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Behind closed doors: Who's meeting with FDA on food safety?
Food Safety News
While much of the wrangling over the language of the Food Safety Modernization Act was made public through media coverage of Congressional hearings, the ensuing industry influence over implementation of the law has been subject to far less public scrutiny.
Chick-fil-A targets better ingredients
The Associated Press via Anchorage Daily News
Chick-fil-A is removing high-fructose corn syrup from its white buns and artificial dyes from its sauces and dressings as part of a push to improve its ingredients.
McDonald's GMO dilemma: Why fries are causing such a fuss
Plenty of GMO food probably already makes it on to your plate, and the scientific consensus is that it's safe to eat. So why are activists so opposed to genetically modified potatoes?
Intense lobbying threatens farm bill
As House-Senate talks resume Wednesday, the bad blood among rival commodity groups is becoming an embarrassment for farm bill advocates and a threat to getting legislation through Congress this winter.
Reid: Boehner will 'cave in' on immigration
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, will "cave in" on immigration reform, expressing confidence that a proposal would pass the House sometime next year.
Shutdown part 2? Democrats line up against stopgap spending bill
GOP leaders could bring a vote as early as next week on a short-term continuing resolution likely to adopt the $967 billion sequester-level spending cap urged by many Republicans. But the pushback from Democrats this week has been near universal, with liberals and centrists alike vowing to join party leaders in opposition to any such measure.
WTO talks flirt with failure
World trade talks on Wednesday hovered on the brink of collapse after India rejected a proposed compromise that would protect controversial aspects of its domestic food security program from a challenge at the World Trade Organization for four years.
Chinese authorities block visas for food safety inspectors
Food safety inspectors could have their work cut out for them as chicken processing for the U.S. market opens in China. Aside from lack of manpower to inspect shipments when they arrive in the United States, many would-be inspectors in China are denied entry or get their visas delayed by Chinese authorities.
FSIS releases comprehensive strategy to reduce Salmonella
USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service
USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service today released its Salmonella Action Plan that outlines the steps it will take to address the most pressing problem it faces: Salmonella in meat and poultry products, which leads to an estimated 1.3 million illnesses per year.
Food labeling regulations to spring loose in early 2014
Food Chemical News (subscription required)
Coming down the pike in the next few months is a raft of food labeling rules if FDA stays true to its latest regulatory plan not yet published in the Federal Register. FDA plans to publish two landmark regulations at the same time that will have a ripple effect throughout the food industry by changing the Nutrition Facts labels on all products.
FSIS plans review of 'natural' labeling claims
Food Chemical News (subscription required)
One of the items on the regulatory agenda for USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service is sure to draw some raised eyebrows: amending regulations on what kinds of meat and poultry products can be labeled as "natural."
GMA, IFT to FDA: We need more time to respond to trans fat proposal
Food manufacturers have urged the FDA to give them more time to consider its proposal to revoke the GRAS status of partially hydrogenated oils in a bid to eradicate artificial trans fats from the American diet.
Are schools in America flunking lunch?
What can school lunches tell us about the politics of welfare, food science and agriculture companies? Susan Levine, a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago and author of the book "School Lunch Politics: The surprising History of America's Favorite Welfare Program," discusses.
Time to serve up better school lunch standards (Rapid City Journal)Kristie Noem's school lunch fight (Fox News)
USDA finalizes rule on mad cow disease safeguards
In a move bringing the U.S. in step with the World Organization for Animal Health, USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has finalized its rule governing the importation of animals and animal products with regard to bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or mad cow disease.
Opinion: Want to cut food stamp spending? Raise the minimum wage
The Huffington Post
Wednesday President Barack Obama will give a speech on his plan to grow the economy and the middle class. Thursday fast food workers will strike in 100 cities and stage protests in 100 others to demand $15 an hour and the right to form a union. Here's something to consider: Raising the minimum wage cuts government spending on food stamps and other programs.
Opinion: Farm bill amendment threatens state laws protecting food safety
Consumer Federation of America via The Plain Dealer
As Congress hammers out details of a farm bill to set agricultural policy for the next five years, most attention has focused on the debates over food stamps and agricultural subsidies. Yet there's another important component of this giant package — a buried provision that threatens to erase hundreds of state laws and jeopardize millions of Americans.
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Scent marketing via message alerts?
Entrepreneur via Reuters
The latest craze in smartphone technology comes in the form of Japan-based Scentee, a bubble-like device that plugs into the headphone jack and releases a puff of scent when you get an email or a Facebook notice.
Fresh fruits, veggies don't always beat frozen
San Francisco Chronicle
Healthy eaters looking to get the most nutrients out of their fruits and vegetables may naturally think fresh is a better choice than frozen. But that's not always the case, say researchers in a new study.
Have CPG store brands plateaued?
Three years ago, McKinsey & Co. projected 24 percent of supermarkets sales could be store brands by 2016. Last month, Nielsen reported the industry remains at the 2010 level of 19 percent.
New study: Consumers should consider frozen foods when produce shopping
NAPS via The Community Voice
As Americans strive to eat healthier and add more fruits and vegetables to their diets, a recently concluded "market basket" study has a simple message for consumers: Think frozen.
Editor's note: This story details a study from the University of Georgia commissioned by the Frozen Food Foundation that compares the nutritional value of frozen and fresh fruits and vegetables. For more information, visit www.frozenfoodfacts.org.
PepsiCo's China partner considers food deals with $1.6 billion war chest
Tingyi (Cayman Islands) Holding Corp. (322), PepsiCo Inc.'s Chinese partner, is considering buying instant food businesses to boost growth after annual sales expanded at the slowest pace in eight years.
Researchers develop cheaper, faster method for acrylamide detection
Bakery & Snacks
Fluorescent sensors hold great potential for manufacturers looking to detect acrylamide rapidly in potato chips and cookies on the processing line, researchers say.
Celiac group, plant geneticist challenge study linking GMOs to gluten sensitivity
A controversial new report alleging that genetically engineered foods could be an environmental trigger for gluten sensitivity and celiac disease has been challenged by the Celiac Disease Foundation and a leading plant geneticist.
Diners not biting on KFC China revival campaign
Yum Brands' KFC website in China trumpets the slogan "Trust in every bite" as part of the company's new "I Commit" campaign intended to reassure customers in its largest market, who have cut back on visits since Chinese media reports a year ago about excessive antibiotic use by a few KFC suppliers.
Doing more with less: Expand the role of enzymes
Enzymes were traditionally used to make foods cheaper and faster, but the role of enzymes is expanding to also help make foods more sustainable and to add consumer benefits, according to director of DSM's business unit enzymes solutions Lars Asferg.
Doritos Locos Tacos visionary dies at 41
The visionary behind the billion-dollar Doritos Locos Tacos idea never made any money on it. Instead, Todd Mills shrugged off any attention, simply wanting his "cool idea" to come true, said Mills' wife, Ginger. Mills, 41, died on Thanksgiving after battling brain cancer.
Former USDA official to continue food safety consulting
Following her November resignation from USDA, Dr. Elisabeth Hagen, USDA Under Secretary for Food Safety, will be joining the Deloitte & Touche LLP consumer products practice as a food safety senior adviser.
Now available: 'Frozen Food — BRIC Industry Guide'
MarketLine has released a new guide for the frozen food industry, focusing on Brazil, Russia, India and China. The guide offers market insights and forecasts.
Open Range Beef Packing Plant opens in Nebraska
Sheridan County Journal Star
After a five-month facility renovation, the Open Range Beef Packing Plant is opening Wednesday in Gordon, Neb., with plans to employ 100 people and process up to 70,000 head of cattle annually.
Kroger earnings preview: Solid Q3 results expected
Ohio-based Kroger, which has announced some management changes since the next CEO was named in September, is scheduled to report its third-quarter fiscal 2013 results Thursday before the opening bell.
High Liner Foods unveils frozen salmon burger
Food Business Review
High Liner Foods, a seafood supplier in North America, has added the Ultimate Salmon Burger under the High Liner's FPI brand portfolio.
Nanotech team tackles bio-based antimicrobial packaging
Food Production Daily
A food processing researcher has scored a grant of nearly $300,000 to explore bio-based antimicrobials and other nanotechnology applications for food packaging.
Rice gene discovery can increase crop productivity by up to one-third
Scientists in the Far East have discovered a rice gene that in preliminary testing increased production by 13 to 36 percent in modern long-grain indica rice varieties — the world's most widely grown types of rice.
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