter of a middle class Indian family, according to her official biography. She is scheduled to succeed Reinemund, in October, the company said. Reinemund reportedly will stay with PepsiCo until May, 2007. Together, Nooyi and Reinemund have guided PepsiCo through several large take-overs and has seen the company overtake The Coca-Cola Company both in terms of sales and market value.

Coca-Cola is still the No. 1 soft drink maker based on U.S. and global market share. A significant portion of PepsiCo’s sales revenue comes from non-drink brands in its Frito-Lay and Quaker Oats product lines.

Some on Wall Street were surprised by Reinemund’s retirement announcement, according to news reports. Monday, the stock (ticker:PEP) closed up $0.62 at $63.95 per share on the NYSE.

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August 9, 2006

Coca-Cola and Pepsi face ban in Indian states

Coca-Cola and Pepsi face ban in Indian states

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Wednesday, August 9, 2006

The popular Coca-Cola drink is now banned in Kerala

The government of Kerala, a state in southern India, has banned the production and sale of both Coca-Cola and Pepsi after the Centre for Science and Environment, a NGO, found high levels of pesticide residue in the popular soft drinks.

Kerala is the first state to impose a complete ban on the production and sale of the drinks, but five other states have said they will introduce partial bans in hospitals, schools and colleges.

Chief minister V. S. Achuthanandan, CPI(M), said the two companies had been asked to wind up their operations, meaning the closure of a Pepsi and a Coca-Cola plant in the state.

The Indian Soft Drinks Manufacturers Association issued a statement saying: “Our products manufactured in India are absolutely safe and meet every safety standard set by food health and regulatory bodies in India and all over the world.”

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July 6, 2006

Coca-Cola trade secrets attempted to be sold to Pepsi

Coca-Cola trade secrets attempted to be sold to Pepsi

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Thursday, July 6, 2006

Three people have been charged in the United States for trying to sell Coca-Cola trade secrets to PepsiCo. The main suspect, administration worker Joya Williams, tried to sell documents and a liquid sample of a new Coca-Cola product to the rival, prosecutors said.

When being offered to buy the trade secrets in May, PepsiCo immediately contacted the FBI. A person calling himself “Dirk” wanted to meet a PepsiCo representative at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta in June. Instead, an undercover FBI agent met with Ibrahim Dimson, the man posing as “Dirk”.

During the meeting it is said the undercover agent gave Dimson $30,000 for the trade secrets and promised to pay an additional $45,000 later. Then later that month, another agent later offered to buy the remaining trade secrets for $1.5m. The same day the suspects were arrested.

A third person, Edmund Duhaney, was also arrested.

PepsiCo said in a statement that “competition can sometimes be fierce, but also must be fair and legal”.

Coca-Cola said that it would review its security measures. The corporation’s top-secret formula of its main drink was not affected in this security breach.

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May 8, 2006

Soft drink foes cheer victory, lament remaining junk foods in schools

Soft drink foes cheer victory, lament remaining junk foods in schools

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Monday, May 8, 2006

Students at James Logan High School pass a Coke truck delivering soft drinks as they arrive on campus May 8.

Last week’s announcement that most soda manufacturers will stop selling their sugary products in U.S. schools did not mention that avoiding lawsuits was part of the motivation for the self-imposed ban. Some of those who threatened legal action to stop the soda sales are patting themselves on the back over the agreement, while lamenting that the deal did not go far enough, and now plan to press for more restrictions.

“Though there is room for improvement — sugary “sports” drinks still will be sold in schools, for instance — this voluntary agreement is certainly good enough that CSPI will drop its planned lawsuit against Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Cadbury-Schweppes and their bottlers,” said Michael F. Jacobson, the executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest . “I hope this settlement contributes to the momentum that is building in Congress for legislation that would require USDA to update its standards for foods sold outside of school meals. That would enable USDA to eliminate the sale of candy, cookies, French fries, potato chips, and other snack foods, as well as sports drinks, that are standard fare in school vending machines and stores.”

In the wake of the announcement of the agreement by the three largest soft drink companies, their bottlers and the public health advocacy group, the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, Jacobson thanked his team of litigators for “negotiating effectively with the soft-drink industry over the past six months, and for demonstrating that the judicial system can play an important role in spurring public health advances.”

Richard Daynard, a law professor and president of the Public Health Advocacy Institute, which threatened the soft-drink industry with lawsuits, said in an institute press release, “The industry agreement with the Clinton Foundation and American Heart Association comes after sustained pressure from potential litigation and negotiations with public health groups and their lawyers. It is a credit to the role of litigation and the legal system as a component of effective public health strategy.”

“This agreement demonstrates the potential of public health litigation to help control the obesity epidemic,” he said.

In an email exchange with the James Logan Courier, Margo Wootan, director of Nutrition Policy for the Center for Science in the Public interest, said, “Last week’s announcement that soft drink companies will pull all sugary sodas from schools is great step toward improving school foods. This agreement is the culmination of the tremendous national momentum on improving school foods — from the local policies (in LA, NYC, Chicago, Philadelphia, DC, etc.), state bills (in 2005, 200 bills were introduced in 40 states to get soda and junk foods out of schools), the strong bipartisan bill pending in the U.S. Congress, and threats of litigation against soda companies.”

“While today’s agreement is a huge step forward, it is by no means the last step” wrote Wootan, ” We still have a lot of work to do to improve school foods.”

The agreement, announced Wednesday morning by the William J. Clinton Foundation, means that the nation’s biggest beverage distributors, and the American Beverage Association, will pull their soda products from vending machines and cafeterias in schools serving about 35 million students, according to the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, a joint initiative between the Clinton Foundation and the American Heart Association.

USDA chart shows the increase in soda consumption and the decrease in milk consumption.

Under the agreement, high schools will still be able to purchase drinks such as diet and unsweetened teas, diet sodas, sports drinks, flavored water, seltzer and low-calorie sports drinks for resale to students.

The companies plan to stop soda sales at 75 percent of the nation’s public schools by the 2008-2009 school year, and at all schools in the following school year. The speed of the changes will depend in part on school districts’ willingness to change their contracts with the beverage distributors.

Some food activists criticized the deal for not going far enough and undermining efforts to go further.

Michele Simon, the director of the Center for Informed Food Choices, based in Oakland, Ca., called the deal “bogus” and a “PR stunt” by “Big Cola” in an effort to “sugar coat it’s image.”

“This announcement could potentially undermine ongoing grassroots efforts, state legislation, and other enforceable policies,” wrote Simon in an article at www.commondreams.org,” For example, in Massachusetts where a stronger bill is pending, a local advocate is worried about the adverse impact, since legislators could easily think that Clinton has taken care of the problem and ignore the bill. What was already an uphill battle—getting schools and legislatures to take this problem seriously—was just made worse, not better, by this bogus agreement.

“Even from a health standpoint, the deal is hardly impressive. Diet soda full of artificial sweeteners, sports drinks high in sugar, and other empty-calorie beverages with zero nutritional value are still allowed in high schools,” Simon wrote, “Also, parents concerned about soda advertising in schools will not be pleased with the agreement. Not a word is mentioned about the ubiquitous marketing children are subjected to daily in the form of branded score boards, school supplies, sports bags, and cups (just to name a few), which is required by exclusive Coke and Pepsi contracts. “

She’s not the only one criticizing the deal.“ While the initial details are promising, PHAI is concerned about some aspects of the agreement as it is being reported,” Daynard said in the press release. “The continual sale of “sports drinks” is a cause for concern. While they have a role for marathon runners and others engaged in sustained strenuous sports, for most students “sports drinks” are just another form of sugar water. Furthermore, the change in beverages offered must be carefully monitored and cannot depend entirely on the schools’ willingness and ability to alter existing contracts. Soda companies have spent decades pushing these unhealthy drinks on children and should bear the responsibility for their removal. PHAI is also concerned about the enforcement of this agreement and its silence on industry marketing activities in the school system,” he said.

“Importantly, the agreement doesn’t address the sale of chips, candy, snack cakes, ice cream, or any of the other high-fat, high-calorie, high-salt foods that are sold widely in schools,” said Wootan of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, “This is a voluntary agreement and is not enforceable, we need Senator Harkin’s school foods bill to lock in the beverage standards and give them the force of law.”

Even the diet drinks, which will still be offered, need to go, said Ross Getman, an attorney in Syracuse, NY. Getman has advocated that soda should not be sold in public schools and that long-term “pouring rights” agreements, which give a company exclusive access to sell their brands at a school, are illegal for a variety of reasons.

Getman, who contends that some diet sodas are contaminated with benzene, a cancer-causing chemical, said the soda “industry gets an “F” for incomplete” for “the industry’s failure to pull all soda from school and to recall products.”

Schools account for about $700 million in U.S. soft-drink sales, less than 1 percent total revenue for Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Cadbury, the nation’s largest soda companies.

Ten of the largest U.S. school districts have already removed soft drinks from vending machines, according to Getman. States including California, Maine and Connecticut have also banned sugary sodas in schools.

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May 6, 2006

Tornadoes cause millions in damages in Waco, Texas

Tornadoes cause millions in damages in Waco, Texas

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Saturday, May 6, 2006

Early Saturday morning winds up to 90 miles per hour struck Waco, Texas and central McLennan County, United States, causing widespread damage and leaving many households without electricity.

No deaths or serious injuries have been reported; however, there is a tremendous amount of damage in 15 areas of the city, leading Mayor Virgina DuPuy to declare the city a disaster area.

The hardest hit area was Franklin Avenue, where the Coca-Cola bottling plant’s roof was peeled open as if by a giant can-opener. There were Sprite bottles spread out onto the street. The nearby Furniture Row shopping center was also hit hard. Some furniture was found as far as three-quarters of a mile away. Other hard-hit areas were Robinson, Hewitt, Woodway, and Speegleville. Densely populated Inner Waco was spared of any catastrophic damage, though hundreds, and possibly thousands, of trees have fallen, and roofs destroyed.

The main concern is restoring power to over 23,000 households and businesses. Many gas stations and grocery stores in the disaster areas were closed until power is restored. Those that remained open have had to throw out all perishable items. Also of concern is getting electricity to those with medical needs. The city has provided help to those without power at the Dewey Recreation Center.

The storm is the hardest to hit the area since the tornado that struck on May 11, 1953, which tore through downtown and killed 114 people.

Waco has seen more than its share of tornadoes recently. Only a week ago, an F1 tornado damaged many houses along Orchid and Kendall Lanes. No people were injured, though two horses were killed when their stable collapsed.

The National Weather Service confirmed this morning’s winds were a F2 tornado, where wind speeds may have reached 115 miles per hour in some locations.

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