Fed not planning to raise rates
WASHINGTON — The Federal Reserve has begun to discuss the tools it could use to finally pull back the extraordinary stimulus it has provided the U.S. economy since 2008. But Fed officials plan further discussions and have set no timetable for any increase in interest rates. Minutes of the Fed’s April 29-30 meeting released Wednesday show that officials discussed how to unwind the support they’ve given the economy once they decide to begin raising the Fed’s key short-term rate. That rate has remained at a record low near zero since December 2008. The minutes stressed that the discussion should not be viewed as a signal that an increase in short-term rates is imminent.
Company charged in outbreak
IOWA CITY, Iowa — An Iowa company and two executives were charged Wednesday with selling the eggs responsible for a 2010 salmonella outbreak that sickened thousands of people and led to an unprecedented recall of 550 million eggs. Egg industry titan Austin “Jack” DeCoster and his son, Peter DeCoster, were charged with introducing adulterated food into interstate commerce. Quality Egg LLC, which includes the Decosters’ former network of chicken and egg-laying farms, was charged with introducing misbranded food into interstate commerce for selling products with labels that made the eggs appear to be not as old as they actually were. The company also is charged with bribing a public official for an alleged attempt to influence a U.S. Department of Agriculture inspector.
Social media changes etiquette
NEW YORK — Much has changed about workplace and business etiquette since Emily Post was dispensing advice herself. Post died in 1960, but her family has carried on her love of good manners through the Emily Post Institute in Burlington, Vt. The latest from the Posts is a third edition of “The Etiquette Advantage in Business,” released this month by William Morrow. Great-great-granddaughter Lizzie Post said an update was needed to take into account the explosion in social media and digital communications, along with a more casual work environment in many fields.
Sale of Chinese treats to end
NEW YORK — PetSmart is the latest major pet food retailer to say it will stop selling dog and cat treats made in China because of continuing fears of their safety. A spokeswoman at PetSmart says it plans to have the treats off all its store shelves by March 2015. Investigators at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration haven’t been able to prove that treats made in China are making pets sick. But since 2007, it has received more than 4,800 complaints of pet illnesses and more than 1,000 reports of dog deaths after eating Chinese-made chicken, duck or sweet potato jerky treats. Rival Petco announced on Tuesday that it would remove all its China-made treats at its 1,300 stores by the end of this year. Phoenix-based PetSmart Inc. also runs about 1,300 stores.
Residents to ban modified crops
PORTLAND, Ore. — Residents of southern Oregon’s agriculture-heavy Rogue Valley have voted to ban genetically modified crops from the area, setting up the next stage of a fight that has gained widespread attention. Companies that genetically engineer seeds — including biotech giants Sygenta, Monsanto and DuPont Pioneer — spent about $900,000 on their failed campaign. Those who wanted to do away with so-called GMOs — including organic farmers and environmentally friendly soap-maker Dr. Bronner’s — spent about $400,000.
Netflix to expand into Europe
SAN FRANCISCO — Netflix will expand into Germany, France and four other European countries later this year as the Internet video service tries to build an international following that eventually could surpass its U.S. audience. The additional markets announced Wednesday will extend Netflix’s reach into nearly 50 countries, including 13 in Europe. Besides Germany and France, the latest countries on Netflix’s list are Switzerland, Austria, Belgium and Luxembourg. The company still isn’t saying precisely when its service will be available in the new markets or how much it will cost. Netflix recently raised its Internet streaming prices for new customers by about $1 per month. That boosted the price to $9 per month in the U.S. Netflix Inc. ended March with 48 million subscribers, including nearly 13 million outside the U.S.
From Wire Reports