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Today in Food Manufacturing

Daily news and top headlines for food manufacturing professionals

Photo of the Day: Hot Chicken

March 27, 2013 9:19 am

In this Friday, March 23, 2013 photo, a diner reaches for a piece of hot chicken at Prince's Hot Chicken Shack in Nashville, Tenn. Hot chicken — fried chicken with varied amounts of seasoning that make the heat level run from mild to extra hot — is a signature dish of Nashville.

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USDA Looks To Help Producers in Rural Areas

March 26, 2013 12:32 pm | by MEG KINNARD,Associated Press

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack was expected in South Carolina on Tuesday to announce the expansion of the so-called StrikeForce initiative, which already operates in 10 states. The goal of StrikeForce is to help farmers, food producers and other businesses get access to money for projects such as new wells, greenhouses, community gardens, kitchen space, and summer meals for low-income school children.

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2013 To Be Strong Year for Food M&A

March 26, 2013 12:30 pm

With today's $3.3 billion SuperValu supermarket deal as an example, 2013 looks to be a strong M&A market for sellers in the food and beverage space. Here’s a look at M&A in F&B in 2012/2013. The number of announced U.S. M&A F&B transactions increased by 5.8 percent last year, making it the best year for transactions by volume since the record-setting 2007.

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Daily Sound Bite: Canadian Mining Killing U.S. Fish

March 26, 2013 12:27 pm

A new study by researchers at the University of Montana found that the pollutants from the Canadian mining industry, including a metal-like element called selenium, are finding their way downstream into Montana and threatening fish populations there.

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Mount Vernon To Sell Washington’s Rye Whiskey

March 26, 2013 12:26 pm

Rye whiskey using George Washington's own recipe will soon go on sale at the first president's Mount Vernon estate in Virginia. The presidential home reconstructed Washington's distillery and will make more than 1,100 bottles of unaged whiskey available beginning April 4. The bottles sell for $95 each.

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Monsanto, DuPont Choose Licensing Agreements over Suits

March 26, 2013 12:25 pm

Agricultural products giant Monsanto and DuPont on Tuesday said they reached a deal to dismiss pending patent lawsuits against one another and entered a series of multi-million dollar licensing agreements. The lawsuits included antitrust and first-generation Roundup Ready soybean patent lawsuits pending in U.S. federal court in St. Louis.

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U.S. Sen. Durbin: Stop Marketing Energy Drinks to Kids

March 26, 2013 12:24 pm

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin is asking energy drink companies to stop marketing their products to children. The Democratic senator from Illinois sent a letter Monday to the CEOs of Red Bull, Rockstar and Monster asking for an explanation for the companies' sponsorship of sporting events that target children.

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Consumer Trends: Americans Lack Trust in Food Industry

March 26, 2013 12:00 pm

Nearly 6 out of 10 Americans have little knowledge about food production, according to a new white paper, "Building Trust in What We Eat," released today by Sullivan Higdon & Sink (SHS) FoodThink. In fact, FoodThink research shows Americans know more about movies, politics and music than what's on their plates.

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Manufacturing's Energy Use Down Since 2002

March 26, 2013 9:43 am

Total energy consumption in the manufacturing sector decreased by 17 percent from 2002 to 2010, according to data released today by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.  Manufacturing gross output decreased by only 3 percent over the same period. Taken together, these data indicate a significant decline in the amount of energy used per unit of gross manufacturing output.

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Activist Group Says Common Food Additive May Cause Cancer

March 26, 2013 9:39 am

 The Cornucopia Institute formally requested that the FDA remove the common food additive carrageenan from the US food supply. Last year the FDA rejected a 2008 citizen petition, which presented scientific studies linking carrageenan to gastrointestinal inflammation, including cancer. 

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Pollution from Canada Threatens Fish Downstream

March 26, 2013 9:28 am | by TRISTAN SCOTT,MISSOULIAN

A study by University of Montana researchers shows that pollutants leeching into the heavily mined Elk River drainage in southeastern British Columbia have reached alarming levels, particularly as a metal-like element called selenium threatens critical fish habitat in Canada, as well as downstream in Montana.

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What’s Next for Unions?

March 26, 2013 9:25 am | by SHARON COHEN,AP National Writer

With 14.4 million members, unions still can be a potent political force at the ballot box. But protests in recent years over the passage of right-to-work laws in Michigan and Indiana, clashes over collective bargaining in Wisconsin and Ohio and a sharp drop in union elections across the US have raised larger questions.

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Fizzy Drink Consumption Falls Again

March 26, 2013 9:24 am

Americans' consumption of fizzy soft drinks, on the decline since 2005, fell last year to its lowest level since 1996. If it weren't for increasingly popular energy drinks like Monster and Red Bull, the decline would have been worse. The declines come amid heavy attention on soda's role in obesity and related health problems.

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Photo of the Day: Safety in an Eggshell

March 26, 2013 9:21 am

The egg has been associated with festivals celebrating spring for many centuries. However, eating eggs that are not handled with proper care can cause food poisoning, also called foodborne illness. Salmonella, an organism that causes nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, cramps, and fever, can be found on both the outside and the inside of eggs that look perfectly normal.

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Daily Sound Bite: Milk Drought in NY

March 25, 2013 12:32 pm

Chobani and Fage, two Greek yogurt giants, have a strong presence in New York state. While the state has had no trouble meeting increasing demand for workers, the state's dairy herd is not yet large enough to meet the challenges. While yogurt production booms, milk production remains stagnant.

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Fla. House Approves Wine Keg Bill

March 25, 2013 12:24 pm

Wine kegs would be available in Florida for the first time under a bill that won House approval. The House voted 116-0 on Friday to approve the bill (HB 623) that would legalize wine barrels that hold just more than five gallons. Currently wine can't be sold in containers larger than one gallon.

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Yogurt Production Booming in NY as Cow Herds Stay Static

March 25, 2013 12:23 pm | by MICHAEL HILL,Associated Press

The recent yogurt boom in upstate New York has meant more jobs and more economic activity. But it has not led to many more dairy cows in the state, even as Greek yogurt leader Chobani reaches beyond New York for some of its milk. There are a number of reasons for the static herd numbers, including struggling dairy farmers leery about making long-term investments in more cows.

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U.S. Sen. Warren Files Fishery Assistance Amendment

March 25, 2013 12:20 pm

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren is proposing to provide disaster relief funds to Northeast fishermen in the first amendment she's filed since taking office. The amendment introduced by Warren, a first-term Massachusetts Democrat, would allow funds in the 2014 budget to be set aside to aid fishermen around the region. No amounts are specified.

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PepsiCo CEO’s Pay Down amid Compensation Change

March 25, 2013 12:19 pm | by CANDICE CHOI,AP Food Industry Writer

PepsiCo gave CEO Indra Nooyi a pay package worth $12.6 million last year, which is down 11 percent from the previous year, as the soda-and-snack food giant changed the way it awards long-term incentive compensation. The Purchase, N.Y.-based company did away with outright option awards last year and instead gave Nooyi a long-term incentive award tied to the performance of the company's future stock price and other metrics.

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Lawsuit: ConAgra Misled Consumers About Parkay Spray

March 25, 2013 12:16 pm

Hagens Berman, a consumer-protection law firm, has filed a lawsuit in federal court alleging that ConAgra Foods, Inc. deceptively marketed Parkay Spray, a sprayable margarine product, as “fat free,” and “0 calories” to entice health-conscious customers, despite the product not meeting federal requirements to qualify for those claims.

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