LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The nation’s largest meat company, Tyson Foods Inc., announced Friday that it will do an animal treatment audit of suppliers’ farms.
The news comes as animal welfare activists have been pressuring Tyson to move away from cramped cages for pregnant pigs, but the Springdale, Ark.-based company said its latest move is not in response to actions from the Humane Society of the United States or other organizations.
“We know more consumers want assurance their food is being produced responsibly, and we think two important ways to do that are by conducting on-farm audits while also continuing to research ways to improve how farm animals are raised,” Tyson president and CEO Donnie Smith said in a statement.
Audits have already begun on some of the 3,000 independent hog farms that supply the company with pork. Tyson said it plans to expand the program to include chicken and cattle farms by January 2014.
Auditors visiting the farms will check on things such as animals’ access to food and water and proper human-animal interaction.
NYC sued over rules on sugary drinks
NEW YORK – Soda makers, restaurateurs and other businesses sued Friday to try to block the city’s unprecedented move to restrict sales of super-sized, sugary drinks, an effort the city called a coup for public health but the businesses view as wrong-minded meddling.
“For the first time, they’re telling New Yorkers how much of certain safe and lawful beverages they can drink. … It’s unfair, it’s inequitable and it’s illegal,” said Caroline Starke, a spokeswoman for the plaintiffs. They include the American Beverage Association, the National Restaurant Association, a soft drink workers union and groups representing interests ranging from movie theater owners to Korean-American grocers.
A spokesman for Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the regulation’s chief champion, called the lawsuit a groundless effort to stop a groundbreaking policy.
“This predictable, yet baseless, lawsuit fortunately will help put an even greater spotlight on the obesity epidemic,” said the spokesman, Marc LaVorgna, who noted that the city also won fights over outlawing smoking in bars and offices and forcing fast-food restaurants to list calorie counts on their menus.
Report: Regulators close to suing Google
WASHINGTON – A news report says federal regulators are moving closer to suing Google over allegations that the company has abused its dominance of Internet search to stifle competition and drive up online advertising prices.
The New York Times reported Friday that staff members at the Federal Trade Commission are preparing to recommend that the agency file an antitrust lawsuit against the search giant.
The Times cited unnamed people briefed on the FTC’s investigation.
The agency has been investigating Google’s business practices. The probe was triggered by complaints that Google Inc. has been highlighting its peripheral services in its influential search results and relegating offerings from its rivals to the back pages.
In a statement Friday, Google said it is happy to answer any questions that regulators have about its business.