In Food Policy This Week: 5 News Bites

Greek yogurt

  • Two major Greek yogurt brands, Chobani and Fage, are creating economic opportunity in upstate New York. The two brands have primary production facilities in the region, and local farmers are working to increase milk output to meet the demand. Analysts predict a 15% increase in milk production, allowing New York dairy farmers to expand operations. [Editor's note: More proof that Greek yogurt is taking over the universe...]
  • While not entirely "policy" related, we figured you'd want to know that Paula Deen may admit to having Type-2 Diabetes. According to Internet rumors, she's been keeping it a secret but may have an endorsement deal lined up with Novartis, whose diabetes medication she takes."
  • Last week Hostess Brands Inc. filed for Chapter 11 protection due to enormous debt. The company, which makes Twinkies and Wonder Bread among other products, owes millions to labor unions. In addition to outstanding pension and medical benefits payments, the company is suffering from decreased sales. The company is negotiating with unions to restructure employee benefits in an attempt to cut costs.
  • The FDA recently issued a regulation limiting the amount of Cephalosporin, a common antibiotic for treating humans, used in meat production. The regulation came as a response to an increased presence of Cephalosporin-resistant salmonella in animals. Growers often use unnecessary antibiotics in feedlot meat production as a preventative measure against animal illness. Though a good first step towards regulating antibiotic use, Cephalosporin comprises less than 1% of all antibiotics used in animal production.
  • House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-OK) has some misgivings about the Farm Bill process, reports AgWeek. Last December, a bipartisan supercommittee attempted to draft a version of the 2012 Farm Bill that incorporated $23 billion in spending cuts. After that unsuccessful venture, Lucas expects that the process going forward will be difficult, as many representatives will attempt to add amendments. There is particular tension surrounding the question of crop supports, which have received criticism for large payouts regardless of farm outputs.

About the Author: A student in Providence, Rhode Island, Leah Douglas loves learning about, talking about, reading about, and consuming food. Her work has also been featured in Rhode Island Monthly Magazine.