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Today in Food Manufacturing

Daily news and top headlines for food manufacturing professionals

Ag. Secretary: Dairy Industry Must Restructure

October 6, 2009 5:07 am

BATH, S.D. (AP) — The struggling U.S. dairy industry must be restructured to avoid cycles of boom and bust, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said Monday, less than a week after Congress announced a $350 million dairy bailout. Dairy farmers benefited in recent years from higher milk prices and growing demand in countries such as China.

Senate Committee Investigating Flavored Cigars

October 6, 2009 5:06 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Commerce is investigating whether two tobacco companies are trying to skirt a federal ban on flavored cigarettes by offering their products as cigars instead, according to letters sent to the companies by the committee's chairman. Sen.

US Sugar, Shareholders Settle Lawsuit

October 5, 2009 5:45 am

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — U.S. Sugar Corp. and employee shareholders of the nation's largest cane sugar producer have agreed on a settlement to a lawsuit that claimed the company's board failed to inform shareholders of two lucrative buy-out offers, then rejected the deals. U.S. District Judge Donald Middlebrooks on Friday granted preliminary approval of the settlement of the suit against the company.

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19 Chocolatiers Compete For $100K

October 5, 2009 5:44 am

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Lionel Clement's training regimen for a scrumdidlyumptious showdown in Paris with 18 other chocolate chefs would make Willy Wonka himself proud. Clement, a French-born chocolatier representing the United States at the World Chocolate Masters competition, has spent four months tinkering with his flavors, another four months designing and developing his show pieces and four months practicing to get it all done within 11½ hours at the biennial culinary competition that starts Oct.

WA Farm Workers Push For Unionization

October 5, 2009 5:42 am

PASCO, Wash. (AP) — Margarito Martinez says he was fired from the Eastern Washington dairy that employed him for more than a year because he tried to unionize the company. Nine co-workers say the same thing: They were let go for their affiliations to the budding union. The owners of Ruby Ridge Dairy, though, say only two workers were fired, one for safety violations and the other for incompetence.

EU Dairy Farmers Protest Low Prices

October 5, 2009 5:40 am

BRUSSELS (AP) — Hundreds of dairy farmers drove tractors into Belgium's capital Monday to pressure EU farm ministers on the milk price crisis as 20 of 27 nations called for more protection from the volatile world market. About 1,000 farmers from Germany, France and other EU nations were waiting for ministers with cowbells, whistles and eggs at the ready, hours before an emergency meeting.

SD Town Disposes Of 44 Tons Of Rotten Meat

October 5, 2009 5:39 am

BRIDGEWATER, S.D. (AP) — Behind the freezer doors at a meat plant mysteriously abandoned by its owner, the 44 tons of bison meat managed to hold its own for months, masked by the brutal chill of two South Dakota winters. Once the power was cut and spring thaw arrived, nature took over. And enough rotting meat to fill a high school gym did exactly what you'd expect: It stank.

Safety Board Issues Warning After NC Blast

October 5, 2009 5:38 am

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Federal safety officials warned workers around the country Friday not to clear natural gas lines indoors after an explosion at a Slim Jim snack factory that killed three people. The U.S. Chemical Safety Board said in a new safety bulletin that the June explosion at the plant underscored that gas lines being worked on should not be emptied, or purged, indoors.

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Smithfield CEO Sells 100K Shares

October 2, 2009 5:27 am

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Shares of Smithfield Foods Inc. fell Thursday after the nation's largest hog producer and pork processor said its CEO sold 100,000 shares this week "to meet personal financial obligations," according to the company. Shares of the Smithfield, Va.-based company fell $1.

FDA Collects Fees From Tobacco Companies

October 2, 2009 5:26 am

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday began collecting millions in fees from the nation's tobacco companies to help fund the agency's newly granted authority to regulate the industry. The user fees, which will be collected quarterly, are based on each company's share of the U.

Massive Texas Wind Farm Operating

October 2, 2009 5:25 am

DALLAS (AP) — The world's largest wind farm officially got up and running Thursday, with all 627 towering wind turbines churning out electricity across 100,000 acres of West Texas farmland. The Roscoe Wind Complex, which began construction in 2007 and sprawls across four counties near Roscoe, is generating its full capacity of 781.

Poultry Pollution Fix Proposed Decade Ago

October 2, 2009 5:24 am

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — An Oklahoma official testified Thursday that he talked with the poultry industry more than a decade ago about ways to move chicken waste out of the Illinois River watershed. "I tried to keep an open line," to the industry, said Ed Fite, director of Oklahoma's Scenic Rivers Commission.

Senators Fight Over Milk Money

October 2, 2009 5:23 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — Although federal lawmakers have agreed to provide $350 million to dairy farmers, they were haggling Thursday on just how to dish out most of the money. Led by Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., Eastern lawmakers pushed for the system already in use, a program that pays farmers when prices fall but caps benefits after they produce 3 million pounds of milk.

Free Seminar: Innovations In Food Processing

October 2, 2009 5:21 am

Topics to be presented include:   “How to Choose the Proper Feeder Technology for your Mixing, Extrusion, or Size-Reduction Process” – K-TRON FEEDERS “Improving Efficiencies in your Processing Stream: Size Reduction” – QUADRO “Improving Efficiencies in your Processing Stream: Mixing” – QUADRO “Contaminant Removal Technologies” – ERIEZ “Food Process Screening and Waster water Clean up” – SWECO “IBC Technology and Lean Powder Processing” – MATCON “Pneumatic Conveying Applications in the Food Industry” – K-TRON PREMIER The presenters are represented by some of the top process experts in the industry including: Pigs Didn't Start the Swine Flu (VIDEO) Suit: Meatpacker Used 'Downer' Cows Okla.

Agropur Acquires Michigan Milk Processing Facility

September 30, 2009 5:50 am

LONGUEUIL, Que. (Canadian Press) — Canadian dairy giant Agropur has acquired the Farmland Dairies milk processing facility in Grand Rapids, Mich., for an undisclosed price. The Quebec-based co-operative described the Grand Rapids facility Tuesday as a "leading manufacturer and marketer of on-trend UHT (ultra-high temperature processing) and aseptic dairy products.

Clove Importer Sues FDA To Prevent Ban

September 30, 2009 5:48 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — The top distributor of clove-flavored tobacco products in the U.S. is asking a federal court to decide whether its new filtered cigars fall under a new federal ban on flavored cigarettes. Kretek International Inc., which imports Djarum brand tobacco products from Indonesia, sued the Food and Drug Administration Sept.

Okla. Asks Judge To Punish Poultry Companies

September 30, 2009 5:46 am

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — The first witness has yet to be called in Oklahoma's 2005 pollution lawsuit against the Arkansas poultry industry, and the state's attorneys are already asking a judge to reprimand the companies for violating court rules and making other distortions during opening arguments last week.

Congress Fashions $350M Dairy Aid Package

September 30, 2009 5:44 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — Amid a crisis of low milk prices and mounting losses in dairy country, lawmakers in Congress are fashioning a $350 million emergency aid package aimed at helping struggling milk farmers. Secretive talks on Capitol Hill have produced a tentative compromise, slated to be unveiled Wednesday, that would leave it to Agriculture Department chief Tom Vilsack to figure out how to deliver most of the aid, $290 million.

Kraft Given Deadline To Bid On Cadbury

September 30, 2009 5:41 am

LONDON (AP) — Kraft Foods Inc. has six weeks to make a binding offer to buy British candy maker Cadbury PLC or else walk away for at least six months, Britain's mergers and acquisitions regulator said Wednesday. The so-called 'put up or shut up' request comes three weeks after Kraft announced an non-binding, unsolicited cash-and-stock offer worth $16.

Suit: Meatpacker Used 'Downer' Cows

September 30, 2009 5:40 am

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Southern California meatpacking plant that supplied beef to the nation's school lunch program slaughtered stumbling, potentially contaminated cows for four years before undercover video of animal abuse prompted a massive beef recall, federal court filings say. The amended complaint filed late last month in U.

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