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LEADING THE NEWS
Whole Foods co-CEO: Food industry experiencing 'tectonic shift'
Whole Foods Market co-CEO Walter Robb said Monday that the food industry is going through a "tectonic shift," as the millennial generation drives a push toward greater transparency and sustainability when it comes to what they eat.
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McDonald's move to cage-free eggs is a tipping point for the industry
Los Angeles Times
Will the next egg you crack come from a chicken raised in a roomier barn? Foodies and farmers are in unusual agreement on the answer: If not now, then soon enough. Both say McDonald's recent decision to transition to "cage free" eggs for its McMuffins and other menu items was a tipping point in the $9-billion egg industry, which still produces 96 percent of its eggs in barns full of stacked wire cages.
Are healthier school lunches doomed?
Long mocked for its inedibility, campus cafeteria food is undergoing a federally mandated transformation, and schools are realizing it’s going to take more than sprinkling kale on pizza to really change the way students eat. A recent New York Times article examined the challenges on the school-nutrition landscape, and the fallout from a federal overhaul of mandatory standards for school meals.
Bush camp moves to ease donor angst
For the past week, Jeb Bush’s campaign advisers have been using a new data point to convince nervous donors that he’s still the candidate to beat: Bush’s lead in the political prediction markets. Just one problem: Beginning Sunday night, PredictIt, the biggest of the online sites and the one referenced last week by top Bush advisers and confidants, placed Florida Sen. Marco Rubio ahead of Bush at the head of the GOP pack.
Team Biden: VP's time is now
Joe Biden’s close friends and advisers believe the stars are aligning for his likely presidential bid.
Hillary Clinton’s email controversy and her dip in recent polls have presented the vice president with a big opening, his confidants say. People who have known Biden for decades say the mood of the American electorate is for “authentic” and “genuine” candidates, a not-so-subtle critique of Clinton.
Schumer in talks with Ryan on major tax, infrastructure deal
Three years ago, Chuck Schumer called Paul Ryan's plans for deficit reduction a "fraud.” Now the future Democratic leader wants to cut a deal with him.
The New York senator isn’t playing it safe as he prepares to lead his caucus in 2017. Despite getting hit by liberals for siding with Republicans on the Iran nuclear deal, Schumer is in talks with the conservative Ryan, R-Wis., and vulnerable Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman to deliver a major infrastructure bill that’s eluded Congress for a decade.
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House clears bill extending grain standards, livestock reports
With two days to spare, the House cleared legislation to extend grain inspection standards and livestock price reporting. The House action sends the bipartisan bill (HR 2051) to the White House for President Obama's expected signature. Laws authorizing the standards and price reporting expire Wednesday.
New FDA Science Board report cites weaknesses in food program
Food Chemical News
FDA's top science advisors are expressing concern about weaknesses in FDA’s food program in a new report as Congress still hammers out a spending plan for the agency.
EPA tightens pesticide safety rules for farm workers
The EPA announced Monday it will prohibit children from handling pesticides and require farm workers to complete pesticide safety training more frequently, bolstering protections for 2 million U.S. farm laborers and their families.
The government's role in food safety
Food Safety News
As an organic farmer from north-central Montana, I’ve always believed it’s important for consumers to know where their food comes from. Too many folks now think that milk comes from a carton, not a cow. This is largely due to the rise of multi-national food corporations, which dominate the marketplace. In the United States, four companies own more than 80 percent of the beef market, and one company, Monsanto, controls 85 percent of the corn and 91 percent of the soybeans.
FSIS to begin verifying meat and poultry establishments' compliance with validation requirements
Food Chemical News
Large meat and poultry establishments need to start gathering Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point systems validation data no later than Oct. 6 to be ready for a swiftly approaching Food Safety Inspection Service verification, the agency said in a Sept. 25 notice.
Defense Transportation Chief McDew faces rising challenges with receding resources
When Air Force General Darren W. McDew was quizzed by Senators in July about his nomination to head the U.S. Transportation Command, he lauded the “unheralded professionals” engaged in carrying out the “often thankless work” of his prospective command. That wasn’t just rhetoric. Many of Washington’s political leaders are barely aware that the Transportation Command exists. The organization is similarly anonymous in popular culture.
High-level talks continue over chicken, beef trade with South Africa
Food Chemical News
Will U.S. producers get the green light to send chicken exports to South Africa as that's country's beef imports ship to the U.S.?
Even poor countries end up wasting tons of food
The fact that a huge amount of food is wasted each year will be no surprise to anybody in the West. What might come as a surprise is that a large percentage of global food waste occurs in developing countries — primarily because of poor infrastructure and dysfunctional distribution networks.
How to prevent the Xanthomonas bacterium from spreading
Growers of strawberries and strawberry planting material are terrified of the quarantine organism Xanthomonas fragariae. If the bacterium is found, the affected parcel of land has to be partially or even fully cleared. Commissioned by trade association Plantum and the Strawberry Research Foundation, Wageningen UR performed research into how the pathogen is spread in order to prevent spreading. The applied research method can also be used for other crops.
Drought is driving beekeepers and their hives from California
The drought in California over the past four years has hit the agriculture industry hard, especially one of the smallest farm creatures: Honeybees. A lack of crops for bees to pollinate has California's beekeeping industry on edge.
Market survey finds staple food prices slightly lower than last year
Americans are paying slightly less for a supermarket basket of 16 staples than they did a year ago, thanks in part to lower prices for dairy, bacon and apples and a drop in energy prices, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation's annual Fall Harvest Marketbasket Survey.
Why Whole Foods is cutting jobs
Whole Foods Market’s announcement today that it will cut 1,500 jobs is the latest sign that the upscale grocer is serious about taking costs out of its system. The move comes as Whole Foods is experiencing intense competition in the natural and organic food arena, which it helped create. In response, the company has been working to reduce its prices.
Burger King takes on McDonald's in France with quick purchase
Burger King is to transform its business in France with a deal that will make it the country’s second-biggest fast-food chain behind McDonald’s Corp. The Whopper maker’s local franchisee will acquire Quick Group, the Belgian-based restaurant company, from its private-equity owner for an undisclosed sum, according to a statement released on Monday.
Connolly tells ConAgra employees to brace for change
Food Business News
Sean Connolly, chief executive officer of ConAgra Foods, told employees and investors that change is coming and that not all of the changes will be pleasant. Mr. Connolly spoke Sept. 25 during the company’s annual shareholders meeting.
Coca-Cola ends financial sponsorship of Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
The Wall Street Journal
Coca-Cola Co. isn’t renewing its financial sponsorship of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, part of a broader funding review at Coke after critics accused the beverage giant of trying to downplay the role of sugary drinks in obesity.
Chipotle calls on court to dismiss class action over GMO-free claims
Food Chemical News
Chipotle has asked a federal court to dismiss a class action lawsuit that alleges the company is deceiving consumers by advertising its menu as non-GMO, arguing the litigation is baseless and "defies common sense."
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