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Heinz deal shows enduring appeal of food companies
With his recent purchase of Heinz for the holdings of Berkshire Hathaway, legendary investor Warren Buffett has once again focused the attention of the investment community on the enduring profitability of food stocks ranging in size from Campbell Soup to Hormel to SoupMan. The appeal of these companies for future gains can be boiled down to 30 trillion reasons.
Birds Eye vegetable sales mark progress in obesity fight
Anti-obesity efforts by 48 companies, including Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Walgreen Co., have led to more fresh foods in poor neighborhoods, reduced soda consumption and caused a jump in vegetable sales, a U.S. report shows.
Food and beverage companies ranked by nutrition
Danone, Unilever and Nestle — companies that produce everything from frozen dinners to iced tea to baby food and ice cream — are the three best large firms worldwide when it comes to offering products that address both the problems of obesity and poor nutrition, according to the just-released first edition of the global Access to Nutrition Index.
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Obama's approval drops on dimmer view of economic policies
The Washington Post
The afterglow of President Barack Obama's re-election and inauguration appears to have vanished as increasingly negative views among Americans about his stewardship of the economy have forced his public approval rating back down to the 50 percent mark, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.
On Capitol Hill, budget vs. budget
House Republicans and Senate Democrats unveiled clashing budgets Tuesday that highlight the ideological chasm between the two parties on taxes, spending and the size of government.
Obama's risky Hill strategy
President Barack Obama is beginning to carve out his role in upcoming talks on the deficit: He'll let Congress take the lead.
Obama plans to take direction from Congress — and right now, the preferred path of influential lawmakers is to follow the regular budget process, which means any deal must wend its way through committees and onto the floor in both chambers.
Americans favor limiting sale of unhealthy food in schools
Two-thirds of Americans say, if given the opportunity, they would vote for a law that limits food sold in public schools to food that meets standards for high nutritional value. Three-quarters of parents with children currently enrolled in public school and nearly two-thirds of nonpublic school parents favor this proposal.
Fruit and veggie mandates for school meals making a difference
State laws that require minimum levels of fruits and vegetables in school meals may give a small boost to the amount of these foods in adolescents' diets, according to a study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. This effect was strongest in students who had no access to fruits and vegetables at home.
Michael Bloomberg: Not taking away rights
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Wednesday defended his effort to ban large sugary drinks, arguing it "doesn't take away anybody's rights."
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Career official takes over as Obama's acting regulatory czar
The White House Office and Management and Budget confirmed that attorney Boris Bershteyn is no longer in charge of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, which reviews federal regulations. Instead, it is being led by Deputy Administrator Dominic Mancini, the Obama administration revealed Wednesday.
U.S. Chamber sets immigration push
The Wall Street Journal (subscriber story)
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce unveiled a new website Wednesday to help build business and grass-roots momentum for a comprehensive immigration overhaul. The site is part of a multipronged approach the Chamber is taking to sway Congress.
FDA head says menu calorie counts is a 'thorny' issue
The Associated Press via The Topeka Capital-Journal
Diners will have to wait a little longer to find calorie counts on most restaurant chain menus, in supermarkets and on vending machines. Writing a new menu labeling law "has gotten extremely thorny," said the head of the Food and Drug Administration, as the agency tries to figure out who should be covered by it.
Obama appealing to Supreme Court over recess appointments
The Obama administration is calling on the Supreme Court to review the ruling that knocked down the president's controversial recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board.
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Canada vowing to fight US on meat labeling rules
Canada's cattle and hog producers are vowing to fight proposed new meat labeling rules south of the border, saying they will go so far as to request retaliatory tariffs if the U.S. government does not change its stance on country of origin labels.
Related: Stricter labels irk meat industry (Nasdaq)
Ag-gag bills being heard in Nebraska, Arkansas, Tennessee
Food Safety News
Nebraska, Arkansas and Tennessee today are holding legislative hearings on bills that supporters say protect farms and opponents say prevent people from being effective whistle-blowers when collecting evidence of animal abuse.
Related: Wave of ag-gag bills threaten food safety, freedom of the press (PR Watch)
Down to Earth requires GMO labeling in Hawaii stores
Pacific Business News
Down to Earth Organic & Natural said its five stores in Hawaii will begin requiring foods with ingredients containing genetically-modified organisms to be labeled as such by 2018, following Whole Foods Market's announcement that it will do the same.
Pennsylvania coalition campaigns for bipartisan state labeling bill (eNewsPF)
Hain Celestial supports mandatory GMO labeling (PR Newswire via The Sacramento Bee)
EU-US trade talks to begin after mandate approved
The European Commission approved yesterday the draft negotiating mandate for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Agreement with the United States. The draft mandate will now be forwarded to the Council, which will authorize the launch of the negotiations on a free trade agreement between the EU and the U.S.
Japan may join TPP free trade talks
Japan may announce this week its participation in the U.S.-led Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade negotiations, a source told Kyodo News Wednesday, quoting a government source that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was expected to make the announcement Friday.
Restaurants, food businesses weigh in on Hawaii's wage debate
Hawaii's Senate Bill 331 seeks to raise the state's minimum wage, and it's drawing testimony from a variety of food businesses — most of them opposing the increase.
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FDA rejects petition to change methylmercury standard in seafood
Food Chemical News (subscription required)
FDA has slammed the door on an environmental group's petition to establish a stricter regulatory limit for mercury in commercial fish.
FSIS reissues testing procedures for ground beef
USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service
USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service is reissuing its guidelines for inspectors who conduct Salmonella and E. coli O157:H7 testing in establishments that produce low volumes of raw ground beef.
Inspectors to tighten controls for veal processing
USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service
FSIS inspectors have been given additional information to use when verifying that sanitary dressing and process control procedures are preventing contamination of carcasses and the creation of unsanitary conditions.
Retail sales are way up; is economy stronger than we thought?
The Washington Post
February retail sales were released Wednesday morning, and it's hard to imagine how the numbers could have been stronger. Overall retail sales rose 1.1 percent in February, more than double the 0.5 percent gain analysts had expected.
Food safety sleuths: Shopper cards may save your life
More local health departments — along with state and federal investigators — are relying on the detailed information attached to shopper loyalty cards to track down outbreaks of foodborne illness, experts say.
Twinkies return expected by summer, new Hostess owner says
The new owner of Hostess Brands Inc's snack cakes hopes to have Twinkies back on U.S. store shelves by this summer, according to a member of the purchasing group.
Related: Hostess: No other bid to buy Twinkies (The Associated Press via CBS MoneyWatch)
Perception, reality: Summit tackles social media and the supply chain
If protein suppliers and restaurateurs were unaware of the influence of social media on consumers' food preferences before 2012, the lean finely textured beef episode has taken everybody to school. The 2013 Protein Innovation Summit, April 15-16 in Chicago, will tackle the topic in three different ways.
Consumers and the growing quest for fresh
U.S. consumers are on the hunt to put more greens on their tables at meal time — even if it means spending a little more cabbage. This shift has consumers adjusting their shopping behavior by either paying more or making product trade-offs to be healthier and eat well.
Big food companies to explore ways to cut waste
The Co-operative Group, Nestle and Sainsbury's will test ways to improve the environmental performance of some of their products, following new research on the impact of groceries published Tuesday by the Product Sustainability Forum.
How corporate strategy affects your supply chain
By Robert V. Stein
Although many outside influences can impact your supply chain, one of the greatest impacts on your supply chain that you can control is your corporate strategy — which can impact your supply chain for better or for worse.
Processed foods make up 70 percent of US diet
American Public Media
You cruise down the aisle of most any grocery store, and what you're seeing — despite what you might think — isn't properly called just "food." Most of those items are what we've come to know as processed food.
Study: Green food labels make nutrition-poor food seem healthy
Newswise via ScienceDaily
A Cornell researcher says in the current issue of the journal Health Communication that consumers are more likely to perceive a candy bar as more healthful when it has a green calorie label compared with when it had a red one — even though the number of calories are the same.
Related: Panel discusses ways to improve labeling (Harvard University via Medical Xpress)
A food safety success story: Three crazy guys with a big idea
The case of one company's journey from "appalling" food safety to third-party certification provided a refreshingly honest view on the effect major companies can have on food safety — even for the smallest startups — at the GFSI conference in Barcelona last week.
Dole Food moves to loss
Los Angeles Business Journal
Dole Food Co. Inc. shares dropped in after-hours trading Tuesday after the fresh food company reported a worse-than-expected loss in the fourth quarter.
Diamond Foods down after earnings miss
Shares of Diamond Foods had a rough day Tuesday after the snack food company reported smaller earnings than analysts had hoped.
Demand for specialty food prompts new food processing centers
Vermont Public Radio
The increasing number of Vermont specialty food producers, many of them farmers, is creating a demand for facilities where they can make their products. A new business in Chittenden County is the latest food processing center to come on line — and there are more in the planning stages.
Neogen test kit sales soar amid food scandal
The Wall Street Journal
Neogen Corp. said sales of its test kits for meat species have spiked as beef processors in Europe respond to the use of horse meat in products labeled as containing beef.
New report compares food microbiology testing markets in US, EU
PR Newswire via International Business Times
A new report summarizes and compares key data on the food microbiology testing markets in the U.S. and Europe to provide both an overview and new insights into these two important markets and, as a result, the state of global food microbiology testing.
Chicken sausage recalled after positive Listeria sampling
USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service
Hot Springs Packing Co. Inc., based in Arkansas, is recalling approximately 6,120 pounds of chicken polish sausage and chicken breakfast link products because of possible contamination with Listeria monocytogenes.
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