Lobbying

Sugar, salt, livestock lobbies complain about new dietary guidelines, saying ideology, not science, is behind urgings to eat "only moderate" servings

By Philip Brasher

The Des Moines Register 2010-07-09

Though lawmakers claim independent judgment, campaign donors expect return on investments, and experience makes outcome a good bet

By R. Jeffrey Smith

The Washington Post 2010-03-07

Soda lobby, joined by paper industry, some truckers, kills plan to tax sugared beverages

By Tom Hamburger and Kim Geiger

Los Angeles Times 2010-02-06

Lobbyists fight soda tax as health care reform funding source

During the first nine months of 2009, soda makers, supermarket companies, agriculture, fast-food business spent more than $24 million lobbying Congress on issue of tax on sweetened beverages plus other legislative and regulatory issues, reports show. Coalition fears what could be movement to raise money for health care reform by taxing sweetened beverages. Farm-dominated Senate Finance Committee sympathetic to food industry; Max Baucus hails from Montana, large producer of sugar beets; Iowa, home state of Chuck Grassley, is nation's largest producer of corn.

By Christine Spolar and Joseph Eaton

The Huffington Post 2009-11-06

Physician forced out after disparaging doughnut chain's product

Florida health department physician fighting 'controversial' one-man war against obesity resigns under fire after county commissioner and lawyers who own doughnut stores take offense at signs that parody its slogan - 'America Runs on Dunkin.'' He is reapplying for his job. In 2007, 39 percent of all adults were overweight; one in four was considered obese in his Gulf Coast area of practice.

By Melissa Nelson

The Associated Press; Houston Chronicle (TX) 2009-08-13

Investors say BPA risks food firms' value; feds mum on chemical's use

Investors representing $26 billion tell FDA that continued use of bisphenol A (BPA) in food and beverage can linings could threaten companies' value. Group says FDA assessment of safety, lack of federal regulation discourage search for alternatives. And: Consultants use Big Tobacco tactics to protect BPA market from regulation; EPA has no real program to regulate industrial chemicals, says environmental health specialist at Pew Charitable Trusts (click 'See also').

By Rory Harrington

nutraingredients.com/ Decision News Media 2009-06-24

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BPA causes reproductive ills in rats at 'harmless' exposure, study shows

Exposure to levels of BPA, a chemical found in baby bottles, food can linings, that U.S. deems harmless over course of lifetime triggers reproductive problems in female rats, study shows. Chemical trade group says study is irrelevant because chemical was injected, not swallowed. And: EPA hearing will examine whether BPA should be added to California's Proposition 65 list of chemicals known to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity (click 'See also').

By Rory Harrington,

nutraingredients.com/ Decision News Media 2009-06-19

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Coke, Del Monte, others at pro-BPA strategy session

Pregnant woman ideal spokesperson for counteracting BPA's bad image, industry executives, lobbyists decide at strategy session. Other plans: focus on how ban of BPA, used in food-can linings, baby bottles, would affect poor people who eat canned foods; cast doubt on safety of BPA-free canned goods. In last 20 years, growing number of studies link bisphenol A to cancer, heart disease, diabetes, hyperactivity. And: Industry pooh-poohs baby bottle battle (click 'See also').

By Susanne Rust and Meg Kissinger

Journal Sentinel (Milwaukee, WI) 2009-05-29

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Proposed BPA ban advances in California senate

California Senate OKs proposal that would ban use of bisphenol A in food containers, as well as baby bottles, toddler sippy cups. Independent studies have linked BPA to brain development problems and behavioral troubles in young children, early onset of puberty, several cancers. And: FDA says it will review its earlier OK of BPA in baby bottles, food containers (click 'See also').

By Eric Bailey

Los Angeles Times 2009-06-03

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Clean Air Act should exempt cow emissions, says senator

Nebraska senator looks to exempt 'naturally occurring' livestock emissions containing methane and carbon dioxide from Clean Air Act. Legislation, he says, would protect his state, which ranks first in nation in commercial red meat production, from 'cow tax.' And: As meat consumption increases, scrutiny grows over emissions (click 'See also').

www.senate.gov 2009-04-17

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Soda lobbyist looks to block rules on school vending items

President of $110 billion-a-year beverage industry lobbies to block more rules on what schools can put in vending machines as Congress begins revision of Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act. And: Soda, sports drink intake linked to increased body weight, poor nutrition, displacement of more healthful beverages; added intake raises risk of obesity, diabetes - $79 billion spent annually for overweight and obesity alone (click 'See also').

By Philip Brasher

The Des Moines Register 2009-04-11

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BPA is safe, baby formula maker told Congress

Enfamil infant formula maker Bristol-Myers Squibb lobbied Congress on issues including bill that would ban bisphenol A in its packaging. Study links chemical, used in most food can linings, to heart disease, type 2 diabetes and liver enzyme abnormalities. Canadian government declared BPA 'hazardous substance.' And: To reduce exposure, choose powdered formula over liquid (click 'See also').

nutraingredients.com/Decision News Media 2009-01-05

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Broadcasting the message

Fertilizer lobbyists spend $900,000 in efforts to sway legislators on farm/food bill, energy legislation, climate change, chemicals, tax credits and transportation in 2007. Increasing fertilizer exports was one goal. Trade group represents ConAgra, CF Industries Holdings and Terra Industries, among others.

The Associated Press; Thomson Financial; CNNMoney.com 2008-03-21

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Monsanto's 'grassroots' group

Agribusiness giant Monsanto, which makes rBST, a cow drug that increases milk production one gallon a day, funds farmer-led lobbying group to fight consumer-driven trend to label milk from untreated cows. Retailers, from Whole Foods to Wal-Mart, sell labeled milk. Kraft plans to to sell labeled cheese as well.

By Andrew Martin

The New York Times 2008-03-09

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Opinion: This bill's not for us

Kansas Senate committee considers anti-labeling bill for dairy products, led by agribusiness and biotech giant Monsanto, which manufactures the genetically engineered growth hormone rbST. Critics say that shoppers are looking for more information, not less, about their food, down to which farm provided which pound of hamburger.

By Mike Hendricks

The Kansas City Star 2008-02-28

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Backing off

Sugar industry abandons much-criticized plan to renew restrictions on sugar trade between the U.S. and Mexico through farm/food bill. Lobbyists say they plan to continue arguing for limits, which were enacted through NAFTA and expired in January. Other groups say such a deal could result in trade restrictions on everything from eggs to beans to sunflowers.

By Larry Lipman

Cox News Service; Austin American-Statesman (TX) 2008-02-11

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Virtually there

Google Earth moves companies, activists to plot links to the sources of our food, as does Dole with a brand of organic bananas, or to the sources of our electricity by ZIP code, as does Appalachian Voices, a nonprofit that fights mountaintop removal coal mining.

By Kevin J. Delaney

Wall Street Journal 2007-11-15

Opinion: Label it

Bill requiring labels for cloned meats and milk is a small step in the right direction; FDA's movement toward no-label approval based on part, from biotech company data, is a slippery slope toward other questionable biotech products including human genes.

By Osagie K. Obasogie and Pete Shanks

San Francisco Chronicle 2007-10-05

Opinion: Water problem

Mountaintop removal coal mining, with toxic leftovers shoved into streams, foul residents' water and kill the fish; study traces mining pollution to children's nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, and shortness of breath; long-term effects unknown.

By Eric Reece

Orion Magazine 2006-01-01

Beef curriculum

In effort to increase demand for beef from "future consumers," Kansas beef farmers continue funding 17-year-old program for public schools that teaches cooking techniques, beef cuts, food safety, nutrition; teachers can also request additional materials to supplement beef lessons.

Cattlenetwork.com 2007-08-13

Food/Farm bill:

Bush administration's buy-local request for emergency food aid could help Kenyans, some of the world's poorest people, advocates say, but U.S. is mired in domestic farm subsidies and lobbies of shipping interests; aid for agricultural projects lags as well.

By Celia W. Dugger

The New York times (may require subscription)

OPINION

New interactive map allows users to tract proliferation of factory farms by state and county - even number of animals - and it raises questions of whether we pursue the logic of industrialism to its limits, and how badly will it harm the landscape, the people who live in it and democracy itself?

The editors

The New York Times (may require subscription)

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OPINION

Current agricultural policies distort food costs, waste billions of taxpayer dollars, and subsidize a handful of large farming operations that raise a few selected crops - and subvert subsistence farmers across the globe by dumping cheap surplus goods at below-market prices.

By Senator Richard Lugar and Representative Ron Kind

The Modesto Bee (CA) 2007-07-15

Food/Farm bill:

It's a $70 billion annual bill, and before, only agribusiness cared, but a tsunami of activists now believes that its subsidies for corn and soy encourage diet-related disease and climate change; instead, they advocate money for sustainable and organic food production, agricultural conservation and for a priority on fresh, local fruits and vegetables.

By Carol Ness

San Francisco Chronicle