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Congress rejects FDA food facility fee proposal
AFFI Freeze Flash
Efforts by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to impose $220 million in new food facility fees to help fund implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) have no chance of succeeding in this Congress, Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Herb Kohl, D-Wis., told FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg at a hearing yesterday. More
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30 lawmakers ask USDA to 'correct the public record' on LFTB
Food Safety News
Thirty lawmakers wrote to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Thursday asking what the U.S. Department of Agriculture has done and can do in the future to help stop "the campaign of the misinformation" about Lean Finely Textured Beef, now widely known to American consumers as "pink slime."

Related article:
  • 'Pink slime' outrage goes viral in stunning display of social media's power (The Washington Post)
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    Consumers Union calls on Office of Management and Budget to let new food safety rules move forward
    InfoZine
    Consumers Union, the advocacy arm of Consumer Reports, sent a letter to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to call on the agency to allow new food safety rules to move forward, citing Dole Fresh Vegetable's recall this week of 756 cases of salad greens due to possible salmonella contamination. More
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    Romney posts best money month yet
    The Wall Street Journal
    Mitt Romney raised $12.6 million in March, his best fundraising month yet, but did little to catch up to President Barack Obama in the money race as the Republican primary drew to a close. Mr. Romney, who became the presumptive GOP nominee this month when Rick Santorum suspended his own White House bid, ended March with just $10.1 million in the bank. It means Mr. Romney spent nearly as much last month ($9.8 million) trying to finish off Mr. Santorum in Super Tuesday contests and in Illinois, among other places. More
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    Romney suits up for November battle with President Obama
    The Hill
    Mitt Romney's campaign has shaken the Etch A Sketch, left behind the Republican primary and moved onto a general-election footing. The candidate does not like the Etch A Sketch metaphor, which first surfaced in an ill-advised comment by an adviser during a CNN interview that raised questions about Romney's fealty to conservative principles. More
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    Poll: Obama, Mitt tight in Fla., Ohio
    Politico
    President Barack Obama holds slight edges over Mitt Romney in the key battleground states of Ohio and Florida, according a new poll. If the presidential election were held today, 45 percent of Florida voters say they would vote for Obama, while 43 percent would pick Romney, the Fox News poll on Thursday shows. And in Ohio, Obama has a slightly more substantial edge over his Republican challenger, 45 percent to 39 percent, according to the Fox News poll. More
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    Salmonella again tops reportable food registry hazards
    Food Safety News
    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday released its second annual review of the Reportable Food Registry, the program that requires domestic and foreign food makers to report potentially hazardous foods that have entered U.S. commerce. More
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    Coalition demands probe on Dow and Monsanto GMOs and pesticides
    Digital Journal
    Farmers and food industry representatives are demanding a probe into the potential outcome of a new genetically modified crop in combination with the usage of the 2,4-D pesticide. Dow Chemical is currently awaiting the go-ahead from the U.S. government to start using a new genetically modified corn crop. This crop has been modified to be resistant to a powerful pesticide produced with 2,4-D. More
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    Codex panel to debate mandatory nutrition labeling next month
    Food Chemical News
    Mandatory nutrition labeling, which has become commonplace in the United States over the past two decades, will be debated by the Codex Committee on Food Labeling, when the CCFL meets, May 15-18, in Ottawa, Canada. The committee's plenary session will begin on a Tuesday, rather than a Monday, because of the panel's relatively brief agenda. More
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    Farm bill changes are coming: Agriculture Secretary
    KWQC–TV
    U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says the days of government payments to grow corn and soybeans are numbered due to record farm income and budget constraints. The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports that Vilsack says direct commodity payments will be axed when Congress approves the next farm bill. More
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    New farm bill should protect sensitive lands
    The Wichita Eagle
    Nationwide, the Conservation Reserve Program prevents the erosion of 325 million tons of soil each year, enough soil to fill 19.5 million dump trucks, and keeps more than 600 million pounds of nitrogen and more than 100 million pounds of phosphorous from flowing into our nation's streams, rivers and lakes. More
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    Oh rats! They carry salmonella, too
    Food Safety News
    Along with reports of Salmonella infection outbreaks involving contact with chicks and ducks, tiny turtles and pet frogs, add 46 cases of Salmonella infection linked to handling rodents sold as food for pet reptiles and amphibians. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in its April 20 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report "Notes from the Field," says 22 states are reporting the illnesses, and that the median age of those stricken is 11 years old. More than one third of those ill are younger than five. At least six case patients have been hospitalized. More
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    FDA: Gulf Seafood Safe Despite Oil Spill Concerns
    The Huffington Post
    Photos of fish with sores may raise concern about long-term environmental effects of the massive BP oil spill — but federal health officials say the Gulf seafood that's on the market is safe to eat. After all, diseased fish aren't allowed to be sold, said Dr. Robert W. Dickey, who heads the Food and Drug Administration's Gulf Coast Seafood Laboratory. More
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    The drivers behind 2011's most successful launches
    MediaPost
    Last year's most successful food/beverage and non-foods product launches were led by P.F. Chang's Home Menu line ($101.6 million in year-one sales) and Pampers Cruisers/Swaddlers with Dry Max ($296 million in year-one sales), according to SymphonyIRI Group's 2011 New Products Pacesetters report. launches. More
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    Nestlé maintains outlook despite challenging 2012
    The Wall Street Journal
    Nestlé said 2012 would be a challenging year but kept its full year outlook as the world's biggest food company by revenue increased sales in all of its main markets, supported by innovation in key categories and faster expansion in emerging markets. More
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    Deeside frozen food king leads £4 million (US $6.5 million) restaurant expansion
    The Daily Post
    Frozen food king Malcolm Walker is behind the multimillion pound expansion of a new restaurant chain. Walker, founder and owner of Deeside-based Iceland Foods, is chairman of the Individual Restaurant Company's (IRC) owners W2D2 Limited. The IRC, which is behind the Piccolino and Restaurant Bar & Grill brands, is embarking on a new phase of growth after a £4 million (US $6.5 million) boost from its backers. More
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    Employee misclassification report no good, says New York State Motor Truck Association
    Truckinginfo.com
    A new report published by the Drum Major Institute claims to illustrate widespread abuse through the misclassification of employees in the truck transportation industry. The New York Motor Truck Association, however, says this report is just a tool the Teamsters Union is using to push for a bill that would supposedly keep trucking companies from wrongly misclassifying employees as independent contractors. More
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    Stonington, Connecticut schools no longer using 'pink slime' beef
    Stonington-Mystic Patch
    Lunch from Stonington Public Schools will be pink slime free for the rest of the current school year and in future years, but the school nutrition department expects beef to cost more. Stonington Public Schools Director of Nutrition Services Tim Paquette said that while the Stonington school system has used beef containing lean finely textured or "pink slime" in the past the school system will only be using "pink slime" free beef from now on. More
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    Blueberry production quickly gains steam in California
    The Packer
    Blueberries are gaining ground fast in California. "Production two years ago was 29 million pounds," said Alex Ott, executive director of the Fresno-based California Blueberry Commission. This past season it was 44 million and still climbing. "It wouldn't be surprising if California tops 50 million pound of blueberries in the next couple of years."

    Related article:
  • 'Pink slime' outrage goes viral in stunning display of social media's power (The Washington Post)
  • More

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    Packager earns British certification
    The Packer
    Robert Mann Packaging has become the first corrugated packager in the U.S. to earn a global food safety certification from the British Retail Consortium, company president Steve Carroll said. Salinas, Calif.,-based Robert Mann Packaging notches about $100 million in sales annually, 65 percent of it to fresh produce companies. More
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