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Food groups laud new legislation to reform Renewable Fuel Standard
A coalition of 13 food groups today expressed its support for bipartisan legislation introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives that will protect food makers and consumers from unnecessary food price increases by reforming the Renewable Fuel Standard, which requires the use of billions of gallons of corn-based ethanol.
Editor's note: The American Frozen Food Institute is a leading member of the coalition referenced in this story pressing for reform of federal government corn-ethanol production supports.
10 retailers urged to pull potentially toxic products
Health and environmental groups will launch a national campaign Thursday to prod 10 major retailers — including Wal-Mart, Target and Costco — to clear store shelves of products containing hazardous chemicals.
AFFI offers its newest food safety education series
American Frozen Food Institute
AFFI President and CEO Kraig R. Naasz outlines a new series of food safety programs designed to help companies engaged throughout the cold chain understand, navigate and comply with various regulatory, quality assurance and risk management requirements.
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Labor rules assailed at testy House hearing
Labor regulations from the Obama administration are stunting the nation's economic recovery, business groups told lawmakers Wednesday during a heated congressional hearing.
Amid criticism, Obama begins sales pitch on budget plan
President Barack Obama unveiled his budget Wednesday, offering a fiscal plan that even before its release was eliciting groans from his conservative opponents as well as his backers on the left.
Obama budget targets millionaires, replaces sequester cuts (Reuters)
Obama proposes cuts to farm subsidies (The Wall Street Journal)
Executive Order adjusts government pay rates (Office of the Federal Register)
Marco Rubio, Chuck Schumer to brief on immigration plan
In a closed-door meeting about their high-profile immigration bill, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio plans to brief the 45-member Senate Republican Conference at a lunch Wednesday hosted by the conservative Steering Committee. And in a separate lunch-time session, Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and fellow Democrats plan to brief members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus about the emerging proposal.
FDA memo advises field staff on new FSMA facility registration rules
Food Chemical News (subscription required)
FDA is circulating a new draft Compliance Policy Guide that directs FDA investigators on enforcement of the new facility registration changes in FSMA.
Related: Draft Compliance Policy Guide: Food Facility Registration (Federal Register)
WTO cuts forecast for global exports in 2013 amid Europe's debt woes
The Associated Press via The Washington Post
Global trade will be weaker than expected this year as European economies struggle with their debt crisis and will recover only slightly in 2014, the World Trade Organization said Wednesday.
Vilsack vows to defend nutrition programs
The head of the U.S. Agriculture Department vowed Tuesday to protect the country's nutrition programs from critics who are engaged in an all-out campaign to reduce funding and make drastic changes to the measures that help millions of Americans each day.
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Court's decisions a guide to defending against food labeling class actions
Association of Corporate Counsel
A current trend in consumer class action litigation across the country focuses on food and beverage labeling. Plaintiffs will allege that products labeled as "all natural," being a good source of a certain nutrient or having "no artificial ingredients" are deceptive and violate various unfair competition laws. The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California has become a particularly active forum for these claims, earning the nickname "the food court."
Wisconsin farmers, grocers oppose junk food bill
Winona Daily News
The state should not tell people who receive food stamps what they can or can't eat, representatives from food companies, grocery stores and food banks told Wisconsin lawmakers during a Tuesday hearing at the state Capitol, in response to legislation introduced by Rep. Dean Kaufert, R-Neenah.
Related: Bill would limit use of food stamps for junk food (The AP via Pioneer Press)
Change you can taste: School lunch program gets a makeover
When you walk around many of the nation's cafeterias, you will notice plenty of changes have taken place on school lunch menus. Thanks to new standards and other efforts by the USDA, the lunches for our children have become healthier.
How school lunches fight obesity (LiveScience)
Opinion: Healthy school lunches pay for themselves (Hartford Courant)
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CFI launches farmworker-watchdog program
The Center for Food Integrity has launched a new humane animal handling program aimed at "empowering farmworkers," called "See it? Stop it!", the organization says in a news release.
Cargo piles up as two-week Hong Kong port strike drags on
Striking dock workers at a port operator backed by Hong Kong's richest man, Li Ka-shing, failed to reach a deal for higher pay Wednesday, prolonging a dispute that could cost the city its position as the world's third-largest container port.
How the Heinz website energized food pros
How do you get food service people excited about ketchup? Heinz said it found the secret sauce in a new website that engages professionals, like restaurateurs and suppliers.
Nestle named among world's top 10 most reputable companies
Food Ingredients First
Nestle has been named one of the top 10 most reputable companies in the world in the annual "Global RepTrak™ 100" study. The company achieved ninth place in the study, which is designed to understand how organizations build trust and support with the general public worldwide.
Judge: Iowa State University must shield pink slime data
The Associated Press via USA Today
A judge has blocked Iowa State University from releasing documents about food safety research conducted for the maker of the beef product that critics call pink slime. District Judge Dale Ruigh ruled last month that releasing the information would cause "irreparable harm" to Sioux Falls, S.D.-based Beef Products Inc. by revealing information about proprietary food processing techniques.
Big earnings drop at Cargill indicates caution on agribusiness players
24/7 Wall St.
Privately held agribusiness giant Cargill reported Wednesday its third-quarter net earnings fell 42 percent year-over-year to $445 million, hit hard by the U.S. drought. The only one of Cargill's five business segments to post higher earnings was the industrial segment, which produces non-food products.
Court approves sale of last of core Hostess assets
The Associated Press via ABC News
Hostess Brands Inc. won approval Tuesday to sell off the last of its major cake and bread brands, bringing the total proceeds from its liquidation to about $860 million.
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Court shuts down egg roll maker over sanitation concerns
Food Quality News
Chung's Products has been shut down after a U.S. court ruled some of its products could be "contaminated with filth and unsafe and injurious to health." The permanent injunction against the Houston-based producer of frozen egg rolls demands remedial action before any further business can be conducted.
Related: Egg rolls not recalled despite company's closure (The AP and KHOU-TV)
Baby food companies defend themselves in Prop 65 lead trial
Food Product Design
In the second day of court proceedings this week, baby food companies continued to defend themselves in a California state court from allegations that they have failed to label products with a lead warning.
Employee hygiene: Critical to food safety
Quality Assurance & Food Safety
Proper employee hygiene is a significant critical control point, which focuses on those areas where cross-contamination is most likely to occur.
Fostering food industry boom
The News Journal
Economic development planners in Kent County, Del., want to make central Delaware a Silicon Valley for food production, research and related industries.
Food processors key to Michigan's agricultural prosperity
Michigan's approximately 2,000 licensed food processors employ nearly 130,000 residents and generate almost $25 billion in economic activity annually — ranking our the 19th in the nation for food processing.
OSHA fines food company over 'popcorn lung' chemical exposure
Law 360 (subscription required)
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration on Monday slapped New Jersey food company Natural Flavors Inc. with a dozen fines for safety and health violations and berated the company for exposing its workers to diacetyl, the harmful chemical behind so-called "popcorn lung."
Showrooming, not online transactions, is real threat to grocers
The Food Institute Report recently noted that in an extreme move to prevent showrooming of its products online, an Australian gluten-free grocery store called Celiac Supplies in February began charging a $5 fee for "just looking" online. The fee is subsequently deducted from any orders placed, but the move makes clear retailers are threatened by the ease at which consumers can now compare prices and products online.
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