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FDA gives 2018 compliance date for labeling regulations
The Food and Drug Administration Dec. 9 gave Jan. 1, 2018, as the uniform compliance date for food labeling regulations that are issued between Jan. 1, 2015, and Dec. 31, 2016. An FDA proposed rule to make changes to the Nutrition Facts Panel potentially may become a final rule during that two-year time period, but the rule would not automatically have a Jan. 1, 2018, compliance date.
Congressional hearing looks at FDA's role in GE food regulation
Food Safety News
The question of how the U.S. Food and Drug Administration should approach the regulation of genetically engineered food — and particularly its labeling, or lack thereof — was the topic of a hearing by the House Energy & Commerce Committee. The biggest question of the day: Should a federal law be passed to regulate consumer information about GE foods, either by requiring a label for foods produced with GE technology, or by restricting the ability of states to create their own GE labeling rules?
USDA approves China to process chicken for US consumption, food safety experts worried
In the past, the People's Republic of China has been in the news for certain business methods utilized mostly to cut corners on costs. With different rules and regulations (or lack of), certain things China sees as acceptable are technically very harmful.
How Michelle Obama lost in the budget bill
The Washington Post
House Republicans 1. Michelle Obama 0.
That's the only way to score how the first lady's signature school lunch efforts fared in what had been a food fight — a food fight with not only House Republicans, but also school cafeteria officials across the country.
Congress's hodgepodge omnibus government funding bill is likely to pass
The Washington Post
In a single bill, Congress will attempt to fund almost the entire federal government, rewrite Wall Street regulations, expand political contribution limits, create a new manufacturing network and, among many other things, override the District of Columbia's new marijuana law.
"We're doing more in eight days than we did all year," said Rep. James P. Moran, D-Virginia, a retiring lawmaker who supports the 1,600-page measure.
Mad scramble for votes to keep government funded (The Hill)
Warren leads liberal Democrats' rebellion over provisions in $1 trillion spending bill
The Washington Post
Congressional liberals rebelled against a must-pass spending bill that would keep the government open past midnight, complaining that it would roll back critical limits on Wall Street and sharply increase the influence of wealthy campaign donors.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, a popular figure on the left, led the insurrection with a speech on the Senate floor, calling the $1.01 trillion spending bill "the worst of government for the rich and powerful."
Democrats balk over Dodd-Frank push in spending bill (The Wall Street Journal)
US lawmakers warn EPA official of RFS repeal if repeated delays continue
Despite warnings from lawmakers that continued delays to the Renewable Fuel Standard could give momentum to efforts to reform or repeal the law, a top U.S. Environmental Protection Agency official declined to say when the 2014, 2015 or 2016 rules would be issued beyond a vague pledge to complete them in the next year.
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The world's most powerful chef hangs up his apron
When Sam Kass leaves Washington, D.C., after six years as a high-energy — and, at times, divisive — White House chef, his successor probably won't inherit three titles, two offices and an extraordinary bond with the first family. But his replacement will still need to be ready for a political fight.
Government wasted millions of taxpayer dollars in a fight with itself over food packaging safety
Several conservative groups have asked incoming House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, to help end a fight within the federal government over food packaging safety — a fight that has already cost taxpayers more than $170 million.
Groups like Americans for Tax Reform, Citizens Against Government Waste and the National Taxpayers Union wrote to Chaffetz to say the National Institutes of Health has handed out $172 million in grants over the last 14 years to study the safety of bisphenol A.
Small-scale and organic farmers facing FSMA comment deadline
Food Safety News
Small-scale and/or organic farmers are being alerted to the impending deadline of Dec. 15 for submitting comments on the Food and Drug Administration's revisions to the proposed food-safety rules in the Food Safety Modernization Act. Signed into law on Jan. 4, 2011, FSMA focuses on preventing foodborne illnesses instead of merely reacting to them.
Chemical phthalates in food packaging linked with lower IQ in kids
Kids whose moms had the highest levels of certain chemicals in their bodies during pregnancy had markedly lower IQs at age 7, researchers said.
It's the latest in a series of studies linking the chemicals, called phthalates, with health effects ranging from behavioral disorders to deformations of the sex organs.
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Nature's touch frozen foods opens 1st US plant
Refrigerated & Frozen Foods
Canada-based Nature's Touch Frozen Foods will invest $1.8 million to establish its first U.S. fruit and vegetable distribution facility. Located in Warren County, Virginia, the new plant will create 25 jobs.
"The choice of Virginia was made easy for Nature's Touch Frozen Foods," says Theo Prokos, director.
ConAgra joint venture to expand frozen potato operations
Lamb Weston/Meijer, a joint venture between U.S.-based ConAgra Foods Lamb Weston and the Netherlands-based Meijer Frozen Food, recently announced plans to invest approximately $150 million to expand its frozen potato facility in Bergen op Zoom, Netherlands.
This strategic investment will add a second production line to the plant — increasing capacity for making french fries and other premium frozen potato products — and is expected to create about 50 new jobs.
Walmart VP: To make gains in food safety, focus on behavior
To improve food safety outcomes, educating consumers about food safety must go beyond providing information to evoke behavioral change, according to Frank Yiannas, Walmart's VP of food safety.
The packaged-food industry: Here's what to expect in 2015
With a year-to-date gain of 18.4 percent, according to research firm Morningstar, the packaged food sector, which includes companies such as ConAgra Foods and General Mills, has outperformed the broader market. The question is, will that continue next year?
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