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Michelle Obama: The business case for healthier food options
The Wall Street Journal (subscriber story)
For years, America's childhood obesity crisis was viewed as an insurmountable problem, one that was too complicated and too entrenched to ever really solve. But thanks to businesses across the country, today we are proving the conventional wisdom wrong.

Related: Michelle Obama announces expansion of Let's Move! program (The Hill)

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AFFI urges USTR to allow duty-free access for frozen broccoli
Business Wire via MarketWatch
The American Frozen Food Institute today urged the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to approve two petitions seeking permanent duty-free access for frozen broccoli from Ecuador. AFFI cautioned that without such action, U.S. food makers could face significant supply disruptions and higher costs, which could result in higher food bills for consumers.
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Sequester to have big impact on food safety — but details unknown
Food Safety News
Other than a memo put out by the White House earlier this month, which forecast reduced food inspections and meat inspector furloughs, there is not much known about exactly how the sequester, scheduled to kick in Friday, will impact federal food safety oversight.

Related articles:
  • Sequester coverage: Cuts and consequences (NPR)
  • Tyson, meat industry fear sequester will be disruptive (The City Wire)
  • Federal cuts seen affecting local food processors (The Joplin Globe)

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    Sequester spin gets ahead of reality
    The Washington Post
    The descriptions of the post-sequester landscape coming from the Obama administration have been alarming, specific — and, in at least some cases, hyped.

    Related articles:
  • Jockeying stalls deal on cuts (The Wall Street Journal)
  • Sequester cuts are here to stay (The Hill)
  • Sequester is only the latest Obama-GOP budget battle (USA Today)

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    Big business on sequester: Zzzz
    POLITICO
    The financial markets and some of the nation's biggest business groups have a collective response to the looming sequester: yawn. President Barack Obama is warning of economic catastrophe if deep and immediate spending cuts hit Friday. Yet some of the most influential business organizations are adopting a decidedly blasé attitude, staying largely silent on the matter.
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    Labor has tough words for Democrats over NLRB
    The Wall Street Journal (subscriber story)
    Labor leaders had tough words for the Obama administration and Senate Democrats as they demanded that new members be appointed to the embattled National Labor Relations Board. The demands came this week at the AFL-CIO’s annual meeting in Florida.
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    FSIS outlines procedure following missed inspections
    USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service
    USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service today issued instructions to all inspection program personnel, outlining the procedure to follow in the event of missed inspections. Current regulations require IPP to visit processing facilities once per shift, but the Office of the Inspector General found this schedule may not always be feasible.
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    Food industry failing to manage animal welfare, warns report
    Food Navigator
    The first-ever structured benchmark of the world's leading food companies suggests that farm animal welfare is not being properly managed and reported by the food industry. The report benchmarks 68 global food companies.
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    Want cheaper food? End the ethanol mandate
    Reason
    Wal-Mart has not had a good year so far. In an email leaked earlier this month, the company's vice president of finance and logistics grumbled that "February (month to date) sales are a total disaster... the worst start to a month I have seen in my... 7 years with the company." While many factors contribute, food price inflation is playing a role.
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    FDA releases international food safety capacity-building plan
    U.S. Food and Drug Administration
    FDA has released its framework for international food safety capacity-building activities. The new plan outlines goals, objectives and key actions that will guide FDA in setting priorities and managing international food safety capacity-building programs.
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    Minnesota legislator to introduce GMO food labeling bill in state
    The Associated Press via Grand Forks Herald
    Sen. John Marty plans to introduce a bill Thursday requiring the labeling of genetically engineered food and seed sold in Minnesota. Its first stop is the Senate Committee on Jobs, Agriculture and Rural Development.

    Related: GMO labels: Not welcome at Wal-Mart (Hoosier Ag Today)

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    TRENDING ARTICLES
    Missed our previous issues? See which articles your colleagues read most.

        FDA's gluten-free labeling rule sent to OMB (Food Chemical News (subscription required))
    EPA seeks input on proposed limits for pesticide residues (Federal Register)
    Nestle boss praises higher food prices and speculation (Food Manufacture UK)

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


    Trade official: US-Europe free trade pact won't affect TPP
    Agence France-Presse via Hurriyet Daily News
    A proposed U.S.-Europe free-trade pact is unlikely to affect Washington's efforts to negotiate a similar agreement with Asia-Pacific nations, a senior U.S. trade official said today. Jose Fernandez, the U.S. assistant secretary of state for economic and business affairs, said the Obama administration can negotiate with both regions simultaneously.
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    USDA meat, poultry inspectors start year with brisk business
    Food Safety News
    In its 41-page Enforcement Report for the first quarter, USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service reports inspecting 39,342 million head of livestock and 2,187 billion chickens and turkeys.
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    Economy grew slightly in Q4, revised data show
    The Washington Post
    The U.S. economy didn't contract at the end of last year, after all, according to revised government data released Thursday morning. Instead, it expanded at slight 0.1 percent annual rate. But the updated estimate by the Commerce Department still shows a fragile recovery that is too weak to make a significant dent in the nation's unemployment rate.
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    Supermarket customers are hot for takeout
    The Washington Post
    These days, grocery stores are our de facto home kitchens, turning out hot meals that, when combined with all other prepared supermarket foods, account for billions of dollars in sales. Yes, that's billions with a "b," as in "big boatload of bucks."
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    Fruit's day in the sun
    Supermarket Guru
    Who is America's top snack maker? Mother Nature, according to findings of a recent NPD Group report, "Snacking in America," which identifies fresh fruit as the most-consumed snack of all.
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    Flowers reportedly wins Wonder Bread after no other offers
    Bloomberg
    Flowers Foods Inc., maker of packaged bakery foods, will buy the majority of the bread-making business of bankrupt Hostess Brands Inc., including its Wonder bread brand, a person familiar with the situation said. A bankruptcy auction planned for Thursday will be canceled, and Hostess will sell more assets — including Twinkies — next month.
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    Target outlines Canadian expansion
    Supermarket News
    Target Corp. said Wednesday it expects to launch its entry into Canada in early April in the Greater Toronto area, with plans to open 124 stores across the country in five waves.
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    Dollar Tree posts Q4 gains
    Supermarket News
    Dollar Tree net earnings improved by 10.2 percent in the fourth quarter, and CEO Bob Sasser said that although issues including rising payroll taxes and fiscal cliff negotiations are affecting shoppers, he feels the company will benefit as a result.
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    Poultry processor fined $150,000 for violating Clean Water Act
    WRAL-TV
    A federal judge on Tuesday fined House of Raeford Farms Inc. $150,000 for illegally dumping untreated waste from its Hoke County, N.C., poultry slaughtering and processing plant into the local water treatment system.
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    Contaminated diet contributes to phthalate, BPA exposure
    Food Ingredients First
    According to a study published Wednesday in the Nature Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology, people may be exposed to phthalates and BPA in their diets — even if their meals are organic and foods are prepared, cooked and stored in non-plastic containers.
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    Invention opens door to packaging that monitors food freshness
    Food Ingredients First
    Researchers last week unveiled a circuit that makes possible a low-cost plastic analog-digital converter that could be used on food packaging to help make the "best before" labels, blamed for significant food waste, obsolete.
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    Hostess bankruptcy auction canceled
    Bloomberg
    Flowers Foods will pay about $360 million for Hostess's Wonder, Butternut, Home Pride, Merita and Nature's Pride brands, 20 bread plants, 38 depots and other assets. Thursday's planned bankruptcy auction is canceled.

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    Horse meat becomes PR problem, social media joke
    USA Today
    Unlabeled horse meat has been linked in Europe with some of the world's biggest and most familiar brands; each has tried to explain away the mess. But in a social media world, a problem in the U.K. instantly goes global.

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    USDA analyst: Food prices headed up this year
    Northwest Ag Information Network
    Food shoppers will see prices for most products going up more this year than they did in 2012. Ephraim Leibtag, USDA economist, lists some of the price hikes expected for a few of the major food categories this year.

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    Minnesota Valley Testing Laboratories implements Atlas safety system
    PRWeb via Digital Journal
    Minnesota Valley Testing Laboratories, a private independent testing laboratory headquartered in New Ulm, Minn., has implemented Roka Bioscience's Atlas System along with the Atlas Listeria Detection Assay and the Atlas Salmonella Detection Assay, both of which have received AOAC Performance Tested certification.
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    Regulatory green light for phage-based Salmonella preventive
    Business Wire
    Intralytix Inc. announced today that its latest food safety product, SalmoFresh™, has received Generally Recognized As Safe recognition from the FDA. SalmoFresh is an antimicrobial preparation for controlling the foodborne bacterial pathogen Salmonella enterica.
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    Chicken sausage recalled on consumer complaints of plastic particles
    USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service
    Schmalz's European Provisions, based in Springfield, N.J., is recalling approximately 8,424 pounds of chicken and apple sausage that may contain small pieces of plastic. The problem was discovered after three consumers complained of finding foreign matter in the food.

    Editor's note: Members of the American Frozen Food Institute have access to AFFI's unique Product Recall Insurance Program. Ensure you're protected during a food safety crisis using AFFI's one-of-a-kind program. For more information, please click here.

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