China will impose an additional duty on U.S. chicken imports of as much as 31.4 percent in response to what it called unfair subsidies for poultry farmers, threatening to deepen a trade rift.

An initial investigation showed that the U.S. provides subsidized soybeans and corn to its poultry industry, hurting Chinese producers, the Ministry of Commerce said on its Web site today. Importers must pay the new tariff on top of anti-dumping duties of as much as 105.4 percent imposed in February. Corn and soybeans are used in chicken feed, according to Reuters.

“These taxes effectively make it impossible to import any U.S. chicken products,” Li Qiang, managing director at Shanghai JC Intelligence Co., said by phone from Shanghai. “U.S. chicken product exports to China have already shrunk drastically since the announcement of an anti-dumping duty.”

China consumed almost 800,000 metric tons of U.S. chicken in 2008, valued at $722 million, according to the USA Poultry & Egg Export Council. Actual imports were probably higher, at more than 1 million tons, because of shipments transferred through Hong Kong and Macau, Li added.

Source: Reuters

Survey says Americans want burgers, chicken nuggets off school menus

A majority of Americans believe nutrition in local school meals falls far short of what children need, a new survey finds. And the foods people most associate with school meals - pizza, chicken nuggets and hamburgers - are the same foods they believe should be cut drastically from school menus.

Moreover, the survey finds near-universal agreement that childhood obesity is a problem or crisis, and that improving the health of American children requires communities to prioritize access in schools to fresh produce and exercise.

The survey was commissioned by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and released at the Foundation's 10th annual Food & Community Networking Meeting, held this year in Chandler, Ariz. Food & Community is a gathering that drew 650 activists, reformers, researchers and public health officials to explore topics such as farm-to-school projects and eradicating "food deserts." The survey was conducted in April among 801 adults from all regions of the country.

Key findings include:
* 55 percent of Americans - and 63 percent of parents of school-age children - described the nutritional quality of local school food as "poor" or "only fair."
* The top five items that came to mind when asked about school food are all high in fat or sodium: pizza; hamburgers; French fries/tater tots; hot dogs/corn dogs; and chicken nuggets.
* These are the very foods Americans would like to see drastically cut from school menus. Nearly 70 percent of Americans said pizza should be served in school just once a week or pulled from menus entirely; more than 60 percent said chicken nuggets and hamburgers should be limited to once a week or removed.

For context, the most recent School Nutrition Dietary Assessment Study conducted by the USDA found that 90 percent of school lunch menus offer entrees such as pizza and cheeseburgers.

"The data in this survey highlight the widespread support for transforming school food to help all children lead healthier lives," said Dr. Gail Christopher, who oversees food, health and well-being as vice president of programs at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. "When students have access to healthy, locally grown food and physical activity, it allows them to thrive both in and out of the classroom."

Source:  W.K. Kellogg Foundation

FSIS Announces Signing Of Procedural Agreement With Mexico

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service announced the signing of a procedural agreement with Mexico's National Service of Health, Food Safety, and Agro-Alimentary Quality (SENASICA). The "Terms of Reference" is a documented procedure for the way in which FSIS engages with its Mexico counterpart, SENASICA. The document has been a collaborative effort between the governments of Mexico and the U.S., and represents a new level of interaction and cooperation between FSIS and SENASICA.

"FSIS has been working diligently with SENASICA on this agreement to improve how we work together," said FSIS Administrator Al Almanza. "Through the cooperation of SENASICA, we can jointly continue to enhance our efforts in ensuring food safety and protecting public health."

The ceremony brought senior representatives from SENASICA to Washington, D.C. to sign the document, "Terms of Reference for the Operational Relationship of the Mexican National Service of Health, Food Safety, and Agro-Alimentary Quality and the United States Food Safety and Inspection Service in the Trade in Meat, Poultry and Egg Products Between the United Mexican States and The United States of America" with FSIS officials. The document focuses on matters of equivalence, audit procedures, the listing and delisting of eligible establishments for export to the two respective countries, and establishing more effective means of communication in areas of public health. FSIS Administrator Al Almanza and SENASICA Director in Chief Enrique Sanchez-Cruz signed the agreement on behalf of their respective governments.

The agreement was intended to provide an opportunity for improvement of established procedures. FSIS and SENASICA worked together after SENASICA's request to FSIS for written standard procedures by which the agencies interact on matters of food safety and public health.

Source: FSIS

Lunchables attacked on Jamie Oliver TV show

On the last episode of ABC's “Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution” show (Friday, April 23), the chef attacked a specific food product for the first time, holding up a fuzzed-out image of a Lunchables tray while declaring “I hate this things.” Looking at the ingredients label, he added, “Look at the amount of ingredients for that small offering. If you want to give your kids a good nutritious lunch, you don’t give them Lunchables.”

On the show, Oliver spend time in Huntington, W.V., attempting to improve children's nutrition and health, and making school lunches healthier.

Kraft Foods, makers of the Lunchables product, did not have a statement on the program. The company recently announced its support of the National Salt Reduction Initiative and stated its goal of a 10 percent average sodium reduction across its North American portfolio of products by 2012, which is more than 1,000 SKUs.

Source: Bnet, Kraft Foods

Land O'Frost looks for good advice from Mom

Understanding that mothers helping each other and swapping advice is a time-honored tradition, this Mother's Day, Land O'Frost will recognize this special ritual and tap into this wealth of knowledge - all while rewarding mom.

Beginning today, April 27, through Friday, May 7, Land O'Frost is calling for all women to submit the best advice they ever received from their mothers or other moms for a chance to win a luxurious spa weekend for themselves and a friend. Women can enter by visiting and sharing their favorite piece of advice they've been given over the years. Land O'Frost will then choose six winners and whisk them and a friend off for an all expenses paid three day/two night getaway at the nationally renowned Kohler Waters Spa in Kohler, Wis. Land O'Frost will provide the winners and their guests a chance to take a break from their busy lives and be pampered for two days. Winners will also be invited to share their thoughts on several of the company's products and what is important to them in the grocery aisle in an exclusive idea exchange with the company.

"Mom's opinion is vitally important to what we do at Land O'Frost, and it is why we created," commented Stephan Williams, vice president of marketing, Land O'Frost. "As a family-run company, we've been reaching families across the country with our products for over 50 years, so this is a tremendous chance for us to tap into great advice from our consumers, while honoring all moms this Mother's Day. We look forward to reading some of the advice and connecting further with moms across America."

Additionally, to re-iterate its commitment to moms across the country, Land O'Frost will donate $5 for every piece of "mom advice" submitted to New Moms, Inc., a charity focused on helping young, single mothers get on their feet and provide for themselves and their children. New Moms, Inc. offers programs to moms and their children, such as job training, cooperative living, support groups and childhood development.

Source: Land O'Frost