News can come at you fast in the food industry, so today, I’m going to provide a few quick updates on two stories I’ve been following recently in our blog.
Story 1: The Tale of Cook County’s Sweetened Beverage Tax
Brief: Cook County, IL, sought to institute a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages, but had to fight a long road of legal battles to actually implement the law.
Update: Walgreens and McDonald’s are being sued over implementation of the sweetened beverage tax in Cook County, IL. Walgreens is accused of taxing unsweetened beverages and McDonald’s reportedly added the beverage tax to the subtotal of orders before calculating other sales taxes, which, in turn, results in overcharging of taxes, reported Chicago Tribune (Aug. 8).
Meanwhile, Cook County’s Board President is halting efforts to charge the Illinois Retail Merchants Association $17 million in damages for seeking to block the sweetened beverage tax. Toni Preckwinkle claimed the association’s suit would cost the county $17 million in possible revenues, but the petition for damages was dropped after the Appellate Court rejected the emergency motion to stop the tax, reported Crain’s Chicago Business (Aug. 8).
Story 2: Egg Contamination Scare Has Potential to Unravel European Market
Brief: The pesticide fipronil was detected in Dutch-sourced Eggs in the EU, and various health agencies and retailers have been simultaneously trying to track the outbreak, its source, and remove contaminated eggs from retail shelves.
Update: Dutch authorities knew that eggs in the Netherlands were contaminated with fipronil as early as November, and failed to notify their European partners, according to Belgium’s Agriculture Minister Denis Ducarme. Belgium’s food safety agency has official documents indicating the presence of fipronil in Dutch eggs as early as the end of November 2016.
The Dutch food safety authority had no immediate reaction to the Belgian minister’s comments. A European Commission spokesman said the Commission would “follow up” on the allegations, reported The State (Aug. 9).