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Stakeholders react to USDA food safety chief's resignation
Food Safety News
In reacting to Friday's announcement that Dr. Elisabeth Hagen will resign her position as the U.S. Department of Agriculture's under secretary for food safety in December, food safety experts, industry associations, consumer advocates and members of Congress have largely praised her tenure.
Related: Statements on departure of Under Secretary Elisabeth Hagen (USDA)
EPA proposes cut in ethanol use in 2014
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Friday lowered the annual requirement for ethanol in gasoline, acknowledging that congressional mandated levels specified in 2007 law are difficult to meet.
Hitting the brake on ethanol (The Wall Street Journal)
Ethanol takes policy blow from EPA (The Washington Post)
Midwest farmland values: Past peak season? (The Wall Street Journal)
Food coalition blasts revised ethanol mandate (USAgNet)
Goodlatte says decision doesn't do enough (The News Virginian)
Nestle Oil's view on the EPA's proposal for renewable fuel mandates (Globe Newswire)
Food industry faces labeling challenges
Companies in the food sector ranging from planters like Monsanto to protectors like DuPont to producers like Kellogg have all increased efforts to influence food labeling legislation, both at the federal and state levels. While it may seem harmless to mandate accurate and full disclosure, the potential legal liability from such rules is staggering.
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House GOP 2014 agenda starts with blank slate
Last Thursday, a group of House Republicans filed into Majority Leader Eric Cantor's Capitol office suite and received a blank piece of paper labeled "Agenda 2014." The blank slate just about sums up where Republicans find themselves after a year marked by the first government shutdown in 17 years, futile efforts to repeal Obamacare and the inability to pass spending bills at the levels set by Republican leaders.
Can Democrats avoid a circular firing squad on Obamacare? Early signs dire
The Washington Post
Democrats have met the political enemy heading into the 2014 midterms — and it is them. Friday's vote on a Republican plan that would allow people who liked their insurance to keep it drew more than three dozen Democratic defections, the vast majority of whom sit in districts that will be targeted by Republicans in 2014.
DSCC sets off-year October record
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee raised $4.8 million in October, setting a record for a non-election year for the committee and outraising the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which brought in $3.8 million.
The United States is isolated in Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations
The Washington Post
Last Thursday, WikiLeaks released a draft text of the intellectual property chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement. In addition to what the text says, however, draft treaties also include information about who is saying what. And that information reveals how isolated the United States is relative to other countries.
WHO: Food, health sectors must work together to improve global nutrition
Contemporary food systems need to change — and the health and food sectors need to work more closely together — if more than half the world's population who don't eat enough, overeat or eat poorly are to be helped, the WHO has said.
Unprecedented number of trade regulations to take effect in 2014
Prepare your company for an onslaught of new trade regulations, many of which center on food import quality and safety.
Veto override will limit pesticide use, GMO crops on Hawaiian island
The governing body on the Hawaiian island of Kauai voted Saturday to override their mayor's veto of a bill that seeks to reign in widespread pesticide use and the testing of new genetically modified crops.
Food stamp costs swelled by states spending $1 for heat
Congressional critics looking to cut the nation's food stamp bill — which has doubled in the past five years — are pointing to what some say is a loophole in the law: If a state gives a resident as little as $1 a year in heating assistance, it allows that person's household to automatically qualify for an average of $1,080 in additional food stamps annually from the federal government.
SupplySide West: FSMA may give plaintiff lawyers more firepower
Baking & Snack
Two sessions at SupplySide West in Las Vegas covered federal regulations of importance to the food and beverage industry: the Food Safety Modernization Act and the Generally Recognized As Safe program.
House passes frivolous lawsuit bill, consumer groups protest
Law360 (subscription required)
A bill aimed at reducing federal litigation by modifying a procedural rule to force judges to levy sanctions against attorneys who file frivolous lawsuits passed the U.S. House of Representatives last week, drawing criticism from consumer groups who said the legislation would stymie legitimate claims.
Frozen foods gaining ground in supply chain channels
While manufacturers are trying to refresh the image of frozen foods and revive retail sales, some areas are reaping the benefits of going cold.
McDonald's drive-thru makeover speeds up fast food
Bloomberg's Alix Steel reports that McDonald's has announced it will add a third drive-thru window in a bid to speed up service time for customers.
China rejects US corn cargo for unapproved GMO variety
China rejected a cargo of U.S. corn because it contained Syngenta AG's Agrisure Viptera corn, also known as MIR 162, a genetically modified variety that is not approved for import, a trade source said Monday.
Bird's Eye parent targets budget-minded in growth plan
Iglo, the frozen food group behind Bird's Eye, is to unveil an ambitious growth strategy Monday under its new chief executive as it seeks to capitalize on growing demand for cheaper products among Europe's austerity-hit consumers.
Tyson sales beat estimates as volumes increase for beef
Fiscal fourth-quarter sales rose 7 percent to $8.89 billion, Tyson said Monday in a statement, beating analysts' estimates after a gain in prices and sales volumes for beef and chicken.
UK: Christmas dinner wars kick off as Iceland launches cheapest turkey dinner
Frozen food giant Iceland launched the Christmas dinner wars Monday with turkey and trimmings for eight people for just $6.14 a head.
Muller takes over as Delhaize sees Q3 sales momentum in US stores
Supermarket News (subscriber story)
Frans Muller officially took over the chief executive role at Delhaize Group this month, inheriting a company with renewed sales momentum in the U.S. but facing profit pressure from investments in price.
Russia quickly replacing US as fast food nation
A growing middle class in Russia is prompting U.S. fast food chains to expand quickly into the eastern European country to cash in on a popular trend among diners.
DuPont turns focus to food
The News Journal
As the science-powered firm, with its two centuries of innovation, moves away from chemicals and delves more deeply into nutrition, health and agriculture, it's making some foods healthier, taste better and stay fresher longer — and using Nobel prize-winning technology to ensure what is placed on your table is free of foodborne pathogens.
P&G, Unilever lead the field but still not digital 'best in class'
Retailers selected Procter & Gamble and Unilever as manufacturing digital leaders, according to Kantar Retail's Digital Power Study. But neither company achieved the standards Kantar Retail has set for its digital "Best in Class" status. In fact, retailers and manufacturers on the whole are not achieving their full digital potential, says Kantar, which benchmarks the digital performances of trading partners.
MSG seasoned for a comeback
Despite a lack of evidence of any substantial harmful effects, the additive still carries a stigma, and entire websites are devoted to documenting its negative health effects. Meanwhile, umami — the meaty taste that MSG is designed to deliver — has seen a resurgence in the foodie community.
Processed foods and snacks, prepared meals and restaurant meals contribute to greater than 75 percent of our total daily sodium intake.
New market report: Worldwide food enzymes market to 2018
Research and Markets has added "2013 Report on the Worldwide Food Enzymes Market – with Forecasts to 2018" to its report offerings. The U.S. is one of the largest players in the food enzyme business due to the excessive demand for processed food products, followed by China.
How 3-D modeling is speeding enzyme evolution
Novozymes has developed a computer modeling system to help it more quickly discover and adapt enzymes for use in foods and consumer goods.
Cleveland Browns roll out new food waste-to-energy system
The Cleveland Browns football franchise plans to showcase its food waste-to-energy system at a big home game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Nov. 24. The new system, called Grind2Energy, is the first of its kind at any NFL stadium.
School turns tons of food into compost instead of wase
A high school class in Reeds Spring, Mo., is learning lessons about what they eat and what they throw away, thanks to a food-composting program.
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