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How big food's attackers are undermining their cause
Forbes
A big shot in the simmering war between the food industry and its attackers was fired this month at the Sundance Film Festival: the launch of an anti-food industry documentary called "Fed Up." But such attacks could actually undermine efforts to reduce obesity — by driving away an industry that's already come to the bargaining table on how to make products more socially acceptable.

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  • GMO critics protest at Monsanto meeting; resolutions fail (Reuters)

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    AFFI commends farm bill leaders for including frozen fruits and vegetables in popular school snack program
    Business Wire
    The American Frozen Food Institute today commended congressional leaders for advancing a new Farm Bill that enables elementary schools to serve frozen fruits and vegetables as part of a popular U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) snack program. The Farm Bill, which passed the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 251-166, expands USDA’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program to include a new one-year, $5 million pilot program.

    Related:
  • House passes $956B farm bill (The Hill)
  • Farm Bill: No repeal of country-of-origin labeling (Food Safety News)

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    The Lempert Report's nutrition label recommendations
    Supermarket Guru
    On Jan. 24, we found out that the FDA and White House are finally about to announce the newly updated Nutrition Facts label on food and beverages. Yesterday, Jan. 28, The Lempert Report commented on the proposed updates and now wants to offer some suggestions.
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    Obama lauds small business owners in his State of the Union — but not all of them buy it
    The Washington Post
    Speaking to a room full of entrepreneurs and business leaders earlier in January, President Obama lauded small businesses as “the lifeblood of our economy,” noting that they create most of the nation’s new jobs and can “lead the way” in reviving the economy. Speaking to the entire country two weeks later, the president reaffirmed his faith in and reliance on the nation’s smallest employers during his State of the Union address, outlining steps his administration hopes to take this year to help them increase sales and add jobs.

    Related:
  • In State of the Union, Obama vows to expand opportunity, with or without Congress (The Washington Post)
  • Obama sees 9-point drop since last SOTU (The Hill)

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    Republicans to Obama: Not so fast
    USA Today
    President Obama put Congress on notice Tuesday night that he is poised to act without their help, but congressional Republicans countered that a president can go only so far without the legislative branch, even one as unpopular as this. "Under our Constitution, the Congress makes the laws, and the president executes them. If he tries to ignore that, he will run into a brick wall," warned House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio.
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    Blue states outnumber red, but advantage shrinks
    The Hill
    Blue states slightly outnumbered red states in 2013 — however, the Democratic advantage has dropped from seven to three in the past year. According to a Gallup poll, 17 states either lean or are solidly Democratic, while 14 states either lean or are solidly Republican. Nineteen states remain competitive, the same as 2012.

    Related:
  • Baucus’s exit gives Democrats more hope (The Hill)
  • Red-state Dems seek distance from Obama (The Hill)

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    Food industry groups urge change to ACA's full-time employee definition
    EIN NewsDesk
    The Food Marketing Institute, an executive committee member of the Employers for Flexibility in Healthcare Coalition, sent a letter to all members of the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee in advance of the committee's hearing on Jan. 28, on the Affordable Care Act's 30-hour/week full-time employee definition.
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    FDA reports only one use of mandatory recall authority to date
    Food Safety News
    Until the passing of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration did not have the authority to mandate a food recall. Food recalls were done by food companies on a voluntary basis – sometimes at the suggestion of FDA, but not through mandatory action. Since gaining the power to mandate recalls, FDA has only used it once: last year’s recall of Salmonella-tainted pet treats produced by Kasel Associates Industries, Inc.
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    New poultry meat inspection rules to improve safety, save money
    The Poultry Site
    New moves by USDA to change the system of poultry meat inspection will place more inspectors at the sharp end of detecting food safety issues rather than quality issues, writes Chris Harris.
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    Wells Fargo: Sweeteners won't save sodas
    Food Navigator-USA
    It's been a grim year in the carbonated soft drinks aisles for the sector's three biggest guns, but will things look up in 2014? Wells Fargo predicts trouble ahead.

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    FSMA, GFSI turn small processors competitive
    Food Processing
    While FSMA will close many gaps and require improved food safety practices, it is impressive what companies have achieved on their own initiative in recent years.

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    Farm bill compromise will change programs
    The New York Times
    House and Senate negotiators on Monday agreed on a new five-year farm bill that will cut some subsidy programs and trim about $8 billion from the food stamp program.

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    Consumer Reports taste tests steam-cooked meals
    KGO-TV
    After a long day at work sometimes the last thing you want to do is cook up a hot meal. Now new steamed meals are promising all the flavor, at half the time. So how's the taste? Consumer Reports has partnered exclusively with 7 On Your Side to find out.
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    AFA Systems moves into tray packaging market
    Food Production Daily
    AFA Systems has launched the MK- CTP as it expands into the tray packaging market. The machine was launched in January and can package products including beverages, jars such as peanut butter and canisters. AFA Systems, Canada, has worked with energy drink, Red Rain from Cott Beverages, Planters Peanuts and Private Level Brands.
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    Chinese chicken ban proposed by food safety advocates
    Inquisitr
    A Chinese chicken ban petition was recently posted on Change.org and is rapidly gaining signatures. Concerns that chicken from China could soon make its way into the American food supply sparked the movement, which has more than 250,000 signatures. Last year the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that chicken processed in China would be allowed to be sold in the U.S.
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    McDonald's seeks to out-latte Starbucks amid coffee wars
    Bloomberg
    McDonald's is counting on coffee to give sagging U.S. sales a jolt. In a Jan. 28, memo, U.S. operations chief Jim Johannesen and U.S. brand chief Kevin Newell exhorted franchisees to deliver "a gold-standard cup of coffee with every visit."
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    Wal-Mart steps up vendor checks after donkey-meat recall
    Bloomberg
    Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said it will step up inspections on suppliers in China after state-owned broadcaster CCTV said the retailer uses unlicensed suppliers and fox DNA was found in meat it sold as donkey.
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    At sentencing, cantaloupe growers apologize for deadly listeria outbreak
    CNN
    A pair of Colorado farmers were sentenced to five years' probation, including six months in home detention, for their role in a 2011 listeriosis outbreak that killed roughly three dozen Americans who consumed infected cantaloupe, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. Brothers Eric and Ryan Jensen, who grew up cultivating cantaloupes on Jensen Farms, a fixture in the dry plains of southeastern Colorado since the early 1900s, also were sentenced to 100 hours of community service and ordered to pay $150,000 in restitution in connection with the deadliest food outbreak in the U.S. in nearly 100 years.
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    PURE Bioscience organizes to take prominent role in food safety
    Seeking Alpha
    Although Americans have one of the safest food supplies in the world, foodborne illness, often called "foodborne disease" or "food poisoning," is a common and costly-yet preventable-public health problem. The CDC estimates that each year roughly 1 in 6 Americans, or 48 million people, get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die of foodborne diseases.
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    Pinnacle Foods Inc. announces appointment of Jane Hamilton Nielsen to its Board of Directors
    The Wall Street Journal via PRNewswire
    Pinnacle Foods Inc. announced the appointment of Jane H. Nielsen, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Coach, Inc., to its Board of Directors, effective March 10, 2014, bringing the size of the Pinnacle Foods Board to eight members. The Board has determined that Ms. Nielsen, an independent director, will be appointed to the Board's Audit Committee and Compensation Committee at the time of her appointment to the Board.
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    5 safety tips for your warehouse
    Mandy Gardner
    Warehouse management is a multifaceted industry whose success relies on many different elements, such as leadership, management software, architecture and warehouse layout. To make sure that your warehouse is as safe and hazard-free as possible, you should implement a few different systems that will bolster the overall safety rating of your building.
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    Cartons are most eco-friendly packaging
    Food Production Daily
    Consumers are increasingly expecting eco-friendly packaging, says SIG Combibloc, as it sets 'ambitious targets' to reduce its environmental impact. The carton packaging supplier is looking at the raw materials it uses. Michael Hecker, head of group environment, health and safety, SIG Combibloc, said the company is also considering the effect of cartons on key global issues: emission of greenhouse gasses, and consumption of fossil fuels and energy.
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    Study: Aerated foods could help increase satiety
    FoodNavigator
    Increasing the amount of air in a foods by creating highly aerated products could help to increase satiety and reduce intake, according to new research.
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        Food safety regulatory outlook for 2014 (Food Processing)
    Sobeys recalls frozen stir-fry vegetables (Canadian Press via Global News)
    WhiteWave enters China, jumps into US produce market (Food Processing)

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    Colby Horton, Executive Vice President of Publishing, (469) 420-2601
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