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New COOL labeling regulations: No new law
Food Safety News
With a fast-approaching May 23 deadline to be in compliance with the World Trade Organization's decision on country-of-origin labeling, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has forwarded amended regulations for COOL to the White House Office of Management and Budget.

Related articles:
  • Farm groups offer plan for COOL compliance (Agri-Pulse)
  • EU looking at country-of-origin labeling for processed meat (Reuters)

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    Food safety: Complicated rules will require study, specialists say
    Ag Alert
    Sweeping changes in federal food safety law under the Food Safety Modernization Act won't happen right away, yet the message sent to farmers and agricultural business owners in California's Central Valley last week was to become familiar with the proposed rules now.

    Related articles:
  • California Giant intensifies focus on food safety, traceability, quality (The Produce News)
  • Researchers call for preventive safety in entire production chain (Food Ingredients First)
  • Slow headway for food safety (Youris.com via Medical Xpress)

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    Should we stop attacking the global food industry?
    BBC
    There's been an outcry across Europe because some food sold in supermarkets as beef have been found to contain horse meat. This has raised questions about honesty in labeling and the quality of some processed food. But are we being too quick to condemn the global food industry?
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    Five takeaways from the State of the Union
    The Washington Post
    President Barack Obama's fourth State of the Union address is in the books — a 6,000-plus word speech in which he laid out both the blueprint and the underlying justification for his vision of his next four years.

    Related articles:
  • Rubio offers back-to-basics conservative message (The Washington Post)
  • Aggressive speech, even more aggressive message (POLITICO)

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    All agree immigration policy needs reform, but split on how to proceed
    The Washington Post
    It was perhaps the one topic that received bipartisan attention Tuesday night — from President Barack Obama during his State of the Union address, in the official Republican response delivered by Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and in the tea party's response to the response: the need to overhaul the nation's immigration laws.

    Related: Obama to meet with Senate Democrats on immigration (POLITICO)

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    John Boehner's Senate-first strategy
    POLITICO
    The same House Republican majority that spent the entire past two years haranguing Senate Democrats for ignoring piles of legislation has a new strategy. Let the Senate act first — on nearly everything.
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    US hopes to finish Europe trade deal in two years
    The Hill
    Business groups and U.S. trade officials are optimistic that a comprehensive trade agreement with the European Union can be completed within the next two years. Negotiators on both sides of the Atlantic said the talks would seek the elimination of all duties, greater market access for goods and services and better cohesion on regulations.
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    How some schools get kids to change eating habits
    Phillyburbs.com
    Districts across the nation are overhauling traditional lunch menus to comply with new regulations that require schools to increase the availability of fruits, vegetables and whole grains, enforce calorie limits, scrap trans fats and regulate sodium content. The program is working, USDA spokesman Hans Billinger said, and thousands of schools "are already at or near the new standards."
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    Soda tax could help state reduce childhood obesity
    Kearney Hub
    Nebraska's LB447, which was introduced in the Nebraska Legislature by state Sen. Bill Avery, would tax soda and create the Nebraska Healthy Kids Fund, which aims to help schools implement wellness programs.

    Related: 'No' to soda tax (Center for Consumer Freedom via Kearney Hub)

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    Policy wonks: Food and drink industry undermines public health
    Food Navigator
    Wide-scale public regulation and market interventions are the only evidence-based mechanisms to prevent the harms caused by "unhealthy commodity industries" such as the food and beverage industry, argues The Lancet NCD Action Group in the latest edition of The Lancet.
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    Mississippi bills look to take control of menu, vending labels
    Vending Times
    Two new bills would give the Mississippi legislature sole authority to enact regulations pertaining to nutrition labeling of food and beverages on menus in restaurants and for vending machines. The companion bills in Mississippi's House and Senate (H. 1182 and S. 2687) would prevent local governments and municipalities from enacting their own rules for food labeling.

    Related: New Mexico city tackles GMO labeling on local level (Santa Fe New Mexican)

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    FDA: Comments due Friday on risk assessment proposal
    U.S. Food and Drug Administration
    On Jan. 16, the FDA released its "Draft Qualitative Risk Assessment of Risk of Activity/Food Combinations for Activities (Outside the Farm Definition) Conducted in a Facility Co-Located on a Farm." The purpose of the draft risk assessment is to provide a science-based risk analysis of those activity/food combinations that could be considered low risk. Electronic or written comments on the draft risk assessment are due by Feb. 15.
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    TRENDING ARTICLES
    Missed our previous issues? See which articles your colleagues read most.

        National Beef to lay off 400+ (Meatingplace)
    Lean Cuisine recall a prime reason to take steps on food safety (Examiner)
    Imports at the root of half of foodborne illness outbreaks (PRWeb)
    New York City cuts down on salt (The Associated Press via MedPage Today)

    Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.


    Canada mayors: Food processing deregulation, job loss on hold
    CBC
    A group of Southern Ontario mayors feel they have managed to convince Canadian Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz there will be terrible consequences if food packaging sizes are deregulated. The mayors met with Ritz late Tuesday in Ottawa. They've been asked to participate in a task force studying the industry.
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    Comment period extended for GE salmon evaluation
    Office of the Federal Register
    The Food and Drug Administration is extending the comment period for two draft environmental review documents that found no significant impact concerning a genetically engineered Atlantic salmon. After receiving a request for more time to research and respond to the issue, the FDA has set a new deadline of April 26.
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    Imports lead to half of foodborne illness outbreaks
    PRWeb
    Imported food, constituting just 15 percent of U.S. diets, is responsible for half of foodborne illness outbreaks, according to Intelex's new e-book, "FSMA: 10 Facts You Should Know."

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    National Beef to lay off 400+ at Pennsylvania, Georgia processing facilities
    Meatingplace
    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.

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    Lean Cuisine recall a prime reason to take steps on food safety
    Examiner
    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.

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    The five-letter word taking over fast food
    InvestorPlace
    The hottest word in fast food marketing right now is "fresh." But with no set definition, companies can claim to serve fresh fast food without meeting any standard. There are no controls over supply chain, time until service or calorie content with regards to using the label "fresh" on a product.
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    As Valentine's Day nears, campaign pushes confectioners to label GMOs
    Food Navigator-USA
    GMO Inside, a national coalition of companies and organizations, has marshaled a public Valentine's Day campaign to pressure Hershey and Mars to drop GMO ingredients or to label them in their chocolate candies.
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    Horse meat scandal could lead to higher prices amid regulation
    Bloomberg Businessweek
    The discovery of horse meat in beef products may spur "a blizzard" of European regulations for the food industry, as agriculture ministers meet Wednesday in Brussels and British cattle prices climb to records.

    Related: Horse meat scandal highlights complex supply chain (The Huffington Post UK)

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    Research on Heinz, Kraft: Food industry posts good growth
    PR Newswire via International Business Times
    Like every other industry, even the staple food industry bore the brunt of a dire economic environment. However, with the improvement in overall economy, these stocks are making a major comeback.
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    Coming soon to China: At-home toxic food test kits
    The Wall Street Journal
    According to a report from the official Xinhua news agency, scientists at the Tianjin University of Science and Technology in northern China have developed an at-home testing kit to help consumers detect more than 60 varieties of chemicals in their food.
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    Ball Corp. to close Illinois site
    Food Production Daily
    Ball Corp. is planning to close a food and aerosol packaging manufacturing facility, with the loss of 245 jobs by the end of the year. The Elgin, Ill., plant has been operating since 1967.
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    Hudson Valley Food Hub gets $826,000 from state to expand facilities
    Mid-Hudson News Network
    The Hudson Valley Food Hub will receive more than $826,000 from New York state to expand the infrastructure of two food processing and distribution firms that serve farms in New York. Farm to Table Co-Packers and Hudson Valley Harvest together will develop the food hub.
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    Legalized marijuana: States look to food sector for inspection model
    The Associated Press via Courier Post
    Marijuana may be coming out of the black market in Colorado and Washington state, but the drug, at least for now, will retain a decidedly underground feel: Users may not know what's in it. As federal agencies stay out of it, state regulators grapple with how to provide safety inspections.
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    Frozen Express
    Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, (469) 420-2601
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