KRAFT TO SELL NONCORE PRODUCT LINES
nnounced it had agreed to sell various grocery assets to a new company to be named CanGro Foods, led by two private equity groups. The products include Aylmer, Primo and Ideal brand foods and have an estimated 2005 revenue of $260 million. Kraft plans to shed those assets, as well as five manufacturing plants, as part of its sustainable growth plan.
FDA ALLOWS BARLEY HEALTH CLAIM
ROCKVILLE, Md. - Products containing barley may now claim to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. Products such as flakes, grits, flour, meal and barley meal are expected to take advantage of the claim, recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration. To qualify, the foods must provide at least 0.75 grams of soluble fiber per serving. The FDA recently approved health claims for tomatoes, olive oil and omega-3 fatty acids.
COSTCO WINS WINE, BEER CASE
ISSAQUAH, Wash. - Costco Wholesale won a lawsuit against Washington state's three-tier system for distributing beer and wine. Observers have said such an outcome would encourage efforts to disband similar systems in other states and permit retailers wider access to alcoholic beverages at lower prices. Costco had argued that the state's law prohibiting out-of-state producers from selling directly to retailers was unconstitutional. A federal judge gave state lawmakers until mid-April to make distribution rights equal for all producers, according to a news report.
FDA PROPOSES LOWER LEAD LEVEL IN CANDY
ROCKVILLE, Md. - The Food and Drug Administration here released a draft guidance aiming to reduce the amount of lead in candy, after testing revealed that certain Mexican candies had lead levels higher than those allowed. The FDA has found chili powder and salt, both used in Mexican candies, to be a source of avoidable lead. The new guidance proposes a maximum lead level of 0.1 part per million vs. the current level of 0.5 ppm. Most domestic and imported candy have lead levels of 0.1 ppm or less, according to the FDA, which expected to issue a final guidance in 2006.