NEWS WATCH: USDA: SUSPECTED MAD COW BORN BEFORE FEED BAN... WAL-MART STAFFER RESIGNS IN WAKE OF AD FLAP... FORMER ROUNDY'S OFFICIAL CHARGED IN FRAUD PROBE...

USDA: SUSPECTED MAD COW BORN BEFORE FEED BANfic test results, the U.S. Department of Agriculture last week reiterated that the cow suspected of having bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or mad cow disease, was born before the August 1997 ban on the use of ground-up cattle parts in livestock feed -- a practice halted after it was discovered to be a primary transmission route of BSE. Tissue from the

USDA: SUSPECTED MAD COW BORN BEFORE FEED BAN

fic test results, the U.S. Department of Agriculture last week reiterated that the cow suspected of having bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or mad cow disease, was born before the August 1997 ban on the use of ground-up cattle parts in livestock feed -- a practice halted after it was discovered to be a primary transmission route of BSE. Tissue from the animal is being examined at labs in Iowa and England. The animal in question was determined not to have the brain-wasting illness after a series of conflicting tests in November 2004. The USDA's independent Office of the Inspector General ordered the more recent tests as part of an audit of USDA's BSE testing procedures. Results are expected this week.

WAL-MART STAFFER RESIGNS IN WAKE OF AD FLAP

BENTONVILLE, Ark. -- Wal-Mart Stores here said Peter Kanelos, community affairs manager for its Southern California and Arizona operations, has resigned. The company declined to say why Kanelos left nor whether his resignation was linked -- as was reported in local media -- to an ad that ran in a Flagstaff, Ariz., newspaper last month that used a photo of Nazis burning books to depict efforts to prevent Wal-Mart from building a second supercenter there. Kanelos could not be reached for comment, and HighGround, the Phoenix-based company that reportedly designed the ad, did not respond to SN inquiries. The ad was designed to convince readers in Flagstaff to reject a proposed ordinance that would have limited the development of big-box stores. Wal-Mart sent an apology to the Anti-Defamation League.

FORMER ROUNDY'S OFFICIAL CHARGED IN FRAUD PROBE

MILWAUKEE -- David C. Busch, a former vice president of Roundy's here, was charged with making illegal political contributions, published reports said last week. Busch, who was charged with making the contributions while working as a consultant for a construction company, told federal investigators he made similar contributions to Milwaukee politicians, for which he was reimbursed by Roundy's, while employed by Roundy's in the 1990s, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel said. Busch was Roundy's vice president of administration and served from 1993 to 2002. In a statement, Roundy's said the company informed employees they must follow the law when making political contributions.

SPARTAN SERVING SIX FORMER A&P STORES IN MICHIGAN

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Spartan Stores here has made primary supply agreements with six former Food Basics and Farmer Jack locations in Michigan operating under new ownership, published reports said. The six stores, which were recently closed by Montvale, N.J.-based A&P as part of its reorganization plan, are in Lincoln Park, Detroit, Harper Woods, Melvindale, Southfield and Sterling Heights. Spartan declined to comment on the reports.

TRADER JOE'S SELECTS FIRST NEW YORK CITY LOCATION

NEW YORK -- Trader Joe's is planning to build its first New York City store in Manhattan's Union Square, near the city's newest Whole Foods site, according to the real estate firm that secured the location. The 15,000-square-foot store will be on the ground floor of a dormitory building. The store is scheduled to open in November, according to Robert K. Futterman & Associates, the New York-based real estate firm. Monrovia, Calif.-based Trader Joe's operates about 200 stores nationwide.