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FDA requests budget increase to implement food safety law
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday it is requesting a budget of $4.7 billion in fiscal 2014, including $295.8 million to implement new food safety regulations.
GMO labeling forces look for a win after two defeats
Food Safety News
With the defeat of California's Proposition 37 last November and the recent signing of House Resolution 933, opponents of genetically modified foods are in bad need of a win. And with the state legislative season starting to wind down — 9 of the 50 states have already adjourned for the year — those who want food with GMOs labeled or banned are running out of venues for scoring such a win.
Burger King CEO named to take top job at Heinz after acquisition
The Associated Press via The Washington Post
Burger King CEO Bernardo Hees will take the top job at Heinz following its acquisition by investment firm 3G Capital and Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Hees, 43, has been CEO at Burger King, another 3G Capital investment, since 2010.
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Poll: Obama approval falls 6 points
A new NBC/WSJ poll finds President Barack Obama's approval rating has fallen 6 points since his re-election, to 47 percent. At the same time, his disapproval rating has ticked up 5 points to 48 percent, the poll found.
Where's Mitch McConnell?
Thursday's Senate vote to move ahead with gun control legislation marked the fifth time in just two months that Democrats have won a procedural showdown by peeling off Republicans at the expense of Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
Related: Report: Progress Kentucky activists recorded McConnell meeting (Politico)
Obama meets with Wall Street CEOs
President Barack Obama met at the White House Thursday morning with a group of top Wall Street chief executives as part of the administration's efforts to forge better relations with the industry and enlist them in efforts to sell his fiscal proposals.
Obama sends NLRB nominations to Senate
This week, President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominated three individuals, to serve as members of the National Labor Relations Board. The Senate is now considering the trio: Mark Gaston Pearce (current NLRB Chairman), attorney Harry I. Johnson III and attorney Philip A. Miscimarra.
Related: House committee debates bill to pause NLRB (Thomson Reuters)
Poll: Smallest businesses support E-Verify
The Wall Street Journal (subscriber story)
Nearly 6 in 10 of America's smallest businesses believe every employer should have to comply with a system to verify workers' legal status, a new survey shows. The prospect of mandatory E-Verify, a federal system to check a worker's legal status, has prompted a combination of acceptance and concern from businesses.
Related: Budget aims to boost enforcement of labor laws (The Wall Street Journal)
FAO: World food prices rose 1 percent in March
The Economic Times
Global food prices rose in March, the United Nations' food agency said Thursday, as dairy costs surged and cereals prices held steady. The Food and Agriculture Organization's price index averaged 212.4 points in March, up 1 percent from 210.7 in February.
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Obama budget cuts US agriculture from international food aid
The Washington Post
Under a proposal in the White House budget released Wednesday, nearly half of $1.4 billion in requested funds for international food aid could be spent to purchase local bulk food in countries in need or to distribute individual vouchers for local purchases — instead of buying the food from U.S. producers.
Study: Proposed soda ban likely to backfire
Los Angeles Times
New research shows that prompting beverage makers to sell sodas in smaller packages and bundle them as a single unit actually encourages consumers to buy more soda — and gulp down more calories — than they would have consumed if larger drink sizes weren't banned.
Why all food makers should read draft guidance on what 'natural' means
In the absence of a clear legal definition of "natural," food marketers seeking to avoid legal challenges over it refer to a variety of sources for guidance. The National Organics Program is frequently cited in civil litigation to support claims that certain foods do not qualify for "natural" labeling.
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USDA proposes sugar-for-ethanol purchase
Food Product Design
The U.S. Department of Agriculture last week sent a proposal to the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs asking it to approve the sale of up to 400,000 tons of surplus sugar to ethanol producers under the 2008 farm bill Feedstock Flexibility Program.
FDA wanted to require annual on-site audits of suppliers in FSMA rule
Food Chemical News (subscription required)
It wasn't just the inclusion of supplier verification controls that got pushed out of the main body of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act preventive controls proposal, but also a requirement for annual on-site audits of suppliers, observes Maile Gradison Hermida, an attorney at Hogan Lovells in Washington, D.C.
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Millennials turn up the radio
Digital and social media play a big role in the pre-shop behaviors of millennials, but surprisingly, so does a more traditional medium: radio.
Who says innovation is dead in the age of crazy cheese crust?
Looking to lure Americans with the coolest new menu item, Burger King, McDonald's, Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and others are turning up the heat in their test kitchens. Move over, hamburgers and fries. Here come the sweet-chili chicken wraps and bacon-filled tater tots.
McDonald's tackles repair of 'broken' service
The Wall Street Journal (open access)
McDonald's Corp., battling back from recent earnings disappointments, is putting unusual emphasis on a longtime challenge: getting its far-flung workforce to provide service with a smile.
Related: Your McDonald's ordering ritual is about to change (The Wall Street Journal)
China bird flu threatens KFC parent's winning streak
Yum Brands Inc., the biggest foreign fast food chain operator in China, is in danger of breaking its 11-year streak of double-digit profit growth as it scrambles to deal with food scares and bird flu in its most lucrative market.
Chili's jumps into competitive pizza space
For the first time in the brand's 38-year history, Chili's Grill & Bar is offering pizza. The menu item is available at participating restaurants for lunch or dinner.
Family Dollar moves groceries to back of store
Family Dollar Stores said Wednesday it plans a new store layout that will move home and apparel items to the front of the store, ahead of food items. With groceries selling well, the company hopes the change will boost its higher-margin categories, Michael Bloom, president and chief operating officer, told analysts.
High-speed sterilizing technique wins patent
Food Manufacture UK
U.K.-based Continuous Retorts has been granted a series of European patents and expects U.S. patents to follow for its food processing technology that uses high speed to pasteurize plastic laminate pouches, pots, trays, tin cans and glass jars for a low unit cost.
Nestle: Switzerland losing its business attractiveness
Nestle SA's chairman said Switzerland is becoming more difficult as a business location after voters last month approved some of the world's toughest limits on executives' pay.
Label decoder: Protein additives
The Wall Street Journal
A lowly legume is getting more attention from food manufacturers who want to capitalize on consumers' clamoring for more protein. Pea protein — yellow peas that have been processed to remove carbohydrates and leave the protein — is being added to baked goods, snack bars, drinks and cereals.
10 tons of deli roast beef recalled on Listeria worries
USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service
Manda Packing Company, a Baker, La., establishment, is recalling approximately 20,166 pounds of cooked roast beef deli meat after the Tennessee Department of Health found Listeria monocytogenes during routine sampling.
Misbranding forces recall of pork jerky
USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service
Formosa Food Company Inc., of Hull, Iowa, is recalling approximately 1,133 pounds of a pork jerky product because of misbranding and an undeclared allergen, wheat, which is not declared on the label.
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Lithium-ion batteries seen powering reefers
Frozen & Refrigerated Buyer
Emerald Technology Partners and EnerDel Inc. announced plans Wednesday to further develop EnerDel's lithium-ion battery for commercialization with the WedWay™ Refrigeration Power System.
'Green electrochemistry' could open new opportunities in food industry
Biotech firm Dynamic Food Ingredients Corp. is a step closer to commercializing technology it claims could slash production costs for the bulk sweetener erythritol, opening new opportunities for the food industry.
How Salmonella survives dry conditions and contaminates dry foods
Virginia Tech scientists have provided new evidence that biofilms — bacteria that adhere to surfaces and build protective coatings — are at work in the survival of the human pathogen Salmonella.
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