Frozen Express
Aug. 29, 2012

Consumer confidence slumps in August
The Wall Street Journal
Turns out people really aren't feeling so chipper about the economy this summer. Consumer confidence slumped sharply in August to 60.6. That marked the fifth drop in the past six months and the lowest reading since November 2011, according to the Conference Board.

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  • Q2 growth revised upward; Fed still seen in play (Reuters)
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    California GMO labeling decision looms
    WholeFoods Magazine
    Before the ballots open on California Prop. 37 Nov. 6, there are numerous factors and perspectives with which to be familiar. The fate of the proposition that would mandate labeling in the state on all food products containing genetically modified organisms is in the hands of voters. The result will likely carry policy implications for the rest of the country and has the potential to make an immediate impact on the entire food industry.

    Editor's note: AFFI is a member of a diverse coalition of food, nutrition, tax and consumer organizations working to stop this misguided food labeling scheme. For more information, please click here.

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  • Mandated GMO disclosure: Labeling for thee but not for me (Forbes)
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    Soaring food prices put restaurants in a bind
    The Wall Street Journal
    Restaurant chains are in a pickle, caught between soaring ingredient costs and fears that raising prices will turn off their budget-conscious customers, who generally remain pessimistic about the economy. More

    Romney's popularity dips ahead of opening night
    The Washington Post
    Even as he runs evenly with Barack Obama in national polls, Mitt Romney — the newly official Republican presidential nominee — continues to trail the president in one regard: basic popularity.

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  • Poll: Romney gaining in swing-state Iowa (The Hill)
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    Romney readies final stage of campaign
    The Hill
    When Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan leave the applause of the Republican National Convention, they have a string of decisions to make as they try to break out of a summer stalemate with President Barack Obama.More

    Obama courts college voters in swing states as GOP convenes
    The Washington Post
    With all eyes on the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., President Barack Obama tried to divert a little political attention his way with a two-day campaign trip to college campuses in the swing states of Iowa, Colorado and Virginia.More

    Food safety not targeted in Republican national platform
    Food Safety News
    FDA, FSIS and other parts of the federal food safety system seem to have escaped Republican attention in the national platform document released Tuesday. For the food safety community, however, the question remains: What would a Romney presidency mean?More

    Glickman: Expanding food production in a constrained future
    The Hill
    If this year is any indication of our future, and many scientists and even former climate skeptics say it is, then we are in trouble. We shouldn't miss the opportunity during this year's drought and farm bill debate to adjust policies for the climate-constrained future that is on the horizon.More

    Think tank: US ethanol output to drop 10 percent as price rises
    U.S. ethanol production will fall by 10 percent in the coming year as rising prices from the drought cut exports in half, a University of Missouri think tank predicted Tuesday. The Obama administration is weighing whether to relax a requirement to use corn-based ethanol in gasoline as meat and dairy farmers complain that demand for corn-based biofuels is driving up the cost of food.

    Editor's note: The American Frozen Food Institute is urging the EPA to waive its ethanol fuel mandate. Click here to write to Congress, and consider urging your coworkers and colleagues to make their voices heard as well.More

    Time running out for new farm bill
    Congress needs to pass a new farm bill — fast — or risk putting U.S. farmers in financial jeopardy as they need to decide how much winter wheat to plant and how much to spend on corn and soybean seeds, plus make other decisions critical to American food production, a number of farming experts said this week.More

    R-CALF offers suggestions for fixing WTO problems with COOL
    Food Chemical News (subscription required)
    R-CALF USA, a Billings, Mont.-based cattlemen's organization that has fought for country-of-origin labeling for more than a decade, last week offered suggestions for responding to recent adverse rulings on COOL by the World Trade Organization.

    Editor's note: Members of the American Frozen Food Institute can access AFFI's COOL Guide for Food Manufacturers by clicking here.More

    Opinion: California food container ban would cost state jobs
    San Gabriel Valley Tribune
    California Sen. Alan Lowenthal's proposal to ban Styrofoam food packaging, SB 568, completely misses the mark and will have a severe negative impact on the economy and the environment. More

    Legal challenge sought over first genetically modified potatoes
    A group of campaigners and farmers in the Irish Republic are seeking a legal challenge over a decision to allow the first trial of a genetically modified potato crop. More

    Nielsen: Online food and beverage purchasing jumps 44 percent
    Progressive Grocer
    Global consumers' intent to buy food and beverages online increased 44 percent in two years, according to a new study from Nielsen, which finds more than one-quarter of global respondents plan to purchase food and beverages via a device with Internet access in the next 3 to 6 months. Additionally, 61 percent of global respondents said they use the Internet for grocery shopping research.More

    Sanderson Farms cuts poultry production on rising feed costs
    Sanderson Farms Inc. posted a better-than-expected quarterly profit Tuesday, buoyed by higher prices for chicken wings and other products, and said it would further reduce production to protect earnings from rising feed costs.More

    Natural, organic, specialty lead supermarket growth in 2012
    The post-recession strength of natural product retailers has never been more evident: SPINS, the leading information and services provider for the natural, organic and specialty products industry, has consistently reported double-digit dollar growth within the natural channel every four-week period throughout 2012.More

    Investment firm to buy Shearer's Foods
    Progressive Grocer's Store Brands
    Wind Point Partners, a Chicago-based private equity investment firm, said it signed an agreement to acquire private-label snack maker Shearer's Foods. The transaction is expected to close in October.More

    Research: Edible coatings can extend fruit shelf life
    Food Production Daily
    A research project in Pakistan has successfully extended the shelf life of different fruits by applying various types of edible coating materials.More

    Firm harnesses neodymium power to prevent metal contamination
    Food Production Daily
    U.K.-based food inspection specialist S+S Inspection has harnessed the power of neodymium magnets to offer an easy to implement method of removing metal contaminants from liquid and paste product manufacturing lines.More