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Farm bill advances in Senate
A strong farm bill showing in the Senate Thursday clears the way for a final vote on passage Monday evening and puts added pressure on the House to move ahead this month with its own five-year plan to revamp major commodity programs.
Related: USDA official goes to bat for crop insurance, food stamps (World-Herald News Service)
Townsend Farms and organic certification: How are imports evaluated?
Food Safety News
How can berries grown in Turkey, Chile and Mexico be packaged in Oregon and certified as organic by the standards of the U.S. Department of Agriculture?
Related: Ongoing hepatitis A outbreak spans 7 states, 61 people (CDC)
US added 175,000 jobs in May as recovery remains slow
The Washington Post
The economy added a solid 175,000 jobs last month, according to new government data released this morning, but the gains were not enough to make a dent in the nation's unemployment rate.
Related: US adds 175,000 jobs, beating expectations (The Wall Street Journal)
Analysis: Obama's agenda scorched in firestorm
Revelations that the U.S. government has been collecting a massive database of telephone usage by millions of Americans — citizens not suspected of any wrongdoing — created a firestorm Thursday that would be damaging for any administration. But it is is especially problematic for President Barack Obama because it stokes controversies he already was struggling to contain and reinforces criticism that has dogged him from the start.
Paul Ryan endorses immigration bill after Labrador walks away
A bipartisan group negotiating a House immigration bill earned a key endorsement Thursday from Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., a day after one of its eight core members quit the effort because of a dispute over healthcare policy.
Related: E-Verify a possible 'bargaining chip' in immigration debate (Politico)
Chris Christie appoints Jeff Chiesa as interim senator
Gov. Chris Christie on Thursday appointed New Jersey Attorney General Jeff Chiesa, a former federal prosecutor who worked for him as governor and as U.S. attorney, as the interim senator replacing the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg.
Related: New Jersey prosecutor named to senate seat (The Wall Street Journal)
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Pushing for pulse crops in school lunch guidelines
Washington Ag Today via AgInfo.net
Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., has been speaking around the state on how her "Pulse School Pilot" amendment in the farm bill could make school meals healthier by integrating pulse crops, which include peas, lentils and chickpeas, into school breakfasts and lunches.
School raises meal prices per USDA Equity in School Lunch Pricing (Rockdale Citizen)
County's Farm to School Yolo viewed as school lunch success (Daily Democrat)
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Chicago fast food workers protest low wages, treatment
Chicago fast food workers and advocates for a living wage protested outside a downtown McDonald's Thursday morning as part of the National Guestworker Alliance's global anti-exploitation campaign.
Related: Small victories, setbacks after fast food workers strike (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
US senators warn EU: Tobacco restrictions threaten US-EU trade deal
The Wall Street Journal
Europe faces fierce opposition from an unexpected source over its efforts to curb smoking: Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who has warned the EU that its proposed restrictions on tobacco marketing would violate international trade rules and harm trade relations with the U.S.
US, Chile renew push for TPP trade pact (Bernama)
Majority of House members urge currency crackdown in TPP (The Hill)
APHIS sets meetings to discuss GM corn, soybeans, cotton
Office of the Federal Register
USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service will hold public meetings as part of its research to assess the environmental impact of Dow AgroSciences's herbicide-resistant corn and soybeans and Monsanto's herbicide-resistant soybeans and cotton, in advance of determining the nonregulated status of each crop. The meetings take place June 26-27, and the comment period ends July 17.
Processed food makers kneading in some feel-good veggies and fruit
The Globe and Mail
As consumers become more pressed for time, food companies are seeing the power of advertising easy ways to sneak nutritional benefits into their day.
McDonald's: Breakfast or dinner after midnight?
Ronald McDonald is concocting a new way to lure folks in during the middle of the night: Serve dinner and breakfast. Declining to discuss any formal plans, the company will begin serving a limited combination of breakfast and dinner items between midnight and 4 a.m. at some of its 24-hour locations this month.
GMOs are a challenge to packaging
Regardless of whether the epithet "Frankenfoods" is justified for edibles containing GMOs, the packaging-related issues might prove to be monstrous in size.
Kraft swears Mac & Cheese is GMO-free, silent about effect on kids
Kraft doesn't want to talk about the possibility their instant Macaroni & Cheese "may have adverse effect on activity and attention in children."
Off S&P 500, Heinz could recommit to founder's vision
When U.S. stock trading begins Friday, H.J. Heinz Co. will no longer be listed on the Standard & Poor's 500 Index. Back in private hands, the company should carry forward the founder's vision of both profit and service to society.
Stay Fresh Foods adds second HPP line
PRWeb via The News-Times
Hitting its volume targets more than a year ahead of schedule, high pressure processing services provider Stay Fresh Foods is leapfrogging over its original growth plans to launch a second HPP line in September. It took only four months for the Meriden, Conn., company to triple its customer base and ramp up weekly plant output to 75 percent of capacity.
J.M. Smucker earnings: Net rises 25 percent on stronger volume
The Wall Street Journal (subscription required)
J.M. Smucker's quarterly earnings jumped 25 percent, beating Street views, as the food company reported stronger volume as well.
Managing logistics in food manufacturing
Process and Control Today
The food manufacturers who are successful in today's fast paced, ever changing industry are the ones who can capitalize on fast moving trends, optimize their efficiency and productivity, best manage their supply chain logistics and minimize waste. Chris Evans of Mitsubishi Electric looks at how advanced automation technologies can help.
Australian food processing company Simplot warns of factory closures
Simplot Australia is warning it may shut down two vegetable processing facilities in the country, citing the high Australian dollar, comparatively high labor costs and dramatically cheaper imports.
UK grocer Iceland plans online offer
British grocer Iceland Foods says it plans to offer an online service and is looking to expand overseas as it posted a rise in annual sales and profit.
FDA courses offer first line of food defense
Food Production Daily
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has enhanced its roster of Web-based food defense courses, designed to help producers in America and abroad better guard against acts of intentional food contamination.
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