WASHINGTON (AP) — Michelle Obama had doubts about making a campaign against childhood obesity one of her signature issues. "I wondered to myself whether we could really make a difference, because when you take on a problem this big and this complicated, at times it can be a little overwhelming," she said in a recent speech.
DOWNERS GROVE, Ill. (AP) — Higher costs for ingredients squeezed Sara Lee Corp. in its second quarter, though net income more than doubled on the sale of part of its household and body care operations. The maker of Jimmy Dean sausage and Ball Park hot dogs, which said last month it plans to split into two public companies, said Tuesday that its adjusted earnings fell to 24 cents per share from 27 cents, hurt by higher costs for coffee and meat.
(AP) — This Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2011 photo shows Emily Jones as she decorates chocolate hearts at the Lake Champlain Chocolates factory in Burlington, Vt. Cocoa bean and sugar prices are going up, but industry observers say it’s unlikely it will cost more to buy sweets for your sweet this Valentine’s.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Genetically modified sugar beets designed to withstand the weedkiller Roundup can be planted under strict conditions with no threat to the environment and other plants, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Friday in a decision anxiously awaited by farmers. The agency's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service said it would partially deregulate so-called Roundup Ready beets, letting farmers plant them while it finished work on a full environmental impact statement.
AMHERST, Wis. (AP) — When Central Waters Brewing Co. moved to its new facility in 2007 in Amherst, environmental concerns were on the owners' minds. But a little recognition never hurts. Central Waters, 351 Allen St., is applying for Tier 1 status with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Sales of Gulf of Mexico seafood are getting a boost from the military after being hammered by last year's BP oil spill, which left consumers fearing the water's bounty had been tainted. Ten products including fish, shrimp, oysters, crab cakes, and packaged Cajun dishes such as jambalaya and shrimp etouffee are being promoted at 72 base commissaries along the East Coast, said Milt Ackerman, president of Military Solutions Inc.
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is backing workers in a labor dispute with Coca-Cola's bottler in the country, saying Friday that Venezuelans can live without the American soft drink. The leftist leader raised the issue during a televised speech to supporters when he spotted a sign in the crowd denouncing "exploitation" by Coca-Cola.
PHOENIX (AP) — All Danny Clark wanted was to leave an eco-friendly footprint for his children. That and to ride the new wave of "green business" startups by coming up with a way to make money and help the environment at the same time. His idea was simple: If he could make plastic water bottles biodegradable, it would reduce the impact on landfills, curb roadside litter and reduce the amount of plastic garbage that eventually washes into the oceans.
(AP) — In this photo released by Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, the Japanese whaling ship Yushin Maru No. 3 approaches the Sea Shepherd's high-speed trimaran Gojira during their encounter Friday, Feb. 4, 2011, in Southern Ocean, Antarctica. The anti-whaling activists was chasing the fleet in the hopes of interrupting Japan's annual whale hunt.
SAO PAULO (AP) — Cargill plans to build a corn processing plant in Brazil to produce starches and sweeteners, building on its investments in the South American country, which is becoming a magnet for agribusiness investment. Cargill plans to invest 350 million Brazilian reals ($210 million) to build the plant.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Though it is craving a repeat of its 2010 performance, the owner of the Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and KFC chains is facing distasteful developments: inflation in China and a lawsuit challenging a staple ingredient at Taco Bell. Yum Brands Inc. executives said on a conference call with investors Thursday that they're bracing for commodity and wage inflation in the company's fast-growing China operation, its most profitable.
PORTLAND, Oregon (AP) — Kellogg Co.'s fourth-quarter net income climbed 7 percent despite falling volumes as the world's biggest cereal maker lowered costs and raised prices. It was a difficult and disappointing year for Kellogg, which struggled with intense competition, lower cereal sales and major food recalls.
SPRINGDALE, Arkansas (AP) — Tyson Foods' net income jumped 86 percent jump its fiscal first quarter, helped by improving chicken sales and rising prices for beef and pork, the meat producer said Friday. Tyson shares climbed 8 percent to $18.95 in premarket trading Friday. The improvement is a strong signal the meat producer, based in Springdale, Arkansas, has recovered from an industry downturn brought on by a combination of higher production costs and slumping demand as shoppers cut spending.
MILWAUKEE (AP) — A Wisconsin meatpacking company has agreed to pay $1.65 million to settle a sex-discrimination lawsuit accusing it of rejecting 970 female applicants over a two-year period, the U.S. Labor Department said Thursday. Green Bay Dressed Beef LLC will pay the money in the form of back pay, benefits and interest, Labor Department spokesman Scott Allen said.
(AP) —In this publicity image released by Milk Processor Education Program, football players Hines Ward, left, of the Pittsbugh Steelers, and Aaron Rodgers, of the Green Bay Packers are shown in the 14th annual Milk Mustache Super Bowl ad. The Packers and the Steelers meet in NFL football's Super Bowl XLV on Sunday in Arlington, Texas.
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Agribusiness conglomerate Archer Daniels Midland said Tuesday its second fiscal quarter profit jumped 29 percent as a recovery in the ethanol industry and growing demand for grains boosted revenue and profit margins. The results easily beat Wall Street expectations, and Archer Daniels Midland's shares climbed $2.
(American Meat Institute) -- A new conference that will bring together trade associations and professional societies whose members fund and conduct meat and poultry research on behalf of the industry is slated for November 1-2, 2011, in Kansas City. Mo. to Attendees will discuss research priorities, share research results and look at future needs in an effort to improve the industry’s overall research program.
(Cornucopia Institute)-- USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the agency will fully deregulate Monsanto’s controversial genetically engineered alfalfa. The choice was favored by the biotech industry and one of three options identified in the USDA’s Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) released last month.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A federal judge has entered a consent decree, ordering the condemnation and destruction of chili products found inside a rodent-infested warehouse in Derry, N.M. U.S. District Judge M. Christina Armijo entered the decree Monday. In December, U.S. Food and Drug Administration agents seized the chili pods, ground chili and other products at the facility owned by Duran and Sons LLC in Derry, a farming community north of Hatch in southern New Mexico.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — BP's decision to resume paying dividends rankled Gulf Coast residents Tuesday who saw it as another sign the company wants to move on even though many are still suffering from last year's massive oil spill. Oil stains linger in marshes along Louisiana's fragile coast and tens of thousands of victims are waiting for final payments from a $20 billion compensation fund, while a large number of people haven't received any money at all.