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• Weis Markets announced yesterday that it plans to spend more than $90 million to build six superstores -- including four replacement units -- as well as 15 additions and 17 remodels. The money also will be spent on new technology initiatives.

• An organization called Citizens for Health, saying that there is anecdotal evidence that artificial sweetener Splenda causes digestion problems, and has petitioned the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to have the product pulled from store shelves until an investigation can be completed.

Splenda spokesmen say that the petition is economically motivated, designed to derail the product because of its commercial success.

The FDA says that it has seen no evidence to support the petition's claims.

• The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) has withdrawn a proposal that would have mandated food manufacturers to put cancer warnings about acrylamides in starchy products that are baked, roasted or fried.

The reason for the withdrawal, according to officials, is because they have received so many comments from consumers that they cannot review them all within the legally prescribed one-year period.

However, OEHHA says that it will offer new and similar proposals within 60 days.
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