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LEADING THE NEWS
Nut products remain prime target for food-safety recalls
The Wall Street Journal
Products made with nuts remain the biggest cause of food-related recalls even though a spate of outbreaks of the infectious bacteria listeria grabbed headlines in the food supply-chain industry over the past month.
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PritzkerOlsen files 1st Blue Bell Listeria lawsuit
Food Poisoning Bulletin
PritzkerOlsen, a national food safety law firm, has filed the first lawsuit stemming from the Listeria outbreak linked to Blue Bell ice cream. The suit was filed on behalf of David Philip Shockley, a 33-year-old Maryland man who developed Listeria meningitis that left him with severe neurological impairment. The suit was filed May 19 in U.S. District Court in the Western District of Texas Austin Division.
Related: FDA report on Blue Bell broken Arrow, OK ice cream plant (Food Poisoning Bulletin)
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Iowa bird flu cases reach 26 million
Cases of avian influenza climbed to 60 Tuesday in Iowa, with four operations believed infected with the virus, including another backyard flock. The birds infected with H5N2 have nearly reached 26 million across 14 counties, mostly in northwest Iowa.
A 2016 theme emerges: Money, money, money, money, money
The Washington Post
Despite the blur of activity by innumerable candidates, the 2016 presidential campaign so far is a mostly shapeless enterprise, save for one dominant factor: the prominence of money in the narrative. More than anything, money has been the defining characteristic of the race, highlighted by the political and private activities of the brand names of Clinton and Bush.
After media drought, Hillary Clinton takes some questions in Iowa
The Washington Post
"Thank you for standing out here!" Hillary Rodham Clinton said Tuesday, shaking hands with the 10 or so Iowans who had waited in hopes to see her after a campaign event. This kind of face-to-face interaction isn't unusual for campaign season in Iowa, of course. But Clinton's protective detail makes her a different kind of candidate.
Related: Your normal rules don't apply to Hillary Clinton (Politico)
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Nevada could upend landscape of Republican 2016 campaign
The Wall Street Journal (subscriber story)
Rand Paul ended his presidential announcement tour last month addressing a cheering crowd of "liberty lovers" during a packed Las Vegas rally. It was a nod to his father's past success mobilizing supporters to Nevada's caucuses.
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House to consider COOL repeal
The House Agriculture Committee will consider a bill to repeal a "country of origin" labeling law for meat on Wednesday — two days after the World Trade Organization ruled against parts of it.
Related: US jobs, economy will suffer if labeling law isn't fixed (The Hill)
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White House threatens to veto trade bill over currency measure
The Wall Street Journal
The White House on Tuesday threatened to veto a crucial trade bill if it contains legislation with binding punishments for currency manipulation, the main point of contention between President Barack Obama and congressional critics of his trade policy.
Senate moves closer to passing Obama trade bill (The Hill)
Obama faces high stakes on trade bill (The Hill)
Hoeven working on Senate GMO labeling bill
It's been a long road to finding a Senate champion for legislation that would
preempt state-level mandatory GMO labeling, but it appears that road has
ended at the door to Sen. John Hoeven’s office. The North Dakota
Republican is working on a bill, his office tells MA, though it remains
unclear if there is a Democratic cosponsor for the measure.
House passes short-term patch for highway programs
The Wall Street Journal
The House Tuesday passed a short-term extension of the nation's federal highway programs, setting up a debate later this summer over the long-term future of transportation funding.
FDA chastised for lack of FSMA-required recall notification guidance
Food Safety News
Many requirements of the Food Safety Modernization Act have yet to be implemented, and one of them is a recall notification system for grocery stores described in Section 211 of the law. The section on improving the Reportable Food Registry required that within one year of FSMA's enactment in 2011, FDA "develop and publish a list of acceptable conspicuous locations and manners" for grocery stores to post recall notices.
USDA agencies, suppliers and vendors taking steps to improve USDA foods purchase process
United States Department of Agriculture
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's commodity purchases play an important role in supporting American agriculture. One commodity purchasing effort – the USDA Foods Program – purchases about 2 billion pounds of nutritious, domestically produced foods each year and supplies this food to families, schools, food banks, and communities nationwide, also serving as a key tool for combating hunger.
Bill introduced to curb falling milk consumption in schools
Reps. G.T. Thompson, R-Pa., and Joe Courtney, D-Conn., on Tuesday introduced the School Milk Nutrition Act of 2015 to preserve milk's role in school feeding programs, while complying with the most recent Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
Welch, food chiefs to criticize ban on state GMO laws
The Washington Times
Vermont Congressman Peter Welch is being joined by food industry entrepreneurs to criticize a bill in Congress that would bar state laws requiring that genetically modified foods be labeled as such. Executives from Ben and Jerry's, Chipotle, Stonyfield Farm, Happy Family and Patagonia will join Welch at a news conference in Washington on Tuesday to express their view that the bill should be allowed to die.
USDA reveals $2.3 million funding opportunity for regional centers
Food Quality News
More than $2 million has been made available to establish regional centers to support food safety training and education, pursuant to the Food Safety Modernization Act. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food Agriculture said the application date for the $2.3 million funding is June 29.
Hormel Foods says turkey supplies 'challenged' by avian flu
Hormel Foods Corp, the maker of Spam lunch meat, reported lower-than-expected quarterly sales and said its Jennie-O Turkey Store business would be "significantly challenged" due to an outbreak of avian flu in the United States.
Researchers use CRISPR to create 'kill switch' for GMOs
A pair of researchers at MIT has developed what amounts to a "kill switch" for genetically modified organisms. In their paper published in the journal Nature Communications, Brian Caliando and Christopher Voigt describe the process they developed and how it might impact the development and use of GMOs.
Concessions: Foodmakers try to pitch alternatives to popcorn and candy
The Salt Lake Tribune
EdaMovie, a company that manufactures edamame pods in frozen packets, was one of many food companies pitching their wares at CinemaCon, the annual convention of National Association of Theater Owners in Las Vegas. They represent a growing trend among food makers trying to squeeze into the concession stands of America's movie theaters: A move toward healthy alternatives to the traditional popcorn and candy.
Organic foods: Why they're so expensive, and who owns your favorite brands
Consumer demands for organic foods in the U.S. continue to explode. Sales of organic food and non-food products totaled $39.1 billion in 2014, up 11.3 percent from the previous year — with sales of organic food alone accounting for $35.9 billion, according to the Organic Trade Association.
Higher food prices weigh on Walmart's results
New York Post
For years, Walmart poached customers from traditional supermarkets because its prices were up to 20 percent cheaper. That’s no longer the case, say analysts.
4 defendants sentenced in cheese reselling scheme
Food Safety News
The recent sentencing of Miguel Leal, former president of Mexican Cheese Producers Inc., of Darlington, Wisconsin, brought to an end criminal prosecution for events dating back to 2007. At the heart of the case was a cheese shipment that the FDA found "contained a violative presence of micro-biologic material and filth."
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