So what's going on?

European stock markets fell on Monday, hit by fresh doubts that measures agreed at last week's European Union summit would be enough to keep the sovereign-debt crisis at bay, reports MarketWatch. The Stoxx Europe 600 index dropped 0.7 percent to 238.37, following a 1.2 percent rise on Friday, the biggest percentage gain since Nov. 30. U.S. stock market futures fell sharply, exacerbating the declines in Europe. Equities and U.S. Treasury yields gained last Friday after 26 European nations said they'll think about linking their economies more closely. And the 17 nations that use the euro said they would sign an accord that would give a central authority better oversight of their budgets. Nine other European Union countries agreed to consider signing the treaty, while Britain said it would not, as it does not want to be subjected to the proposed financial rules ...

As part of a settlement with the Natural Resources Defense Council, the FDA has agreed to rule by March 31 on whether to ban BPA, a chemical used in water bottles, cans and other food and drink packaging, reports the Chicago Tribune ...

Congress increased funding for the FDA to $3.8 billion, a 3 percent increase over the previous budget that includes $39 million for stronger food safety measures, reports the Washington Post. "At a time when some industries are trying to handcuff their regulators, the food industry is advocating for a stronger regulator with more powers and more resources," says GMA's Scott Faber ...

The Hershey Co. has agreed to acquire Abbotsford, B.C.-based Brookside Foods Ltd., a privately held confectionery company with facilities in British Columbia and Quebec, reports Food Business News. The Brookside product line primarily is sold in the U.S. and Canada. Annual net sales are $83 million. "The acquisition of Brookside is an opportunity for Hershey to expand our portfolio in this category," said John P. Bilbrey, president and CEO. "Brookside pairs dark chocolate with exotic fruit-juice centers, such as goji, acai, blueberry and pomegranate, to create great-tasting treats, while delivering the benefits of flavanols and antioxidants. We look forward to building Brookside by leveraging Hershey's scale at retail." ...

The FDA and Federal Trade Commission have issued seven warning letters to companies to stop selling diet products containing HCG, telling them the hormone has not been approved for weight loss, that the products' claims are unsupported and that the low-calorie diets as part of the HCG program could be dangerous, reports Reuters. "The joint action is the first step in keeping the unproven and potentially unsafe products from being marketed online and in retail outlets," the agencies said ...

Malt-O-Meal outpaced cereal sales from major companies including Kellogg and General Mills, posting an 8.4 percent increase for the year ending Sept. 4, reports Advertising Age. The family-run company does little advertising, and its cereals are about 30 percent less expensive than national brands. It recently launched a public-relations campaign to tout the environmental benefits of its bags over the boxes used by competitors ...

PepsiCo's Gatorade brand is preparing a product lineup that will include energy bars, protein shakes, and other athletic snacks and supplements, reports Bloomberg. The aim is to expand beyond the sporting-drinks market and seize a slice of the $20 billion sporting-nutrition sector. "One beverage can't serve all your needs as an elite athlete," said Gatorade President, North America, Sarah Robb O'Hagan ...

Kraft Foods, which acquired British confectionery giant Cadbury in March 2010, plans to cut 200 jobs in the UK, reports Food Business Review ...

The first Smart Butcher refrigerated Vending Machine is now operational and serving up carnivorous selections at the Lil Market in Odenville, Ala., a mini-mart near Birmingham, reports Trendwire. Using cash or credit cards, customers can buy a 16-oz. tenderloin for $4, a 12-oz. rib eye for $5 or a New York strip for $6. We thought we could give it a try," Sagani said. "We've never heard of something like this before." The concept of selling fresh meat or seafood through vending machines is successful in Asia, India and some European countries, so the machine's developer Harrison and Evans may have a winner on their hands. That's convenience ...

Miami-based Burger King Corp. changed its french fries on December 5, the first change to the product's recipe since 1998. The new fries are thicker, sodium-reduced, and have a coating that makes them crisper and keeps them hotter longer ...

Wok Box, a new Asian quick service concept, is expanding into the U.S. in the first quarter of 2012 with the signing of its first franchise agreements in Arizona and Oregon, reports QSR. The concept offers innovative, upscale, fresh, and healthy Asian dishes made from natural ingredients and inspired by flavors from countries such as Thailand, Mongolia, Korea, Malaysia, India, Japan, and Vietnam ...

Sara Lee's Jimmy Dean changed the name of Jimmy Dean D-Lights frozen breakfast items to Jimmy DeanDelights. Product formulations will not change ...

Mishka, a 'talking' Siberian husky has become a worldwide Internet sensation (watch the YouTube video here) and the star of Nestlé Purina's latest television commercial in the U.S. Mishka barks what sounds like the phrase "I love you" in the new commercial for the Purina Veterinary Diets FortiFlora nutritional supplement ...

Clifton Vial, an Alaska man, found himself stranded in snow in remote Alaska with only a few cans of Coors Light to drink, reports the Anchorage Daily News. He was not prepared for the emergency, didn't have cellphone nor did he have access to a a survival kit. Fortunately, he survived ...

Brothers Hanson of musical group Hanson are introducing an India Pale Ale in early 2012 that will be called MmmHop, reports Convenience Store News. Zac Hanson, drummer for the group, said, "We're glad to see a bit of buzz around the idea, which has been brewing for some time."

Anheuser-Busch InBev is preparing to launch a Belgium bar concept in the U.S., reports Drinks Business Review. "The Belgian Beer Café," the first bar will open at the Newark Airport within the next few months, and A-B will open up to 10 additional units over the next few years. The cafés will offer a range of Belgian beers, including Stella Artois, Leffe Blonde, Belle-Vue Kriek, Hoegaarden, Straffe Hendrik and Adriaen Brouwer. Additionally, its food menu will feature classic Belgian items (frites perhaps?).