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• In Toronto, the Globe and Mail reports that McDonald's there has made a deal with WestJet Airlines that will have its McCafe coffee served on flights. It is seen as "not only a way to bolster its brand but also a step to potentially expanding the sale of its brew in other non-traditional locations, such as universities and hospitals, at a time when overall coffee sales in the restaurant sector are stagnant."

The story suggests that McDonald's beat out Starbucks to land the WestJet contract; it also notes that local icon Tim Horton's does not have a similar airline deal. Yet.

Next step, Egg McMuffins.

Ad Week reports that a select number of Starbucks stores have begun selling a coffee mug made by Ember - a mug that costs $150.

It isn't just a mug, though. According to the story, "The internet-connected mug lets users adjust the temperature of the liquid inside via the brand's smartphone app ... if there is a precise temperature you prefer your beverages to be, this technology may be your solution. It can rapidly cool your coffee to a Fahrenheit degree and then hold the temperature right there for as long as the mug is powered."

I don't know about you, but coffee doesn't last long enough in my cup to have to worry about regulating the temperature...

• The National Organic Standards Board announced that it has voted "to update U.S. organic standards to exclude ingredients derived from next generation genetic engineering and gene editing.

"This recommendation to the US Department of Agriculture’s National Organic Program will ensure that ingredients derived from new genetic engineering techniques, including synthetic biology, will not be allowed in the production or final product of foods and beverages that are certified organic. Synthetic biology is a new set of genetic engineering techniques that include using synthetic DNA to re-engineer organisms to produce substances they would not normally produce or to edit DNA so as to silence the expression of certain traits."

The Board says that "like 'traditional' GMOs, synthetic biology ingredients are entering food and consumer products in absence of adequate health and environmental safety assessment, oversight and labeling. Many are being falsely marketed as 'natural'."
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