$120M in counterfeit designer cosmetics seized in China

 Naturalnews.com

Woman putting on makeup

(Natural News) Chinese police have seized $120 million worth of counterfeit luxury cosmetics in an ongoing series of raids against a major crime ring.

The fake merchandise, consisting of 1,200 boxes falsely branded with the labels Chanel, Christian Dior, Estée Lauder, and L’Oréal SA’s Lancôme, was seized in a series of seven separate raids. Fifteen people were arrested, and 13 of them have been charged with crimes.

The ongoing operation began last year, when reports surfaced that an online store was selling cosmetics falsely labeled with the Amway brand name. Chinese police investigated and eventually raided the online store’s warehouse, confiscating 100 boxes of counterfeit Amway cosmetics worth $30,000. That raid led to information that allowed police to identify the seven other operations that were recently raided.

A major industry

According to police, the counterfeit cosmetics ring was distributing fake products nationwide. The fake products were sold for a 900 percent profit. The counterfeiters had a policy of quickly responding to any complaints with a full refund, in the hopes of avoiding calls to the police.

One man has allegedly confessed to running the manufacturing end of the ring. He says that he bought the ingredients online, then purchased the packaging from Guangdong province to the south. The bar codes on the boxes were copied from authentic products. Read more of this post

7 Types of Sargento Cheese Recalled for Listeria

Eating the bacteria can be potentially fatal.

 

Hold the nachos. Sargento just recalled seven of its cheeses for a potential listeria contamination. An outbreak at one of its suppliers affected shredded and sliced varieties, including colby, jack and taco cheese.

Both the Ultra Thin Sliced Longhorn Colby and Chef Blends Shredded Nacho & Taco Cheese are possibly contaminated. Eating food with listeria can cause a serious infection, with symptoms like fever, muscle aches and gastrointestinal problems. According to the CDC, about 260 people die of listeriosis every year. Pregnant women, newborns and the elderly are especially vulnerable. So far, no known illnesses are associated with this recall.

The supplier, Deustch Kase Haus in Middlebury, Indiana, makes cheese for other stores as well. Meijer is recalling its Meijer Brand Colby Cheese and Colby Jack Cheese, which was sold at deli counters between November 10 and February 9. Shoppers are encouraged throw it away or return it for a full refund.

Cheese from Sara Lee and Amish Classics as well as salads from Taylor Farms have also been affected, so double-check your lunch before chowing down.

Whole Foods To Close Nine Stores & Scale Back Expansion Plans

Whole Foods to close 9 stores amid sluggish sales

Whole Foods Market said Wednesday it will close nine stores in the second quarter as it abandons its goal to open 1,200-plus stores.

“We’re going to continue to grow, but I think we’re going to be a more disciplined growth company than we have been in the past,” John Mackey, co-founder and CEO of Whole Foods, told analysts on the company’s first-quarter earnings call.

Mackey called the closing of the nine stores a “difficult but prudent decision” and said the company will now have more targeted site selection and “continued moderation in ending square footage growth.” He said these moves together will “result in a healthier bottom line, increased cash flow and higher returns.”

Still, the Texas-based company also said it welcomed 14 new stores in the first quarter, including two outlet relocations.

Mackey added the retailer remains “optimistic about the future growth potential for our 365 format but we want to see how this next round of stores perform before getting more aggressive.”

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US farm income seen falling for fourth straight year

 

 

Tyson Foods under federal investigation for alleged chicken price fixing

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 (iStock)

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission subpoenaed Tyson Foods Monday, investigating allegations of colluding to drive up chicken prices starting as far back as 2008.

The Springdale, Arkansas-based company and its largest competitors have been named as defendants in a series of lawsuits filed over the last few months. Tyson and the other producers have thus far vehemently denied all allegations. 

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Made in USA: Growing Panes for a High-Tech Window Company

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| IndustryWeek

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SageGlass was bought by a French company but its manufacturing remains in the United States. Operations director David Pender talks about the pros and cons of this arrangement.

SageGlass invented dynamic glass—“tint on demand” windows that use special coatings and low voltages of electricity to filter out varying degrees of light. The small company started in 1989 in New York, but eventually moved to Faribault, Minnesota, 50 miles south of Minneapolis, because the area was developing a reputation for its innovation in window manufacturing.

Then in 2012, French building materials manufacturer Saint-Gobain acquired SageGlass. Although the unmet demand for dynamic glass was mainly in Europe, Saint-Gobain chose to keep production in Minnesota, build a new plant there, and convert the old plant to a research and development facility. The new facility can coat panes of glass that are more than twice the size of the old ones.

David Pender, director of operations at SageGlass (who previously spent 11 years in Germany working for Saint Gobain), talked about the challenges and advantages of keeping SageGlass’s manufacturing and R&D in the United States:

Challenge: Europe has the most growth potential, but our manufacturing facility is in the U.S.

Western Europe is a little further along than the U.S. in building codes. What’s considered extremely exotic here … is considered almost normal in Europe. Getting the supply chain right to be able to produce everything from what’s acceptable in the U.S. to what’s expected in Europe poses a certain amount of challenge. We’ve got to be sourcing some things from Europe, to make the products here and then shift them back to Europe. That doesn’t make too much sense at the moment, but we are trying to grow this market worldwide. Europe is growing very, very quickly because the Saint-Gobain name in Europe is a big plus.

Advantage: The highest demand for the product is still in the U.S.

Overall, we’re on a three to four times year-over-year expansion. So this year we’ll produce three to four times what we did in 2016. Which is a phenomenal growth rate, and that’s set to continue as we grow in the Europe, in the U.S. and the Middle East. We just got our first really big job in China. In the future, this facility will get to capacity and just produce in North America, and there will probably be another facility doing something similar in Europe—and who knows how that will do going forward.

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The Ups and Downs of Made in the USA

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| IndustryWeek

Joao Silva works with Baxter the cobot on Tinkertoys at the Rodon plant in Pennsyvania. K’Nex

 For many companies, the 2008-09 recession was a time to scale back. But for Michael Araten, CEO and president of the toy company K’Nex Industries, it was a time to rethink and regroup.

K’Nex, which makes Tinkertoys and Lincoln Logs as well as its eponymous brightly colored building sets, followed the trend of offshoring in the late 1990s, and by the early 2000s had outsourced most of its toymaking to China.

But by the time Araten arrived at the company in 2005, the long lead time required to ship toys to the United States—coupled with high demand only three months out of the year—was becoming a strain on the business. Catering to the changing tastes of 8-year-olds is a dicey proposition, and product decisions made in January could be yesterday’s news nine months later when the ship pulled into port.

With machines idling at K’Nex’s sister company, Rodon, a plastics manufacturer in Pennsylvania, Araten saw an opening to bring the toy production back home. “We were looking to keep our people employed,” he said.

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Apple’s Customers Will Pay A Premium For Made-In-USA Phone, Analyst Suggests

Apple could build a TV — because of Trump

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The chairman of Foxconn, the company that assembles most of Apple’s iPhones in China, gave some remarks at a holiday party over the weekend suggesting that Apple could partner with his company to build a new factory in the US.

But most interesting is which parts that factory might produce: large flat-panel screens, which at least one analyst believes could be an indication that Apple is planning to build a TV set.

The Foxconn chairman, Terry Gou, said his company was considering building a $7 billion flat-panel screen factory in the US. Part of that $7 billion could come out of Apple’s pocket, Gou said, according to Nikkei. Read more of this post

Trump tells manufacturers he will cut regulations, taxes, but must reshore

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