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U.S. Listeria Death Toll Hits 18

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reuters Eighteen people infected with listeria have died so far in the deadliest foodborne outbreak in the U.S. in more than a decade.

One hundred people in 20 states have been infected with one of the four listeria strains involved, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Listeria monocytogenes is a frequent cause of U.S. food recalls in processed meats and cheeses, but contamination in fresh produce is rare. The current outbreak was linked to a farm in Colorado.

Deere to build two equipment plants in Brazil

sao pa ulo /reuters Deere &Co., one of the world s biggest heavy equipment producers, will build two plants in Brazil to meet demand from construction and infrastructure projects.

Deere said it plans to tap into strong local and regional demand for loading and excavating equipment from the construction sector.

Brazil is one of the construction equipment markets that is growing the most in the world right now, said chief executive Samuel Allen.

One of the plants will produce equipment for Deere, and the other will produce for both Deere and Hitachi Construction Machinery Ltd.

Thai rice plan: well intentioned but hazardous

supha nburi, thailand/ reuters On paper, it s populism at its best: the world s biggest rice exporter paying farmers a hefty premium to better their lives.

But there are fears Thailand s rice policy will drive up inflation, push down exports, and force the government to buy millions of tonnes.

Recently elected Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra won the rural vote by promising to pay US$480 a tonne for paddy rice, double the price before the July election. At the export level, that is expected to push prices to $850 a tonne, up 64 per cent from last year.

Those prices will drive up food costs in neighbouring regions, but also suppress demand. Some expect the government will have to buy two-fifths of an anticipated 25-million-tonne harvest. But farmers are happy, and many say they will increase production next year.

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