SENATE APPROVES CRAWFORD AS FDA COMMISSIONER
pproved Lester Crawford as permanent commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration by a margin of 78 to 16. Crawford has served as acting commissioner for the past year and also from February to November 2002. His nomination, first announced in February, has been marked by controversy, including allegations (since dismissed) that he inappropriately promoted a woman colleague with whom he had had an affair, and debates over drug safety issues and the over-the-counter availability of the emergency contraceptive pill. Democratic Sens. Patty Murray of Washington and Hillary Clinton of New York vowed to block the full Senate vote until the FDA ruled on whether the emergency contraceptive pill could be sold without prescription. The agency last week said it would decide by Sept. 1.
WAL-MART AUTOMOTIVE WORKERS VOTE AGAINST UNION
MISSISSAUGA, Ontario -- Wal-Mart Canada here said employees in the automotive departments of seven stores in British Columbia have voted against representation by the United Food & Commercial Workers union. The votes took place in December but had been sealed by the British Columbia Labour Relations Board pending the outcome of a challenge by Wal-Mart, which had claimed that the automotive department should not be treated separately from the rest of the store. The BCLRB issued a decision last week stating that the automotive departments could bargain as a separate unit. Wal-Mart said it would appeal that decision. Meanwhile, negotiations for a contract covering automotive workers at a Wal-Mart in Gatineau, Quebec, are set to begin next week, and negotiations for contracts covering the entire workforce at a Wal-Mart in St. Hyacinthe, Quebec, are ongoing, a UFCW spokesman told SN.
COMPANIES RECOGNIZED FOR CUTTING UNSALEABLES
VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Campbell Soup, Camden, N.J., and Food Lion, Salisbury, N.C., received a 2005 Innovation Award for working together to identify a secondary packaging flaw in V8 and tomato juice packages in 15 days, resulting in a long-term solution for the entire supply chain. The award, recognizing efforts to reduce unsaleable costs, was one of four presented yesterday by Grocery Manufacturers Association and Food Marketing Institute at the Joint Industry Unsaleables Management Conference here. Other companies receiving awards included Kellogg USA, Land O'Lakes and MeadWestvaco Coated Board. For more on unsaleables, see Page 16.
FRESHDIRECT LAUNCHES SERVICE IN NEW JERSEY
NEW YORK -- Internet grocery delivery company FreshDirect here has begun service in New Jersey, the company said. FreshDirect began serving parts of Jersey City, N.J., and has plans to expand to Hoboken, N.J., later this year, the company said. FreshDirect serves parts of Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens, as well as the Hamptons on Long Island. The company has filled more than 2 million orders since 2002.
PUBLIX TO LEASE FORMER ALBERTSONS LOCATION
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Publix Super Markets will lease an Albertsons location that is slated to close here, reports said. The store was one of seven Albertsons sold earlier this year to Rowe's Supermarkets, based here. Rowe's will lease the location to Lakeland, Fla.-based Publix, which will in turn close a neighboring store. Albertsons, Boise, Idaho, is scheduled to close the store next week, reports said. Publix plans to open it under its own banner next spring.