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Study: Curbing junk food options doesn't help weight loss
The Hill
Making unhealthy foods less available to dieters is not a silver bullet for weight loss, a new study found. The report, published in the "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition," comes on the heels of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's announcement of a ban on the sale of large sugary drinks throughout the city. More
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Vilsack: Lesson learned from pink slime
Omaha World-Herald
The recent loss of more than 700 jobs following controversy about a beef product is a lesson to food companies about the effect of social media, Agriculture Secretary Thomas Vilsack said Thursday. "I think it's a good wake-up call for food companies generally, that when there is an effort that uses the social media effectively, there has to be a rapid and specific and quick and comprehensive response," Vilsack said. More
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MyPlate hits 1-year mark
Food Safety News
It has been one year since the Obama administration unveiled its initiative to promote nutritious food choices using the MyPlate icon, an image of a colorful plate filled on the left side by fruits and vegetables and on the right by grains and protein. USDA's Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion estimates that around 90 percent of nutrition professionals now use MyPlate resources and messages when counseling clients.

Editor's note: The American Frozen Food Institute is a National Strategic Partner of the MyPlate initiative.
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Jobs gloomy nationally, Obama touts economy regionally
The Washington Post
Against a gloomy economic backdrop and a Republican opponent blaming him for it, President Barack Obama is selling his stewardship of the economy one state at a time, tailoring his message to regional conditions. More
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3 questions that will decide the 2012 Senate race
The Washington Post
The U.S. Senate is very much in play in the 2012 election. In fact, it's so much in play that Guy Cecil, the executive director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, recently remarked there is a 50 percent chance Republicans will reclaim the chamber. More
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Pennsylvania gets swing state downgrade
POLITICO
It's only June, but already Pennsylvania seems to be getting downgraded as a swing state. National Journal's Alex Roarty observed Thursday that "evidence is mounting that one traditional battleground state isn't a top target for the Romney campaign: Pennsylvania." More
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Senator joins push for US freight plan
The Journal of Commerce
Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., urged the Department of Transportation Thursday to create a multimodal national freight transportation plan, an initiative DOT Secretary Ray LaHood pledged to take on shortly after taking office. More
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Opinion: A ban too far
The New York Times
Mayor Michael Bloomberg has done a lot to help improve the health of New York City residents. Smoking is outlawed in workplaces, restaurants and bars. Trans fat is banned in restaurants. Chain restaurants are required to post calorie counts, allowing customers to make informed choices. Bloomberg, however, is overreaching with his new plan to ban the sale of sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces.

Related article:
  • Boehner to Bloomberg: Super-size me on that soda (USA Today)
  • More

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    China trade tensions ratchets up with new tariffs
    POLITICO
    Clean-tech trade tensions with China just picked up the wind. The Commerce Department said Wednesday it will slap tariffs of 13.74 percent to 26 percent on utility-scale wind towers from China in response to a complaint from domestic manufacturers about illegal subsidies. More
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    North Carolina moves to 'block lunch box police'
    The Fayetteville Observer
    The Hoke County, N.C., chicken nugget school lunch incident of 2012 led the North Carolina Senate to vote unanimously Thursday in passing a bill to prohibit child care centers from giving food to children whose parents provide them with lunches from home. More
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    Customs and Border Protection sets 2012 antidumping offsets
    Federal Register
    U.S. Customs and Border Protection has published the case name and number for each antidumping order of 2012, along with the list of affected domestic producers who could be eligible to receive a countervailing duty distribution. More
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    FSMA FAQs: Domestic facility risk categorization
    U.S. Food and Drug Administration
    The FDA has added new information to the FSAM FAQ section: Does the FSMA Domestic Facility Risk Categorization approach apply to all registered facilities, i.e., food and animal feed facilities? More
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    USDA opens nominations for meat, poultry inspection committee
    USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service
    The U.S. Department of Agriculture is accepting nominations for the National Advisory Committee on Meat and Poultry Inspection. All applications need to be received by June 20. Nominations are being sought from individuals representing academia, public health, industry, state and local government, consumer groups and the public. Federally registered lobbyists will not be considered. More
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    ATA tells Congress to base security efforts on credible risk
    Truckinginfo
    While testifying about the Transportation Security Administration's Surface Transportation Inspection Program, Phil Byrd, president of Bulldog Hiway Express, Charleston, S.C., and vice chairman of American Trucking Associations, told the congressional subcommittee that efforts to secure the nation's transportation system should be deployed based on specific and credible intelligence. More
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    PHIS comes online with few reported problems
    Food Chemical News
    A new system that will allow international companies importing meat, poultry and processed egg products into the U.S. to use electronic certifications — the second component of the new Public Health Information System — went live Tuesday. More
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    New York Thruway proposes 45 percent rate spike
    The Associated Press via Bloomberg Businessweek
    The New York State Thruway Authority decided Wednesday to seek public input on what a Cuomo administration appointee called a "modest toll increase" of 45 percent for big trucks, and more toll increases may be on the way for all drivers. More
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    Subway snares first seal of approval from heart group
    USA Today
    The American Heart Association will announce plans Friday to expand its "Heart-Check" food certification program from grocery stores to restaurant meals. The first chain to earn the new seal: Subway. More
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    McDonald's to phase out pork from gestation stalls
    The Wall Street Journal
    McDonald's Corp. said Thursday that by 2022 it no longer will buy any pork from suppliers that use small pens known as gestation stalls to confine pregnant sows. Within five years, the company said, it will only buy pork from "producers who share its commitment to phase out gestation stalls" and then those suppliers will have another five years to make good on the commitments.

    Related article:
  • National Pork Board responds to McDonald's statement (USAgNet)
  • More

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    US farm exports reach second-highest level on record
    USAgNet
    Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced USDA's third-quarter forecast released Thursday shows U.S. farm exports reaching the second-highest level on record, at $134.5 billion in fiscal year 2012. More
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    Peanut butter, deli meats — and flame retardants?
    The Huffington Post
    Nothing says "lunch time" to an American child quite like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Slices of deli meat might be a close second. Unbeknownst to most parents who pack school lunch boxes, however, both of these favorites could expose students to toxic chemicals, according to a study soon to be published in "Environmental Health Perspectives." More
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    Survey: Food companies need more from animal agriculture
    Pork Magazine
    Food companies want more information from animal agriculture is one of the key messages from a recent survey of grocery and restaurant executives. Conducted by the Center for Food Integrity, the survey signals an opportunity for those in animal agriculture to provide retailers with better support and alignment to address consumer demands and challenging issues. More
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    Major acquisition rocks US bakery market
    BakeryAndSnacks.com
    Flowers Foods' $370 million acquisition of Lepage Bakeries allows Flowers to expand its presence throughout the northeast U.S. and gives it high potential to develop organic brands, the company claims. More
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    Cross-border rail growth outpaces truck transport expansion
    The Journal of Commerce
    Shippers appear to be turning increasingly to rail instead of truck when it comes to bringing high-value loads across the U.S. borders with Canada and Mexico. More
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    Ethylene chip sensor to slash waste in fruit supply chain
    Food Production Daily
    A miniature and cost-effective single-chip sensor that paves the way for the monitoring of ethylene levels in fruit consignments throughout the supply chain could cut food waste drastically and boost industry profitability, said the Dutch scientists behind the technology. More
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