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Target expresses support of same-sex marriage, signs amicus brief

BY Antoinette Alexander

MINNEAPOLIS — Target has signed on to an amicus brief in support of marriage equality, the retailer revealed this week on its company blog.

“As our leadership team discussed signing on, we took time to consider the bigger questions at hand. This brief is important, as the issues it addresses have significant impact on businesses. But it is more than that and we agreed that now is the right time to more directly share our views on this issue,” stated Jodee Kozlak, EVP and chief human resources officer. “It is our belief that everyone should be treated equally under the law, and that includes rights we believe individuals should have related to marriage”

The brief is currently pending in the Seventh Circuit.
 

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PepsiCo, Feed the Children help combat hunger in Buffalo, N.Y.

BY Ryan Chavis

BUFFALO, N.Y. — PepsiCo and Feed the Children, along with corporate partners, on Wednesday helped out families in the Buffalo, N.Y., area with food essentials and also supplied Avon products. Eight-hundred families paid a visit to Buffalo Charter School and were able to take home boxes containing essentials.

Feed the Children, PepsiCo, Tops Markets, Buffalo Dream Center and Avon provided the following goods to help support a family of four for up to a week: 25 lbs. of food, 10 lbs. of essentials, a box of Avon products, Frito-Lay variety packs, Quaker and Rice-A-Roni products, Pepsi-brand beverages and fresh produce, as well as shelf-stable foods donated by Tops Markets. Buffalo Dream Center pre-identified the families receiving donations.

"We believe in a world where no child goes to bed hungry — a world in which kids can be kids and grow up wide-eyed, curious, playful, eager to learn, strong, joyful and full of dreams," said Kevin Hagan, Feed the Children president and CEO. "PepsiCo, its employees and our friends at Tops Markets are not just providing food and essentials today."

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FDA commissioner affirms importance of gluten-free labeling compliance

BY Ryan Chavis

WASHINGTON — Michael Taylor, who currently serves as the Food and Drug Administration's deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine, outlined the importance for companies to adhere to gluten-free guidelines in a post on FDA Voice. The agency last year issued a rule that set criteria for what defines "gluten-free" and the characteristics of food products that carry the label. Tuesday marked the compliance date for the rule.

"Honest and accurate 'gluten-free' labeling will strengthen consumers’ confidence in the products that carry it. One of the rule’s requirements is that it establishes a threshold of 20 parts per million — meaning that to be labeled as free of gluten, each kilogram of the product must contain less than 20 mg of the protein," Taylor said. "This is consistent with the threshold established by other countries and international bodies that set food safety standards."

Taylor stressed the seriousness of celiac diesease and why it's critical that consumers be able to prepare meals without the fear of putting their health in danger: for 3 million Americans dealing with the disease, a gluten-free diet is the only choice.

"I commend companies that have already stepped up to the plate to meet the definition for 'gluten-free' labeling," he added. "They make it possible for consumers to have labels they can trust as they make well-informed food choices."

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