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US farm trade frets over sequestration; meat sector worries most
Reuters
U.S. farmers and agribusiness companies are worried that across-the-board federal budget cuts will snarl the supply channels for everything from milk and broiler chickens to grain shipments, but many are hopeful that the Obama administration and Republican opponents will find a compromise before major disruptions hit the food system.

Related articles:
  • USDA says inspector furloughs several months away (Bloomberg)
  • Email tells feds to make sequester as painful as promised (The Washington Times)
  • Congress may add flexibility to sequester cuts (USA Today)
  • Opinion: #SequesterThis (The Wall Street Journal)

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    Food forecasters: Consumers want to feel good about food choices
    Meat & Poultry (free registration required)
    Researchers at Woodland Foods, a specialty ingredient importer, can predict what will pop up on consumers' plates. Lately, consumer preferences largely are driven by health, according to the company.
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    Americans want government to promote good health — sometimes
    Los Angeles Times
    Does the government have a role to play in preventing childhood obesity, helping smokers quit and heading off chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease? Yes, according to survey results published Monday by the journal Health Affairs.
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    Political partisanship mirrors public
    USA Today
    Americans who blame Washington politicians for the polarization and gridlock of the nation's politics might want to look in the mirror: Like the elected officials they decry, voters tend to retreat automatically into partisan camps even when they disagree with the party line on policy.
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    Jeb Bush is back in the spotlight — and thinking about 2016
    The Washington Post
    Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who has remained on the sidelines since his older brother left the White House with dismal ratings four years ago, has jumped back into the political fray this week with a new book, wall-to-wall television interviews and a round of public speaking engagements.
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    Obama to meet House, Senate Republicans on their own turf
    The Hill
    Senate Republicans will host President Barack Obama at their weekly conference lunch next week amid an intensifying effort by the White House to reach out to rank-and-file Republicans on a possible budget deal.
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    McCain: Visa overhaul key hurdle in immigration talks
    The Wall Street Journal
    Arizona Sen. John McCain said Wednesday that working with labor to revamp visa programs has emerged as one of the toughest issues in the bipartisan Senate group overhauling immigration laws.

    Related articles:
  • Citizenship for immigrants divides Republicans (The Wall Street Journal)
  • Immigration talks gain momentum (POLITICO)
  • Immigration reform: Senate stuck on lower-skilled workers (POLITICO)

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    EU trade chief: No change to GM food policy in US trade talks
    Reuters
    The European Union's regulation on genetically modified food will not change even if Brussels and Washington reach a free-trade agreement, EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht told an Austrian newspaper.

    Related: British ambassador: Trade pact a major opportunity (USA Today)

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    Vermont GMO labeling bill passes first hurdle — but challenges await
    Food Navigator-USA
    A GMO labeling bill has passed its first regulatory hurdle in Vermont after the state's House Agriculture Committee passed it by an 8-3 vote Friday. It now goes to the House Judiciary Committee for review, then to the floor for a vote.

    Related articles:
  • Hearing on GE food labeling draws crowd in New Jersey (Convenience Store Decisions)
  • Food labeling class action survives (Courthouse News Service)
  • GMO voter education tour kicks off in Arizona (WWGFN via Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

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    State, federal lawmakers focus on produce trade
    The Texas Tribune
    This week, Texas state Rep. Bobby Guerra, D-Mission, is expected to file a bill that would help address the shortage of agricultural specialists who inspect produce coming across the Texas-Mexico border.
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    US meat, trade officials detail cost of 'non-science-based' ractopamine bans
    Meatingplace
    U.S. meat and trade officials are pressing Russia, China and Taiwan to change their stances against the use of beta agonists such as ractopamine in beef and pork while detailing the costs of their respective restrictions.
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    TRENDING ARTICLES
    Missed our previous issues? See which articles your colleagues read most.

        Next big food trend: Panuchos, mohinga, poisson cru? (LonelyPlanet.com via USA Today)
    Ultra-assertive Obama adopts new strategy: Taking no prisoners (The Hill)
    Stakeholders offer broad feedback on FSMA in first public meeting (Food Safety News)

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


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    CPG industry trends, predictions for 2013
    Progressive Grocer
    As the effects of economic uncertainty continue to reverberate throughout the consumer packaged goods industry, consumers are still attempting to ease budgetary strains and embrace a wide variety of money-saving strategies. The latest research from SymphonyIRI Group's Times & Trends, "2012 CPG Year in Review: Finding the New Normal," provides insights into today's capricious consumers and the impact their behaviors are having on CPG growth trends.
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    The calendar of fast food
    The Wall Street Journal (subscriber story)
    Fast food chains and other restaurants create new seasons as reasons to indulge by offering limited-time products.
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    Wal-Mart's smaller stores making inroads
    The Wall Street Journal (subscriber story)
    Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said its smaller-format stores are making inroads against competitors like dollar stores, supermarkets and pharmacies, and the locations will play an integral role in the company's future.
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    IFC lends $40 million to Smithfield venture to boost pork in Mexico
    Reuters
    The World Bank's private-sector lender said Monday it will lend $40 million to Norson, a joint venture in Mexico of local investors and the world's largest pork processor, Smithfield Foods, to expand production and cut greenhouse gas emissions at its plants.
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    Attorney files objection to Hostess-Flowers sale
    Bakery & Snacks
    A U.S. attorney has filed an objection to the Hostess bread business sale because the contract would release Flowers Foods from environmental liabilities.
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    Expert: Smaller portions will sell only if price is right or options gone
    Food Navigator
    While food manufacturers can introduce smaller sodas, burgers and salads to menus, consumers are not going to buy them unless they charge a proportionately lower price, or in turn get rid of their super-size options and make the smaller option the only option, says one expert.
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    Food sector shines in 'Most Admired Companies' list
    Fortune
    The food industry shows up on Fortune's 2013 "Most Admired Companies" list. From McDonald's at No. 12 to Yum! Brands at No. 46, a range of food producers, CPG giants and retailers are represented.

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    Bill Maher slams California vote against GMO labeling
    The Huffington Post
    If you are what you eat, then we're all pretty much Donald Trump's legal representation, according to Bill Maher, who took Americans to task for being willfully ignorant about their food, and Californians in particular for voting down a GMO labeling proposition.

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    Vilsack: USDA must furlough inspectors
    Food Safety News
    Under the sequester, which recently put in place across-the-board budget cuts, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has no choice but to furlough meat inspectors, Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack reiterated Friday after groups questioned the threatened cuts.

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    Nebraska turkey processor in bankruptcy
    The Associated Press via The Wall Street Journal
    A turkey processing plant is in Chapter 7 involuntary bankruptcy and has ceased operation in the south-central Nebraska city of Gibbon. Court documents say Midwest Meat Packing Facility hadn't paid Shinn's Turkey Track, of Dunning, $1.45 million for turkeys and had a total debt of more than $4.4 million.
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    What's happening in seafood
    Retail Dietitians Business Alliance
    The New England Journal of Medicine published a landmark study last week on the benefits of the Mediterranean diet, reinforcing the health-protective qualities of this seafood-rich eating pattern. This comes at an interesting time, as seafood consumption in the U.S. has been on the decline.
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    Frozen Express
    Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, (469) 420-2601
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