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  • Senator Richard Durbin (D-Illinois) and Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-Connecticut) have introduced to the Senate and House of Representatives what is being called the Safe Food Act of 2005, which they say would consolidate all food safety programs into a single agency, replacing the current system that has these responsibilities fragmented among a number of departments.

  • The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has rejected an appeal by the JM Smucker Co, which was looking to expand its patent on Uncrustables, frozen peanut-butter sandwiches with the crust trimmed off. At issue was whether the crustless bread can be patented, or whether it is a simple recreation of something that parents have been doing for children for decades.

    The US Patent and Trademark Office had twice rejected Smucker’s patent applications, forcing the company to turn to the courts.

  • The Detroit Free Press reports that Sears Holdings Corp. – the new company formed when Sears merged with Kmart – has announced that it plans to layoff at least 500 employees at its Chicago-area headquarters, twice the 250 that the company originally said it would eliminate post-merger.

  • Published reports say that A&P has decided to sell 70 of its Farmer Jack stores, as well as more than two dozen other units.

  • Ahold announced this morning that it has successfully completed the sale of its G. Barbosa operation in Brazil to ACON Investments, a US-based firm.

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