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Sequestration and the Food Safety Modernization Act
Food Safety News
As an attempt to reign in the federal budget, the sequestration plan proposes cuts that could further stymie important legislation such as the Food Safety Modernization Act.Before companies start to relax at the thought of less inspections or a slower implementation of FSMA, it is important to remember that supply chain problems will still exist.
How much have food prices changed in the past 100 years?
Memphis Business Journal
"Beyond the Numbers" is an analysis of average food prices compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, illustrating the ebb and flow in prices for staple products over the past century. Which foods have become most expensive? Milk and potatoes top the list.
Related: Opinion: Get ready for higher food prices with Gina McCarthy's EPA (Somewhat Reasonable)
Did Diane Sawyer smear pink slime?
A year ago, Beef Products Inc. had four state-of-the art plants, more than 1,300 employees and was expanding aggressively. In an ongoing lawsuit, the meat company blames media coverage of a key product — lean finely textured beef, or pink slime — for its financial ruin. The case is shaping up as one of the most high-stakes defamation court battles in U.S. history.
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Can Obama defy history in second midterm election?
The Washington Post
President Barack Obama is only months removed from running his last campaign for political office, but his interest in the next round of congressional elections some 20 months away is already ramping up, with a goal of making historic gains in the House.
Related: Democrats launching plan for 2014 at-risk members (POLITICO)
Obama job approval tumbles
President Barack Obama's job approval rating took a hit over the weekend, falling to its lowest level in the Gallup three-day average since his re-election. His approval rating was 46 percent between Feb 29 and March 2, down from 53 percent a week earlier.
With sequester in swing, Obama switches focus to other priorities
President Barack Obama will shift his focus to immigration, gun control, increasing the minimum wage and other second-term priorities now that the sequester cuts have begun. With both sides digging in over the cuts and the blame game down Pennsylvania Avenue well under way, the White House sees little hope of replacing the $85 billion in automatic spending cuts anytime soon.
Baucus: US-EU deal must tackle agricultural barriers
The chairman of the Senate Finance Committee on Monday warned he will not support a proposed free trade agreement between the United States and the European Union unless it tears down barriers that have long blocked U.S. farm exports.
New estimates question savings from farm bills
The New York Times
Farm bills passed by the full Senate and the House Agriculture Committee in 2012 would cost billions more this year if they were enacted without changes, according to a new estimate from the Congressional Budget Office.
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Soda ban FAQ: How New York City's large-drink rules work
The Wall Street Journal
New York City's new rules limiting the sale of large sugary drinks goes into effect citywide later this month. But restaurants, bars and movie theaters are already rolling out plans for the smaller-soda era.
Missed our previous issues? See which articles your colleagues read most.
USDA reports on the growing importance of food hubs in rural US
The Paramus Post
Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan last week released a report that provides a comprehensive look at the economic role, challenges and opportunities for food hubs in the nation's growing local food movement.
Canada: Report urges ban on junk food ads aimed at preteens
The Ontario government should ban junk food and fast food ads aimed at children younger than 12 and insist that restaurants include the number of calories in each dish on their menus, according to a report released Monday.
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Ahold to offer more private brands
Food Business News
Royal Ahold, the Dutch operator of U.S. supermarket chains Stop & Shop and Giant, is broadening its offerings to customers through improving its private-brand product line and building its online business, company executives said Feb. 28 in conjunction with the release of fiscal 2012 earnings.
Steve Forbes: Policy changes could jump-start economy
Many economists have called the slow GDP growth "the new normal." But Steve Forbes, chairman and editor-in-chief of Forbes Media, calls it "the new abnormal" and believes a few significant policy changes would turn things around. Speaking during the Monday General Session of the Truckload Carriers Association's annual convention in Las Vegas, Forbes laid out four reasons the economy is recovering so sluggishly from the Great Recession.
Food sector well-represented in 'Most Admired Companies' list
The food industry is well-represented on the 2013 "Most Admired Companies" list released this week by Fortune magazine. From McDonald's at No. 12 to Yum! Brands at No. 46, the top 50 most admired companies include a range of food producers, CPG giants and retailers.
Food recalls and liability: No use denying over spilled milk
When food companies face loss or liability stemming from product recalls induced by allegations of food contamination, insurance companies often deny coverage on grounds that there was no actual property damage. A second often-contested question is whether product recall exclusions apply to liability incurred by a company when a customer recalls its product.
Dole Food poised for new era of growth
Dole Food Company Inc. definitely deserves a spot on the watch list of punters these days. Come this April, close to $1.7 billion in cash will be infused into this company that produces, markets and distributes fresh fruits and fresh vegetables. By that month, Dole will have completed the sale of its Asian fresh produce and its worldwide packaged foods operations to the Itochu conglomerate of Japan.
Hershey's provocateur-in-chief pushes company to $10 billion
Michele Buck, SVP and Chief Growth Officer of The Hershey Co., is riding a sugar high. Over the past four years the iconic candy company has posted consistent gains in sales and net income. Now she's set her sights on an even bigger goal: hitting the $10-billion revenue mark by 2017, a 50 percent increase over the $6.6 billion in revenues it posted last year.
Canadian authority: Food safety, not packaging
CFIA via The Windsor Star
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency's first priority is food safety and consumer health. This is why the agency is proposing moving out of regulating container sizes, which has zero impact on food safety.
Birds Eye names Irish processor as source of horse meat
Frozen food giant Birds Eye has identified Irish meat processor QK Meats as the source of horse in three of its products. QK Meats is based in Naas, County Kildare, in the Republic of Ireland.
Related: FSAI publishes results of industry tests for horse meat (Food Ingredients First)
Technomic: Prepared foods proving to be imperative for retailers
Food retailers are finding ways to ramp up their retailer meal solutions programs. RMS has emerged as a critical strategic initiative for not only most supermarket chains and supercenters but also convenience stores, dollar stores and drugstores.
OSHA fines Nebraska food plant after workers suffer burns
The Associated Press via The Republic
Federal regulators have proposed $45,000 in fines against the operator of a food plant in Norfolk, Neb., where two workers were burned. The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration says Henningsen Foods Inc. had seven safety violations, including one repeat, during an inspection after the accident in October 2012.
Food producers' waste diversion up 18 percent
Sustainable Business Oregon
A Portland group that studies the food business reports that organic food companies, in adopting a broad range of sustainability initiatives, have dramatically boosted the amount of waste they divert to landfills.
The inconvenient truth about processed foods
Food Product Design
From "Fast Food Nation" to the two newest books on the block, "Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us," by Michael Moss and "Pandora's Lunchbox: How Processed Food Took Over the American Meal," by Melanie Warner, the modern food industry is being portrayed as the archenemy of all mankind. Because, frankly, if it wasn't over-dramatized, it wouldn't sell.
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