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Coca-Cola refuted a Wall Street Journal article that the company is in talks to buy energy drink company Corona, Calif.-based Monster Beverage Corp. "At this time, we are not in discussions to acquire the Monster Beverage Corp," Coke said in a statement. "We continue to review the best ways to maximize the value of our relationship," reports Reuters ... The USDA announced that a fourth case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy was found at a rendering facility in California, reports "It is important to reiterate that this animal was never presented for slaughter for human consumption, did not enter food supply channels, and at no time presented any risk to human health," according to the department ... NBC is seeking an audacious price for a 30-second spot in its National Football League Thanksgiving-night broadcast -- almost $1 million, or close to double what it charged last season for a spot of the same length in its "Sunday Night Football" broadcasts, reports Advertising Age ... The Whitman's Sampler was introduced in 1912, and within three years it was being sold at more than 19,000 independent drug stores, reports Today, the Russell Stover brand sells one box every 2.5 seconds and is marking its 100th anniversary with a Kiss Me I'm 100 giveaway, with prizes including hats and Jumbo Whitman Samplers ... The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) will return to the Windy City: FMI2014 is scheduled for Chicago's McCormick Center on June 10-13. "Chicago already supports an inherent food culture, and it's home to 19 of our FMI retailers, such as Central Grocers Inc., Potash Markets and even Walgreen Co.," noted Leslie G. Sarasin, president and CEO of FMI. "I'm anxious to help bridge our return to Chicago, as FMI featured its convention in Chicago 24 times - from the early 1980s to 2007." All I can say is yea! yea! and yea! ... The E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. acquired full ownership of Solae L.L.C. from Bunge Ltd. for approximately $448 million, reports Food Business News. Prior to the transaction, DuPont owned a 72 percent stake in Solae and Bunge owned the remaining 28 percent. "This investment in Solae, along with the acquisition of Danisco last year, has significantly added to our leadership position in food ingredients," said James C. Borel, executive vice-president at DuPont. "Solae's scientific expertise and market leadership in soy is a critical element in our plans to enhance the quality and quantity of food for a growing global population ...The Imperial Sugar Co. and Louis Dreyfus Commodities L.L.C. reached a definitive agreement under which a subsidiary of Louis Dreyfus will acquire Imperial through a cash tender offer and second step merger at $6.35 per share. The proposed transaction has been unanimously approved by Imperial's board, which will recommend it to shareholders. The all-cash transaction represents a value of about $203 million, including the assumption of debt and pension liabilities ... Irene Chang Britt, was named president of the Pepperidge Farm business unit of the Campbell Soup Co., effective July 31, the end of the company's fiscal year. She succeeds Pat Callaghan, who is retiring. Britt became senior vice-president and chief strategy officer for the company in October 2010 and is responsible for Campbell's global strategy ... Joseph Zakutney, previously Hershey's vice president for Global Applications & Infrastructure Services, has been promoted to chief information officer. He succeeds George Davis, who retired ... Tyson Foods, which typically responds to four or five major disasters a year, has developed a 53-foot semi-trailer that can travel to disaster areas and provide food to people in need, reports Progressive Grocer. The trailer has a generator, satellite communications and enough room to refrigerate 20,000 pounds of meat ... Brioni's Coffee, based in Glastonbury, Conn., has introduced Healthy Morning Coffee, with four grams of fiber per 12-oz. serving, reports The Hartford Courant. The fiber adds no flavor to the coffee, which is sold at local supermarkets and has "a slippery, creamy texture with a slight velvety mouthful," said managing partner Ted Fisher ... The movement by U.S. food companies toward more humane treatment of animals experienced a whopper of a shift when Burger King announced that all its eggs and pork will come from cage-free chickens and pigs by 2017 ... America's best bagel isn't from a New York deli, but from some of the big brands available in the grocer's freezer, reports Consumer Reports. During a scientific taste test, Kirkland, Lender's Original and Dunkin' Donuts brands were named the best in the U.S. ... Celebrate Cinco de Mayo on Saturday.