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Cheaper gas, food lower US producer prices
The Associated Press via ABC News
Falling gas and food costs pushed down overall U.S. wholesale prices last month, evidence that cheaper oil worldwide is limiting inflation. The Labor Department said that the producer price index fell 0.2 percent in November, after rising by the same amount in October. In the past 12 months, producer prices have risen just 1.4 percent, the smallest yearly increase since February. The index measures the cost of goods and services before they reach the consumer. American consumers are already seeing lower prices at the gas pump, which has left them with more money to spend on other items.
Survey: Floridians concerned about food safety, GMO foods
Food Safety News
An October online survey of 524 adult residents of Florida found that respondents are concerned about food safety and genetically modified foods and believe they do a good job of keeping themselves safe from foodborne illnesses. However, they may be unclear about which foods, preparation techniques or cooking methods pose the highest risk. The survey, by the University of Florida's Public Issues in Education Center, listed 10 public-issue topics, which respondents ranked based on their perceived importance.
Nestle, Matis collaborate on frozen fish process
Icelandic research firm Matis has been approached by food corporation Nestle to look into better control of the frozen fish supply chain, the former has announced. Findings from projects like this one will be partly in the public domain, and the cooperation will widen Matis's knowledge-base and will eventually also be useful for Icelandic companies, said Sigurjon Arason, professor and chief-engineer at Matis.
House passes $1.1 trillion spending bill
The Washington Post
Congress managed to narrowly avoid another government shutdown crisis when the House approved a $1.1 trillion spending package to keep most government agencies operating through next summer. The 219-to-206 vote came with less than three hours to go until government funding expired. The result capped a long and acrimonious day in which House Democrats nearly upended the entire package, which was backed by President Barack Obama.
Funding package inches forward (Food Safety News)
Budget now in Senate's court (Politico)
Reid, Pelosi split on funding package (The Hill)
Conservatives rage against the machine
Conservatives began the lame-duck session enraged over President Barack Obama's executive actions on immigration and hell-bent on unraveling the moves they saw as illegal, unconstitutional and just plain wrong. Now they're ending the year frustrated at their own party's leaders, who they think cut them out of the funding process and fumbled a chance to pick apart Obama's immigration actions as soon as they were announced by not using the must-pass funding bill to undo it.
Backers: Romney more open to 2016 run
For most of the past year, Mitt Romney supporters have publicly said he should consider running again. And for most of the past year, Romney has seemed uninterested. Until recently. While some people close to Romney insist he hasn't moved from saying he has no plans to run, the 2012 Republican nominee has sounded at least open to the idea in recent conversations, according to more than a dozen people who've spoken with him in the past month.
FDA posts new batch of GRAS notices
Food Chemical News
The Food Chemicals News Guide, which tracks the regulatory status of thousands of food additives and colors, has almost two dozen new listings, many of them updates on generally recognized as safe designations.
Legal US raw milk sales behind 'rapid increase' in outbreaks: CDC
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention blames the legal sale of raw milk in an increasing number of U.S. states for a rise in the number of outbreaks associated with unpasteurized milk. As detailed in their study, which was published in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases, CDC researchers reviewed all U.S. foodborne outbreaks between 2007 and 2012in which the "food vehicle" was unpasteurized milk.
Health groups fear bill could lead to return of pizza, fries in schools
Health advocates are blasting provisions in federal funding legislation that are seen as dialing back school nutrition standards, even as the White House seeks to downplay the riders as "minor adjustments" to the first lady's signature policy. The bill known as "cromnibus," contains language that would allow states to exempt struggling districts from having to offer all whole grain products and eases requirements for schools to reduce sodium levels.
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New EU-wide food labelling rules begin to apply
New EU food labelling rules will come into force on Dec. 13. The aim is to ensure that consumers receive clearer and more accurate information about what they buy and eat. The new rules will force restaurants and cafés to list 14 different allergens in the menus — including nuts, gluten, lactose, soy or milk. Displaying allergens was until then only mandatory for pre-packed foods.
Oregon GMO labeling campaign admits defeat
Supporters of an Oregon ballot initiative — known as Measure 92 — to label genetically modified food have conceded defeat.
"While Measure 92 will not emerge victorious in this election, our growing movement to label genetically engineered foods is neither defeated nor discouraged," the campaign said in a news release.
Perimeter departments poised to capitalize on shoppers' health concerns: IDDBA
Gluten-free items and other products that speak to consumers' health concerns are driving sales in grocers' perimeter departments, according to the International Deli Dairy Bakery Association's "What's in Store 2015" report. Sales of natural, local, organic, gluten-free and non-GMO products have spiked over the past year, notes the 29th edition of the annual trends publication of Madison, Wis.-based IDDBA. At the same time, the dieting trend is on the decline, with individuals seeking a more balanced approach to weight loss and management.
Idaho company to offer frozen side dishes with healthy grains
The Herald Journal
After a more than 20-year hiatus from the retail grocery market, J.R. Simplot Company is confident its new frozen side dish products will fill a void in freezer sections and "spice up" the frozen side-dish category for families. Darren Dudley, the retail brand manager for the Boise-based J.R. Simplot Company, said the business sees potential growth in its newly launched UpSides product, and views this as an entry point into new markets. "We felt like it was a good opportunity for growth and an opportunity to grow some categories," Dudley said.
General Mills files patents for gluten-free doughs
Food Business News
General Mills, Inc. has filed three international patents for ready-to-bake gluten-free dough, one for pie, one for pizza and one for cookies. All three patent filings were published Dec. 4. In all three patent filings, Minneapolis-based General Mills said, "Consumers enjoy the modern convenience of ready-to-bake products, which can go directly from the pantry, refrigerator or freezer to the oven or other associated baking appliance without the need for additional preparation steps and/or the addition of ingredients. Particularly, there is demand for ready-to-bake gluten-free products that can go directly from the refrigerator to the oven or other associated baking appliance."
Dot Transportation recognizes Vendor of the Year for 2013
Dot Transportation Inc, a wholly owned subsidiary of food redistribution company Dot Foods, has named transport industry product and service provider Craftsmen Trailer as DTI's 2013 Vendor of the Year. DTI honored Craftsmen and its Utility brand of custom trailers at its 2014 Vendor Golf Outing in the trucking company's headquarters of Mount Sterling IL. This is the third time DTI has recognized Craftsmen Trailer with the Vendor of the Year award; the company also received the award in 2001 and 2006.
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Why 3 million school children will no longer receive antibiotic-laced chicken
The Christian Science Monitor
The Urban School Food Alliance, a collective of urban school districts including New York, Los Angeles and Dallas, aims to use its combined purchasing power to pressure food makers to provide more naturally raised meat to schools across the country.
Ammonia leak at Tyson plant sends 25 employees to hospital
An ammonia leak at a Tyson Foods plant in Rogers, Arkansas caused 25 employees to seek medical attention at local hospitals and 250 people to be temporarily evacuated from the plant.
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