I shall post videos, graphs, news stories, and other material there. We shall use some of this material in class, and you may review the rest at your convenience. You will all receive invitations to post to the blog. (Please let me know if you do not get such an invitation.) I encourage you to use the blog in these ways:
To post questions or comments about the readings before we discuss them in class;
To follow up on class discussions with additional comments or questions.
To post relevant news items or videos.

There are only two major limitations: no coarse language, and no derogatory comments about people at the Claremont Colleges.

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Monday, April 15, 2013

The Reach of the Regulators

For more on what regulators can do:
  • Size of Holes in Swiss Cheese: 
    • "The price Swiss makers are able to get for their Swiss depends, in part, on the grade that Agriculture Department inspectors give it. And, for now at least, Grade A Swiss does not allow the smaller holes that large buyers crave
    • "The cheesemakers responded by pushing for smaller holes in their product last year. They asked the Agriculture Department, which sets the standards for grades, for more freedom on eye size. 'Swiss is the only major U.S. cheese variety in decline,' said a letter from the Wisconsin Cheese Makers. '. . . Eye size requirements for Swiss cheese are out of step with the demands of the consumer and the marketer/processor.' "
    • Full WaPo Article
  • Prunes:
    • Renaming to Dried Plums
      • "Cognizant that prunes have a bathroom reputation, the Prune Board embarked on an ambitious name-change program, banishing the word 'prune' from its labeling and replacing it with 'dried plum' -- a makeover that the Food and Drug Administration approved last year. The Prune Board then became the Dried Plum Board."
    • Size
      • "It's not a good thing to be an undersized prune: The U.S. Department of Agriculture is taking you out of the mix. At the request of prune growers and handlers, USDA regulators decided last month to continue a program that allows the industry to remove from the market 'the smallest, least desirable of the marketable size dried prunes' grown in California. The lucky recipients of the dwarf prunes will be livestock: The department decided growers could dispose of them by grinding them into animal feed."
    • Full WaPo Article

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