Continued from page 1

The Obama administration has a message for employers who want to keep bureaucrats from rewriting the rules for company medical plans: Don’t jack up costs for workers, and you won’t have to worry about interference from the new health care law.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was announcing a new regulation that spells out how health care plans that predate the overhaul law can avoid its full impact.

It was meant to deliver on President Obama’s promise that people who like their current health coverage can keep it. The rule sets limits likely to become increasingly important as medical costs keep rising.

Workplace coverage is the mainstay of the nation’s health insurance system, and will remain so under the new law.


Food inspector banned from China

The Agriculture Department has banned a leading American inspector of organic foods in China because of conflicts of interest.

The Organic Crop Improvement Association of Nebraska used Chinese government employees to inspect farms and food processing facilities that are state-controlled.

Some of the products inspected by the association were used to manufacture store brand products for Whole Foods Market, the nation’s largest organic retailer. A spokeswoman for Whole Foods said the grocer dropped the association last year.

The decision to ban the food inspectors follows consumers’ shaken confidence about the safety of food and other products exported from China.


Nations warned on human trafficking

The Obama administration on Monday warned that more than a dozen states, including perennial rogues Iran, North Korea, Cuba and Myanmar, of possible sanctions for failing to do enough to fight human trafficking.

The State Department’s 10th annual review of global efforts to eliminate the trade in human beings and sexual slavery put 13 countries on notice that they are not complying with minimum international standards and could face U.S. penalties.

Other nations receiving failing grades were the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Dominican Republic, Eritrea, Kuwait, Mauritania, Papua New Guinea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Zimbabwe. Another 58 countries were placed on a “watch list” that could lead to sanctions unless their records improve.