• Reuters reports Japan is considering cutting U.S. beef import tariffs to less than 10-percent from 38.5-percent as part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations.

    This cut would be bigger than the one negotiated recently with Australia. Along with this proposal, Japan is considering imposing restrictions, if U.S. beef imports increase considerably due to the decreased tariff.

    The U.S. still has various agricultural sectors it wants Japan to open so there is still considerable distance between U.S. and Japan on TPP negotiations.

  • A market research firm has discovered the use of the term organic on restaurant menus has declined by 28-percent from the fourth quarter in 2010 to the fourth quarter in 2013.

    One expert says there is a return to terms classic, original and homemade because organic foods are expensive and consumers want alternatives that still let them know the food they are eating is safe and good quality.

    The market research also shows the term gluten free is appearing more frequently on restaurant menus.

    The biggest growth in ingredient claims came from nutritional claims, an increase of 14 percent, and geographic claims, an increase of 12 percent.