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The truth is in the FSIS approved label; Or is it?

Meatingplace (free registration required) | Posted on September 26, 2018

My quart of fat free King Supers milk says right on the front label: “Our farmers promise not to use rbST. FDA has determined there is no significant difference between milk from rbST-treated cows and non-rbST-treated cows.” Good for FDA. But the label still implies something must be bad in milk from rbST-treated cows.Now Perdue Farms has come out with a new label that is FSIS approved and that they are hoping will appeal to the millennials. I assure you it does not appeal to an old baby boomer who looks for truth in advertising. There are five statements that are made regarding Perdue chicken meat: 100% vegetarian fed, No animal byproducts, Raised cage free, No hormones or steroids, and No antibiotics ever.

U.S.-South Korea pact spurs hopes for NAFTA, China deals

Bloomberg | Posted on September 25, 2018

The signing of a renegotiated free-trade agreement between the U.S. and South Korea is spurring optimism that export markets for American farm goods won’t shut down and may even expand. President Donald Trump and his South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-in signed the agreement Monday on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, the first major trade deal the U.S. president has forged amid rising trade tensions. It’s welcome news for U.S. farmers worried that the closing of export markets, especially China, will exacerbate the impact of low prices due to expanding supplies of corn, soybeans, beef, pork and chicken.South Korea is the sixth-largest export market for U.S. agriculture, buying $6.9 billion worth of farm goods last year, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation. The free-trade agreement with the two countries has helped make South Korea the second-largest importer of U.S. beef after Japan by sales. U.S. pork exports have also risen.

Update on National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard

Delta Farm Press | Posted on September 24, 2018

The Office of Management and Budget has received USDA’s final rule for the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard, according to the National Law Review. The bill mandating establishment of the standard was passed by Congress in summer 2016. The bill:Requires a standard be established for disclosing the presence of bioengineered ingredients,Directs the agriculture secretary to establish requirements for carrying out the standard,Directs the secretary to conduct a study to identify potential technological challenges related to electronic or digital disclosure methods.Forbids states from establishing their own labeling requirements. The bill nulled a Vermont labeling law that was to take effect.USDA has released several proposed labels to certify a food contains bioengineered ingredients.

Statement from FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., on the FDA’s ongoing efforts to prevent foodborne outbreaks of Cyclospora

FDA | Posted on September 24, 2018

The safety of the American food supply is one of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s highest priorities. A key part of our work in this space focuses on implementing the principles and measures of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). The actions directed by FSMA are designed to prevent foodborne illness and food safety problems from happening. As part of these efforts, we conduct surveys that involve collecting a robust sample of certain food commodities available in the U.S. marketplace to monitor for the presence of foodborne pathogens. Over time, the FDA has increased its surveillance sampling efforts. We’ve also advanced new technology for pursuing these efforts and expanded the list of foodborne pathogens that the FDA monitors. Owing to these efforts, including a new FDA laboratory testing method, we’ve recently been able to add screening for Cyclospora – a parasite that causes intestinal infection after people ingest something, such as fresh or uncooked produce, or water that was contaminated with human waste – to the list of foodborne pathogens that we can routinely test for in appropriate commodities.

Arizona LGMA updates food safety practices for the upcoming growing season

PR Newswire | Posted on September 24, 2018

The Arizona LGMA (Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement) is entering its upcoming growing season with improved food safety practices in light of the E. coli outbreak earlier this year associated with romaine.  The updated Food Safety Metrics include: more rigorous risk assessments to address intense weather conditions; additional measures for the production of leafy greens near concentrated animal feeding operations; more prescriptive requirements for the cleaning and sanitizing of harvest equipment;, and stronger traceback requirements. These changes are required of all AZ LGMA members and will be verified during the upcoming season beginning in November 2018.

Farm bill funds allocated to agricultural land conservation in Wyoming

The Fence Post | Posted on September 24, 2018

The Wyoming Stock Growers Land Trust has been granted $4.1 million dollars to purchase three conservation easements in Wyoming. The three projects, two located in Sublette County, and one located in Carbon County, will conserve over 6,800 acres of agricultural land. Funding for these projects comes from the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and is allocated under the conservation title of the 2014 Farm Bill.

WTO members clamor for more clarity on U.S. farm spending

Reuters | Posted on September 24, 2018

Trading partners will demand more details from the United States at the World Trade Organization next week about its planned $12 billion aid package for U.S. farmers hurt by the Trump administration’s tariff wars. The U.S. aid package, announced in July, is intended to shield U.S. farmers from the repercussions of trade disputes between the United States and China, the European Union and others.But other WTO members want more clarity on how long it will last and whether it adheres to WTO rules as it could have an impact on their own agriculture sectors and competition.

Roberts, Stabenow question econ reorganization, ERS, NIFA moves

High Plains Journal | Posted on September 20, 2018

Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, R-KS, and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow, D-MI, wrote a letter to Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue Sept. 7 raising concerns about the Trump administration’s plans to place the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s economics functions under the Office of the Secretary and to move most of the employees of the Economic Research Service and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture out of Washington. At the same time, USDA announced an extension of the deadline for communities to express an interest in housing the agencies until Oct. 15.In their letter, Roberts and Stabenow wrote how one of the concerns raised by stakeholders is that a large number of employees will be unable to relocate, causing a sharp loss of knowledgeable staff. “Additionally, stakeholders are concerned that relocating experts outside of the National Capitol Region will erode critical partnerships with other federal agencies who are engaged in interdisciplinary research important for preventing of infectious disease, improving bioenergy efficiency, and dealing with emerging threats like Zika and Ebola,” the senators’ letter said.

After 'major escalation' in US-China trade war, what happens next?

CNN | Posted on September 20, 2018

The trade war between the United States and China just got a lot bigger after both sides announced their broadest waves of tariffs yet.The latest exchange of fire means the two economic superpowers will soon have imposed tariffs on more than $360 billion of goods. And analysts say the battle is likely to get worse, even as China starts to run low on ways to retaliate.The new tariffs announced by Washington and Beijing this week "mark a major escalation of their conflict that will hit global economic growth," Louis Kuijs, head of Asia Economics at research firm Oxford Economics, said in a note.The Chinese government said late Tuesday that it would impose tariffs on US goods worth $60 billion following the Trump administration's announcement that it was hitting $200 billion worth of Chinese goods with new tariffs.The US tariffs start at a rate of 10%, before rising to 25% at the end of the year. They come into effect on September 24, and will apply to thousands of Chinese products, ranging from food seasonings and baseball gloves to network routers and industrial machinery parts.China's new tariffs will be levied at rates of 5% or 10%, depending on the product, from the same date, the Chinese government said.More than 5,000 US goods will be affected, including meat, nuts, alcoholic drinks, chemicals, clothes, machinery, furniture and auto parts.


No federal aid coming for livestock producers: Canadian agriculture minister

ipolitics | Posted on September 20, 2018

No financial aid package is in the works for Canada’s livestock sector, Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay says — despite pleas from producer groups who warn plummeting prices are forcing producers out of business. “I’m willing to look at anything through the government, but with anything like this, you’d have to work with the government here, and the provincial governments, if there was going to be a special package put in place,” MacAulay said in an interview with iPolitics Monday afternoon.“But honestly, I am not looking at putting one in place at the moment,” he said, adding the federal government is “doing everything we can with the programs in place in order to help them.”As a former farmer himself, MacAulay said it’s well understood the sector “is looking for aid.”The Alberta government had asked the Trudeau government to consider supporting the province’s hog industry amid economic instability in North American commodity markets caused by an ongoing trade war.