MFA NEWS SCAN UPDATE NOVEMBER 11, 2013
- Tuesday, November 19, 2013
VOLUME 13 ISSUE 33 NOVEMBER 11, 2013 Contact us at:
VOLUME 13 ISSUE 33
NOVEMBER 11, 2013
Contact us at:
MA SENATE TO TAKE UP MINIMUM WAGE INCREASE PROPOSAL
On Thursday, November 14 the Massachusetts Senate recommended a new draft of legislation affecting the state’s minimum wage and placed it on their calendar to be debated Tuesday, November 19. S1925 calls for an increase in the state’s present minimum wage of $8.00/hour by $1.00 as of January 1, 2014 to $9.00/hour, another $1.00 as of January 1, 2015 to $10.00/hour and another $1.00 as of January 1, 2016 to $11.00/hour. Future annual increases (if any) would be tied to the consumer price index and rounded up to the nearest five cents. It would be announced in April and take effect on July 1 of each year.
U.S. SENATE DEMOCRATS SUPPORT MINIMUM WAGE INCREASE
Senate Democrats have stated they support an increase in minimum wage to $10/hour, after the President voiced support for an increase in the minimum wage to $9.00/hour. The present federal minimum wage is $7.25/hour. To read more from Bloomberg.com click here.
FDA SEEKS TO IMPOSE TRANS FAT BAN
On November 7 the U.S Food & Drug Administration announced that after a 60-day FDA comment period, “partially hydrogenated vegetable oil” will no longer be considered “generally recognized as safe” by the federal government, forcing manufacturers to petition the FDA to use them. To read about it on the FDA website click here. To read more from Supermarket News click here. In Massachusetts, a proposal (H2007) to ban trans fat in all foods and in food preparation (except for products in a manufacturer’s original sealed package) was heard June 11 and remains before the Joint Committee on Public Health.
According to the National Grocers Association and Food Marketing Institute, retailers and wholesalers should be ready by November 23, 2013 to comply with the Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) rule, which eliminates the commingling of muscle cuts of covered commodities and requires retailers to specify the production steps at points of origin. While some Farm Bill Conferees have indicated interest for amending the COOL rule in Conference, retailers should still be prepared to implement the law by the deadline. For COOL resources, visit www.nationalgrocers.org/COOL.
MA WIC OFFICE RELEASES SPECS ON WIC CARD IMPLEMENTATION
The MA WIC office recently released its technical specifications on their anticipated WIC card program. The links below will direct you to the FNS Operating Rules and Technical Implementation Guide (TIG) that retailers use when developing the WIC Card for their integrated systems.
WIC EBT Operating Rules (PDF, 12-21-10)
WIC EBT Technical Implementation Guide (PDF, 09-30-12)
Updates to the Technical Implementation Guide (PDF, 09-30-12)
GREENFIELD MA CONSIDERING PLASTIC BAG/WATER BOTTLE BAN
A Greenfield citizen has approached his local elected officials requesting they pass an ordinance that would ban plastic bags and another to ban plastic bottled water. MFA will be working with affected members of the city. Meanwhile MFA continues to work with members and town officials in Great Barrington, which passed a plastic bag ban last year.
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