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LEADING THE NEWS
Navajo Nation will have first junk food tax in US
The Navajo National Council approved a 2 percent increase in sales tax on foods like pastries, fried foods, desserts, chips and soda.
Balance of power shifts in groceries
Amy's Kitchen and other smaller companies focused on natural and organic foods are feasting on shifts in tastes among consumers distrustful of established food giants' products and ingredients.
General Mills goes on a healthier food kick
St. Paul Pioneer Press
After finding itself on the wrong side of some powerful consumer trends, Golden Valley-based General Mills is scrambling to rework its pantry and rechart its future.
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Harry Reid will not run for re-election in 2016
The Washington Post
Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid, D-Nev., announced Friday morning that he would not seek re-election in 2016, citing the lingering injuries from a violent accident on New Year's Day that has left his vision impaired in his right eye.
Senate passes GOP budget after marathon of amendment votes
The Senate approved a Republican budget resolution just after 3 a.m. Friday morning in a 52-46 vote, capping a grueling day of floor work that required lawmakers to take sides on dozens of amendments.
Senate passes Republican budget with deep safety net cuts (Reuters)
2016 brawl breaks out on Senate floor (Politico)
GOP hits reset button
House Republicans notched two key victories this week, narrowly passing a GOP budget resolution and running up the vote tally on a bipartisan deal to reform the Medicare system for the first time in 20 years. The twin wins represented a relief.
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Too early to condemn farm bill for high costs
The knives are out for the new farm bill even before next Tuesday's deadline for producers to sign up with the Agriculture Department for the first commodity support payments due in October.
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DeLauro bill to raise $10 billion from sugary beverage tax
Food Chemical News (subscriber story)
Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., re-introduced legislation Thursday that would tax sugar-sweetened beverages to raise an estimated $10 billion a year for anti-obesity programs.
White House crafts first-ever plan to fight superbugs
The White House is due to issue an ambitious plan to slow the growing and deadly problem of antibiotic resistance over the next five years, one that requires massive investments and policy changes from a broad array of U.S. government health agencies, according to a copy of the report reviewed by Reuters.
Related: Opinion: Some good, some bad in Obama's plan to protect antibiotics (eNews Park Forest)
Team FLOTUS maps out future obesity efforts
Politico via American Frozen Food Institute
Debra Eschmeyer, the new executive director of Let's Move! and senior
nutrition policy adviser at the White House, said Thursday that one of her
top priorities, aside from the school lunch fight, is mapping out the path
forward for first lady Michelle Obama's long-term strategy on childhood
obesity — one that extends far beyond the administration.
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Vote-a-rama leaves food/ag amendments on the table
Politico via American Frozen Food Institute
Among the hundreds of amendments filed in the Senate's vote-a-rama that
extended until nearly 3:30 a.m. Friday morning, there were several food and
agriculture amendments that did not get voted on.
US Chamber blasts NLRB's defense of union election rule
Law360 (subscriber story)
The National Labor Relations Board's defense of its controversial union election rule is overbroad and flat-out wrong, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and several trade associations told a D.C. federal court Wednesday, urging it to vacate the rule.
Where America's undocumented immigrants work
The Washington Post
Undocumented immigrants were more likely to work in white-collar jobs in 2012 than they were in 2007, according to new analysis from Pew Research Center. Overall, though, the occupations held by those who immigrated illegally and the rest of the population differ dramatically.
Heinz-Kraft merger reflects challenges for iconic brands
While Heinz and Kraft employees and communities in Pittsburgh and Chicago wait to see if a promise of a "co-headquartered" company holds up, the investment community and the food industry are waiting for a different type of development.
Related: Who owns your food besides Kraft, Heinz? (U.S. News & World Report)
Meet the father of zero-based budgeting
The Wall Street Journal
Pete Pyhrr's strategy reached the White House in 1970s, then almost disappeared; now Heinz and Kraft are adopting it.
ConAgra reports better-than-expected profit, raises forecast
ConAgra Foods Inc., the maker of Slim Jim beef jerky and Chef Boyardee pasta, reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit due to cost cuts and the company raised its full-year earnings forecast.
High-path avian influenza spreads to Wyoming
Wyoming on Thursday became the latest state to be affected by highly pathogenic avian influenza, bringing the total number of states affected by the outbreak to 11.
Voluntary spinach recall now affects nearly 30 products
Coastal Green Vegetable Co. in Oxnard, California, the source of at least some of the spinach involved in a Listeria-related recall, has stopped production while they investigate the cause, a company spokesman said.
Editor's note: The American Frozen Food Institute is mentioned in this article. For more information on listeria and food safety assurance measures in frozen spinach operations, please see AFFI's Frozen Spinach Fact Sheet.
Food chemicals may have harmful 'cocktail' effect
Risk assessment of food chemicals usually fails to take into account their effects when combined with other compounds — and these "chemical cocktails" may be harmful to health, says new research from Denmark.
Ecolab refocuses clean foaming system
Food Quality News
Ecolab will launch foam cleaners from June as part of its rebrand of the products in Europe.
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