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China rejections of GMO U.S. corn cost up to $2.9 billion: group

By Tom Polansek CHICAGO (Reuters) - China's rejections of a banned variety of genetically modified U.S. corn have cost the U.S. agriculture industry up to $2.9 billion, a grain group said on Wednesday in the first estimate on losses from the trade disruptions.

Sodastream in talks to sell up to 16 percent stake: report

(Reuters) - At-home soda maker Sodastream International is in early talks to sell a stake of up to 16 percent to a strategic entity, Israeli financial news daily Calcalist reported on its website. U.S. shares of Sodastream rose as much as 12 percent to $42.25 on Wednesday after the website identified PepsiCo Inc, Dr Pepper Snapple Group or Starbucks Co as the potential investors in the Israel-based company. The website did not cite any sources for its information.

Danone says China recall weighs on first-quarter sales

French dairy food giant Danone reported on Wednesday a slide in first quarter sales as it struggles to turn around its Chinese business amid volatility in currency markets. Total sales in the first three months of the year fell by 5.2 percent from the performance a year earlier to 5.061 billion euros ($7 billion), the company said. The company was hit hard last year but a false health alert by a supplier which caused it to recall products in China and damaged its brand.

Coca-Cola sells more drinks but soda dips; first global soda decline since 1999

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Coca-Cola, the world's biggest beverage maker, said Tuesday that the amount of soda it sold globally fell for first time in 15 years. The drop in the first quarter was offset by stronger sales of its noncarbonated drinks that include Minute Maid, Powerade and Dasani bottled water. Overall volume rose 2 per cent, an improvement from the 1 per cent increase the previous quarter. But the 1 per cent decline in global soda volume is notable for Coca-Cola: The last time the figure fell was in 1999, according to the company.

Coca-Cola sales beat estimates as China volumes soar

By Siddharth Cavale (Reuters) - Coca-Cola Co reported better-than-expected quarterly revenue as strong sales in China more than offset a drop in Europe and flat volumes in North America. Coke's shares, which had fallen 3.4 percent in the 12 months to Monday's close, were up 3 percent in early trading. Global case volumes rose 2 percent in the quarter, while those in China rose 12 percent due to increased marketing around the Chinese New Year, the company said on Tuesday.

World Chefs: Jose Garces to put on a show at new restaurant

By Richard Leong NEW YORK (Reuters) - Jose Garces has been practicing his entertaining skills and refining the menu he will cook before guests at his latest fine-dining venture restaurant Volver, set to open on Wednesday in Philadelphia. Performing and cooking before a live audience has become second nature for Garces after he won the title of "Iron Chef," the popular U.S. television cooking competition in 2009.

UN warns banana fungus spreading from Southeast Asia, reaches Jordan and Mozambique

The United Nation's Food and Agriculture organization is warning banana growers that a fungal disease is spreading through crops from Asia to Africa and the Middle East. The U.N. agency says the disease called Fusarium Wilt TR4 has the potential to spread to Latin American banana crops. Bananas are the world's eight most important crop and the fourth most important food crop in poor nations, the U.N. says.

Too much animal protein tied to higher diabetes risk

By Kathryn Doyle NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - People who eat the most protein, especially from animal sources, are more likely to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, according to a study of European adults. The new study did not randomly assign participants to eat different amounts of protein, which would have yielded the strongest evidence. Instead, it compared the diets of people who went on to develop diabetes and those who did not get the disease. But the findings do align with other studies.

Hundreds meet in Nepal for world's biggest Passover feast

Hundreds of Jewish travellers gathered in Kathmandu Monday to attend what organisers claim is the world's biggest Passover celebration as food supplies, delayed for weeks due to a diplomats' strike, arrived hours before the feast. Chabad House Nepal, which organises the celebration every year, usually relies on the Israeli embassy to help import supplies for the feast in the impoverished Himalayan nation.

Disease threatens world's bananas

The United Nations warned on Monday of the potential "massive destruction" of the world's $5.0-billion (3.6-billion euro) a year banana crop as a plant disease spreads from Asia to Africa and the Middle East. The Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said the TR4 strain of Panama disease, which has already hit tens of thousands of hectares in Southeast Asia, had been reported in Jordan and Mozambique.
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