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'New era' in food safety rules to be dished out
USA Today
After two years of delay, the Food and Drug Administration announced today that rules putting the United States at the forefront of food safety worldwide are finally moving forward. The two rules the FDA will put forward for public comment cover fruit and vegetable safety and food processing.

Related articles:
  • FDA proposes new food safety standards for foodborne illness prevention, produce safety (FDA)
  • Safe at the plate? (Columbia Journalism Review)
  • Coming clean on food safety (Columbia Journalism Review)
  • More

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    Poll: Americans split over government role on obesity
    The Associated Press via USA Today
    A new poll finds that Americans blame too much cheap fast food for fueling the nation's fat epidemic, but they're split on how much the government should do to save them from themselves. More
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    FTC: Food marketers spend less on TV ads to kids; food healthier
    Food Chemical News (subscription required)
    A massive new 356-page report from the Federal Trade Commission finds food companies are reformulating to market healthier products to children and teenagers and spending less on advertisements placed in traditional media. But the money spent on advertising in new media has increased 50 percent since 2006. More
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    Five reasons gridlock will seize Congress again
    The Washington Post
    As the 113th Congress was sworn in Thursday, the page was officially turned on a divided, historically unproductive 112th Congress that was defined by gridlock and viewed overwhelmingly negatively by the American people. But while some of the names and faces changed, there are few obvious reasons to believe the deep divisions that characterized the last Congress will suddenly disappear in the new one. More
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    Optimism abounds for incoming frosh
    POLITICO
    They've figured out their way to the House floor, taken the oath of office, elected their party leaders and stood for family photos on the front steps of the Capitol. Now, for 84 freshmen, the real work starts. More
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    Failed coup effort against Boehner highlights House GOP split
    The Hill
    A group of dissident Republicans failed Thursday to push Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, to a second ballot in his election as Speaker and potentially replace him as leader of the House. More
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    Emulsifying Protein Enhances Frozen Sauces
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    USDA testing of produce for pathogens halted
    Food Safety News
    The Microbiological Data Program, which used to conduct 80 percent of all federal produce testing for pathogens like Salmonella and Listeria, officially shut down Dec. 31, a U.S. Department of Agriculture official confirmed. More
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    Washington initiative would require label on GM food
    The Associated Press via The Bellingham Herald
    Companies would be required to label food products made from genetically engineered crops under a Washington state initiative submitted Thursday by the proposal's sponsors. Sponsors of the initiative delivered 350,000 signatures to the Secretary of State's office inside an ambulance with a sign reading "Label GMO Food" on the side. More
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    New Year's resolutions: FSIS' 2013 Annual Performance Plan
    USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service
    In keeping with New Year's resolution season, USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service has published its 20123 Annual Performance Plan, outlining its priorities and intentions for the coming year. Salmonella contamination, STEC testing and modernizing livestock slaughter and processing top its list for 2013. More
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    FSIS raises rates for base time, overtime, holiday, lab services
    Federal Register
    Effective Jan. 13, USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service is raising the rates it charges meat and poultry establishments, egg product plants and importers/exporters for providing voluntary, overtime and holiday inspection and identification, certification and lab services. Per-employee hourly rates will be $55.18 for base time, $69.36 for overtime, $83.54 for holidays and $69.01 for lab services. More
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    Biotech regulatory framework overhaul forecast for July
    Food Chemical News (subscription required)
    After years of delay, the Obama administration has forecast publication, in July, of its long-awaited overhaul of agricultural biotechnology regulation. The final rule represents the first comprehensive review and revision of regulations that ensure the safety of biotech crops since the rules were established in 1987. More
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    Drought puts the squeeze on already struggling fish farms
    NPR
    The past year's drought delivered a pricey punch to U.S. aquaculture. Worldwide, aquaculture has grown into a $119 billion industry, but the lack of water and high temperatures in 2012 hurt many U.S. fish farmers who were already struggling to compete on a global scale. More
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    Hormel to buy Skippy peanut butter for $700 million
    Dow Jones Newswires via Fox Business
    Hormel Foods Corp. has agreed to acquire the Skippy peanut butter business from Unilever for about $700 million as the meat and packaged-food producer looks to expand its offerings and boost its sales presence in China. More
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    Consumers rank easy opening packs above eco-friendliness
    Food Production Daily
    U.K. shoppers are influenced by how easy packaging is to open more than by its environmental credentials, according to packaging supplier Payne. More
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    Canada: Get ready for higher food prices
    Troy Media via The Vancouver Sun
    In 2012 Canadian consumers experienced modest increases in food prices. In fact, not only did food prices barely increase, but fruit and vegetable prices decreased by more than 8 percent. But this year will be a different story. Several forecasts predict food prices will go up anywhere from 1.5 percent to 3.5 percent, likely exceeding the national inflation rate. More
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    Big food and the big, silent salt experiment
    The Associated Press via KUHF-FM
    Food manufacturers have been quietly reducing sodium by tiny amounts in popular foods like crackers for years now. That's because if products are marked "low sodium," consumers won't buy them. But companies are working on ways to deliver more salt taste with less sodium. More
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    Burger King enters franchise joint venture for Central America
    Food Ingredients First
    Burger King Worldwide Inc. has entered into a multicountry joint venture agreement with Beboca Ltd. in Central America, marking the fast food company's first foray into the area. More
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    Illinois company buys food inspection business
    San Fernando Valley Business Journal
    National Everclean Services Inc., an Agoura Hills, Calif., company that conducts food safety audits of grocers and restaurants, has been purchased by Illinois company UL LLC, the companies announced Thursday. Everclean clients include Cheesecake Factory restaurants, Whole Foods markets, Safeway supermarkets and BJ's Brewery restaurants. More
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    Systems Services of America opens new distribution center
    Perishable News
    Systems Services of America has opened a new distribution center in Phoenix to accommodate growth the food distribution company is experiencing with customers throughout the region. More
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    Frozen Express
    Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, (469) 420-2601
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