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Monday morning news…

  • Tomorrow is the big day in Oregon, as voters there go to the polls to decide whether they believe products containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) should be required to be labeled as such.

    Industry experts spoken to by MNB said that while early poll numbers suggested the referendum would pass comfortably, the millions of dollars spent by major manufacturers to defeat the measure seem to be bearing fruit. However, experts believe that by the time voters start going to the polls tomorrow, the split will be close to 50-50, and that both sides may well be up late Tuesday night to see which way the vote has gone.

  • Spanish clementines, which were banned for almost a year after the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) found medfly larvae in several shipments, once again will be allowed in US supermarkets by mid-November. Supplies will be limited, and more expensive, but produce buyers say that the Spanish clementines are superior to the Moroccan and Californian varieties.

  • The first of two dozen California towns that agrees to be renamed Got Milk?, California. will gain quarts of money and gallons of publicity. It’s all part of the national publicity campaign that has increased milk consumption since 1993. No mention if the town will be allowed to maintain its self-respect…

  • Costco officials in Japan say that three years after entering that country, the company’s three stores there have achieved 25-30 percent turnover, though not profitability. The company now believes that it can open as many as 70 stores in Japan over the next two decades, and that its policy if lower prices than traditional supermarkets will be the lure that continues to attract customers.

  • According to The Los Angeles Times despite the rash of retail customers that have announced they will be selling irradiated ground beef using its technology, SureBeam Inc. faces mounting losses. These days, it is counting on closing deals that would have its germ-zapping equipment used by global fresh produce producers, as well as getting government approval to use the process on other kids of food, such as cold cuts and hot dogs.

  • In the UK, Safeway Plc cut the price of 5,000 items, moving the company toward an EDLP approach that it believes will make it more competitive with Tesco and Asda.

And the beat goes on…
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