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Lawyers see food as the next 'deep pocket'
A new report, "The New Lawsuit Ecosystem," from the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, cites "an unprecedented surge in consumer class actions against food and beverage manufacturers… alleging trivial violations of federal regulations and … [seeking] millions of dollars where no reasonable consumer was deceived."
Related: Who's to blame for food class action lawsuits? (Eat Drink Better)
After Washington GMO label battle, both sides eye national fight
Both sides of the costly and high-stakes GMO labeling battle in Washington state say they see an even bigger national fight ahead despite the apparent defeat of the mandatory labeling measure by Washington state voters last week.
Gene-altered food fight rages on as Oregon takes the lead (Bloomberg Businessweek)
Opinion: Industry's secret plan to kill GMO labeling in every state (Food Safety News)
Maroney: Vermont needs a new strategy against GMO food (VTDigger)
How OMB changed FSMA's import rule
Food Safety News
In October, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration posted the latest batch of Office of Management and Budget revisions on proposed Food Safety and Modernization Act rules. Consumer advocates were not pleased with what they saw.
Congress seems to be done legislating for the year
It's just mid-November, but it's quickly becoming a reality: Washington could be mostly done making laws for the year. If it isn't evident by looking at the thin congressional calendar, top sources in both chambers are downright grim that the final eight weeks in 2013 will produce any legislative breakthroughs, like a broad budget agreement or an immigration deal.
Pro-Democratic super PACs outspend conservatives
President Obama and many congressional Democrats repeatedly have condemned the flood of outside money in elections, but liberal activists and Democratic-aligned groups have adopted the strategy in a slew of recent contests.
Wall Street's nightmare: President Warren
There are three words that strike terror in the hearts of Wall Street bankers and corporate executives across the land: President Elizabeth Warren. The anxiety over Warren grew after a magazine report suggested the bank-bashing Democratic senator from Massachusetts could mount a presidential bid in 2016 and would not necessarily defer to Hillary Clinton.
States moving beyond federal minimum wage as Congress stalls
President Barack Obama is pushing to raise the U.S. minimum wage higher than $7.25 an hour — the rate it's been for four years. But half of the U.S. population won't have to wait: They live in places where the bottom rate is already higher than that.
Minimum wage on the way up in the District and nearby counties (The Washington Post)
Missouri minimum wage to increase (St. Louis Business Journal)
Democrats to hike minimum wage (Patriot Post)
Opinion: It's Bali or bust for the WTO
The stakes for the Bali Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization from Dec. 3 to Dec. 6 could hardly be higher. With hundreds of bilateral and regional trade deals being negotiated worldwide, the Geneva-based WTO risks being permanently eclipsed as a forum for the negotiation of market-opening, growth-producing trade agreements on a global scale.
Analyst: Congress has 50-50 chance of passing farm bill in 2013
The chances of the U.S. Congress passing a five-year farm bill by year's end are a little better than 50-50, given the gridlock over food stamps for the poor, a top farm policy expert said Monday.
9th circuit tolls publication timeline for FDA proposed rule
While the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has granted the FDA's motion for expedited consideration of its emergency motion to stay a district court order establishing rulemaking deadlines under the Food Safety Modernization Act, it denied the stay pending appeal.
White House reviewing anti-terror food rules
The FDA has taken a step toward issuing new food safety regulations aimed at thwarting terrorists. On Friday, the agency sent the White House draft rules that are designed to protect the food supply. According to a White House description, the new regulations will require producers to "protect against the intentional adulteration of food" and "establish science-based minimum standards" for dealing with "intentionally introduced" hazards to the country's food supply.
FDA sends FSMA proposed food defense rule to OMB
Food Chemical News (subscription required)
Just days after a federal appeals court gave FDA only until Dec. 20 to issue a controversial Food Safety Modernization Act rule, the agency has sent the proposed intentional contamination rule to the White House Office of Management and Budget for final clearance.
FDA food safety rule website crashes in advance of public comment deadline
The government website that serves as a portal for public comment on proposed Food Safety Modernization Act rules, Regulations.gov, is offline and unable to accept comment, with no notice of when the site will be functioning again.
Correcting the record: FSIS and China poultry processing
USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service
USDA has not found China's poultry slaughter system to be equivalent, therefore poultry slaughtered in China is not allowed to be imported to the United States. The U.S. food supply is among the safest in the world, and the Food Safety and Inspection Service is dedicated to maintaining that status.
Related: Schumer: USDA will green-light poultry raised, slaughtered in China (WCBS)
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NLRB union election rules 'on the agenda,' board members say
Law360 (subscription required)
Members of the National Labor Relations Board revealed Friday they are in the process of deciding whether to move forward with the board's controversial regulations to streamline the union election process.
FDA ban is the final nail in trans fat's coffin
Entrepreneur via Reuters
The Food and Drug Administration's recent decision to phase out partially hydrogenated oils, the source of most trans fat in the U.S. food supply, serves as the final nail in the coffin for the artificial ingredient in the American food industry.
EU: Voluntary allergen labeling could become law
Controversial provisions for voluntary allergen labeling could become legally incorporated within the Food Information for Consumers Regulations, according to a leading expert in the field.
Gluten takes a beating from fad dieters, grain giants
As gluten has become the latest dietary bogeyman, sales at companies like General Mills Inc., Kellogg Co. and Britain's Warburtons Ltd. have come under pressure. Yet instead of fighting back against a fad many dietitians contend lacks scientific grounding, they're boosting output of pricier gluten-free foods while leaving industry groups to defend their traditional products.
California biogas facility will turn food waste into energy
San Jose Mercury-News
The nation's largest facility for turning food scraps into biogas is about to go online in north San Jose, Calif. The project is a unique partnership between GreenWaste, which collects garbage, recycled materials and compostibles, and Zanker Road Resource Management, which operates recycling facilities.
Potato industry rolls out new commodity-specific food safety guidelines
The Produce News
The National Potato Council unveiled a new commodity-specific food safety guide that NPC President John Keeling says will help maintain the commodity's safety record for those growers who follow the new template.
Blackberry juice stops pathogen growth
Food Quality News
Diluted blackberry juice can be used as a natural antimicrobial to prevent the growth of foodborne pathogens including Salmonella, Listeria monocytogenes, E. coli O157:H7 and Typhimiurium.
New certification for beta agonist-free meat
Meat & Poultry
A new certification is available to beef or pork suppliers that want to market their products as never fed beta agonists and free of beta-agonist residues, USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service reported.
New Packaged Facts report offers global market overview of non-GMO foods
"Non-GMO Foods: Global Market Perspective," a new report from market research publisher Packaged Facts, covers the market for non-GMO products sold through all types of retail outlets.
Reser's recall leads to new alert on 182,000 pounds of chicken salad
USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service
After authorities established a link with Reser's Fine Foods, Glass Onion Catering, a Richmond, Calif. establishment, is recalling approximately 181,620 pounds of ready-to-eat salads and sandwich wrap products with fully cooked chicken and ham that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7
Editor's note: Members of the American Frozen Food Institute have access to AFFI's unique Product Recall Insurance Program. Ensure you're protected during a food safety crisis using AFFI's one-of-a-kind program. For more information, please click here.
Safeway selling snack facility to Annie's
Safeway has agreed to sell a snack manufacturing plant in Joplin, Mo., to Annie's Inc. for $6 million and the cost of inventory and supplies, according to published reports and statements from Annie's.
GNB offers new high-powered cold storage battery
GNB Industrial Power has developed a new battery to meet the demands placed on vehicles working within cold storage environments.
Kroger to infuse $150 million for expansion
One of the leading grocery retailers in the U.S., The Kroger Co. plans to invest $150 million to expand in North Texas over a period of two years.
PepsiCo to invest more than $5 billion in India
PepsiCo Inc., the world's largest snack-food maker, will invest $5.2 billion with its partners in India by 2020 as it increases manufacturing capacity and adds new products.
Related: Analyst: Should PepsiCo split into 2 companies? (Seeking Alpha)
Constantia Flexibles to go public before the end of the year
Food Production Daily
Constantia Flexibles, whose customers include Mars, Danone and Ferrero, plans to go public before the end of the year.
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