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Was sequester impact overstated?
Food Safety News
Five days after across-the-board budget cuts kicked in at most federal agencies, some lawmakers and newspaper fact-checkers are beginning to seriously question whether the doomsday scenario painted by the White House was accurate.
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FDA: United approach critical to prevention
Food Quality News
Collaboration is vital to shift from a responsive to a preventative approach to foodborne disease outbreaks, according to Michael R. Taylor, deputy commissioner for foods at the FDA, speaking at the Global Food Safety Conference 2013.
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One year later, makers of pink slime hanging on and fighting back
Time
As the meat industry is again in the media spotlight after a series of reports about horse meat showing up in "beef" products all over Europe, the pink slime story is still playing itself out in courthouses, law offices and the lone BPI plant still in operation.
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Poll: Who has the edge for 2016?
POLITICO
Hillary Clinton tops any of several top-tier possible Republican 2016 candidates — including New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie — according to a presidential poll Thursday.
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Paul Ryan, Patty Murray hold the keys to any budget deal
The Washington Post
After two years of anxious, high-wire negotiations over the federal budget, an exhausted Washington is about to hand the mess back over to the experts: the chairmen of the House and Senate Budget committees.
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Boehner 'optimistic' about new Obama outreach to GOP
The Hill
Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said Thursday he is "optimistic" about President Barack Obama's new outreach to rank-and-file Republicans, but he warned it will not make the GOP bend on taxes.
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If it's Monday, Los Angeles school cafeterias are meatless
Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles public schools have just gone meatless on Mondays. But unlike the Los Angeles City Council's resolution in November that simply urges people to observe a Monday without meat, the school system really has issued an edict. It stopped serving meat on Mondays last month.

Related articles:
  • State looks to boost participation in school breakfast (State House News Service)
  • Georgia schools focusing on healthy breakfasts (Rockdale Citizen)

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    Boehner pledges farm bill in 2013
    USAgNet
    House Speaker John Boehner spoke during a forum with members of the Ohio Farm Bureau this week but had little to say about a new farm bill. He did pledge to get a new bill done and said he expected the Senate to do the same this year.
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    Industry asks for another extension to review FSMA rules
    Agri-Pulse
    More than 270 organizations, food businesses and farms on Wednesday asked the federal government to extend the comment period for two proposed food safety rules. In a letter to the Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Health and Human Services, the groups asked for an extension from May 16 to Sept. 13 to assess the 1,200 pages of rules.
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    New deadline set for feedback, activation of poultry HACCP plans
    Federal Register
    The Food Safety and Inspection Service is extending the comment period for "HACCP Plan Reassessment for Not-Ready-to-Eat Comminuted Poultry Products and Related Agency Verification Procedures" until April 20. FSIS is also providing another 45 days for establishments to reassess their HACCP plans and for inspectors to begin verifying those plans. But on April 20, FSIS personnel will begin collecting samples to determine the prevalence of Salmonella in NRTE comminuted poultry products.
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    EWG, Organic Voices form GMO labeling coalition
    Food Navigator-USA
    The Environmental Working Group and Organic Voices, the group behind the Just Label It campaign, have announced a new collaboration to advocate for the labeling of foods containing genetically modified ingredients and to highlight the benefits of organic foods.

    Related articles:
  • Washington House panel hears GMO arguments (The Seattle Times)
  • Shumlin expresses doubts on Vermont GMO bill (The Associated Press via WFFF-TV)
  • GMO activists plan 'eat-in' at FDA (Occupy-Monsanto via The Sacramento Bee)
  • Coca-Cola, Pepsi being drawn into GMO debate (GMO Inside via The Sacramento Bee)
  • Anti-GMO grass-roots effort gains ground in US (Discover)

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    FDA updates guidance on administrative detention of foods
    Office of the Federal Register
    In the wake of implementing a final rule, the Food and Drug Administration is announcing the availability of a guidance for industry: "What You Need to Know About Administrative Detention of Foods; Small Entity Compliance Guide," which updates an earlier guidance of similar title.
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    FSIS amends meat, poultry regulations to allow new ingredients
    Federal Register
    After considering comments received from industry, the Food Safety and Inspection Service has determined that sodium benzoate, sodium propionate and benzoic acid, under the conditions proposed in the petitions, are both safe and suitable for use as antimicrobial agents in certain RTE meat and poultry products. Therefore, FSIS is amending regulations to remove these substances from the list of prohibited substances.
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    US, India set to square off over poultry at WTO
    Meatingplace
    Panelists have been selected to settle a dispute the United States pitched to the World Trade Organization over India's restrictions on imports of U.S. poultry. The proceedings had been delayed due to disagreements between the two countries over the make-up of the panel.
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    TRENDING ARTICLES
    Missed our previous issues? See which articles your colleagues read most.

        What's happening in seafood (Retail Dietitians Business Alliance)
    The calendar of fast food (The Wall Street Journal (subscriber story)
    How much have food prices changed in the past 100 years? (Memphis Business Journal)

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


    US trade deficit surges in January on oil imports
    Los Angeles Times
    The U.S. trade picture dimmed at the start of this year as exports fell back and American imports rose more than most expected. On both sides, it was all about oil. The result was a sizable widening of the trade deficit in January, to a seasonally adjusted $44.4 billion from a revised $38.1 billion in December, the Commerce Department said Thursday.
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    OMB and European Commission to host meeting on US-EU trade
    Federal Register
    The U.S. Office of Management and Budget and the European Commission will host a public meeting April 10-11 to discuss ways to promote U.S.-EC regulatory compliance and encourage greater trans-Atlantic regulatory compatibility — with an end goal of promoting trade.
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    Pork Checkoff program set to continue
    Office of the Federal Register
    USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service is seeking to continue the Pork Checkoff program, according to a document set to be published this week in the Federal Register. The program is meant to strengthen the pork market.
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    Despite obesity rise, US calories trending downwards
    Reuters
    U.S. adults have been eating steadily fewer calories for almost a decade, despite the continued increase in obesity rates, according to survey data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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    Study: Cash can bribe dieters to lose weight
    The Associated Press
    Researchers are reporting success with using cash incentives to help people lose weight. In a yearlong study, Mayo Clinic employees were offered a chance to win or lose $20 a month if they met certain diet goals. They lost an average of 9 pounds compared to just over 2 pounds for other study participants who were not offered the chance to win money if they shed pounds.
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    Gluten-free diets reach a new high
    The NPD Group
    As of January about a third of U.S. adults say they want to cut down or be free of gluten in their diets, the highest percentage making this claim since The NPD Group began asking the question in 2009. NPD's Dieting Monitor, which tracks on a biweekly basis top-of-mind dieting and nutrition-related issues facing consumers, reports that 1 in every 3 adults claimed to cut down on or avoid gluten completely in January 2013.

    Related articles:
  • More than ever, Americans trying to cut down or avoid gluten (Convenience Store News)
  • Gluten intolerance classified as 'disability' – How will industry react? (PotatoPro)

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    Neogen: Horse meat is just the beginning
    Food Quality News
    Instances of economically-motivated adulteration will grow globally as the economic slowdown continues to bite, with the EU horse meat scandal just one high-profile example, according to Neogen Corp.

    Related: Food fraud: Are your ingredients at risk? (Manufacturing.net)

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    Commentary: Road to a real-time supply chain is wide open
    Logistics Viewpoints
    A new Bloomberg BusinessWeek Research Services survey and report makes it clear that innovative supply chain tools are widely acknowledged to be crucial to meeting corporate goals now and in the future as supply chains grow more complex, customers become more demanding and globalization accelerates. In this context, supply chain innovation is becoming more important as companies that have invested in traditional tools are now determined to operate real-time supply chains.
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    Food companies likely to accept wider tracing — on one condition
    Law360 (subscription required)
    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is considering a proposal to impose new tracking requirements on the production of all foods, not just high-risk ones — a mandate attorneys say companies are likely to accept as long as the agency does not dictate how they trace their products.
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    Factors driving today's culinary trends
    Food Product Design
    Today's food industry looks much different than years ago, due to factors that have reshaped attitudes and behaviors surrounding food, according to a new report from Packaged Facts and CCD Innovation.
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    Produce industry groups release cantaloupe safety guidance
    Food Safety News
    Produce industry groups released a new national food safety guideline for cantaloupes and netted melons to advise growers on the best practices to avoid contamination of microbial pathogens.

    Related: North Carolina launches pilot cantaloupe safety program (The Grower)

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    FEATURED ARTICLE
    TRENDING ARTICLE
    MOST POPULAR ARTICLE
    Gluten-free diets reach a new high in US
    The NPD Group
    NPD reports that 1 in every 3 adults claimed to cut down on or avoid gluten completely in January 2013, the highest percentage yet recorded.

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    Email: 'Make sequester as painful as promised'
    The Washington Times
    A USDA official has shared an email in which he is told to "make sure you are not contradicting what we said the [sequester's] impact would be."

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    Did Diane Sawyer smear pink slime?
    Reuters
    An ongoing lawsuit over media coverage of pink slime is shaping up to be one of the most high-stakes defamation court battles in U.S. history.

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    Cracker Barrel testing low-calorie menu
    Food Business News (free registration required)
    Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Inc., a restaurant chain known for such products as fried chicken and cornbread, is looking to draw in health-conscious diners with the introduction of a lower calorie menu called Wholesome Fixin's.
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    Expert: Processed meat death study conclusion 'unsafe'
    Food Manufacture
    No conclusions about health can be drawn from recent research linking the risk of premature death with the amount of processed meat eaten, according to Dr. Carrie Ruxton, a dietitian from the U.K.'s Meat Advisory Panel.
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    The Organic Center searches for arsenic in rice
    Progressive Grocer
    The Organic Center has signed an agreement with USDA's Agricultural Research Service for ARS scientists to undertake targeted research on the factors affecting the presence of arsenic in organically grown rice. A $50,000 grant to The Organic Center from the newly formed UNFI Foundation enables the center to conduct the research.
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    Smithfield income gets boost from packaged meats
    Food Business News (free registration required)
    Growth in packaged meats contributed to a 3 percent increase in income at Smithfield Foods Inc. during the third quarter.
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