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FDA approves Coca-Cola, PepsiCo sweeteners derived from stevia plant

BY Jenna Duncan

ATLANTA, GEORGIA and PURCHASE, N.Y. The Food and Drug Administration has announced that a sweetener derived from the stevia plant that were developed by Cargill and Coca-Cola, and one developed by PepsiCo, have been approved for use in foods and beverages.

Coca-Cola and Cargill had partnered to develop the branded sweetener Truvia which will be used to sweeten soft drinks and fruit-flavored beverages, the companies have said.

PepsiCo’s PureVia sweetener, also created from a process using rebiana, a natural extract from the South American –native stevia plant, also received designation as “generally safe” for human consumption.

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Pilgrim’s Pride CEO and COO resign

BY Melissa Valliant

PITTSBURG, Texas Pilgrim’s Pride Corp., one of the largest chicken producers in the United States, announced Tuesday that its CEO and COO have stepped down due to the bankruptcy process that it started earlier this month when it filed for bankruptcy.

President and CEO Clint Rivers, as well as chief operating officer Robert Wright, have resigned. Don Jackson, formerly president of Foster Farms’ poultry division, will be filling the role of president and chief executive, following approval by the bankruptcy court. In the meantime, Lonnie Ken Pilgrim, the company’s board chairman, will be interim president.

The company plans to restructure its operations but will be operating as usual while it determines its next steps out of bankruptcy.

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Danone to discontinue sales, bottling of Arvie brand bottled water

BY Jenna Duncan

PARIS Groupe Danone has announced that it will no longer make or distribute its Arvie brand mineral water after a slump in bottled water sales.

Danone is slated to close the Arvie bottling plant in early 2009. Employees at the Arvie plant will be moved to operations at Danone’s Volvic plant.

Reports have stated that sales of Arvie bottled water dropped from 65 million bottles sold per year to roughly 8 million between the years of 2000 and 2008.

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