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FDA strikes large number of outdated food facility registrations
Food Chemical News (subscription required)
A significant number of foreign facilities failed to renew their facility registrations by Jan. 31, and FDA is marking them "invalid," U.S. Customs and Border Protection notified brokers late last month.
Monsanto president: GMO labeling must be addressed
Whole Foods' GMO labeling mandate has certainly caught the attention of the food industry. Monsanto President Brett Begemann this week called on the ag industry to cooperate and co-exist with those who have different food policy views.
Opinion: Why label genetically engineered food? (The New York Times)
Maine GMO bill garners 123 cosponsors (The Free Press)
Vermont House committee approves labeling bill (Lexology)
Report indicates food companies need to plan for the future
The Strategic Sourceror
Financial services leader Rabobank Group's global food and agribusiness research and advisory recently released a report that revealed many food companies lack organizational adaptability and would be ill-equipped to adjust to new sourcing, production or logistical challenges they could face in the coming years.
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Obama support group off to sluggish start
Two months after Organizing for Action was founded to bolster President Barack Obama's agenda, his poll numbers are slipping and the group remains on the defensive.
Top 10 Senate races of 2014
The Washington Post
There are at least two ways of looking at what Senate Republicans are trying to do this cycle. One is simple math: Pick up six seats and win back the majority in the upper chamber. More broadly, they are trying to snatch the Senate from the party that also controls the White House in the president's second midterm election.
Politics counts: The budget battle and 'NIMA bias'
The Wall Street Journal
Budget season came to Washington in earnest this week, bringing with it new House and Senate proposals and more talk of deficit and debt reduction. The debates are growing more intense, but if anything is to happen there are some strong historical patterns that will have to be overcome.
Vilsack: Good nutrition key to kids', nation's well-being
Portland Press Herald
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Thursday said improving childhood nutrition and preventing obesity is a critical issue to helping young people thrive in their personal health, educational attainment and economic achievement.
Soda ban appeal to be heard in June
The legal battle over New York City's ban of large sugary drinks is set to continue in early June, after a New York appellate court agreed Wednesday to hear the city's appeal of a ruling that struck down the new law.
Kathleen Merrigan resigns from USDA
Kathleen Merrigan has resigned as deputy secretary at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the agency's No. 2 job. Merrigan, an organic foods expert, "played a vital role in the department's 'Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food' initiative," which focused on locally grown food, as well as the agency's budget cutting efforts, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said Thursday in an e-mail. No reason was given for her departure.
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Seafood fraud bill could impact retailers
A seafood fraud bill reintroduced to the House of Representatives by Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., this month could affect retailers with the imposition of new traceability requirements for fish.
House panel takes on size and weight, logs, HOS
Legislators homed in on top trucking issues such as truck sizes and weights, electronic logs and driver hours of service at a House hearing yesterday. The Subcommittee on Highways and Transit met to review the Department of Transportation's implementation of last year's highway law.
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As Japan joins TPP, tough reforms loom
The Associated Press via Bloomberg Businessweek
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is set to announce Japan will join talks on a Pacific trade pact that would oblige the country to undertake major reforms, especially in farming.
Peru to import more frozen food from the US
Agra-net (subscription required)
Makro, the largest food service supplier in Peru, has met with USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service in Lima to inquire about U.S. companies that can supply frozen foods. The country reportedly already has one supplier, with $500,000 worth of frozen foods scheduled for shipment in July.
China sets up food safety super-regulator
The Chinese government this week announced it will create a new superministry to ensure the quality of China's food and drugs. The General Food and Drug Administration will assume responsibility for setting standards and monitoring production, distribution and consumption — tasks previously handled by as many as nine different government organizations.
Related: In China, high hopes for new food safety monitoring (China Daily)
Consumers increase focus on sourcing, sustainability
Conscious shoppers are increasing their spend on organics, sourcing food products, seeking out non-GMO and buying sustainable "Farm to Table" food products traceable to local/regional farmers and producers, according to a study conducted by Market LOHAS and laz pr.
Kraft fights back over Cracker Barrel grocery line
The "food fight" between Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores and Kraft Foods is getting messier. Kraft is crying foul after the Lebanon, Tenn.-based restaurant chain earlier this month began selling Cracker Barrel-branded hams in grocery stores in several states despite Kraft's pending lawsuit challenging it, court records show.
Hostess picks McKee as buyer for Drake's cakes
The Associated Press via Bloomberg Businessweek
Hostess is moving forward with the sale of Devil Dogs, Yankee Doodles and Yodels to the maker of Little Debbie cakes. The bankrupt company says it picked McKee Foods as the buyer for the Drake's cakes after nobody stepped forward with a qualifying bid to top its $27.5 million offer.
US producer, wholesale prices rise as food prices fall
The Associated Press via The Vancouver Sun
A measure of U.S. wholesale prices rose in February by the most in five months, pushed higher by more expensive gas and pharmaceuticals. But outside those increases, inflation was mild. The producer price index grew a seasonally adjusted 0.7 percent in February from January, the Labor Department said Thursday.
US frozen blueberry stocks up 30 percent
Agra-net (subscription required)
Stocks of frozen blueberries in the U.S. have been piling up in the past year, prompting industry analysts to warn that the sale of 70 million pounds of frozen product is now needed to offset the risk of prices dropping with this year's incoming crop.
'Wanted' ad targets food advertising to children
Food Product Design
The Center for Science in the Public Interest ratcheted up its assault on Nickelodeon and parent company Viacom Inc., with a new ad slamming the media company for allowing characters from its popular television shows, such as Dora the Explorer and SpongeBob SquarePants, to appear on snack food packaging targeted toward children.
UK report: Using frozen foods can save pubs big bucks
The Publican's Morning Advertiser
Using frozen food could save a U.K. pub more than $150,000 a year, according to new research commissioned by the British Frozen Food Federation.
Telematics providing food shippers with better product visibility
Transportation & Logistics
As the Food Safety Modernization Act rolls out, producers and shippers of food products in the U.S. are likely to be looking for increased visibility of their products as they are transported through the supply chain. What does this mean to refrigerated trucking companies?
Related: FSMA will impact Canadian food haulers (Transportation & Logistics)
Plastics deliver more choices, less waste in frozen foods
PR Newswire via Waste Management
Frozen food packaging has changed dramatically since the 1920s when Clarence Birdseye developed methods for quick freezing foods. While frozen foods today are packaged in many materials, technological advances coupled with the rise of the microwave have made plastics the go-to choice for many frozen foods, from vegetable medleys to ready-to-heat meals to gourmet ice cream.
Report casts critical eye on poultry worker conditions
A new report from the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Alabama Appleseed Center for Law and Justice says poultry workers in Alabama are often injured on the job and face frequent deportation threats, and predicts the situation could worsen under proposed new USDA regulations.
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