TOKYO (Kyodo) — Kirin Beverage Co. has developed the lightest two-liter plastic bottle to be produced in Japan in a joint project with Kirin Brewery Co. to reduce the level of carbon dioxide emissions in its manufacturing process, according to Kirin Beverage. The major Japanese drink maker said it has succeeded in reducing the weight of the new product to 35 grams, making it 7 grams lighter than the bottle currently in use but just as strong.
SAUMUR, France (AP) — Steam rising from floor vents swirls around the base of century-old stills in the Combier distillery in the Loire valley. Jean-Pierre Plisson, a veteran of nearly four decades at the distillery, moves around the 10 stills, hefting sacks of pungent herbs and dried plants across the cold chamber to a scale, where he weighs out ingredients for a closely guarded formula for absinthe.
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota's Board of Animal Health is supporting a proposed increase in the state's cattle brand inspection fee, although a ranching group official wants more information about how the fees are spent. The board on Tuesday backed raising the charge from 75 cents to $1 per animal, which would be the first increase in seven years.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Several of the nation's largest food companies say they are going on a diet. A coalition of retailers, food and beverage manufacturers and industry trade associations said Monday that they will take 1.5 trillion calories out of their products by 2015 in an effort to reduce childhood obesity.
GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Monday it will impose restrictions on spraying three agricultural pesticides to keep them out of salmon streams after manufacturers refused to adopt the limits voluntarily. EPA will develop new rules for applying the chemicals diazinon, malathion and chlorpyrifos that will include no-spray zones along streams and restrictions on spraying depending on weather conditions, EPA spokesman Dale Kemery said in an e-mail.
COPENHAGEN (AP) — Union officials say the 1,100 Carlsberg employees on strike have returned to work to enable new negotiations with the brewer about wage increases. Union spokesman Hans Andersen Tuesday said the employees "had to go back" if they wanted to have wage talks with Carlsberg.
TOKYO (AP) — Japan's prime minister admitted fault Tuesday in the government's efforts to contain a foot-and-mouth disease outbreak, which is crippling farmers in a southern prefecture known for its prized beef. The disease was detected in Miyazaki, southern Japan on April 20. Since then, authorities have killed 60,000 animals — 55,000 pigs and 5,000 cows.
ORRVILLE, Ohio (AP) — The J.M. Smucker Co. said it will raise prices on many of its coffee products by about 4 percent immediately. The brands include Folgers, Dunkin' Donuts, Millstone and Folgers Gourmet Selections. Smucker said the price hike is due to higher costs for green coffee, fuel and packaging.
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maybe you can't put a price on good health or even a little peace of mind, but an Annapolis company is starting with $1.45. That's the average price of the healthy snacks — fresh-cut pineapple slices, carrot sticks, organic fruit juices, kettle corn and multigrain bars — Vend Natural Inc.
WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) — A former night shift supervisor at an Iowa slaughterhouse testified Friday that minors "definitely" worked at the plant. Mark Andrew Spangler told jurors that anyone who walked through the Agriprocessors Inc. plant in Postville could tell many workers were underage because of the way they looked and acted.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Hog processing giant Premium Standard Farms LLC spent $40 million over the last decade developing technology after a court ordered it to sharply reduce odors at its Missouri farms, but a looming deadline is threatening another costly lawsuit. A panel of experts recently approved a barn-scraper system that met goals established under a 1999 court settlement with environmental groups to develop "next-generation technology.
CHICAGO (AP) — First came fancy Frappuccinos. Up next from the Starbucks: A basic cup of vanilla-flavored Joe brewed in your own kitchen. Starbucks Corp. plans to roll out three types of ground flavored coffee at hundreds of thousands of grocery stores — its first foray into the $265 million premium flavored coffee market where staid brands such as Folgers and Maxwell House dominate.
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Farm income should improve in some Midwest and Western states during the second quarter because livestock businesses will benefit from lower feed costs, the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City said Friday. The Fed's survey of banks in the 10th District says total farm income fell slightly in the first quarter as crop prices declined, so that is expected to reduce farmers' income this year.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Cheesemakers, doctors, veterinarians and other opponents of legalizing raw milk sales in Wisconsin urged Gov. Jim Doyle on Friday to veto the bill, citing safety risks. Doyle last month indicated he was likely to sign it into law, but this week began to back off those statements after being barraged with opposition to the plan.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Students will be eating safer beef in school cafeterias when they return to school in the fall. The Agriculture Department announced Friday that the government will require higher standards for ground beef purchased for schools starting in July. The standards will force producers to test the beef for contamination more often and will prohibit certain trimmings from being used.
COPENHAGEN (AP) — Danish brewer Carlsberg says a total of 1,100 employees have walked off their jobs to protest its decision not to increase salaries. Carlsberg spokesman Jens Bekke says the drivers walked off Friday after management had asked non-striking staff to load beer crates onto trucks.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A Minnesota woman who became severely ill with an E. coli infection from a tainted hamburger has reached a settlement with the meatpacking arm of agribusiness giant Cargill Inc., both sides announced Wednesday. Stephanie Smith, 23, of Cold Spring, and Cargill said the terms of the settlement were confidential, but that it will provide for Smith's care throughout her life.
DOWNERS GROVE, Ill. (AP) — Sara Lee Corp. will sell its majority stake in a joint venture in India that makes insecticides as it continues to sell off the part of its portfolio that sells household and body care products overseas. The company said it will sell its 51 percent stake in Godrej Sara Lee Ltd.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — With oil still gushing into the Gulf of Mexico, leaders of the state's seafood industry met Thursday to discuss ways to get out the message that Louisiana seafood is safe to eat and available, if not as abundant as before an April 20 offshore rig explosion. The Louisiana Seafood Promotion Board adopted a draft budget for the use of $2 million granted to the agency by BP PLC, which operated the rig owned by Transocean Ltd.
TORONTO (CP) — The head of food conglomerate George Weston Ltd. tried to reassure investors Thursday that the Canadian bakery and grocery giant is combing the investment landscape for ways to spend the billions of dollars of cash on its balance sheet. At the company's annual meeting, president and chairman Galen Weston Sr.