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LEADING THE NEWS


Bird flu cuts egg-laying hen flocks, poultry meat stocks grow
Reuters
The worst-ever U.S. bird flu outbreak has cut the country's inventory of egg-laying hens to the smallest in at least seven years, while the stockpile of frozen poultry in storage has swelled due to bans in about 40 countries of U.S. meat imports, government data showed on Monday.
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Driver shortage ripples across trucking industry
The Wall Street Journal
With many baby boomer truck drivers retiring and fewer new drivers entering the profession to replace them, a growing driver shortage has made it difficult for companies with smaller fleets to stay afloat.
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General Mills to ax artificial flavors from cereals
USA Today
General Mills said Monday that it will phase out artificial flavors and colors from all of its cereals by 2017.
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POLITICS


Senate advances fast-track trade bill for Obama
The Hill
The Senate on Tuesday voted to advance President Obama’s trade agenda, approving a measure to end debate on fast-track authority. The 60-37 motion sets up a vote on final passage on Wednesday. If the Senate approves fast-track or trade promotion authority (TPA), it would then be sent to Obama’s desk to become law.

Related: Didn’t Obama’s trade bill already die? 5 questions on TPA, TAA, TPP ... (The Washington Post)

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House conservatives lash out at Boehner's 'culture of punishment'
Politico
A key bloc of conservatives is laying plans to throttle legislation on the House floor and will meet privately this week to discuss a shake-up of GOP leadership. The group is irate at what one called a “culture of punishment” that Speaker John Boehner’s leadership team has instituted against dissenting members — most recently the removal of Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) from a subcommittee chairmanship after he bucked Republican leaders on an important procedural vote.
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Obamacare repeal still vexes GOP
Politico
Republicans for months have been planning to use a fast-track budget procedure to extend Obamacare subsidies if the Supreme Court strikes them down — all while completely gutting the underlying law.
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POLICY


Rider threatens fish, dairy, coffee, eggs language in dietary guidelines
Politico via American Frozen Food Institute
A 29-word rider in the House agriculture appropriations bill threatens to stop new language extolling the health benefits of coffee, eggs, dairy and fish from making it into the nutrition advice the federal government gives to Americans every five years. But that was not the intended target.
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EFSA releases new guidance on GM import authorizations
Food Chemical News
The European Food Safety Authority has issued new guidance for companies applying for renewed authorization to import genetically modified plants for food and feed into the EU.
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Trans fat, sodium policy under fire in House Ag Approps
Politico via American Frozen Food Institute
The FDA's work on voluntary sodium reduction and phasing out trans fat both come under fire in House agriculture appropriations report language - another sign the GOP is committed to pushing back on the Obama administration's food agenda.
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Organic industry wants biotechnology regulated by process, not product
Food Safety News
About 40 activist organizations that usually can be counted upon to rally with the organic industry against genetically engineered plants and animals did just that on Monday. They weighed in with a letter to USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service for the federal regulation of biotechnology products.
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House panel withholds 5 percent of ARS budget pending proper animal care
Food Chemical News
The House Appropriations USDA-FDA Subcommittee last week approved a little-noticed provision that withholds 5 percent ($56 million) of USDA’s Agriculture Research Service budget, pending assurance that federal research facilities guarantee proper care of animals.
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INDUSTRY NEWS


Brazil's JBS acquires Moy Park for $1.5 billion
The Wall Street Journal (subscriber story)
Brazil's JBS SA, the world's biggest meat packager, acquired the European poultry unit of its local rival Marfrig Global Foods SA in a deal worth $1.5 billion, showing a continued hunger for acquisitions.
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Ahold says merger talks with delhaize are in 'final stages'
The Wall Street Journal (subscriber story)
European grocery chain Royal Ahold NV on Tuesday said it was in the "final stages of negotiations" with Delhaize Group about a potential merger but that "no definitive agreement on a transaction has been reached."
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Five-Star Dining on Leftover Scraps?
The Wall Street Journal
Buoyed by a global movement to reduce the tons of food that are thrown away each year, fine-dining establishments like chef Dan Barber’s Blue Hill and chef Matt Orlando’s Amass are spinning odds and ends and formerly discarded ingredients into culinary gold.
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Walmart donates $15.5 million for food, nutrition children's programs
Drug Store News
Walmart will give away $15.5 million in grants to seven national nonprofits to support free meal and nutrition education programs this summer and throughout the school year.
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Monsanto's CEO isn't deterred by rival's rebuffs
The Wall Street Journal (subscriber story)
In Hugh Grant’s 34 years at Monsanto Co., his soft-spoken persistence has won over business rivals and even some critics of the company that pioneered genetically modified crops.
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C.P.G. brands gaining strength, according to Deloitte survey
Food Business News
A survey conducted by the consulting firm Deloitte shows consumer purchasing patterns may be shifting in favor of brands vs. private label.
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Papa John's is spending $100 million a year to clean up its menu
Bloomberg
Papa John’s International Inc., is spending $100 million a year to eliminate artificial ingredients and other additives from its menu, underscoring the cost of the restaurant industry’s shift to more natural foods. The company removed monosodium glutamate, or MSG, from its ranch dressing last year and pulled trans fats from its garlic sauce.
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Fermentation may cut cost of naturally-sourced red color
Food Business News
A fermentation process has produced carmine, a red pigment, in a way that may reduce the cost of the naturally-sourced red color, according to Hørsholm-based Chr. Hansen.
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USPS to expand Amazon grocery delivery trial to NYC
Post & Parcel
The U.S. Postal Service has told its regulator it is preparing to expand its early-morning grocery deliveries service for Amazon to the New York metropolitan area.
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Tombstone adds unique twist to frozen pizza with 2 new introductions
Food Processing
Tombstone, a Nestlé brand, is helping families switch up the dinner menu with a unique twist on frozen pizza. Two limited-edition pizza flavors — Bratwurst and Diablo — are now available in select grocery stores nationwide. Bratwurst features slices of premium bratwurst, green bell peppers, onions, a blend of Wisconsin cheddar and mozzarella cheeses and a zesty tomato sauce with a hint of spicy brown mustard.
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Latest quarterly dairy report issued by Rabobank
USAgNet
While U.S. milk prices have fallen considerably in the last eight months, a surplus of milk on the international market is likely to squeeze U.S. producer margins further as 2015 progresses, according to the Rabobank Food & Agribusiness Research and Advisory group's Q2 2015 Dairy Quarterly report.
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Frozen Express
Colby Horton, Executive Vice President of Publishing, (469) 420-2601
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Lonny Alfred, Content Editor, (469) 420-2663   
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