Aug 29, 2013, 12:17 pm EDT
In a bid to combat falling sales, America’s dairy producers are asking the government to revise the official definition of milk.
The dairy industry is pressuring the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to alter milk’s “standard of identity” to permit the addition of reduced-calorie sweeteners without the need for labeling. Under current law, adding artificial ingredients like sucralose or aspartame requires manufacturers to signal their presence to consumers on the label, Boston’s WCVB notes.
If the FDA adopts the proposal, milk with artificial sweeteners wouldn’t be labeled as “reduced-sugar” milk, but just as milk. Read
Aug 29, 2013, 11:48 am EDT
Just when you though Anthony Weiner’s bid to become New York City’s next mayor couldn’t get any stranger, one local newspaper says he is paying … for people to attend campaign events.
The embattled former congressman hired actors to cheer for him at New York’s Dominican Day Parade, earlier this month, the New York Post alleges. The paper says the actors were hired by Crowds on Demand, whose name is self-explanatory, and were paid $15 an hour to pretend they supported Weiner.
According to sources, Weiner’s campaign retained the California-based company to bump up the apparent number of his supporters at events in the wake of new allegations that he has continued improper text-based relationships with other women. He reportedly asked the company to have its employees confront hecklers, but it declined. Read
Aug 29, 2013, 11:29 am EDT
It seemed like a good idea: combat rising obesity among children by dropping unhealthy foods from school lunches.
The problem is that many kids don’t seem to want anything to do with the meals. As a result, some schools are dropping out of the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). The program — which has an $11 billion budget — provides funding for schools who serve lunches that include fruits, vegetables and whole grains, the Associated Press notes.
The precise number of schools that have ditched the NSLP is unknown, but the superintendent of one Illinois school district said financial reimbursements offered through the program were insufficient to make up for the $30,000 it lost last year as students stopped buying the healthy meals. The district says that lunch sales fell between 10% and 12% last year. Read
Aug 28, 2013, 9:45 pm EDT
A bankruptcy court judge ruled today that the city of San Bernardino, Ca. was eligible for bankruptcy protection, setting up a showdown between the city and its employees.
The ruling makes it likely that San Bernardino will propose a plan to get out of debt by cutting money promised to the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, also know as Calpers. Not surprisingly, Calpers is strongly opposed to such a move.
San Bernardino declared bankruptcy last summer, saying it had run out of money to pay for the day-to-day operations of the city in large part because of pension obligations. Calpers lawyers had argued that the retirement system should be treated separately from other creditors and not be eligible for cuts. Read
Aug 28, 2013, 12:09 pm EDT
The Obama administration is delaying the deadline to sign final agreements on federal health insurance provided by the government.
Reuters reports that the agreements for Obamacare were expected to be signed between September 5 and 9, but the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services told insurance companies that these plans have been delayed. Insurance companies will have to wait until mid-September to finalize these agreements, but the marketplaces will still open on October 1 as scheduled.
The delay may have been caused by technical difficulties within the federal information technology system, but this has yet to be confirmed. Although marketplaces are expected to open on October 1, the most critical date is January 1 when the coverage starts to kick in — it would be a lot more problematic if that date was delayed. Read
Aug 28, 2013, 9:01 am EDT
In honor of the 50th anniversary of the march on Washington, D.C. in which Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech, here is the speech in its entirety.
The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom took more than a year to plan. The march called for civil-rights legislation, school desegregation and demanded economic rights as well (such as a higher minimum wage and anti-discrimination laws). Read