California Retailers Association Signs with Certified To Protect Retailers and Customers

California Retailers Association Signs with Certified To Protect Retailers and CustomersCalifornia Retailers Association Signs with Certified To Protect Retailers and Customers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Boca Raton — October 14, 2015 — CERTIFIED, Inc. (madeinusa.net), the nation’s only independent, non-governmental organization (NGO) certification company for Country of Origin claims, reported today that the CALIFORNIA RETAILERS ASSOCIATION (“CRA”) has signed agreements aimed at assisting California retailers with the certification of their goods as Made in USA CERTIFIED®, Product of USA CERTIFIED®, or Grown in USA CERTIFIED®. With a full supply chain audit completed, and certification earned, retailers who sell products labeled as “Made in USA,” can be protected from any false country of origin claims. In light of the many ongoing California class action suits targeting false “Made in USA” labels, the timing for this association could not be better.

“For more than 80 years CRA has been working with, advocating for and in any way possible helping the California retail industry and nearly 415,000 retail establishments with sales of over $571 billion,” stated CRA Membership Director Jill Tanis Rulon, “and now with our agreement with CERTIFIED, we can help our members ensure that their products that are labeled as “Made in the USA” are certified independently and professionally. Providing service, value, and protection to our retailer members have always been of paramount concern to us, and our agreement with CERTIFIED will help our members to protect themselves from litigation as well as ensure brand integrity.

CALIFORNIA RETAILERS ASSOCIATION BOARD MEMBER COMPANIES

Walgreens Company, 7-Eleven, DART Container Corp, Darden, AT&T, Lowe’s, Raley’s, CVS Health, PepsiCo, Best Buy, PG&E, PetSmart, Walmart Stores, Yum! Brands, UPS, Macy’s Inc., Target, Sears Holdings Company, BD, Rite Aid Corporation, AutoZone, rePlanet, JC Penney, DIAGEO, Kohls Department StoresAltria, Safeway Inc.

ABOUT CERTIFIED, INC.

CERTIFIED Inc. is the United States’ Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) and independent 3rd party Certification Source for “Made in USA, Product of USA – Country of Origin Claims”. The CERTIFIED Technology team are experienced professionals with extensive, pioneering backgrounds in systems integration, software development, encryption, load balancing, electronic signatures, data collections and national analysis… all on a worldwide scale who have developed a proprietary system of certification authentication, big data recovery and analysis. For more information, please contact Mr. Robert Lowry at +1(561) 279-2855 or robert@usa-c.com

ABOUT CRA

The California Retailers Association is the only statewide trade association representing all segments of the retail industry including general merchandise, department stores, mass merchandisers, restaurants, convenience stores, supermarkets and grocery stores, chain drug, and specialty retail such as auto, vision, jewelry, hardware and home stores.  CRA works on behalf of California’s retail industry, which currently operates over 418,840 retail establishments with a gross domestic product of $330 billion annually and employs 3,211,805 people—one fourth of California’s total employment.

 

The Next Industrial Revolution Should Happen In America

The Next Industrial Revolution Should Happen In America - FEATURED IMAGE- STACEY NEWMAN - SHUTTERSTOCK

The Next Industrial Revolution Should Happen In America – FEATURED IMAGE- STACEY NEWMAN – SHUTTERSTOCK

The ‘Industrial Internet’ is poised to overhaul the way companies manufacture goods, in turn changing our everyday interactions with products. Read more of this post

Group Finds Asbestos in Children’s Crayons

Group Finds Asbestos in Children's Crayons

Four of 28 boxes of crayons tested positive for asbestos, according to the newly released report from the advocacy group. A private lab hired by the EWG Action Fund, a sister organization of the Environmental Working Group, also detected and confirmed asbestos in two of 21 toy crime lab kits it evaluated. Read more of this post

The dangers of farm-raised tilapia from China

Talipia
BY DR. MICHAEL L. SMITH
COMMENTARY Appeared originally on Studio V Health WordPress

As a proponent of healthy eating and educating the public on sound evidence based research, I find it very alarming that there is a significant trend in this country whereby many people accept as fact, “the foods that we import that are so abundant in our supermarkets must be okay to eat, otherwise the government wouldn’t allow it”. Sound strange?

Well, I heard one of my patients say this to me just the other day when we were having a discussion about the pros and cons of eating fish as a regular source of protein in our diets. Let me introduce to you, what has become extremely popular on the average Americans dinner table over the past few years and that is tilapia. You’ve seen it, perhaps have eaten it at home or even in your local restaurant. In fact, it’s become so popular that Kevin Fitzsimmons, a professor at the University of Arizona and board member of HQ Sustainable Maritime Industries, that sells Chinese farm-raised tilapia was recently quoted, “Tilapia is going to be basically where chicken is with poultry”.

The U.S. currently imports about 80 percent of the frozen tilapia from China. So what’s the problem with this scenario?

Consumers need to be made more aware of the problems with eating tilapia that is imported from this world’s largest producer of the farm raised variety. Numerous environmental warnings about Chinese-raised tilapia from such groups as the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch have put this fish on their “avoid’ list of seafoods, this despite the fact that the U.S. has increased it’s imports every year from 2005 on. Many of the farm raised tilapia are grown in the notoriously polluted areas of China’s Guangdong province.

Recently, the U.S. Agriculture Dept.’s Economic Research Service raised questions about Chinese safety standards for farm-raised fish. The report mentioned, “Fish are often raised in ponds where they feed on waste runoff from poultry and livestock”. It has also been noted that Chinese farmers save money on the cost of raising these fish by dumping animal wastes into the ponds which cause algae to grow and serve as their food source. And don’t forget all of the problems with many other products made in China- toys with lead and toothpastes found to contain diethylene glycol, a poisonous chemical. Even more alarming is the usage of carbon monoxide which preserves the color of the fish and can make the fish appear fresher than it is! If you read the label of many brands, the only two ingredients listed are “Tilapia” and Carbon Monoxide (To Retain Natural Color)”.

From a nutritional standpoint, tilapia fails miserably when stacked against salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines and other marine sources of the omega-3 oils which have been shown to have positive effects on cardiovascular disease, blood pressure, stroke, inflammation, and brain health. Tilapia’s flesh doesn’t contain any. And the reason? If the producers used sources of omega-3 enriched meal to feed the tilapia to make them more of a viable healthy food source, the price would increase and that unfortunately is one of the reasons why this fish has become an American dietary staple. So it always comes down to the idea of how much of a price do you pay for eating unhealthy foods to save some money in the long run.

In my office we have a saying, “If you don’t take time for your HEALTH, then you will have to take time for your illness”. Educate yourself by becoming a label reader and asking the question: “Is this really good to put in my body?” and if you can’t pronounce an ingredient and the number of ingredients are many, it’s probably best to avoid.

Strive to be healthier!

Dr. Michael L. Smith specializes in functional medicine, nutrition and chiropractic healthcare

To learn more about why it is important to look for Made in USA Certification and Product of USA Certification on food or drinks we consume visit our website at:  www.USA-C.com

Made in USA Certified

Making Manufacturing “Cool” for our Youth

by Michele Nash-Hoff.

In an article in July 2, 2008 issue of Industry Week magazine, John Madigan, a consultant with Madigan Associates, observed, “Jobs paying $20 per hour that historically enabled wage earners to support a middle-class standard of living are leaving the U.S. Michele Nash-HoffPublic sector aside; only 16 percent of today’s workers earn the $20-per-hour baseline wage, down 60 percent since 1979.We need to help our youth realize that manufacturing careers, and particularly the advanced manufacturing that now dominates the U.S. industrial sector, creates more wealth than any other industry. Moreover, manufacturing pays higher wages and provides greater benefits, on average, than other industries. For example, in 2010, the average U.S. manufacturing worker earned $77,186 annually, including pay and benefits. The average non-manufacturing worker earned $56,436.

The Society of Manufacturing Engineers Education Foundation (SME) is working to change the image of manufacturing and make it “cool” by sponsoring the “Manufacturing is Cool” award winning, interactive website, which challenges and engages students in basic engineering and science principles and provides interesting and useful educational resources for teachers. This fun and information rich website was recently “re-engineered” (updated) and marketed around the country. SME has received positive feedback from teachers, parents, and students about its usefulness.

“The explosion of technology and advanced manufacturing processes are evolving faster than it can be learned and applied,” says Bart A. Aslin, CEO, SME Education Foundation. “We designed the Manufacturing is Cool website to inspire, prepare and support young people for careers in advanced manufacturing without patronizing them. We’re giving them access to real-world – people, jobs and technologies, all critical to them finding their place in a global economy.”

The site engages students in basic engineering and science principles and provides interesting and useful educational resources for parents and teachers. Today’s tech-savvy K-12 audience can explore the exciting world of advanced manufacturing engineering 24/7 to learn about the careers it offers and how its advanced technologies affect their daily lives.

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Made in USA makes comeback as a marketing tool

usatoday logo

Oliver St. John, USA TODAY10:11p.m. EST January 21, 2013

It’s becoming downright American to make stuff in America.

Small manufacturers, craftsmen and retailers are marketing the Made-in-USA tag to score do-gooder points with consumers for employing stateside, says Margarita Mendoza, founder of the Made in America Movement, a lobbying organization for small manufacturers.

It’s working: Over 80% of Americans are willing to pay more for Made-in-USA products, 93% of whom say it’s because they want to keep jobs in the USA, according to a survey released in November by Boston Consulting Group. In ultra-partisan times, it’s one of the few issues both Democrats and Republicans agree on.

When considering similar products made in the U.S. vs. China, the average American is willing to pay up to 60% more for U.S.-made wooden baby toys, 30% more for U.S.-made mobile phones and 19% more for U.S.-made gas ranges, the survey says.

Now Wal-Mart wants a piece of the action. The behemoth, embroiled over the past year with worker protests and foreign bribery investigations, pledged recently to source $50 billion of products in the U.S. over the next 10 years, says Wal-Mart spokesman Randy Hargrove. They’re not alone. Mendoza says both Caterpillar and 3M have also made efforts to source more in the U.S.

“Regardless if this is a PR ploy or not, it doesn’t matter. A lot more people will look for the Made-in-USA tag,” she says, adding that, considering Wal-Mart’s size, $5 billion a year is only “a drop in the bucket,” for the retailer whose 2012 sales reached almost $444 billion.

Kyle Rancourt says his American-made shoe company, Rancourt & Co., hit it big as concern over U.S. jobs mounted when the recession hit in 2009. But he says he lies awake at night worrying if Made-in-USA is just a passing fad.

“It’s inevitable that times will change,” Rancourt says. “But I am still holding out hope that this has become a core value of our country.”

Mendoza says that if buying American turns out to be a passing fad, the country is in trouble.

“If they don’t understand the economic factor, we need to pull on their heartstrings,” she says. “The thought of having a country like China taking over, that alone is bone-chilling.”

But do folks care enough about U.S. manufacturing jobs to permanently change the way they shop? David Aaker, vice chairman of brand consulting firm Prophet, says the companies that get the most credit for being American, such as Apple and Cisco, don’t even source products in the U.S.

“I don’t think it matters unless it becomes visible,” Aaker says. “The most common way for that is if something bad happens, like if Nike gets some press about conditions in factories overseas.”

But Rancourt says his customers believe foreign-made shoes lack the soul of their American counterparts.

“There’s hundreds if not thousands of workers working on those factories. They do one specific job, maybe put an eyelet into a specific place,” he says. “They don’t have an idea or concept of a finished product and how that should look.”

 

Just watch out for phony Made-in-USA claims. It’s illegal to claim a product is U.S.-made unless both the product and all it’s components are sourced in the U.S. Even products that could imply a phony country of origin with a flag or country outline are verboten. Julia Solomon Ensor, enforcement lawyer at the Federal Trade Commission, says the FTC gets “several complaints each month about potentially deceptive ‘Made-in-the-USA’ claims.”

It sets a bad example. Mendoza says the U.S. needs to let kids know it’s OK to work in manufacturing. “Not all children are going to grow up to be dentists, and lawyers, and investment bankers.”

 

 

 

Source:http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2013/01/21/made-in-usa-trend/1785539/

Obama Push on Advanced Manufacturing Stirs Economic Debate

In a White House switch, pro-manufacturing advisers have the ear of the president.

Jobs plan: President Obama addressing manufacturing workers in 2012.

Before a packed arena at the national convention of the Democratic Party in September, Barack Obama outlined a vision for America’s economic recovery with manufacturing as its engine.

“After a decade of decline, this country created over half a million manufacturing jobs in the last two-and-a-half years,” Obama told the cheering crowd in Charlotte, North Carolina. “If we choose this path, we can create a million new manufacturing jobs in the next four years.”

To fulfill those promises, the White House is turning to an economic tool not seen in Washington for years: industrial policy.

Emboldened by a new cadre of advisors, the Obama administration has proposed policies to boost domestic manufacturing involving tax breaks, new R&D spending, and vocational training of two million workers including around advanced technologies like batteries, computing, aerospace, and robotics.

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Is The U.S. Really Losing Its Innovative Edge?

Guest post written by Gerard J. Tellis

Gerard J. Tellis is Neely Chair of American Enterprise, Director of the Center for Global Innovation, and Professor of Marketing, Management and Organization at the USC Marshall School of Business. His forthcoming book is Unrelenting Innovation: How to Create a Culture of Market Dominance.

Gerard J. Tellis

Innovation is critical for the improvement in consumer living standards, the growth and success of firms, and the wealth of nations. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the U.S. surpassed Great Britain as the world’s premier economy on the strength of its innovations. These innovations spanned a wide spectrum of industries. Innovations flourished in a variety of heavy industries such as aeronautics, automobiles, defense, communications, electricity and power generation. Innovations likewise blossomed in consumer goods and services such as soap, photography, shaving and entertainment. The U.S. also pioneered innovations in university education, land ownership, home ownership and individual rights. The U.S. lead in innovation lasted through most of the 20th century.

 

 

Is the U.S. now losing its edge in innovation?

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Manufacturers and businesses struggle to find skilled workers

Skilled Workers

Job seekers attend a Career Source mixed-industry job fair at the Holiday Inn in Somerville on Nov. 27, 2012.

BOSTON — Dozens of people walked around a recent Somerville job fair handing out resumes. There was Jim Lundy, 53, an English teacher with a Ph.D. and 30 years of experience. When he could not find a teaching job, he started a business that sells used blue jeans, but has been unsuccessful. There was Isabel Sendao, 38, who lost her job in marketing and sales a year and a half ago and is keeping current on the latest technology while interviewing for jobs. There was Sandy Carr, 51, who worked at non-profit and social service jobs for three decades. She was laid off when a medical billing firm went under and has been doing temporary and contract work until she can find something full-time.

“Job searching’s a constant thing to be doing these days,” Carr said.

At the same time, there are businesses in Massachusetts looking for workers. Denise Petersen, who works in human resources for B&E Precision Aircraft Components in Southwick, said her company is looking for computer numerically controlled machinists and burr hands, a type of skilled laborer. The company is competing with other local tool companies and having a hard time finding workers with the necessary skills. “As experienced or skilled workers leave, it’s getting more difficult to find people in those areas that have experience,” Petersen said.

The “skills gap” is a fact of life in the recovering economy. Jobs are opening up and workers are seeking them. But the unemployed workers do not always have the same skills that employers are looking for. In some cases, industries have shifted during the recession, some recovering faster than others. In other cases, the recession actually delayed the skills gap, as older workers pushed off retirement. With the recovery, some of those workers are preparing to leave.

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California to Vote on GMO Food Labeling

Californians are on course to vote whether genetically modified food must be labeled. A petition was signed by 971,126 Californians, 75 percent more than the minimum needed for a statewide vote concurrent with the Nov. 6 general election.

Approval from 50 percent of voters would make the proposal law.

“The right to know is as American as apple pie,” said Gary Ruskin, an Oakland-based proponent for the measure, officially known as Proposition 37.

The California movement is mobilizing consumer unease over modified ingredients, which are found in about 80 percent of processed foods in the U.S. according to the Grocery Manufacturers Association. The campaign is the best chance for biotech labeling in the U.S. after the failure of similar bills in 19 states and the rejection of a petition to the Food and Drug Administration last month, Ruskin said.

Monsanto, a multinational agriculture biotech company, opposes labeling modified ingredients because the move risks “misleading consumers into thinking products are not safe when in fact they are,” Sara E. Miller, a spokeswoman for St. Louis-based Monsanto, said in an e-mail.

Biotech labeling, which has been adopted in more than 50 countries, has never been endorsed by the FDA.

Modified foods have been in U.S. grocery stores since 1994. Ninety-three percent of Americans say genetically engineered foods should be labeled, according to an October 2010 poll conducted by Thompson Reuters Corp. and National Public Radio. Seventy-nine percent have doubts about the safety of such foods, according to the poll.

Should it be approved, Proposition 37 would require labels of foods made with biotech ingredients to state that they were “produced with genetic engineering.” Labels would be phased in over 18 months. Exemptions include restaurant food, alcohol and meat from animals fed with modified grains.

The label “would be the equivalent of a skull and crossbones” that would drive away customers and force food producers to stop using engineered ingredients, Joseph Mercola, the initiative’s leading funder with $800,000 in donations, said in a Web posting. Mercola is an osteopath who promotes natural remedies at his clinic in Hoffman Estates, Ill.

“Whether or not you believe agricultural chemicals belong in a wholesome diet is beside the point,” said Mercola. “You still ought to have the right to decide whether you want to spend your money on foods that contain genetically engineered ingredients.”

Popular New York Times food writer Mark Bittman says Proposition 37 will give consumers the basic right to know what they are eating.

“We have a right to know what’s in the food we eat and a right to know how it’s produced,” he wrote in a recent column. “This is true even if food containing or produced using GMOs (genetically modified organisms) were the greatest thing since crusty bread.”

© 2012 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Read more: Calif. to Vote on GMO Food Labeling

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