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In Brief – for Dec. 5, 2011

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Biodiesel demand greases restaurant thefts

TheGlobe and Mailreports that another U.S. criminal practice is spreading north into Canada theft of used restaurant grease. The price of yellow grease the industry term for used cooking oil refined for use as biodiesel has more than tripled since the 1990s. That s an incentive for thieves to pull up behind restaurants late at night and make off with the drums of used cooking oil that traditionally had little value and was used only by rendering plants. In some cases the thieves are simply filtering the used oil and using it directly as fuel for diesel vehicles. Last March, Tom Cook, president of the U.S. National Renderers Association, told Reuters that one of his members was losing $1 million a year from the thefts. Larger restaurant chains are thwarting the practice by using large bulk tanks with locked couplings.

Hemp industry gets a boost

The Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance (CHTA ) is getting $55,000 from the federal government to promote Canadian hemp products abroad. The investment will enable the Alliance to increase participation in key trade shows as well as invite international speakers to make presentations at its annual two-day national convention. In 2010, exports of hemp seed and hemp products were valued at more than $10 million.

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