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House plans to take up another drought relief bill
The Associated Press via ABC News
House Republicans are using the final days of the current Congress to push through another drought relief bill for California's farm belt and other water users to the south. The new effort is advertised as a temporary measure that would allow agencies to divert water from northern rivers and reservoirs during the rainy season and send it to farms in the San Joaquin Valley, where hundreds of thousands of acres went unplanted and untended this year.
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Nestlé to use natural refrigerants on all ice cream freezers in 2015
Nestlé is extending a European initiative, to buy natural refrigerants instead of synthetic ones, globally from January 2015. The investment represents 70 percent of Nestlé's total spend on horizontal ice cream chest freezers, the remaining 30 percent is spent on other models which include upright and island models.
Massive spending bill hits snag in Congress as deadline draws near
The Washington Post
Plans to quickly approve a $1.1 trillion spending package to keep most of the federal government open through the end of the fiscal year fell apart, increasing the chance lawmakers will miss a Thursday, Dec. 11, deadline. Just in case, top appropriators said that they were ready to pass a short-term extension of a few days in order to give the House and Senate more time to pass the final bill and end the least productive congressional session in modern history.
Don't call it a shutdown (Politico)
Leaders race to set up votes on trillion-dollar spending bill (The Hill)
Republicans clash on reversing nuclear option in Senate
Republicans are split over whether to change the Senate's rules to allow filibusters on executive and judicial nominations. As they head into a conference meeting, some Republicans say it's time to undo a wrong committed by Democratic Leader Harry Reid and go back to rules that require 60 votes to clear most nominees.
New race, old faces for Hillary
Just a few months before many expect Hillary Clinton to announce a second bid for the White House, the players in her orbit look a lot like the ones who surrounded her the first time she ran for president. And that's a worry to many Clinton supporters, who fear a 2016 run could fall victim to some of the same dysfunctions as her 2008 bid.
Food safety bill withdrawn from RS for further amendments
The government withdrew from the Rajya Sabha a bill related to food safety and standards which it wants to amend further taking into account recent court judgments. The Food Safety and Standards Bill, 2014 was withdrawn by Minister of State for Health Shripad Yasso Naik. The previous UPA government had proposed amendments to the Act to expand the composition of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India and dispense with certain conditions in public interest while making regulations on food.
Lawsuit filed in Oregon GMO labeling recount
Supporters of a measure to label genetically modified food in Oregon filed a lawsuit claiming 4,600 valid votes were rejected during the statewide recount that's underway. Nine voters have asked a judge for a restraining order to stop certification of the recount results until those 4,600 votes are counted, said Keven Glenn, spokesman for the Yes on 92 campaign.
Sam Kass, 'Let's Move!' director and White House nutrition adviser,
The Washington Times
The leader of first lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move!" initiative is taking his own advice. The White House has announced that Sam Kass, who doubles as the first family's personal chef, will step down at the end of the month and move to New York City. His departure creates a void in Mrs. Obama's signature campaign at a time when one of its central tenets, healthier food in K-12 cafeterias, faces an uncertain future as congressional Republicans aim to relax the controversial school lunch standards amid never-ending complaints from administrators, parents and students.
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Environmental contaminants and food safety
Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica
Food safety is threatened by numerous contaminants, which can originate from environmental pollution, such as toxic metals and organic halogenated compounds; chemicals used in the production of food, such as pesticides and veterinary drugs; contaminants formed during food production and cooking; contaminants arising from food packaging, or natural toxins in food. Consumers’ perceptions of food-related risks have recently been investigated in the 2010 Eurobarometer. The highest concern was reported for pesticides in fruit, vegetables and cereals, with 72 percent of the respondents being very or fairly worried.
Cucumbers likely cause of Jimmy John's E. Coli outbreak
Food Safety News
Eating Jimmy John's sandwiches with cucumbers imported from Mexico was the likely cause of a Denver-area E. coli outbreak that occurred in October 2013, according to a new 27-page state investigative report.
New food safety program launched by University of Guelph
Food Safety Magazine
The University of Guelph's Department of Food Science has launched an expanded online interactive food safety training program, now open to the industry. The first seven program modules will begin in February 2015 and will run for six months. It's now offered to the global food processing industry.
New rules for food businesses
Food businesses in Fenland of Cambridgeshire, England, have been given details about how they should go about complying with new rules about allergens that come into force this month. From Dec. 13, they will have to inform customers if the food they make, sell or serve contains any of 14 ingredients that commonly cause allergic reactions.
Taylor, Ronholm praise food safety educators
Food Safety News
In addressing attendees of the 2014 Consumer Food Safety Education Conference in Arlington, Virginia, last week, Michael Taylor, deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine at the Food and Drug Administration, and Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety Brian Ronholm praised the work of the Partnership for Food Safety Education and other food safety educators.
Aeon eyes frozen food production for France's Picard
The Japan Times
Major retailer Aeon Co. might make products for French frozen food retailer Picard Surgeles SAS in Japan, according to sources close to the matter. Aeon is planning to hold talks with Picard about the possibility of producing its frozen food items in Japan, because imports alone may not be able to provide sufficient volume and range, the sources said.
3-D printing could produce personalized food for the elderly
A research consortium is using 3-D printing technology to develop an industrial process for producing food for elderly people who have difficulty in swallowing or chewing food. This endeavor is part of PERFORMANCE, an EU-funded project which is scheduled for completion in 2015.
Big Mac hurting as customers get pickier
The Seattle Times
Hold the pickles, onions and special sauce. The Big Mac is becoming a victim of finicky tastes. As sales continue to slide in the U.S., McDonald's plans to expand a test that lets people build their own burgers by tapping on a touchscreen to pick the bread, cheese and toppings they want. The company says it will bring the option to 2,000 of its more than 14,000 U.S. locations next year.
Czechs heighten inspection of Polish food imports
The Polish agricultural industry is angered following news that the Czech Agriculture and Food Inspection Authority ordered a nationwide inspection of Polish food products. There have been a number of clues that such a directive would be issued. "The [relations with the] Czech Republic have been smoldering for a long time. This is due in part to political issues," said Deputy Prime Minister Janusz Piechocinski.
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