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Industry: Government is obligated to provide inspections
Food Safety News
After the White House and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack suggested the automatic budget cuts, known as the sequester, could force the government to furlough all federal meat inspectors, the food industry is arguing that such a move would violate the government's legal obligation to keep inspectors at work.
Related: Groups urge USDA to stay committed to food safety inspection (The Pig Site)
Intelex: Imports at the root of half of foodborne illness outbreaks
Imported food may only represent 15 percent of food consumed in the U.S., but it is also responsible for half of foodborne illness outbreaks, according to Intelex's new e-book, "FSMA: 10 Facts You Should Know." The document outlines statistics related to the Food Safety Modernization Act.
New York City announces progress in efforts to reduce salt
The Associated Press via MedPage Today
Twenty-one companies have met targets in a New York City-led effort to get restaurants and food manufacturers nationwide to lighten up on salt, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Monday. The salt campaign — one in a series of novel but controversial healthy eating initiatives on Bloomberg's 11-year tenure — takes aim at foods ranging from hot dogs to soup to popcorn.
In State of the Union, Obama to return to jobs and the economy
The Washington Post
President Barack Obama will concentrate his State of the Union speech Tuesday on the economy, shifting the emphasis away from the broad social agenda of his second inaugural address to refocus attention on a set of problems that vexed his first term.
Related: Rubio takes center stage in response to State of Union (The Hill)
What Obama should (and shouldn't) say in the State of the Union
The Washington Post
If President Barack Obama wants immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship for undocumented workers, he may not want to mention it at all in tonight's State of the Union speech, a new Washington Post poll suggests.
Obama, Democratic senators to meet on immigration
President Barack Obama plans to meet this week with Democratic senators trying to hammer out a bipartisan immigration deal, a fresh sign of White House involvement as back-channel talks gather steam.
US FSIS may inspect Chinese poultry plants
As a step toward a possible reopening of the U.S. border to Chinese poultry imports, USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service plans to inspect Chinese poultry processing plants.
Farm bill 10-year baseline released
National Hog Farmer
The Congressional Budget Office released its February baseline on agricultural program costs over 10 years. CBO will release another baseline in March, which will be used by Congress in writing the new farm bill. The preliminary numbers are not as bad as many were expecting.
'Somewhat unusual' FDA action requires company to retain label expert
The FDA has issued a consent decree against a Puerto Rican beverage manufacturer that requires the company to retain a team of experts, including a food labeling expert, to ensure compliance with FDA regulations.
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Finding ways to get students to eat better
Schools in Burlington County, Pa., are turning to student gardens, promotional campaigns and even "potato smiles" in their efforts to make healthy eating a way of life for students.
Chicago district cuts 'nutrient-dense' – but unpopular – dishes (Chicago Tribune)
Arizona school lunch program growing (Cronkite News Service)
FDA actively looking for 'systems recognition' with more countries
Food Chemical News (subscription required)
Having granted "systems recognition" to New Zealand in December, FDA is actively evaluating other countries for similar status as one of its leading priorities this year, Michael Roosevelt, acting director of the Office of Compliance, told the Food and Drug Law Institute's Food Week 2013 conference Friday.
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Canada appoints panel to review XL Foods recall
Meat & Poultry
Canada's federal government has appointed an Independent Advisory Panel to review the XL Foods Inc. E. coli O157:H7 investigation and recall. XL Foods was at the center of the largest beef recall in Canadian history. The team will make recommendations based on its findings.
FAO teams up to fight food price volatility, food insecurity
FAO and the International Academy of Gastronomy will combine their strengths to combat hunger and poverty, with particular emphasis on food price volatility, the promotion of sustainable food consumption, the conservation of biodiversity and the renewal of neglected crops.
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First lawsuits are filed over horse meat fraud
AFP-Jiji via The Japan Times
A food fraud scandal over horse meat sold as beef deepened Saturday as two companies at the center of the row took legal action and European governments said criminal activity is suspected.
Sequestration mean big cuts to food inspections
Food Safety News
If Congress allows the sequester to kick in March 1, cuts to food safety would be one of the "most damaging" consequences of the automatic budget reductions, according to the White House.
Consumers crave farm-to-table freshness
Food Business News
Seventy percent of shoppers are willing to pay more for locally sourced food, according to A.T. Kearney, a global management consulting firm. Supporting local economies and benefiting environmental sustainability drive consumer preference for local food.
Bye-bye, big burger? Diners try to cut calories
America's romance with triple-decker, gooey cheese- and bacon-laden burgers is officially cooling. Not that we're all noshing on baby carrots. A new study by the Hudson Institute finds that demand for traditional items at restaurants is falling, with what the think tank calls "low-calorie" items rising to take their place.
Unchecked antibiotic use in animals may affect global human health
Michigan State University via Medical Xpress
The increasing production and use of antibiotics, about half of which is used in animal production, is mirrored by the growing number of antibiotic resistance genes, or ARGs, effectively reducing antibiotics' ability to fend off diseases — in animals and humans.
Australia worries about food safety after US report on antibiotics
Scientists have expressed concern about importing food items from China as heavy usage of antibiotics on farms there has become a threat to the food safety of Australia. Antibiotics that are being rigorously used by China on animal farms will tend to cause antibiotic resistance, according to the U.S. scientists.
Label fears put Europe on trail of horse meat
The Wall Street Journal
A growing scandal involving horse meat mislabeled as beef is sweeping across Europe, sparking concerns about the accuracy of labeling and the complex path that food travels on the way to the continent's consumers.
Is US beef safe from Europe's growing horse meat crisis? (Food Safety News)
Multiple mobs suspected in elaborate scam selling horse meat (Cold Truth)
Lean Cuisine recall a prime reason to take steps on food safety
Food recall alerts are becoming a common occurrence. While many shoppers are busy checking food package labels, it may be wise to check food safety websites as well.
Marketer: Industry can learn from 'pink slime' issue
When traditional and online news outlets exploded with reports of "pink slime" in ground beef, consumers were faced with decisions on their purchases. "They allowed the slant of what they heard in the news or online to determine their position," said Danette Amstein, a principal with Midan Marketing. But the industry can learn from how the LFTB issues played out, she said.
National Beef to lay off 400+
National Beef on Monday notified about 433 employees of layoffs that will be effective by April 13 at its Hummel's Wharf, Pa., and Moultrie, Ga., facilities.
United requests more time on food safety rules
The United Fresh Produce Association has called for a longer comment period for parts of the proposed U.S. Food Safety Modernization Act ahead of a Feb. 15 deadline.
Seventh annual Food Industry Summit to examine marketplace issues
Saint Joseph's University
Saint Joseph's University Food Marketing Program will host the seventh annual Food Industry Summit March 7. "Leveraging Shopper Insights at the Moment of Truth" will focus on key marketplace issues, including a shift in marketing spending, new channels for reaching customers and more.
Harvard Food Law Society turns attention to food labeling
Quality Assurance & Food Safety
The Harvard Law School Food Law Society is hosting its second food policy conference, and the first law school conference dedicated to examining the issue of food labeling from a legal perspective in Cambridge, Mass, March 8-9. The conference will explore the legal and policy aspects of food labeling, specifically its effects on consumer knowledge, choice and behavior.
Industry veteran: Constant innovation is key to leadership
Food Production Daily
James Johnson says the key to staying at the top of the plastics industry is to "keep innovating," especially when it comes to the engineering of equipment.
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