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LEADING THE NEWS
Food companies fear avian flu may cause egg shortages
The New York Times
With avian flu devastating significant portion of the nation's egg-laying hens, major food companies and restaurant chains are bracing for shortages and scouting the country to find alternative supply sources.
Related: Egg consumers may face $8 billion bill from worst US bird flu (Bloomberg)
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The FDA has a plan to prevent the next ice cream disaster
Months after an outbreak of deadly bacteria in ice cream that killed three and sickened seven more, U.S. regulators are near making food producers like Blue Bell Creameries Inc., have safety plans to minimize future outbreaks.
Investigators narrowing down possible source of Washington state E. coli outbreak
Food Safety News
Federal, state and county investigators searching for the source of the E. coli outbreak in Whatcom County, Washington, have found at least one environmental sample matching the outbreak strain.
A mad, messy rush to vacation
Intraparty warfare is reaching a boil as Congress struggles to conclude a messy session of legislating and head home for a weeklong vacation.
Related: Paul disrupts Senate endgame (The Hill)
NRSC outraises DSCC in April, boasts far lower debt burden
The Washington Post
The National Republican Senatorial Committee, which slightly outraised its Democratic counterpart in April, made a multi-million dollar payment on its debt last month and now carries a burden less than one-third the size of that held by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
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1st cut is the deepest: Who wouldn't make the GOP debate
The first Republican presidential debate would likely exclude two governors, a U.S. senator, and the only woman in the GOP’s presidential field, according to criteria released Wednesday.
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Trade bill clears Senate hurdle
A free trade initiative that is pitting President Barack Obama against his own party cleared a major procedural hurdle in the Republican-controlled Senate on Thursday. The 62-38 vote to end debate on the bill, moving it toward a final vote, was a victory for Obama, who had linked with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, to push the bill despite opposition from Senate Democratic leaders.
Senate may put brakes on House highway plan
House Republican leaders, eager to find new money to pay for decaying highways, are eyeing a massive tax reform-transportation package that taps $2 trillion in corporate profits parked offshore as a way to cover the costs. But the plan faces a major obstacle: Senate Republicans.
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House Agriculture Committee approves COOL repeal bill
Food Chemical News
By a vote of 38-6, the House Agriculture Committee approved legislation Wednesday (May 20) that would repeal country of origin labeling for beef, pork and chicken, just two days after the World Trade Organization (WTO) found the U.S. labeling law discriminated against livestock from Canada and Mexico.
Hoeven's GMO bill could have Ag focus
The bill to pre-empt state GMO labeling efforts being prepared by Sen.
John Hoeven could put more emphasis on the Agriculture Department in
order to give the Senate Agriculture Committee jurisdiction on the
measure, sources familiar with the legislation tell MA.
Club for Growth to key-vote trade amendments
The conservative Club for Growth is urging senators to oppose a program to help workers displaced by expanded trade and a proposal addressing currency manipulation. The group issued key vote alerts on Wednesday and pushed for a "yes" vote on Sen. Jeff Flake's, R-Ariz., amendment that would strike the Trade Adjustment Assistance bill from a fast-track measure that would grant President Obama broad powers to negotiate and complete global trade agreements.
Related: US trade policy and US political system: A defining moment (The Hill)
House Dems push for mandatory GMO labeling
Backed by food companies like Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, House Democrats renewed their push on Capitol Hill Wednesday for the mandatory labeling of foods that contain genetically modified organisms or GMOs.
Related: Killing GMO bill would force industry 'to the table,' critics say (Agri-Pulse )
Criminal cases roil food industry
The Wall Street Journal (subscriber story)
A ConAgra Foods Inc., unit agreed to pay a record fine and plead guilty to a federal misdemeanor charge stemming from a 2006-2007 salmonella outbreak. The rare criminal case spotlights how stepped-up enforcement of food-safety laws is shaking up the industry.
Prepared meat products recalled for lack of USDA inspection, misbranding
Food Safety News
LQNN Inc., is recalling approximately 213,192 pounds of chicken, beef and pork products that were produced without the benefit of inspection and misbranded because of the unauthorized use of a USDA mark of inspection, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service announced Wednesday.
Agriculture: Job growth to boom over next 5 years
Dire news about drought in the West and avian flu in the Midwest may lead Americans to believe farming is struggling. They'd be wrong. The industry is thriving — and hiring college grads. A new report finds there's high demand, at least for the foreseeable future, for college graduates with a degree in agricultural programs.
Refrigerated & Frozen Foods
Daimler Trucks North America unveiled the Freightliner Inspiration Truck, what is said to be the first licensed autonomous commercial truck to operate on an open public highway in the United States.
USDA offers summer food safety tips in advance of Memorial Day weekend
United States Department of Agriculture
Leading up to Memorial Day weekend, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service is reminding families to take extra care not to let foodborne bacteria, which grows more quickly in hot weather, ruin the fun.
Trucking comes up short in search for young drivers
The Wall Street Journal
The trucking industry is beginning to feel the impact of a shortfall of some 35,000 to 40,000 drivers needed to move goods, according to the American Trucking Associations, or ATA. Some believe this will grow to as much as 240,000 drivers by 2022, said Gail Rutkowski, NASSTRAC.
Small food makers on fast path to US store shelves, threatening big producers
An increasing number of privately-held players are going from garage to grocery store in fewer than five years thanks to an erosion of barriers to entry within the food industry. More mass-market retailers want niche brands that shoppers view as healthier to drive traffic in stores. In the ice cream business, for example, sales of some major U.S. brands have faltered. But one beneficiary is a little-known frozen dessert company called Arctic Zero.
Physicians can play key role in preventing foodborne illness
Infection Control Today
Food safety awareness is key to understanding the food safety issues on the horizon, and clinicians at hospitals and doctors' offices play a key role in ensuring consumers are aware of the threats of foodborne illness, says the University of Georgia's Michael Doyle. In an opinion piece published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, Doyle and his colleagues discuss the future for food safety and how it might relate to clinicians.
New paper from Food Research Collaboration reviews impact of taxes overseas
The paper, published by the Food Research Collaboration, concludes that the growing obesity epidemic must be tackled by making unhealthy products with low nutritional value more expensive to reduce their consumption.
Midwest farmers rush to dispose of chickens killed to contain avian flu
Even as the tiny, green shoots of corn and soybeans are popping up in fields here, another product of Northwest Iowa is being destroyed. Five-and-a-half-million birds will have to be killed just at Rembrandt Farms.
Food inspectors order recall of Maggi noodles, say found excess lead
Food inspectors have ordered Nestle India to recall a batch of Maggi noodles from shops across India, saying the product contained dangerous levels of lead. The high lead content was found during routine tests on two dozen packets of instant noodles, manufactured by Nestle in India.
Editor’s note: Members of the American Frozen Food Institute have access to AFFI's unique Product Recall Insurance Program. Ensure you're protected during a food safety crisis using AFFI's one-of-a-kind program. For more information, please click here.
After recall, Jeni's Scoop shops reopening for Memorial Day weekend
Food Safety News
Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams, which recalled all of its products last month after Listeria contamination was found in two pints of ice cream made in its Columbus, Ohio, production kitchen, will reopen most of its 21 scoop shops on Friday.
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