Food Business News - May 29, 2007 - (Page 1)

FoodBusinessNews ® May 29, 2007 NEWS, MARKETS AND ANALYSIS FOR THE FOOD PROCESSING INDUSTRY 16 Nutrition made easy 23 Lunch punch: The midday meal occasion is changing 26 Bills put mandatory recall authority at center of food safety dialogue WASHINGTON - Legislation recently introduced in the Senate and House of Representatives has pushed mandatory recall authority for the Food and Drug Administration to the fore of the national dialogue on food safety. Representative Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut and Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois on May 1 introduced identical bills whose chief aim is to substitute mandatory recall authority in the hands of the F.D.A. for the current voluntary system. Some question whether mandatory recall authority is necessary or would be more effective than the current system. But there seemed to be broad agreement improvements to current recall procedures could be made. Kathy Means, vice-president, government relations, Produce Marketing Association, said, while the F.D.A. may not have mandatory recall authority, it is very Continued on Page 21 AP WIDE WORLD PHOTOS Beverages boost Campbell earnings The F.D.A.'s authority was evident during last year's fresh-cut spinach recall. MARKET WATCH U.S. May 1 potato stocks in 1,000 cwt 2007 109,160 2000 1997 1993 General Mills rebuilding confidence 73,200 After stumbles, company beating earnings guidance and posting sales gains 92,840 72,860 Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture May 1 potato stocks were the smallest since 1993. Moderating a conference sponsored by Goldman Sachs, Steven T. Kron of the giant investment firm offered high praise for the executive leadership of General Mills, Inc. Noting the stock market performance of food industry companies during the past 12 months has been impressive, climbing 15% on average, he said General Mills has done better still. The Minneapolis-based food company's shares have risen 20%, "mainly reflective of management's execution on a focused set of operating goals, which has resulted in broad-based momentum and margin gains." In the most recent quarter, that success prompted General Mills to raise its full year earnings guidance for fiscal 2007 to $3.14 to $3.16 per share, up from $3.09 to $3.13. Over the first three quarters, the company's net income per share was up 10% from the year before. Sales were up 6%. The advance in General Mills shares (trading recently at $61, up from $52 at the end of May 2006) and Mr. Kron's comments could be viewed as vindication for Stephen Sanger, General Mills chairman and chief executive officer, following what may have Continued on Page 29

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Food Business News - May 29, 2007