business news in context, analysis with attitude

...with brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

• The Wall Street Journal this morning reports on how there is such a milk glut in the US that more than 43 million gallons of it has been "dumped in fields, manure lagoons or animal feed, or have been lost on truck routes or discarded at plants in the first eight months of 2016." Two other results - there is tons of cheese being stored in warehouses, and milk prices are being slashed virtually everywhere in the country.

According to the story, "Desperate producers are working to find new uses for the excess, like getting more milk into school lunches, and in revamped tacos and Egg McMuffins. But many can’t even afford to transport raw milk to market at current prices, which have plunged 36% on average since prices hit records in 2014."

• The US Postal Service (USPS) said yesterday that it wants to increase the price of a first class stamp to 49 cents. The increase needs to be approved by the Postal Regulatory Commission. The Wall Street Journal notes that the cost of a stamp was rolled back from 49 cents to 47 cents last April when the term of a temporary surcharge - imposed to help the USPS make up a financial shortfall - ended.

The Journal writes that "the USPS delivered 154 billion pieces of mail last year, a 27% decline since 2007 as deliveries fell each year. First Class Mail, the USPS’s most profitable product, declined by 35% over the same period, to 62 billion pieces."

• Soylent, a startup company that makes meal replacement products, said yesterday that it would stop selling a new line of nutrition snack bars and asked consumers to throw out any that they have bought, citing reports of stomach pain, diarrhea and vomiting.

The announcement came after the company had tested the bars and found no reason to be concerned about food safety. Soylent says that "the bars are manufactured at an FDA-inspected facility and go through microbiological testing before shipping."

Anyone who has seen the movie "Soylent Green" won;t be surprised by this in the least. I've always felt that this was an unfortunate name for a company, and this would appear to be, at some level, karma.
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