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LEADING THE NEWS
Congress averts government shutdown, setting up budget talks
With just hours to spare, President Obama signed a stopgap spending bill into law that averts a government shutdown and keeps agencies operating until Dec. 11. Fiscal 2016 starts Thursday, but Congress has been unable to agree on any of the 12 appropriations bills that fund agencies.
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Mars exec: Industry 'missing a big opportunity' if safety standards not met
From reactive to proactive — that’s the goal for two new rules issued by the FDA that are meant to level the playing field in terms of food safety in companies’ day-to-day operations. The first two of seven finalized rules under the Food Safety Modernization Act were released earlier this month, and the preventive controls rules are of particular importance to food companies of all sizes.
Whole Foods sees charges of about $15 million to $22 million tied to job cuts
The Wall Street Journal (subscriber story)
Whole Foods Market Inc., expects to record fourth-quarter pretax charges of about $15 million to $22 million in connection with the job cuts it announced Monday.
Politics Mitt Romney weighs in on 2016, says Trump 'will not be the nominee'
The Washington Post
Mitt Romney long ago ruled out a presidential run in 2016, but he is hardly retired from politics.
As he answered questions from college students for an hour on Wednesday, it became clear that Romney is a keen if not obsessive observer of the campaign’s twists and turns and has strong ideas on what the Republican Party and its eventual nominee must do to win back the White House.
Bernie Sanders's $26 million cash haul is a major problem for Hillary Clinton
The Washington Post
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton technically beat Bernie Sanders by $2 million in the chase for campaign cash over the past three months. But that isn't the story — not even close.
Related: What the Democrats told us about their fundraising numbers, and what it tells us about them (The Washington Post)
Republicans worry new Speaker could face old problems
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., has the inside track to succeed John Boehner as Speaker, but could his days be numbered as well?
More than half a dozen House Republicans this week told The Hill there are serious concerns that, unless the intraparty warfare subsides, the new Speaker could become the next victim of GOP "fratricide."
Related: GOP's future may rest on untested McCarthy-McConnell relationship (Politico)
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How a government shutdown affects your kitchen table
With a possible government shutdown looming, media outlets are once again focusing on all the ways that closing the federal government will affect the American people: processing delays in Social Security payments, frozen federal loan programs, and government employees and contractors being furloughed. And while those issues hit close to home for many of our country's citizens, there is one issue that hits at the heart of the home — the kitchen — for all of our citizens: The interruption of vital food research.
USDA researchers develop camera system to detect active Shiga toxin
Food Safety News
Scientists at USDA’s Agricultural Research Service Western Regional Research Center in Albany, CA, have come up with a less-expensive way to detect biologically active Shiga toxin, a product of pathogenic Escherichia coli serotype O157:H7.
New U.S. dietary guidelines questioned
The expert report underpinning the latest dietary guidelines for Americans fails to reflect much relevant scientific literature in its reviews of crucial topics and therefore risks giving a misleading picture.
FDA, industry report the latest updates on the much-scrutinized GRAS program
Food Chemical News
FDA is actively working to draft guidance on the appropriate use of expert panels that food companies use to review Generally Recognized As Safe products, but has no timeline for the guidance yet, said FDA’s Shayla West-Barnette at a Sept. 29 Smithers Pira Food Contact and Additives conference.
Will China's new food safety rules work?
A recent poll from the Pew Research Center reveals that concerns over food safety have tripled in China since the milk crisis of 2008. More than a third of people believe persistent safety issues with the country's food is a "very big problem.” Now a sweeping new law is meant to clean up China's entire food supply - banning highly toxic pesticides, regulating food labelling and, importantly, increasing punishments for those who violate China's existing laws.
Negotiators in U.S. for free trade deal
Trade Ministers from around the world are in Atlanta negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Senior negotiators have been meeting for a week and there is speculation this could be the last round of talks before a pact is announced.
AFFI webinar on Listeria monocytogenes set for next week
American Frozen Food Institute
AFFI will host a webinar next week on controlling Listeria monocytogenes (Lm) in frozen food facilities. The webinar is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 9, at 2 p.m. ET.
Dr. Martin Weidmann of Cornell University’s Department of Food Science will share his research and expertise on strategies to control Lm in frozen food production environments.
Consumers spending more on specialty foods
Gifts & Dec
Specialty food is drawing a new crowd this year. Men are stepping up purchases, less affluent shoppers are buying a wide variety of products like artisanal cheese and single-origin chocolate, and millennials are showing their age at the store, according to the Specialty Food Association.
AFFI presents at PROCESS EXPO 2015
American Frozen Food Institute
AFFI Senior Vice President of Regulatory and Technical Affairs Dr. Donna Garren recently presented at PROCESS EXPO 2015 hosted by the Food Processing Suppliers Association. Dr. Garren discussed best practices frozen food facilities can utilize to prevent and control Listeria monocytogenes (Lm).
High-end Swiss chocolate brand to finally hit U.S.
Nestle announced on Wednesday that for the first time it will begin selling its Cailler chocolate beyond Switzerland, as the company attempts to make headway into the super-premium chocolate market.
Target will now price match with 29 competitors, including online purchases
Just ahead of the ultimate showdown in retail competition, the holiday season, Target is expanding its price-matching policy to include 29 online competitors, including Sam's Club and Costco, the retailer said Wednesday.
Slumping snack maker seeks to sell company in pieces
New York Post
Diamond Foods, after failing to find a buyer for the entire company, will now look to sell the $1 billion snack foods company in pieces, The Post has learned. The maker of Kettle chips, Pop Secret popcorn and Emerald Snacks has switched gears and is accepting bids on units of the company through mid-October, a source with direct knowledge of the situation said on Wednesday.
Should Whole Foods Market Inc. fear this New Kroger Co. brand?
The Motley Fool
Organic and natural foods are entering the mainstream of the grocery market. That's a mixed blessing for Whole Foods, which now sees a much bigger store footprint potential than the 1,200 supermarkets it had pegged as an upper limit until just recently.
Whole Foods to stop selling products made by prisoners
Whole Foods will stop selling products made using a prison labor program after a protest at one of its stores in Texas. The company said the products should be out of its stores by April 2016, if not sooner. Whole Foods said it has sold tilapia, trout and goat cheese produced through a Colorado inmate program at some stores since at least 2011.
7701 Las Colinas Ridge, Ste. 800, Irving, TX 75063