CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuela's socialist president is threatening to "go after" the country's biggest food producer, and the corporation's workers are not happy about it. Union leader Richard Prieto says employees of Empresas Polar held meetings Monday and agreed to "defend our jobs throughout the country.
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The state health department has ordered the reopening of an oyster harvesting area in Iberia Parish that was closed as a precaution after the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Alan Levine, secretary of the state Department of Health and Hospitals, says Area 28, which is west of the Mississippi River in Iberia Parish, reopens at sunrise Tuesday.
NEW YORK (AP) — Investors shouldn't worry that weak cereal pricing will last because top producers like Kellogg Co. and General Mills Inc. will likely raise prices later this year, and retailers will have no choice but to accept it, an analyst said Monday. Credit Suisse analyst Robert Moskow told clients in a note Monday that breakfast cereal has been the "golden child of the food industry" in the past several years because of its better-than-average sales trends, ability to maintain prices and improvement in operating margins.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Restaurants and vendors could sell Asian rice noodles at room temperature without fear of being shut down due to health concerns if they follow provisions in a bill approved Monday by the state Senate. Sen. Leland Yee sought the bill after the state Department of Public Health cited San Francisco's Kun Wo Food Product Inc.
BEIJING (AP) — China's top economic planning agency Tuesday urged price regulators to take action against politically sensitive rising food prices amid worries about higher inflation. "Price stability is critical to overall economic development," the National Development and Reform Commission said in a statement posted on its website.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The winds that blow across the strawberry fields outside Linda Uvari's home during the spring harvest season carry the tart, sugary smell of the swelling fruits. Uvari fears that they may soon also carry a cancer-causing pesticide. The California Department of Pesticide Regulation has proposed replacing a popular fumigant with methyl iodide despite concerns by its own scientific advisory panel that it could poison the air and water.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa farmers enjoyed one of their best years in 2008, thanks to soaring corn and soybean prices. Now, many growers are getting a second shot of cash for that year's crops in the form of federal disaster payments — even if they had minimal revenue losses.
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — President Hugo Chavez threatened Venezuela's largest food producer anew on Sunday, warning that his government could go after Empresas Polar and shut down its brewery. Speaking during his weekly TV and radio program, Chavez said authorities are investigating whether food is being hoarded by "a bourgeoisie that wants to do harm.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Thirsty for new sources of cash, health-conscious lawmakers in cities and states across the country are reaching for the refrigerator, proposing taxes on sports drinks, teas and soda. Politicians say the taxes will help curb rates of obesity and diabetes and can pay for health programs.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Salmonella found in raw alfalfa sprouts appears to have sickened at least 22 people in 10 states, including a baby in Oregon, prompting a nationwide recall of the product. Caldwell Fresh Foods of Maywood, Calif., announced the recall Friday. According to the Oregon Department of Human Services, which also announced the recall Friday, Caldwell's alfalfa product was sold in 18 states in the West, Midwest and South.
WILLIAMSON, N.Y. (AP) — About 300 workers at a Mott's apple juice manufacturing plant in western New York have gone on strike over proposed wage and benefit reductions. The unionized hourly employees at the Mott's plant in Williamson, 20 miles east of Rochester, walked off the job Sunday after contract negotiations on Friday failed to reach an agreement.
NEW YORK (AP) — PepsiCo Inc. said Friday that it plans to invest an additional $2.5 billion in China in the next three years on new plants and research facilities as the food and beverage maker builds up its presence in the growing market. The company made the announcement in a news release Friday from Shanghai, site of the Shanghai Expo, where PepsiCo is a sponsor of the USA Pavilion.
GENEVA (AP) — Countries around the world are pledging to get tough with companies that market beer and liquor on social media networks such as Facebook, warning that such promotions threaten to entice a new generation into harmful drinking patterns. The crackdown is part of a strategy endorsed Thursday by the World Health Organization's 193 members, breaking decades of global inaction on one of the leading causes of death.
GENEVA (AP) — Nestle SA launched a high-tech tea-making gadget Thursday it hopes will match the runaway success of its best-selling Nespresso coffee machines and capsules. First sold 24 years ago, Nespresso was the company's fastest-growing "billionaire brand" last year, increasing sales by over 20 percent despite the economic downturn.
TOKYO (Kyodo) — Kirin Beverage Co. said Friday it will voluntarily recall about 432,000 bottles of Volvic mineral water as it found the bottles tainted with mold. Affected by the recall are 1-liter plastic bottles of mineral water that went on sale mainly in convenience stores nationwide and have consume-by dates of March 2 and 3 of 2013.
ON THE GULF OF MEXICO (AP) — Ron Price guns the outboard motor on his 22-foot fishing boat, racing through an alley in high marsh grass and finally settling into a small oil-soaked bay. The 40-year-old charter boat captain scans the high roseau cane ringing the edge of Redfish Bay, one of the best fishing spots in the area.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Environmental Protection Agency directed BP PLC on Thursday to use a less toxic form of chemical dispersants to break up the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, one of several steps the government took to crack down on the oil giant. The moves come amid a growing sense of frustration with the company's failure to stop the spill and allow independent reviews of its work.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Farmers told a U.S. House committee Tuesday that a crop risk management program introduced in the 2008 farm bill is a good tool but it's way too complex. The Average Crop Revenue Election program provides revenue support as an alternative to the price support that farmers are used to receiving from commodity programs.
PENSACOLA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — The sign outside the Pensacola Beach marina says "We're Still Fishing," but that's not really true. The federal government announced Tuesday it was nearly tripling the size of an area in the Gulf of Mexico that's closed to fishing because of a massive oil spill off the coast of Louisiana.
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — President Hugo Chavez's government has seized control of a coffee processing plant. Carlos Urbina, a legal adviser for the company Fama de America, says the takeover occurred after negotiations broke down over trying to set a sales price for the plant. Chavez ordered Fama de America nationalized last year.