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Consumers want GMO food labels? The marketplace is listening
Los Angeles Times
It's a victory for the consumers who worry about genetically engineered foods that Whole Foods will label all such foods in its markets. But in truth, this is also a victory for the forces that opposed Proposition 37, because it shows this matter doesn't require weighty regulations; it is easily handled by the free market.
Related: Swap Frankenfood hysterics for accuracy in food labeling (Bloomberg)
Q-and-A with Michael Taylor: Sequestration, pet food and antibiotics
Food Safety News
The second installment of Food Safety News' conversation with Michael Taylor, deputy commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, covers sequestration, pet food, antibiotics and whether he plans to retire anytime soon.
Pink-slimy world of social media
The lightning speed of social media and the viral spread of reports change how companies must guard and even promote their interests. Case in point: The ongoing fallout of pink slime reports.
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Second-term U-turn takes Obama to lawmakers' own home turf
President Barack Obama is going only one place this week, but his conversations will go everywhere. He's heading to Capitol Hill again and again, visiting lawmakers from both parties on their own turf for three consecutive days, an extraordinary shift for a president widely seen as aloof and disconnected.
Related: Obama, Hill leaders knuckle down on budget talks (USA Today)
House freshmen Democrats launch sweeping fundraising effort
Democratic freshmen in the House have launched a robust push to engage the entire class of 2013 in fundraising for the party's campaign committee, an effort spurred by the rallying call: "Bring back our endangered classmates in 2014!"
USDA chief slams Congress for impact of cuts
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack fired back at congressional lawmakers who criticized him for not doing enough to avoid a series of mandatory spending cuts, including the furloughs of meat inspectors expected later this year. Instead, Vilsack put the blame squarely on congressional lawmakers.
Related: Johanns challenges Vilsack on food inspector furloughs (North Platte Bulletin)
Bloomberg calls on industry's conscience after soda rule nixed
Long Island Business News
Hours after a judge struck down the 16-ounce size limit for sodas and some other sweet drinks as arbitrary and outside city health regulators' purview, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg defended it as a groundbreaking anti-obesity effort and all but challenged businesses to comply out of concern for their customers.
What's happening with Food Safety Modernization Act rules
Lexology (subscription required)
Besides working on "deliverables" like standards for food shipments and the process for implementing the intentional adulteration provision, the FDA has been spending a lot of time looking at how it needs to change its approach to match FSMA's requirement that the agency and industry move toward a preventive system for food safety.
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Industry self-regulation permits junk food ads in children's programs
Yale University via Medical Xpress
Loopholes in industry self-regulation allow food companies to continue to reach large numbers of children with advertising for unhealthy products during "tween" programs and popular children's holiday specials. The study by the Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity is published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
Border agency warns of port slowdowns under sequestration
In a letter to industry groups, Customs and Border Protection Deputy Commissioner David Aguilar said the staffing cutbacks could decrease service levels in port cargo operations. With fewer people to inspect containers, there could be delays of up to five days or more at major seaports and significant daily backups at land ports of entry, Aguilar said.
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USDA confirms meeting on equivalency changes with DeLauro's staff
Food Chemical News (subscription required)
A letter sent from Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack confirms that USDA representatives met with staffers from the office of Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., Feb. 1 to discuss the changes to the foreign meat and poultry equivalency review program used by USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service.
UK government launches drive to cut salt in food
U.K. Public Health Minister Anna Soubry wants more food industry firms to sign up to a new "Responsibility Deal" aimed at improving the health of the nation. The goal is to reduce the daily salt intake from an 8.1 grams-a-day average to 6 grams.
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Opinion: Horse meat is danger on Europe's dinner plate
The New York Times
The discovery of horse meat in products labeled as beef in the European Union has raised serious questions, not only about food labeling, but also about food safety and the working of the somewhat opaque, global horse meat industry.
Food traceability is crucial (The StarPhoenix)
Next horse meat scandal is just around the corner (The Grocer)
General Mills pilot project tests frozen food delivery service
Food giant General Mills is launching a pilot project with St. Cloud, Minn.-based Coborn's to deliver frozen full meals, hoping to win over seniors. The service is a pilot, but if it works in the Twin Cities, General Mills could take it to other markets — along with its new line of frozen meals bearing Betty Crocker Kitchens branding.
Spike in gas prices comes early
A rare winter spike in gasoline prices has drivers wondering why they're paying springtime pump prices before they've even unwrapped their Easter candy. And to make matters worse, energy experts say, gas prices might see another surge higher as U.S. demand climbs when the weather warms up.
Counterfeit food robs Americans of $10 billion each year
Western Farm Press
Americans pay $10 billion to $15 billion annually for fake food — often due to product laundering, dilution and intentionally false labeling.
Trend report: Global flavors hit the mainstream
Authentic regional foods from around the world are emerging as the norm rather than the exception thanks to changing demographics and a shift in consumer attitudes. This change is explored in a new report from San Francisco-based food and beverage innovation agency CCD Innovation and market research publisher Packaged Facts.
Carl's Jr. eyes expansion into Australia
United States burger chain Carl's Jr. is looking to expand into Australia, following the group's successful move into the New Zealand fast food market.
The 10 top global fast food chains
The Huffington Post
While McDonald's has a clear lead in non-U.S. systemwide sales compared to other quick service chains, it isn't the only one banking on a global presence.
Study: Online presence drives store traffic
Facts, Figures & the Future
A new study by Wanderful Media dissects what people respond to online, finding 91 percent of consumers "have gone into a store because of an online experience." It's a trend that's leading more food manufacturers and retailers to focus on online ad spending.
Dole shakes up frozen food aisle with new fruit smoothie flavor
PR Newswire via The Sacramento Bee
Dole has launched a new flavor in its Fruit Smoothie Shakers® line, adding peach mango to its offerings. The new flavor brings the line's total flavor profile for smoothies to four.
Grocery Outlet shores up 'red alerts'
"Food safety is at the top of consumers' concerns right now," Tom McMahon, Grocery Outlet's vice president of sales and marketing said as he detailed how and why the chain modernized its internal "red alert" system with the electronic Recall InfoLink system in 2012 following a full quarter of mock recall tests.
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