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  • Despite the hopes of many in the food industry, a voluntary approach to Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) – which would replace the current mandatory regulations that go into effect in 2006 – was not included in the 2005 omnibus spending bill. The shift in approach now is targeted to be dealt with by the new Congress next year.

  • There seems to be a movement afoot in the city of San Francisco to begin charging supermarkets as much as 17 cents per paper or plastic bag used, as a way of cutting back on the some 50 million bags that are used each year, most of which end up in local landfills. If such a tax were imposed, one option for grocers would be to pass that charge on to consumers.

  • A new poll suggests that high-definition televisions, flat-panel TVs and plasma TVs are at the top of holiday wish lists this year, with 24 percent of respondents telling the Computing Technology Industry Association that this was what they want for Christmas.

    The next most popular choices were digital cameras (15.6 percent), MP3 or other digital music players (11.8 percent) and wireless home networks (10.6 percent). Other wish-list products that made the holiday shopping list included digital video recorders (8.1 percent), smart phones and personal digital assistants (7.9 percent), tablet PCs (7.7 percent), and portable media centers (2.2 percent).

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