GMA Defends FDA Role In Regulation Of Genetically Modified Food

Pamela Bailey, president and chief executive officer of the Grocery Manufacturers Assn. (GMA), last week supported the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) role in the regulation of genetically modified food.

In response to a Congressional hearing, Ms. Bailey said, “Without a national framework for consistent, science-based food labeling, we would be left with a patchwork of state and local labeling standards that would require separate supply chains to be developed for various states and municipalities. This maze of multiple and varied regulations based on inaccurate information would cripple interstate commerce throughout the food supply and distribution chain and ultimately increase grocery prices for consumers by hundreds of dollars per year.

“The GMA supports the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act introduced by Representatives Mike Pompeo (R-KS) and G.K. Butterfield (D-NC). This legislation would eliminate consumer uncertainty created by a state-by-state patchwork of labeling laws, advance food safety, inform consumers and provide consistency in labeling,” she said.

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Dunkin' Donuts Launches Plan To Build Energy Efficient Restaurants

Dunkin’ Donuts in Canton, Mass., last week launched DD Green, a green building certification program designed to help franchisees build sustainable, energy-efficient restaurants.

Dunkin’ Donuts will work with franchisees and construction managers to build 100 new Dunkin’ Donuts DD Green certified restaurants by the end of 2016.

To be recognized as a DD Green restaurant, franchisees, construction managers and architects will follow a five-stage program during the planning, design and construction phases of store development. Those that have met the DD Green criteria will display a DD Green plaque in-store that notes the restaurant’s achievement in energy reduction and sustainable design.

The five stages of the DD Green program include site development, store efficiency, healthy indoors, sustainable operations and innovation and community. Each stage of the DD Green strategies provides a brief synopsis of the strategy goal, specific educational information, guidance and metrics to achieve with the design and construction team. Each stage focuses on securing sustainable strategies and practices for restaurants, including the mitigation of construction pollution and waste recycling, installation of energy-efficient LED light fixtures, mechanical units and water-saving plumbing fixtures, implementation of healthy environments with indoor air quality management, use of zero-VOC paints and a required sustainable building operations training for employees.

Franchisees can achieve two different levels within the program: DD Green, where stores meet minimum sustainable requirements, and DD Green Elite, where stores reach beyond requirements and achieve additional suggested sustainable goals.

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CVS Commits $1M To Support Tobacco Cessation Programs

CVS Health announced plans to invest more than $1 million in grants to support tobacco cessation and prevention programs. The grants will be distributed to health care and community partners working to promote tobacco-free communities.

These investments also build on the partnership developed between CVS Health and the American Cancer Society, which operates a quit line supporting the smoking cessation campaign CVS Health launched in September when the company stopped selling tobacco products.

Other grantees include the Baltimore, Md.-based B’More for Healthy Babies, with support for an innovative smoking cessation partnership with CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield that helps new moms and pregnant women quit smoking, focusing particularly on high risk populations that have limited access to health care services.

Another grant will support the “Be Smart, Don’t Start” youth tobacco awareness and education program, which recently launched in 16 Connecticut-area Boys & Girls Clubs.

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Latest Word in New Channels...

General Mills has filed three patents for ready-to-bake doughs for gluten-free pizzas, pies and cookies. All three doughs contain less than 20 parts per million of gluten to align with regulations.

• NGA President Peter Larkin has written a letter to the federal House and Senate Appropriation Committee urging a provision in a spending bill to suspend a once a week 34-hour restart truck driver restriction. The suspension of the rule would take effect while the Federal Motor Carrier Safety completes a safety and effectiveness study and reports its findings.

• Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said in a televised report that Walmart will make changes in its pay scale in 2015 where all associates make above the federal minimum wage when they begin working for the company.

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