U.S. Supreme Court Strikes Down California Slaughterhouse Law
The U.S. Supreme Court overturned a California law that would require euthanizing downed livestock at federally inspected slaughterhouses to keep the meat out of the nation’s food system.
California strengthened regulations against slaughtering supposed “downer” animals after the 2008 release of an undercover video produced by the Humane Society of the United States showed workers abusing cows at a slaughterhouse. In a widely expected decision, the high court ruled that the state’s 2009 law was blocked from going into effect by federal law administered by the Agriculture Department’s Food Safety and Inspection Service.
However, some provisions of California’s law were upheld. It’s still illegal in the state to transport a downed animal to the slaughterhouse, and to buy and sell sick livestock outside of the slaughterhouse. The high court also said that the ruling upholds state bans on slaughtering horses for human consumption. But, animals that become sick or stressed during transit to slaughterhouses can be killed for food.
e-Commerce Poised for Strong Expansion in 2012
Not only did e-commerce grease the wheels for better than expected holiday spending this past season, but the year ahead promises to set new records for e-commerce.
According to a new study from comScore, U.S. retail e-commerce spending reached $161.5 billion in 2011—a 13 percent increase over 2010.
“In the face of continuing uncertainty regarding the U.S. economy, consumers increasingly went online for their shopping needs,” said comScore’s chairman Gian Fulgoni, referring to the latest figures. “Price and convenience continue to be the critical value drivers for e-commerce, and unless those conditions change we can expect to see more channel-shifting to online in 2012 and perhaps even an acceleration in the current growth trend.”
Meanwhile, a study published in January from IBM Research shows the percentage of holiday shoppers who made their purchases online this past holiday season was well over double the amount from 2010. In particular, 14.6 percent of 2011 holiday shoppers made their purchases from a mobile device, as opposed to only 5.6 percent in 2010.
Apps, too, are making news. According to Flurry Analytics, between December 25 and 31st, over 1.2 billion apps were downloaded, marking the first time ever the figure has broken the one billion mark.
More Companies Using Mobile Racking to Optimize Space
More companies are turning to mobile racking solutions to optimize space in their facilities, particularly as the cost of leasing industrial property has begun to rise again.
And, it’s not just larger organizations that are making the move.
Komori UK Ltd, a medium-sized manufacturer of printing production equipment, recently completed the installation of a mobile system in their Leeds, Yorkshire facility that resulted in 1 50 percent reduction in pallet racking floor space.
The system was designed by SSI Schaefer.
According to an executive with Komori, “We have achieved sig nificant space and cost savings as a result of Schaefer’s mobile pallet racking system, which is good news for the business—storage capacity is often scarce and expensive, but this system has allowed us to gain high density, easy to access storage space without having to pay out for larger premises than necessary.”
Canada Considers Changes to Wine Labeling Rules
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is seeking input from stakeholders and the Canadian public on regulatory amendments related to wine labeling.
Proposed amendments would allow wine manufacturers to display mandatory labeling information on any part of the surface of the wine container, excluding its top and bottom, provided that it can all be seen without having to turn the container.
The amendments would help Canada harmonize its wine labeling rules with other wine producing trading partners and facilitate international trade in wine. Furthermore, wine exporters would be able to sell wine to other countries without having to redesign their labels for each individual market.