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FDA issues warning on baby formulas made in China

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON Baby formula sold in the United States by companies that have met regulatory requirements is safe from the melamine contamination, the Food and Drug Administration said in a statement Saturday, based on a health information advisory it had released Sept. 12.

The advisory also warned members of Chinese communities in the United States that baby formula manufactured in China and available at Asian grocery stores could pose a risk to babies and advised against buying Chinese-made baby formula from other sources, such as Web sites. However, the FDA had contacted companies that manufacture baby formula for distribution in the U.S. and received information that they had not imported formula or source material from China.

An investigation by FDA, state and local officials of Asian grocery stores around the country, particularly in cities with large Chinese communities, has not turned up any Chinese baby formula.

The widespread melamine contamination of milk-based baby formula in China has sickened more than 50,000 children and created a political scandal. On Monday, Li Changjiang, head of China?s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, which monitors safety of food and other products, stepped down, according to the official Xinhua News Agency.

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General Mills sees boost in cereal sales for Q1

BY Jenna Duncan

CHICAGO General Mills has reported booming first-quarter earnings, with a strong leader in sales of cereal. The company attributed its strong sales to an increase in people eating breakfast at home to save money, and General Mills’ successful cereal marketing strategies.

The maker of Cheerios, Lucky Charms, Trix and Wheaties, has said that increased efforts to market its breakfast cereal brands in the first quarter have paid off. Even though General Mills saw a slight decrease in its overall net earnings, due to drop in worth of some of the company’s commodity positions (down 4 percent to $279 million), not including those commodities, other total net earnings increased by 19 percent. Furthermore, the company reported that sales in the United States were up by 13 percent.

Reports showed that General Mills increased its advertising spending in the first quarter ended Aug. 24 by 17 percent. This increase came in addition to an 11 percent increase at the same time last year.

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Celestial Seasonings introduces teas to commemorate Breast Cancer Awareness Month

BY Jenna Duncan

BOULDER, Colo. Celestial Seasonings teas has announced the release of two new specialty green teas in designer boxes to recognize Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Cranberry pomegranate and tropical grapefruit green tea varieties are being released in boxes designed by artists Dagmar Fehlau and Heidi Kummli who are both breast cancer survivors, the company said. The new boxes are part of Celestial Seasonings’ ongoing support effort of the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

Both green tea flavors are available at U.S. grocery stores and natural foods markets. They retail for around $2.99 per 20-count box.

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