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Food industry to fire preemptive GMO strike
The giants of the U.S. food industry who have spent millions fighting state-by-state efforts to mandate new labels for genetically modified organisms are taking a page from their opponents and pushing for a federal GMO law.
Editor's note: The American Frozen Food Institute's support for a federal GMO labeling program is noted in this story.
Activists blast GMA's 'federal solution' to GMO labeling (Food Navigator-USA)
Opinion: How many cheers for Cheerios? (The New York Times)
Hawaii councilwoman introducing new GMO bill (The AP via The Garden Island)
GM foods' downfall is all in the brand name (Marketing Week)
McDonald's commits to buying sustainable beef
The Huffington Post
McDonald's Corp. has announced its commitment to begin purchasing "verified sustainable beef" during 2016 following a two-year ramp up during which it will "listen, learn and collaborate with stakeholders from farm to the front counter to develop sustainable beef solutions."
2013's key rulings in food mislabeling litigation
Law360 (subscription required)
As former tobacco plaintiff lawyers shift their focus to attacking the food industry, how are these cases faring?
Economy will save their majority, say Senate Democrats
Democrats are confident that a strong economy in 2014 will help them retain their Senate majority. "If the economy continues to improve at the rate it's improving by or more, we will hold the Senate, plain and simple," said a senior Senate Democratic aide.
The GOP's money problem: Age
The Republican Party's on the hunt ahead of 2016 for younger voters — and younger megadonors. Conservative super PACs were dealt a blow in the past nine months, when two of their biggest benefactors died, Texas billionaires Harold Simmons and Bob Perry.
Poll: Independents hit record high
The number of Americans who identify themselves as independents reached a record high in 2013, according to a new poll analysis, as Democrats remained flat and Republicans hit a record low.
Related: What we know (and don't) about our polarized politics (The Washington Post)
Farm bill nearing home stretch
House and Senate conferees are tentatively scheduled to meet Thursday to begin the final process of approving a farm bill that can be voted on by both chambers, senators and aides said, indicating the long-stalled legislation could be sent to the president before the Martin Luther King Jr. Day recess.
Stabenow 'feeling very good' about farm bill (Politico)
Vilsak warns milk prices will rise dramatically if no farm bill passed (Pierce County Herald)
Do farm subsidies cause obesity? (Ag Professional)
FDA offers translations of key FSMA resources
U.S. Food and Drug Administration
Key information concerning the Food Safety Modernization Act is provided in several languages for easy access by manufacturers, retailers, consumers and regulators in the international community.
USDA audit urges Canada to improve food safety oversight
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is doing an "adequate" job in maintaining equivalence with U.S. food safety standards but needs to improve in oversight of Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point Systems, sanitation and humane handling, according to a recently published USDA audit.
Related: Ambrose defends food safety system in light of damning USDA audit (iPolitics)
FSIS refines E. coli sampling procedures
USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service
USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service has issued new, detailed instructions regarding non-O157 shiga toxin-producing E. coli sampling programs, tightening the directive for inspectors working with establishments.
California bans bare-handed food contact
Nation's Restaurant News
California restaurant operators are now required to use gloves or utensils when handling ready-to-eat foods under a change to the retail food code that went into effect Jan. 1, but health officials have agreed to a soft rollout for the first six months.
Cargill says winter conditions cut volume at meat plants
Cargill Inc., the second-largest U.S. beef processor, said some of its meat plants are facing lower volume as frigid weather across most of the U.S. hampers transportation.
How will higher meat demand affect food prices?
Increased demand for animal protein will push up meat prices — but not necessarily grain prices, claims a new report from U.K. think tank the Overseas Development Institute.
Safe Quality Food Institute adopts unannounced audits
Unannounced food safety audits will be included in the next revision of the Safe Quality Food Institute code. The protocol for such audits is scheduled to be introduced in February and implemented in July.
Food safety company to build plant In Leland, N.C.
A food safety technology company will open a manufacturing facility in Leland, N.C., bringing 52 jobs and a $4.4 million investment, according to a news release from Gov. Bev Perdue's office.
Euromonitor report examines how brands identify food trends in snacks
Euromonitor International's "Snacks Appeal: How Brands Identify and Exploit Food Trends" global briefing offers an insight into to the size and shape of the packaged food market, highlights buzz topics, emerging geographies, categories and trends and identifies the leading companies and brands.
Demand soars for PTI compliant labels in the cloud
Food Production Daily
NiceLabel has created a free Produce Traceability Initiative case label printing application hosted in the cloud.
Gourmet salsa latest addition to organic food offerings
NAKED infusions is introducing a new organic, gourmet salsa line to the food industry, with flavors such as rustic blue cheese, California blue cheese, Oaxaca white chocolate and black silk espresso.
Mexico's Sigma buying up more shares in Spain's Campofrio
Mexican frozen food company Sigma Alimentos has been buying up further shares in Spain's Campofrio Food Group at prices equal to or below the 6.90 euros a share it had publicly bid for the company, according to a statement Tuesday.
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