USDA INVESTIGATES ANOTHER COW SAMPLE FOR BSE
iculture said last week that a sample submitted by a private veterinarian returned "non-definitive test results" and will undergo further analysis -- both in the United States and England -- for bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or mad cow disease. Agency officials said the animal did not enter the human food or animal feed chains. The veterinarian responsible for the sample took it from a cow that was at least 12 years old and experienced complications during calving, they said, declining to specify where the cow was located. "The sample was taken in April," said Dr. John Clifford, USDA assistant deputy administrator. "The sample was not submitted to us until last week, because the veterinarian set aside the sample after preserving it and simply forgot to send it in." The tissue will be subjected to new tests that are part of the USDA's updated BSE program.
WAL-MART SUES COUGHLIN TO CANCEL BENEFITS
BENTONVILLE, Ark. -- Wal-Mart Stores here last week sued Tom Coughlin, its former vice chairman, seeking to void his retirement package amid allegations that he misused $500,000 in company funds. Coughlin, who formerly headed the Wal-Mart Stores division, has said he used the money to fund secret anti-union activities, a charge Wal-Mart has denied, citing a lack of evidence. The retailer said Coughlin used gift cards and fake invoices to purchase personal goods such as clothing, vehicles and hunting trips. The retailer in April suspended payment of retirement benefits for Coughlin, who resigned from Wal-Mart earlier this year. A lawyer for Coughlin told the Associated Press last week that Coughlin will defend against Wal-Mart's allegations in court and that the lawsuit was an attempt to discredit Coughlin.
HANNAFORD TO PURCHASE FOUR GRAVES' STORES
SCARBOROUGH, Maine -- Hannaford Supermarkets here said it would purchase four of the five supermarkets operated by independent Graves' Super Markets, Presque Isle, Maine. The stores, located in Camden, Bar Harbor, Hampden and Dover-Foxcroft, Maine, were previously supplied by Hannaford, which said it would also purchase the Camden shopping center in which one of the stores is located. A purchase price was not announced for the deal, which is expected to close at the end of the year. Family-run Graves' said it would continue to operate its remaining store in Presque Isle. Caren Epstein, a spokeswoman for Hannaford, told SN that the stores, currently operating under the Graves' and Graves' Shop n' Save name, would be converted to Hannaford.
UFCW MAY FOLLOW OTHER UNIONS IN LEAVING AFL-CIO
WASHINGTON -- United Food and Commercial Workers here, which represents more than 1 million supermarket workers in the U.S., may join the Teamsters and Service Employees International Union in leaving the AFL-CIO, according to reports. The three unions, along with UNITE-HERE, boycotted the AFL-CIO convention in Chicago last week because of disagreements over recruiting new members and other issues. As previously reported, the four unions have formed the Change to Win Coalition to work together on expanding union membership.
KING KULLEN, THE FIRST SUPERMARKET, TURNS 75
BETHPAGE, N.Y. -- Thursday marks the 75th anniversary of the supermarket, according to King Kullen, the chain based here that is considered the nation's first such operator. Its first supermarket, comparable to today's no-frills format, opened Aug. 4, 1930, in Jamaica, N.Y. According to Food Marketing Institute, that store served as "a catalyst for a new age in food retailing." Other companies pioneering the supermarket concept in 1930 included Ralphs Grocery Co. in California, Piggly Wiggly in Tennessee and Weingarten's Big Food Markets in Texas.