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LEADING THE NEWS
Heinz clashes with Boulder Brands over 'Smart Balance' trademark on frozen foods
Heinz is urging a Pennsylvania court to reverse a decision by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board allowing Boulder Brands to register 'Smart Balance' as a trademark for frozen foods and snacks – a name Heinz claims is "confusingly similar" to its own Weight Watchers 'Smart Ones' brand of frozen meals.
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Faster listeria tests start hitting the market
Food Safety News
Once food manufacturers begin looking for Listeria more often, it’s only natural that they will begin to look for faster tests. Traditional means of detecting Listeria involve techniques and processes that take several days to complete while waiting for the return of laboratory results.
Sysco defends US Foods deal from FTC, judge skeptical
Lawyers for Sysco Corp, the No. 1 U.S. food distribution company, told a judge that competition from regional rivals would prevent the company from raising prices if it is allowed to buy U.S. Foods Inc., the market's No. 2 player.
Republicans place bets on their must-win states for 2016
Candidates for the Republican presidential nomination will soon have to decide where to place their chips, as they look to keep their campaigns afloat — and avoid disastrous finishes — in the key early voting states.
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The Iowa straw poll, once a kingmaker, fades into irrelevance for 2016
The Washington Post
When Republican officials in Iowa convened a planning session Thursday for their quadrennial presidential straw poll, only a handful of advisers to GOP contenders bothered to show up.
Why GOP field attracts more long-shot candidates than it deters
The Wall Street Journal
Every day brings news of another Republican jumping into the White House race. Former New York Gov. George Pataki made his bid official on Thursday, a day after former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum kicked off his second presidential campaign. Never one to ignore a spectacle, Donald Trump announced plans Thursday for a "major" announcement in mid-June.
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EPA proposes increases in renewable fuel levels
United States Environmental Protection Agency
Today the EPA announced proposed volume requirements under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program for the years 2014, 2015 and 2016, and also proposed volume requirements for biomass-based diesel for 2017. The proposal would boost renewable fuel production and provide for ambitious yet responsible growth over multiple years, supporting future expansion of the biofuels industry.
Democrats buck Obama on water rule
Dozens of congressional Democrats are joining Republicans to back legislation blocking the Obama administration’s new rule to redefine its jurisdiction over the nation’s waterways.
COOL dispute to heat up again
Politico via American Frozen Food Institute
The World Trade Organization's Dispute Settlement Body today will
rubber-stamp the Appellate Body's decision faulting U.S. country-of-origin
labeling requirements for meat. Canada and Mexico could follow by
immediately tossing out their first estimates of how much they've been hurt
by the policy, which could run as high as $2 billion a year.
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A proposal to modify plants gives GMO debate new life
The New York Times
An idea is being floated by a group at the University of Copenhagen, which is proposing the name "rewilding" for the process that would result if scientists took a gene or two from an ancient plant variety and melded it with more modern species to promote greater resistant to drought.
EPA proposes pesticide-free zones to save honeybees
U.S. environmental regulators on Thursday proposed a rule that would create temporary pesticide-free zones to protect commercial honeybees, which are critical to food production and have been dying off at alarming rates.
FDA asked to wait on final decision against GRAS status of PHOs
Food Chemical News (subscriber story)
The American Bakers Association is working with members of the U.S. Senate to urge FDA to hold off on making a final decision to deny the Generally Recognized as Safe status of partially hydrogenated oils until the agency has reviewed a pending food additive petition.
Port truckers revive drive for employee status
The Wall Street Journal
As contract negotiations between West Coast dockworkers and their employers slowed to a crawl late last year, another group of cargo-moving workers was growing increasingly restless. Short-haul truck drivers, who carry containers from port terminals to nearby warehouses and distribution centers, have organized protests at several small trucking companies serving the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports in recent months.
Will plant-based dietary recommendation spur meaningful change?
A recent recommendation of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee brought hope by acknowledging some negative environmental and health impacts of the typical American diet. However, a long-time researcher and contributor to food and health policy questions if this is actually a step forward for health and the environment or just another dead end.
Avian influenza confirmed in 4 flocks in Minnesota, Iowa
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic H5N2 avian influenza in four additional flocks in Minnesota and Iowa.
California dairy to deploy 1.1 MW solar system
CalCom Solar, a leader in design-build solar projects for agribusinesses and water districts, has commenced installation of a new 1.1 MW solar power system at Medeiros and Son Dairy in Hanford, California.
1 in 5 Americans receive government assistance: food stamps, welfare, Medicaid details
One in five Americans received monthly assistance from at least one of a variety of government programs throughout 2012, a report issued Thursday by the Census Bureau says. The report estimated that 52.2 million Americans – or 21.3 percent of the people in the United States – received assistance each month during 2012.
You may soon be able to buy Amazon-branded milk, cereal and baby food
The e-commerce leader is planning to add food to its fledgling line up of house labels, a move that seeks to capitalize on customers’ growing acceptance of store brands and its grocery delivery service.
Nestle launches Hot Pockets snacks in US
Nestle has moved to try to see its U.S. frozen sandwich brand Hot Pockets to benefit from growing demand for snacks with the launch of a "bite-sized" products.
How Costco is winning its battle against Wal-Mart's Sam's Club
Costco Wholesale continues to win the warehouse club war it's fighting against Wal-Mart's Sam's Club division. And it's doing it by continuing to be ruthless in keeping prices low, mostly on food. "Others try to make more, we try to make fair," said Costco's CFO Richard Galanti on a conference call Thursday referring to the company's pricing philosophy.
Costco may already be US leader in organic food
Costco Wholesale Corp. may already be the U.S. retail industry's leader in organic foods, with annual sales in the category on track to exceed $4 billion, compared with Whole Foods Market Inc.'s $3.6 billion, BMO Capital Markets said Friday.
Convictions upheld in Peanut Corporation of America case
Food Safety News
Post-trial motions for acquittal, dismissal, or, in the alternative, a new trial filed by defendants Stewart Parnell, Michael Parnell, and Mary Wilkerson have all been denied by U.S. District Court Judge W. Louis Sands.
Food supply fears whet appetite for Dutch farm technology
One of the most densely populated countries in the world, the Netherlands has long learnt to squeeze the maximum out of its limited farmland, making it the second-largest agricultural exporter after the United States.
Canadian risk assessment finds GMO salmon susceptible to disease
Food & Water Watch
A never-before-seen draft environmental review of AquaBounty Technologies' genetically engineered salmon reveals that Canadian government scientists disagree with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on key questions related to the safety and performance of what may be the first GE animal approved for human consumption.
Study: Health-conscious, ingredient-aware consumers want clean food nutritional labeling
Refrigerated & Frozen Foods
Eighty-seven percent of Americans look at the Nutrition Facts panel on packaged foods and beverages at least sometimes, while more than half (56 percent) actively seek out nutritional information and guidelines, according to "Nutritional Labeling and Clean Labels in the U.S.: Future of Food Retailing," published by New York-based market research firm Packaged Facts.
Food industry giant buys Blake's All Natural Foods
New Hampshire Business Review
Concord-based Blake's All Natural Foods has been purchased by ConAgra Foods Inc., a national packaged foods company of store brands based in Omaha, Nebraska. ConAgra made the move to appeal to a growing number of consumers who prefer natural, healthier foods versus the traditional processed foods ConAgra produces, the company said.
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