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Today in Food Manufacturing

Daily news and top headlines for food manufacturing professionals

Small Corn Surplus Likely To Keep Food Prices High

December 9, 2011 6:11 am

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The U.S. government barely changed its estimate for next year's U.S. corn surplus, which is expected to stay small and keep high food prices high. The Department of Agriculture estimates farmers will have 848 million bushels of corn on hand at the end of next summer, up less than 1 percent from last month's forecast.

Japan To Ease U.S. Beef Import Limits

December 9, 2011 6:10 am

TOKYO (Kyodo) — Japan plans to ease restrictions on beef imports from the United States, Canada, France and the Netherlands imposed over fears of mad cow disease, farm ministry sources said Friday. The move was endorsed the same day by the ministry's panel on food safety, the sources said. Japan currently allows imports of U.

China Farmer Gets Death Penalty For Poisoning Milk

December 9, 2011 6:09 am

BEIJING (AP) — A Chinese dairy farmer has been sentenced to death for lacing her rival's milk supply with industrial salt, causing the deaths of three young children, state media said Friday. China has been plagued by a slew of food safety scandals. The government cracked down after the industrial chemical melamine was added to milk products to appear to bolster the protein content.

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Minn.-Based Schwan's To Cut 60 Employees

December 9, 2011 6:08 am

MARSHALL, Minn. (AP) — Food maker Schwan's is laying off about 60 employees in Minnesota in a cost-cutting move. The Schwan Food Co. says the job cuts will happen in Marshall, where the company is based, and in Bloomington. Schwan's is not releasing exact figures by location, but a company spokesman tells The Independent of Marshall (http://bit.

Sara Lee Relocating Headquarters To Chicago

December 8, 2011 7:33 am

DOWNERS GROVE, Ill. (AP) — Sara Lee Corp. is moving its headquarters to downtown Chicago from Downers Grove, Ill., in 2013 after it completes its split into two units. The food maker announced earlier this year that it will split into two separate companies in the first half of 2012 with one focused on international beverages and a second focused on meats.

Romaine Lettuce Blamed for E. Coli Outbreak

December 8, 2011 7:32 am

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has determined that romaine lettuce from a single farm is likely to blame for an E. coli outbreak in Missouri and nine other states. Sixty people became sick in the outbreak that began in October and ended in November. No one died, but at least 30 were hospitalized and two developed severe kidney disease.

Smithfield To Stop Using Gestation Crates For Pigs

December 8, 2011 7:30 am

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Smithfield Foods Inc., the world's largest pork producer, said Thursday it plans to end the practice of keeping pregnant hogs at the company's farms in small metal crates. The Smithfield, Va.-based company, which has been criticized for continuing to breed sows in gestation crates that severely restrict the animals' movement, said it will phase out the use of gestation crates at its facilities by 2017.

Ark. Court Affirms $50M Verdict For Rice Farmers

December 8, 2011 7:29 am

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The Arkansas Supreme Court on Thursday affirmed a nearly $50 million verdict for farmers who claim they suffered economic losses when a strain of genetically altered rice seeds produced by Bayer CropScience contaminated the food supply and hurt crop prices. Bayer, a German conglomerate, had argued that Arkansas tort laws set a limit on damages, and that courts should set aside jury awards that "shock the conscience.

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UN Agency: Food Prices Ease A Bit

December 8, 2011 7:28 am

ROME (AP) — A U.N. food agency says global food prices have eased marginally, with wheat prices dropping by 3 percent. The Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organization said in a report Thursday that its Food Price index in November was "virtually unchanged" from its October level and down 10 percent from its peak in February.

Photo Of The Day: Smithfield Profits Slide

December 8, 2011 7:24 am

(AP) — In this June 14, 2011 photo, a package of Smithfield Sliced Maple Flavor Boneless Ham, is posed, in Montpelier, Vt. Smithfield Foods Inc. said Thursday, Dec. 8, 2011, its fiscal second-quarter net income slid 16 percent compared with last year's quarter, when some market factors helped the pork producer firm up its prices.

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Coca-Cola Moves Formula For 1st Time Since 1925

December 8, 2011 4:10 am

ATLANTA (AP) — The Coca-Cola Company has moved its secret formula for the first time in 86 years, taking it from a bank vault to a new repository on exhibit at its downtown Atlanta museum. The world's largest beverage maker says the new vault containing the formula will be on display for visitors to its World of Coca-Cola museum.

USDA Awards $10.4 Million In Food Safety Grants

December 8, 2011 4:09 am

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture said Wednesday it had awarded 17 grants totaling $10.4 million for university research projects designed to boost food safety at a time when millions of Americans get food-borne illnesses each year. The funds are being divided among universities in 13 states, Deputy Agriculture Secretary Kathleen Merrigan said during a visit to Michigan State University, a recipient of three grants.

McDonald's Sales Boosted By Breakfast

December 8, 2011 4:09 am

OAK BROOK, Illinois (AP) — McDonald's Corp. said Thursday a key revenue figure rose 7.4 percent in November on strong demand from markets around the world. In the U.S., sales were boosted by sales of breakfast items and the seasonal addition of the peppermint mocha to the company's coffee menu.

Japan Funding Whaling With Disaster Budget

December 8, 2011 4:08 am

TOKYO (AP) — Japan is spending 2.3 billion yen ($29 million) from its supplementary budget for tsunami reconstruction to fund the country's annual whaling hunt in the Antarctic Ocean, a fisheries official confirmed Thursday. Tatsuya Nakaoku, a Fisheries Agency official in charge of whaling, defended the move, saying the funding helps support Japan's whaling industry as a whole, including some whaling towns along the devastated northeastern coast.

Nestle Cleared For $1.7 Billion China Candy Deal

December 8, 2011 4:07 am

GENEVA (AP) — Swiss food and drinks giant Nestle SA says it has received Chinese government approval to buy a majority stake in candy maker Hsu Fu Chi. Nestle says it will proceed with its plan to buy 60 percent of Hsu Fu Chi in a deal valued at about $1.7 billion. The Hsu family will retain the remaining 40 percent stake.

Over 75% Of Cereals Fail Proposed Nutrition Standards

December 8, 2011 3:31 am

Washington, D.C. (EWG) — Parents have good reason to worry about the sugar content of children’s breakfast cereals, according to an Environmental Working Group review of 84 popular brands . Kellogg’s Honey Smacks, at nearly 56 percent sugar by weight, leads the list of the 10 worst children’s cereals, according to EWG’s analysis.

Brown-Forman 2nd-Quarter Profit Rises

December 8, 2011 3:29 am

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Liquor maker Brown-Forman Corp. said Thursday that fiscal second-quarter profit rose 2 percent due to higher sales for its flagship Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey, and its vodka and tequila brands. The Louisville, Ky., company, which also sells Southern Comfort and Finlandia vodka, said revenue rose 12 percent in the August-October quarter, but it spent more on advertising to promote new products such as Southern Comfort Fiery Pepper and a honey-flavored Jack Daniel's.

Smithfield Foods 2Q Profit Plunges 16 Percent

December 8, 2011 3:28 am

SMITHFIELD, Va. (AP) — Smithfield Foods Inc. said Thursday that its fiscal second-quarter earnings slid 16 percent, as costs climbed. The pork producer also faced a tough comparison with last year's quarter, when market factors enabled it to boost prices. Despite the latest earnings decline, its adjusted results still beat Wall Street expectations.

Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against Primo Water Corporation

December 8, 2011 3:27 am

NEW YORK (PRNewswire) — Levi & Korsinsky announces that a class action lawsuit has been commenced in the United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina on behalf of investors who purchased Primo Water Corporation ("Primo Water" or the "Company") (NASDAQ: PRMW) pursuant and/or traceable to the Company's initial public offering on or about November 4, 2010 and August 10, 2011, inclusive.

USDA Strips Down Antitrust Rule

December 8, 2011 3:26 am

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture will release a new antitrust rule regulating meat companies that's stripped down from an earlier, more far-reaching proposal. The final rule being released Thursday is far different from a sweeping proposal the Obama administration proposed last year.

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