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Report: All federal meat inspectors to be furloughed on 11 dates
Food Safety News
The nation's meat inspectors will be forced to take the same 11 days off, possibility shutting down the U.S. meat industry on those dates, the House Agriculture Subcommittee learned Wednesday in an exchange with USDA Under Secretary For Food Safety Elisabeth Hagen.
Lawmakers try to head off food inspector furloughs (Omaha World-Herald)
Ground beef safety rules months away despite need (Portland Press Herald)
FDA undecided about extending comment period for food safety rules
The Columbus Dispatch
Despite requests from hundreds of industry stakeholders, the FDA hasn't yet decided whether it will extend the public comment period for two wide-ranging food-safety rules it proposed in January. "At this time the comment period stands," said FDA spokeswoman Shelly Burgess in an email. "We have not made a decision either way."
Gatorade, pink slime and stimulants: What exactly is in our food?
The Associated Press via KyPost.com
From oil in Gatorade to the amount of caffeine and other stimulants in energy drinks to the so-called "pink slime" found in beef, previously unnoticed ingredients are coming under scrutiny as health-conscious consumers demand more information about what they eat and drink — and sometimes go public via social networking and the Internet.
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Obama's grand political experiment
The Washington Post
In a speech to handful of loyalists and donors Wednesday night, President Barack Obama made clear the grand experiment he is embarking on with the creation of a new grass-roots operation known as Organizing for Action. Put simply: Can Organizing for Action find a way to mobilize the millions of people who signed up to be a part of his campaign on behalf of his legislative priorities?
Obama wraps up congressional meetings
President Barack Obama began wrapping up a series of meetings with Congress Thursday, the latest phase in a Republican outreach effort marked by stark differences over taxes, the budget and other issues. Senate Republicans who spoke with the president said they appreciated the visit, but echoed their opposition to new taxes in any new debt reduction plan.
Poll: Government dissatisfaction highest since Watergate
Twenty percent of respondents to a new Gallup survey say dissatisfaction with government is the country's biggest problem, up from 16 percent the month before. It's the highest such disapproval since the Watergate scandal.
Rice Krispies may be banished from schools
The Wall Street Journal
Grade-schoolers may want to stock up on Rice Krispies, Fruit Roll-Ups, Doritos, Welch's Fruit Snacks and Smartfood white-cheddar popcorn. Those products are among scores of popular food items that may no longer be sold at schools under newly proposed federal regulations.
CEOs: Growth possible if Hill helps
American businesses need certainty from the government to expand, a panel of corporate CEOs said Thursday, but they predicted there is huge potential for growth if Democrats and Republicans in Congress can simplify the tax code and pass a budget.
The rising threat of criminal prosecution for food industry executives
Lexology (free registration required)
When food safety violations occur, not only companies but also their corporate executives are at risk for civil liability and criminal prosecution, and federal prosecutors have recently demonstrated an increased emphasis on that strategy.
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Senate CR proposal would fund FSMA, encourage FOP labeling review
Food Chemical News (subscription required)
The senate's funding plan for the rest of fiscal 2013 includes an extra $12.5 million for the FDA to implement the Food Safety Modernization Act, as well as instructions to FDA to evaluate front-of-package and nutritional rating labeling claims to ensure compliance with current FDA food labeling requirements.
'Anti-Bloomberg bill' in Mississippi bars local limits on food, drink
The New York Times
The Mississippi Legislature wants to be the sole government body that controls its buffets, barbecue and sweet tea. To that end, the group passed a bill saying any law that might restrict what Mississippians eat or drink has to go through them — barring federal regulations.
US horse meat slaughter applicant's food safety questioned
The New York Times
The New Mexico company seeking to become the first slaughter house for horses in the United States since 2007 drew complaints over a two-year period from federal food safety inspectors and state regulatory authorities because of its disposal of animal remains when it processed cattle for beef.
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Opinion: Nevada's fast food tax proposal is just a cash grab
Center for Consumer Freedom via Reno Gazette-Journal
With sales and property tax receipts down, Nevada politicians are looking for any way they can to raise more money. Enter Assemblyman Harvey Munford and his proposal to charge a 5-cent extra tax on fast food meals of more than 500 calories.
Opinion: Safety of frozen ground beef in school lunch program
Food Safety News
In general, the National School Lunch Program is not a forgiving program. However, it does have its rewards. That is, when comparing the price per pound of commercial ground beef opposed to what the government pays — therein lies the incentive.
Source: Twinkies' buyers also vying for Drake's
The Associated Press via USA Today
The new buyers of Twinkies apparently developed a sweet tooth for Hostess snack cakes. Apollo Global Management and Metropoulos, which made a joint offer to snap up the famous cream-filled cakes, have also entered the contest to buy Drake's, which include Devil Dogs and Yodels.
Nestle sets social, environmental targets for 2020
Nestle, the world's biggest food company, on Wednesday published a raft of social and environmental targets it aims to meet by 2020, including better labeling of its products, only using sustainable palm oil and cutting greenhouse gas emissions.
Wal-Mart and Annie's keep score of supplier sustainability
Retail buyers play a key role in helping big companies like Wal-Mart make their supply chains more sustainable. Bringing them onboard, however, wasn't easy, so the world's largest retailer gave buyers scorecards to assess supplier sustainability.
Healthy Choice, Marie Callender's predict future of frozen food
PR Newswire via The Sacramento Bee
Two ConAgra Foods brands — Healthy Choice and Marie Callender's — say streamlining the way consumers shop will be key to the future of frozen food, and their new video aims to change shoppers' misconceptions about the $55 billion industry.
McDonald's turns to egg whites, blueberries after US store sales drop
McDonald's will soon begin selling an egg-white breakfast sandwich at all U.S. locations to help boost sales. The chain will roll out its new 250-calorie Egg McMuffin on April 22, spokeswoman Ofelia Casillas said, followed by a blueberry pomegranate-flavored smoothie on May 15.
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Taco Bell's Doritos Locos: Responsible for 15,000 new jobs last year?
New York Daily News
Taco Bell sold more than 375 million of its Doritos Locos tacos in 2012 — or about 1 million per day. CEO Greg Creed says, "We believe we can add 2,000 new restaurants in the next 10 years, because what we have is proprietary and exclusive. And that's just in the U.S."
Wal-Mart CFO: Private labels fill value gap
Meat & Poultry
While the nation's largest grocery retailer plans to offer more private-label products later this year, it is not a strategy that will be employed to "replace or pump up profit," said Charles Holley, executive vice president and CFO of Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
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