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• A new study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, says that the so-called Mediterranean diet – which emphasizes foods rich in healthy fats from olive oil and nuts as well as fruits and vegetables – is better for heart-health, lowering cholesterol and blood pressure, than low-fat diets.

• In the UK, the Guardian reports that Tesco plans mass makeovers for its Express convenience store concept that will make them blend better into local communities and emphasize their positive environmental attributes.

The company currently has about 550 stores, and plans to remodel at least 30 of them and has promised to look at others where it is accused by critics of egregious design errors. The company also plans to apply new standards to the 130 units being opened this year.

• Consumer activist group Food and Water Watch has called for the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) to be tougher in its approach to salmonella, saying that legislation should be sought that would shut down poultry processing facilities that produce products with too much salmonella bacteria.

Forbes reports that UK-based Tesco may make a bid to acquire all or part of Casino’s Polish operations, for a fee that reportedly would be in the neighborhood of $1 billion (US).

• The Wall Street Journal reports this morning that Kraft Foods is expected to spend $1.1 billion (US) to acquire part of the UK’s United Biscuits, which will allow it to regain control of brands like Ritz Crackers in Europe.

• The Associated Press reports that “while organic beer sales are still minuscule in the overall beer industry, they are rising fast. North American sales of organic beers grew from $9 million in 2003 to $19 million in 2005, according to the Organic Trade Association.”

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