Tag Archive: e-coli


King 5 .com

Trader Joe’s, Walgreens, Whole Foods named in E.Coli recall

by Associated Press

Posted on November 11, 2013 at 9:10 AM

 

RICHMOND, Calif. — More than 90 tons of ready-to-eat salads and sandwiches by a California catering company are being recalled after 26 people in three states were sickened by a bacterial strain of E. coli linked to its products, federal health officials said Sunday.

Richmond-based Glass Onion Catering are recalling approximately 181,620 pounds of salads and sandwich wraps containing cooked chicken and ham, the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service said.

The recall lists Walgreens, Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods as companies that received the items.

Check list for UPC numbers.

The products were produced between Sept. 23 and Nov. 6, and were shipped to distribution centers in California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Texas. The Contra Costa Times reports the company supplies food to Trader Joe’s, Super Fresh Goods and Delish.

Products regulated by FSIS bear the establishment number “P-34221″ inside the USDA mark of inspection. FSIS products subject to recall include:

- 12 oz. packages of “delish pan pacific chop salad”

- 13.4 oz. packages of “delish California style grilled chicken salad”

- 9.9 oz. packages of “delish uncured applewood smoked ham & cheese wrap”

- 10.5 oz. packages of “delish grilled chicken caesar wrap”

- 10.9 oz. packages of “delish southwestern chicken wrap”

 

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Bagged salads suspected in multistate E coli outbreak

Lisa Schnirring | Staff Writer | CIDRAP News

|
Nov 11, 2013

Federal and state health officials are investigating a multistate Escherichia coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to prepackaged salads made by a California firm and sold in some western-state Trader Joe’s stores that has so far sickened 26 people in three states.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said yesterday that public health investigators are using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and data from PulseNet, a national subtyping network to detect other infections that may be part of the outbreak. The CDC said the outbreak strain’s PFGE pattern has never been seen before in PulseNet.

In addition to the CDC, groups investigating the outbreak include the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), and health officials from three states reporting cases so far: California, Arizona, and Washington. So far most of the cases have been reported from California (22), with Washington reporting 3 and Arizona reporting 1.

The USDA said it started monitoring a cluster of E coli O157:H7 illnesses on Oct 29, then was notified by the FDA on Nov 6 that California health officials had reported patients who got sick after eating prepackaged salads that contained grilled chicken.

So far the investigation points to two ready-to-eat salads produced by Glass Onion Catering, based in Richmond, Calif., and sold at Trader Joe’s stores as one likely source of the outbreak. More efforts are under way to determine the source of the contamination and flag other tainted products that are still in the marketplace.

Yesterday the company recalled 181,620 pounds of ready-to-eat salads and sandwich wrap products with fully-cooked chicken and ham that may be contaminated, according to a notice posted by the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). The products also include food regulated by the FDA, which posted a list of recalled products and other information on the outbreak.

FSIS-regulated products include 15 different kinds of grilled chicken salads, grilled chicken wraps, plus one type of ham-and-cheese wrap. The items were produced between Sep 23 and Nov 6 and were shipped to distribution centers for retail sale in eight western states: Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah, and Washington.

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WorldTruth.TV

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Small farms, high demands and lax oversight are inspiring fish farmers in China and Southeast Asia to feed their fish, especially tilapia, with animal feces.

TRUE:

In many cases, fish farmed in Asia and imported to the US have been raised on diets of chicken and pig feces

Tilapia is a flat, white fish that comes in nearly a hundred different species, is cheap to raise, easy to cook and recently became the fourth most-commonly consumed fish in the United States, behind shrimp, tuna and salmon. About 82 percent of the United States’ tilapia comes from China, according to USDA documents. But a simple online search of the subject reveals numerous alarming accusations involving Asian fish — particularly tilapia — being raised on diets of animal manure, and thus turning into magnets for food-borne illness. MSN News spoke with a leading food-safety scientist who said that, in fact, Chinese tilapia’s reputation for being unsafe to eat is quite well-deserved.

“While there are some really good aquaculture ponds in Asia, in many of these ponds — or really in most of these ponds — it’s typical to use untreated chicken manure as the primary nutrition,” Michael Doyle, director of the Center for Food Safety at the University of Georgia said. “In some places, like Thailand for example, they will just put the chickens over the pond and they just poop right in the pond.”

HV1

Asked to estimate what percentage of Chinese tilapia are raised using animal feces as food, Doyle said “I’d say roughly 50 percent.”

Feeding fish animal feces makes them highly susceptible to bacterial infections like salmonella and E.coli, Doyle said. Furthermore, he said that the large amount of antibiotics that are given to the fish to ward off infections makes the strains of salmonella and E.coli that the fish do catch extremely hard to eliminate.

“It’s incredible to see how much of these antibiotics are applied, and they leave large residues of antibiotics in the ponds,” Doyle said. “We have multiple antibiotic-resistant strains of salmonella coming in with these fish.”

Farmed fish now more common than farmed beef

Last month it was announced that farmed fish had overtaken farmed beef in terms of worldwide production for the first time in recorded history. This watershed moment for human food consumption was made possible by a vast network of fish-farming operations that allow enormous quantities of seafood to be raised in a minimal area and with minimal resources.

According to reports, in China and other Asian countries like Vietnam and Thailand, intense demand for farmed fish and cutthroat competition among farmers drives many of these farmers to cut corners. Feeding the fish with pig and chicken feces is much cheaper than using standard fish food.

An explosive Bloomberg News story published in October of last year and headlined “Asian Seafood Raised on Pig Feces Approved for U.S. Consumers” revealed in graphic detail fish farms and packing plants in China and Vietnam that are rife with filth and disease, and U.S. inspectors doing what appeared to be a poor job of stopping the tainted fish from entering the food supply. According to the piece, 27 percent of seafood consumed in in the United States comes from China, and yet the FDA only inspects 2.7 percent of the fish that gets imported. Of the fish inspected, the FDA has reportedly rejected 820 Chinese seafood shipments since 2007, including 187 that contained tilapia.

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Food Safety

Authorities Unable to Find Source of Neff’s Picnic E. coli 0157:H7 Outbreak

Food Poisoning Bulletin

Dayton & Montgomery County public health authorities have been unable to find the cause of the E. coli 0157:H7 outbreak that sickened 79 people and killed one person. Two people contracted secondary cases of the infection from person-to-person contact. The outbreak was linked to the Neff’s Lawn Care customer appreciation picnic that took place in Germantown, Ohio on July 3, 2012.

Of those sickened in the outbreak, twenty people tested positive for the outbreak strain of the bacteria and 14 people were hospitalized. Three of those hospitalized developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, and one 73-year-old man died. The investigation covered where the foods at the picnic came from, how the food was stored, handled, and maintained before and at the event, and an environmental assessment of the site.

Authorities also interviewed 117 people who attended the picnic, and conducted an epidemiological analysis of that data. In addition, the Ohio Department of health, the Ohio Department of Agriculture, and the USDA were involved in the investigation.

The outbreak investigation began on July 9, but by that time there were no foods left for authorities to examine. The food at the picnic was provided by the host, Neff’s Lawn Care, and by attendees who brought their own food. The food served at the picnic included two hogs that were roasted off-site and delivered to the picnic, along with hamburgers and hot dogs. None of the meat items, which are typically the source of E. coli 0157:H7 bacteria, were conclusively linked to the outbreak.

Authorities also took water samples of the wells at the picnic site, and environmental samples at the farm where the hogs were produced and slaughtered. Because there was no inventory of carried-in foods, most of the food items were not analyzed. The picnic was not a licensed event so it was unregulated, so PHDMC couldn’t verify cooking, cooling, holding, or reheating temperatures or food handling practices.

The report ends with these words: “This outbreak illustrates the importance of proper food handling as CDC estimates that about 48 million people (1 in 6 Americans) get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die each year from foodborne illness.

Authorities Offer Advice on Cantaloupe During Salmonella Outbreak

Food Poisoning Bulletin

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other agencies, including some university extension services, are issuing guides for consumers about cantaloupe and the recent Salmonella outbreak. The outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium announced this past week has many consumers uneasy about buying and eating melons. Because the government has not said which facilities bought the cantaloupe for resale, the CDC is telling consumers to check with their retailer if the cantaloupe came from Chamberlain Farms Produce, Inc. Supermarkets must tell you the origin of a product if you ask. Fred Pritzker, national food safety attorney, says, “I wonder when we are going to see a retail distribution list for this Salmonella outbreak?”

While stickers to identify the source are often added to produce, they sometimes won’t stick to the webbed surface of cantaloupe. That’s why it’s important to always ask about the source. And when in doubt, throw it out.

University of Iowa Extension has a fact sheet about the safe purchase and handling of fresh cantaloupe. And Purdue Extension has created a guide to help consumers stay healthy when eating cantaloupes and other produce. If the cantaloupe you are purchasing is not part of the recall, it is safe to eat as long as it is properly stored and prepared.

When you purchase cantaloupe, look for fruit with a complete rind that does not have cracks, breaks, bruises, soft spots, or mold. Always refrigerate cantaloupes to help slow the growth of bacteria. In fact, advice on keeping melons in the fridge is similar to advice for perishable foods; don’t leave sliced or cut melons out of refrigeration for more than two hours.

You should always scrub cantaloupes under running water with a brush before eating. Dry the melon before cutting it. Wash the knife after every cut from the rind into the flesh. And make sure you disinfect surfaces and utensils that come into contact with the cantaloupe rind.

But be aware that thorough cleaning will not remove all of the bacteria that may be present on the fruit. And in this particular outbreak, the FDA stated, “If consumers believe they have cantaloupe from this farm, they should not try to wash the harmful bacteria off the cantaloupe as contamination may be both on the inside and outside of the cantaloupe.”

Get a free Salmonella case review here.

If you or anyone you know is experiencing the symptoms of Salmonella, which include diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramps, and vomiting, see your health care provider immediately. If you have eaten cantaloupe recently, make sure you tell the doctor about it. Long-term consequences of a Salmonella infection can be severe, including Reiter’s syndrome, which causes reactive arthritis, and bloodstream infections.

Food Safety Advocates to USDA: Require Labeling for Tenderized Meat

Consumers should know this meat requires a higher cooking temp, group says

Food Safety News

A group of food safety advocates is calling on the Obama Administration to make good on its proposal to require labeling for mechanically tenderized meat.
In a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Friday, the Safe Food Coalition called on the agency to require that mechanically tenderized meat bear a label that includes instructions on how to safely cook this meat.
mechanical-tenderizer.jpgIn the past, USDA has differentiated mechanically tenderized steaks–which have been probed with a series of small metal blades or needles–from “intact” steaks, which it says need only be cooked to 145 degrees F because bacteria does not penetrate into the middle of intact cuts. Mechanically tenderized cuts, however, should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees F, like ground beef, to allow for the fact that bacteria may have penetrated further into the meat.
In January of 1999, USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service listed mechanically tenderized meat as a non-intact meat in its policy on beef products at risk of contamination with E. coli O157:H7.
“Pathogens may be introduced below the surface of these products as a result of the processes by which they are made,” said the agency.
According to research from Kansas State University, approximately 3 to 4 percent of E. coli bacteria can be carried from the surface of contaminated meat to the inside of the beef product.
However, the agency does not currently require a label on tenderized steaks indicating that they should be cooked to a higher temperature.
“Without a label to identify mechanically treated meat products, along with information to help mitigate the risk, the unsuspecting purchasers of these products – whether they are restaurant cooks or consumers – will have no idea that the product that they have selected needs additional protective handling and preparation,” says the Safe Food Coalition letter, signed by member groups.
In March of this year, USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) submitted a rule to the federal Office of Management and Budget suggesting that “raw, needle or blade, mechanically tenderized, meat and poultry products be labeled to indicate that they are ‘mechanically tenderized.’ It goes on to propose that tenderized meat labels “include cooking instructions that have been validated to ensure adequate pathogen destruction.”
Mechanically tenderized beef products were implicated in at least 6 E. coli O157:H7 outbreaks between 2003 and 2009. The latest – in December of 2009 – sickened at least 21 people in 16 states.
The American Meat Institute says that tenderization is not necessarily what led to contamination in these outbreaks, and that evidence shows mechanically tenderized steaks are no riskier than intact ones.
In February of 2010, AMI said it had reviewed outbreaks linked to tenderized meat and determined that all meat implicated in these outbreaks had been further altered beyond tenderization.
“From this review AMI has determined that all of the recalls due to outbreaks were related to the consumption of marinated or enhanced steak products,” said AMI Vice President of Food Safety and Inspection Services Scott Goltry.
“Because blade-tenderized steaks have been found to be comparable in safety, we don’t believe that special labeling declaring the mechanical tenderization process will provide meaningful or actionable information to consumers,” said the American Meat Institute in 2009 in response to calls for mandatory labeling of tenderized steaks.
Dr. Richard Raymond, who was Undersecretary for Food Safety at USDA from 2005-2008, says the idea of requiring a label on mechanically tenderized meat came up in internal meetings at FSIS while he was in office, but that he decided against it given the small number of illnesses that had been linked to these meats at the time and the potential damage it could do to the industry.
“I felt the risk was not significant enough to require a labeling process,” Raymond told Food Safety News.
“In theory, it is absolutely possible that you can drive bacteria into the inner part of the steak. In actuality, there haven’t been that many illnesses linked to blade-tenderized steaks,” says Raymond.
“If you choose to put it on the label people are going to say, ‘Well what does that mean?’ You have to have an explanation if you say it’s been mechanically tenderized,” he says. “A lot of people wouldn’t buy a steak that had that label on it because they’re not going to cook them well-done. It’s like putting the radura symbol on meat that’s been irradiated. It’s scary. It will make people think the product is less reliable.”
Current Undersecretary for Food Safety Dr. Elizabeth Hagen pushed for acceptance of the proposal to label mechanically tenderized meats in front of the House Appropriations committee in March.
“We do believe (mechanically tenderized meats) should be labeled. This is important information for consumers to have.”
The rule is still under review at OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.

Study Measures Campylobacter Contamination in Skinless, Boneless Retail Broiler Meat

Food Safety  News

A study published August 24 in BMC Microbiology by Aretha Williams and Omar A Oyarzabal reported on the prevalence of Campylobacter species in skinless, boneless retail broiler meat.

The study was conducted in Alabama between 2005 and 2011, and resulted in the findings that Campylobacter bacteria could be found in 41 percent of retail broiler meat samples on a yearly basis, with no statistical difference in the presence of bacteria from year to year during the study’s time-frame.  No statistical significance was found between the prevalence of Campylobacter jejuni from season to season, but a statistical significance was found in the prevalence of Campylobacter coli found in skinless, boneless retail broiler meat seasonally.

The study shows that the prevalence of Campylobacter coli varied by brand, plant, season, state, store and year, while the prevalence of Campylobacter jejuni varied by brand, product, state and store. Tenderloins had a lower prevalence of Campylobacter species than breasts and thighs.

The authors concluded that while the prevalence of Campylobacter bacteria did not change during the seven years of study, it did change when analyzed by brand, product and state and that additional assessment should be conducted to determine the recurrence of specific strains of Campylobacter bacteria in poultry, to help predict the risk associated with each strain.

Salmonella Outbreak In Canada Linked To Mexican Mangoes

Food Poisoning Bulletin

A Salmonella outbreak linked to mangoes produced in Mexico has sickened at least 22 people in Canada, according to the public health agency of Canada. The mangoes were produced by the Daniella company of Mexico and distributed July 12-August 14 by importer North American Produce Sales, Vancouver, BC.

So far, 17 people in British Columbia and 5 people in Alberta have been sickened by the outbreak strain Salmonella Braenderup. North American Produce Sales has issued a recall of the mangoes which were distributed to British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon. The recall is being monitored by Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

 Salmonella is a bacteria that can cause serious sometimes fatal illness if in ingested. Symptoms of an infection usually develop within six to 72 hours after exposure and last up to seven days. They include fever, diarrhea and abdominal cramps. If the diarrhea is so severe that dehydration occurs, hospitalization wis required.  Cases where the infection moves from the gastro-intestinal tract to the the bloodstream can be fatal if not treated with antibiotics. Those most at risk are young children, seniors and people who have compromised immune systems.

The recalled were sold whole by a variety of retailers and had stickers bearing PLU# 4959. Consumers who have purchased these mangoes should not eat them. This outbreak does not include any cases patients from the U.S. The Public Health Agency of Canada says it will update the number of illnesses weekly during the course of the investigation.

California Investigating 73 Illnesses Linked to Salmonella Mangoes

Food Safety News

mangoesB_iphone.jpgCalifornia health officials are investigating 73 illnesses potentially linked to Salmonella-contaminated mangoes, the California Department of Public Health said Monday.

The news comes two days after the Canadian Food Inspection Agency announced a recall of mangoes imported from Mexico after several illnesses were linked to consuming the fruit.

Both California and Canada are investigating the same strain: Salmonella Braenderup.

“Preliminary data indicate that mango consumption is associated with an increase in the number of Salmonella Braenderup cases in California,” said CDPH spokesman Matt Conens. “As of today, there are 73 cases with this outbreak strain that have been confirmed.”

Of the patients who have been interviewed, 67 percent reported eating mangoes, according to Conens, but state officials said they have not yet identified specific mango brand or source yet.

The state agency said it is coordinating investigation with other states, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and U.S. Food and Drug Administration, as well as Canadian health officials.

Over the weekend, Canada recalled Daniella brand mangoes that were sold in Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon between July 12 and August 14. The fruit, which were sold individually, may bear a sticker reading PLU# 4959.

5 of 7 E. coli Cases in Western New York Linked; Source a Mystery

Water is a suspect for five E. coli O157:H7 cases in Livingston County, New York that are related, but tests so far have turned out to be negative.
That leaves health officials in western New York State with a bit of a mystery.
As first reported on Aug. 20, 7 people in Livingston County were stricken with E. coli infections; 4 required hospitalization.  The onset of confirmed illnesses was recorded between Aug. 6 and 24 with those infected being from age 22 to 67.

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Health officials were able to identify a common outbreak strain for 5 of the 7 cases. Water in the geographic area where victims live has tested negative for E. coli contamination. While all 7 cases are geographically clustered, health officials said they do not all share the same source of public water. That includes the 5 cases linked with the common strain.
Livingston County Public Health Director Joan Ellison says the investigation is only at its halfway point and the possibility of water being a common source has not yet been ruled out.
Ellison Monday renewed a public health warning for Livingston County. The alert reminds the public that severe and persistent diarrhea, some bloody, are among the classic symptoms for E. coli infection.
The warning also makes it clear that while E. coli is a pathogen that is is harbored in the intestines of animals and normally transmitted through feces, it can also be spread by other means including by washing fruits and vegetables.

Cantaloupe Food Safety Solutions Leave Consumers Praying

Market food safety at retail

Food Safety News

Opinion
Tim Chamberlain seems like a nice enough guy. According to the Indianapolis Star he started growing cantaloupe and watermelon on an acre of land and now, 30 years later, he and his wife, Mia, have built Chamberlain Farms into a midsized melon-growing operation, with 500 acres and about 20 employees.

CantaloupeHalfMoonMain.jpg

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced earlier this week that the Chamberlains’ southwestern Indiana farm “may be one source of contamination” in the salmonella outbreak that has killed two people in Kentucky and sickened 178 people in 21 states.
The story says it’s difficult for the 48-year-old father of four to imagine that his farm could have been a source of such tragedy. He doesn’t believe his farm was the source of contamination, though he emphasized that he is not disputing anything public health authorities have said.
Dan Egel, a Purdue Extension specialist in Vincennes, Ind., said Chamberlain
has worked closely with the Extension Service over the years on disease and pest control though not specifically on food safety.
And that could be the biggest clue until the U.S. Food and Drug Administration releases its inevitable report documenting faith-based food safety.
(Updated: Dan Egel writes, “The reason that Tim Chamberlain and I never spoke about food safety is because food safety is not my specialty. I know for certain that Tim interacted with other Purdue University specialists that are experts on food safety.”)
The effect on others is staggering: Vernon Stuckwish of Stuckwish Family Farms in Jackson County said that initial stigma has “already pretty much destroyed our market.”
Like any other major outbreak, there’s lots of commentary about how the outbreak confirms preexisting notions: that more needs to be done, that federal regulations would have made a difference, that there should be more testing. After 20 years of watching and participating in this food safety stuff, the lack of imagination and creativity is staggering.
Victims and consumers remain the stray sheep in the food safety marketplace.
As pointed out by News-Sentinel.com, knowing the name of Tim Chamberlain’s farm does nothing to help consumers. All the talk of traceability is a joke and consumers have no microbial food safety choice at retail.
Hucksters who promote produce on trust alone are no better than snake-oil salesthingies:
Kelly’s Fruit Market in Madison County is taking extra steps to make sure its customers are safe. “We have the finest produce in Madison County,” explains Kelly Ratliff, owner of Kelly’s Fruit Market. “We know exactly where all of our produce is coming from and we always make sure it’s the highest quality … with most of our produce that we have and that we sell I can tell you every single growers name, who grows it where it’s grown and a little bit about their family.”
But can you tell me their water quality testing results? What soil amendments are used? The verification of employee handwashing and sanitation?
Cantaloupe growers in other parts of the country are frustrated. Probably not as much as the families of the dead and sickened, but frustrated.
Trevor Suslow, research extension specialist at the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of California-Davis, said he thought more could have been done to educate growers across the country about safe harvesting, handling and distribution in the wake of last year’s deadly listeria outbreak linked to cantaloupe from Jensen Farms in Holly, Colo.
“I think there was a missed opportunity,” Suslow said Aug. 23. “I wish we could have done a better job of getting existing information to county extension agents and others who were already engaged with the smaller growers.”
But what about missed opportunities over the past decade? As noted in The Packer, the 10-year anniversary of the Food and Drug Administration’s import alert on Mexican cantaloupe is near, enacted after outbreaks three years in a row (and two deaths) traced to those melons. In doing so, the FDA basically killed Mexican cantaloupes to the U.S. for a few years, giving rise to offshore melon deals in Central and South America.

cantaloupe_salmonella(27).jpg

The clampdown on Mexican growers forced U.S. import partners to work on food safety protocols for fields and packinghouses in Guerrero, the origin of the banned cantaloupes. The U.S. Department of Agriculture and its Mexican counterpart, SAGARPA, had to sign off on each facility before it was allowed to ship to the U.S. again.
The U.S. farms central to cantaloupe outbreaks and recalls probably wouldn’t have passed similar scrutiny.
With 10 years of guidelines, endless outbreaks, the lack of solutions remains stunning.
The Packer is finally catching on to the notion of marketing food safety at retail, which we’ve been advocating since the 2006 E. coli-in-spinach outbreak.
“The unwritten rule in the produce industry is that a company should not market its product as safer than a competitor’s.
 
“The thinking is that once consumers get in their heads that a fruit or vegetable is more safe, that means another is less safe, and then maybe they’ll avoid the commodity or category altogether.
 
“But what if your company or growing region has a strong food safety record, drafted best practices documents, followed and documented them, and then suffers for the second year in a row as a different region’s product kills consumers?”
Someone could at least try marketing microbial food safety at retail. Nothing else seems to be working. And maybe Tim Chamberlain would be more accountable.
food_safe_culture_market(2)(2).jpg
This article was originally published August 25, 2012 on Barfblog. The bottom two images are courtesy of Dr. Douglas Powell. 
 

Yes on Prop 37 Addresses Myths and Facts

Food Poisoning Bulletin

Stacy Malkan of California Right to Know 2012 recently sent us a fact sheet to address some of the questions about Proposition 37. That ballot initiative would require food companies to label foods that contain genetically modified organisms (GMO) or genetically engineered foods (GE).

While No on 37 has stated that the American Medical Association has said GE foods are safe, they do not mention that both the AMA and the World Health Organization has said mandatory safety studies on these foods should be required. The U.S. government does not require any safety studies for GE foods, and no long-term human health studies have ever been conducted on these products.

According to WHO, there are three main issues with GE foods: “tendencies to provoke allergic reaction (allergenicity), gene transfer, and outcrossing.” In fact, WHO is concerned about the possibility of the transfer of antibiotic resistance genes from GMO foods to humans. And WHO does say that GMO foods have passed “risk assessments”, and are “not likely to present risks for human health.” The WHO statement mentions that “post market monitoring” should be used to evaluate the safety of GE foods.

One of the No on 37 claims is that Prop 37 will raise the cost of groceries by hundreds of dollars a year. A study done on the economic impact of Prop 37 at Emory University School of Law concluded that “Consumers will likely see no increases in prices as a result of the relabeling required.” As to whether Prop 37 will generate lots of “frivolous” lawsuits, James C. Cooper at George Mason University of Law compared the costs of California Prop 65, which forced companies to provide warnings to consumers if their products exposed them to chemicals that may harm them, to Prop 37. He found that Proposition 37 will be unlikely to result in frivolous lawsuits.

Canadian, U.S. Recalls of Daniella Mangoes for Salmonella Expand; Outbreak Grows

Food Poisoning Bulletin

The Canadian and U.S. recalls of Daniella mangoes imported from Mexico have expanded. The mangeos were sold as individual fruit or as part of a multi-pack. The sticker on the fruit recalled in Canada has the PLU number 4959 or 4051. The mangoes were sold at various stores between July 12, 2012 and August 28, 2012. They may have been distributed nationally. The importer, Mex Y Can Trading Inc. is voluntarily recalling the mangoes from the marketplace.

Consumers are advised to contact their retailers to find out if they have the affected mangoes. Stores are supposed to know where their produce came from and they should tell you when you ask. There have been 22 people in Canada sickened by Salmonella Branderup, the outbreak strain found on the mangoes. The case count by province is Alberta (5) and British Columbia (17).

Salmonella infection symptoms include high fever, diarrhea, and stomach cramps. Anyone who has eaten mangoes in the past week and is suffering these symptoms should see a healthcare provider immediately. For questions, call the CFIA at 1-800-442-2342.

In the United States, the CDC has released a statement by email. In it, they say that 101 cases with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Branderup have been reported to PulseNet since July 1, 2012. Not all states have reported yet, so the number of cases per state are as follows: California (75), New York (3), Oregon (1), Washington (6), and Texas (2). About two-thirds of the California victims reported eating mangoes the week before they became ill.

Get Salmonella help here.

The California Department of Health is leading the investigation, with the CDC assisting. The PFGE pattern of the outbreak strain matches the pattern of the bacteria found on mangoes recalled in Canada. The email states, “preliminary information indicates that mangoes are also a likely source for the illnesses in the United States.”

In the U.S., stores that have recalled Mexican mangoes include: Copps, Costco, Giant Food, Mariano’s, Martin’s Food Market, Metro Market, Pick ‘n Save, Rainbow, Stop & Shop, and TOP Food and Drug. The PLU numbers of the recalled mangoes include 4959, 4051, 4321, 4311, 4961, and 4584, and 3114. Not all stores have recalled all of the PLU numbered mangoes

FDA Tests Confirm Cantaloupe From Indiana Farm Is An Outbreak Source

Food Poisoning Bulletin

Lab tests on samples of cantaloupe from Chamberlain Farms of Owensville, Indiana confirm that the melons are a source of a deadly Salmonella outbreak that has killed two people and sickened 176 others in 21 states, according to the latest information from the U.S. Food and Dug Administration (FDA). The DNA fingerprint of the Salmonella Typhimurium found in the cantaloupe samples is a genetic match to the one found in victims of the outbreak, results of the lab test show. The FDA’s sampling and testing of the cantaloupe were conducted in cooperation with the Indiana State Department of Health, the agency said.

Confirmation that the cantaloupe is a source of the outbreak comes one week after the farm in southwestern Indiana announced a recall of melons which have sickened a total of 178 people. By state, the tally of confirmed cases is as follows: Alabama (13), Arkansas (3), California (2), Georgia (3), Illinois (21), Indiana (18), Iowa (7), Kentucky (56), Massachusetts (2), Michigan (6), Minnesota (4), Mississippi (5), Missouri (12), New Jersey (2), North Carolina (3), Ohio (4), Pennsylvania (2), South Carolina (3), Tennessee (6), Texas (2), and Wisconsin (4). Sixty two people have been hospitalized, the two people who died were from Kentucky.

Get your free consultation with an attorney here.

Prior to the recall, Chamberlain Farms had withdrawn cantaloupe from the market and stopped distribution for the rest of the growing season based on preliminary information from the FDA. The formal recall was announced to speed removal of the product from the market and raise public awareness, the agency said. A retail distribution list has not been released. However, Kroger, Marsh, Meijer, Schnucks and Walmart have all removed cantaloupe from their store shelves.

Symptoms of a Salmonella infection include nausea, abdominal cramps, fever and diarrhea which usually set in six to 72 hours after exposure and last up to seven days. Health officials recommend that anyone who develops these symptoms should see a health care provider.

Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 Changes School Lunch Meals

Food Poisoning Bulletin

School Lunch TraySchool starts again next week for many kids; lots of kids are already in school! While a new school year always brings changes, this year the school lunch is changing. In January 2012, one year after the Healthy, Hungry-Free Kids Act of 2010 was signed into law, the USDA issued their final, updated standards for school meals.

The main purpose of the Act is to improve the nutrition of foods served at school to help kids achieve better nutrition and to reduce the skyrocketing childhood obesity rate. The core Child Nutrition Programs at the USDA, including the National School Lunch program, School Breakfast program, Child and Adult Care Food Program, WIC, and the Summer Food Service Programs, were reauthorized by the Act.

The Act includes the first major changes to these programs in more than 15 years. More than 32 million students each a lunch at school, and more than 12 million eat breakfast at school every day. The standards in the Act were built on recommendations from the Institute of Medicine.

Now, fruits and vegetables will be offered to kids every day of the week. Whole grain foods will be offered more often, and only fat-free or low-fat milk will be available. Proper portion size will be adhered to, and the program increases the focus on reducing saturated fat, trans fat, added sugars, and sodium.

These changes will be phased in over the next three years so it will be easier for schools to comply with the new law. To help pay for these changes, the USDA has implemented the “6-cent rule”, that gives schools an additional 6 cents for every lunch served that meets the new standards. That is the first increase above the rate of inflation in more than 30 years.

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Recalls

True Nutrition Recalls Whey Protein Products for Undeclared Milk

Food Poisoning Bulletin

True Nutrition is recalling some of its whey protein products because labels do not declare milk as the source of the whey. Milk is one of the major food allergens. Anyone who is allergic to milk and consumes these products may have a severe or life-threatening reaction. You can see all of the product labels at the FDA site.

The products are: Whey Protein Concentrate in 1 pound packages, with Batch/lot number 0120712, and expiration date of 05/2015. Whey Protein Isolate Cold-Filtration in 1 pound packages, with Batch/lot number 0030812 and expiration date 07/2015. Whey Protein Isolate MicroFiltrated in 1 pound packages, with Batch/lot number 0040812 and expiration date 07/2015. Whey Protein Isolate Cross-Flow Microfiltration in 1 pound packages with Batch/lot number 0730712 and expiration date 07/2015. And Hydrolyzed Whey Protein High Grade in 1 pound packages with Batch/lot number 0680512 and expiration date 05/2015.

Most people allergic to milk know that whey protein is derived from milk, but the company is recalling the products. The Whey Protein Isolate, Whey Protein Concentrate, and Hydrolyzed Whey Protein were distributed through the website True Nutrition. For questions, call Carl Manes at 760-433-5376 Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm PT.

Expired Bagged Salad Recalled by Fresh Express

Food Safety News

Fresh Express, Inc. announced Sunday that the company was recalling a limited quantity of expired 10 oz. Hearts of Romaine salad with the expired Use-by Date of August 23, 2012 as a precaution due to a positive test for Listeria monocytogenes.  Product codes associated with the recall begin with “G2222″.

According to a company press release, Fresh Express customer service representatives are contacting retailers to confirm the product was removed from their inventories and store shelves.

Thumbnail image for choppedromainelettuce-406.jpgWhile it is unlikely that consumers would have the expired Hearts of Romaine salads in their refrigerators, Fresh Express encourages anyone who finds the products to discard the salad.  The recall was issued after a sample of a package of 10 oz. Hearts of Romaine salad tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes during U.S. Food and Drug Administration random sampling.

Fresh Express stated that the UPC Code of 71279 26102, located on the back of the package below the barcode, would help identify recalled product, which was distributed in limited quantities to the following states:  AL, AR, FL, GA, IL, IN, KY, LA, MD, MO, MS, NC, OH, PA, SC, TN, TX, VA, WV.

Sausage in Canada Recalled for Possible Listeria

Food Poisoning Bulletin

The CFIA and Odra Deli and Wholesale Meat Ltd. are recalling Krakowska Sausage because it may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. There have been no reported illnesses associated with the consumption of this product.

The sausage was sliced and sold to customers in different weight packages from the deli counter at the Odra Deli and Wholesale Meat Ltd. in Mississauga, Ontario from August 9 to August 20, 2012. For questions, call Mike at Odra Deli and Wholesale Meat Ltd. at 416-888-5577, or the CFIA at 1-800-442-2342.

Listeria bacteria do not make foods look, smell, or taste spoiled. The bacteria may cause an illness with symptoms of high fever, severe headache, neck stiffness, and nausea. Pregnant women may suffer miscarriage or stillbirth from these infections. The elderly and those with weakened immune systems can have serious complications from listeriosis.

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Articles of Interest

Wenonah Hauter Rips FDA’s Probe Of Contaminated Dog Treats From China

Food Poisoning Bullletin

Food and Water Watch’s Wenonah Hauter says the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has failed to protect dogs from serious illness caused by contaminated jerky treats from China. In a scathing statement released Friday, Hauter, the organization’s executive director,  blasted the FDA’s handling of a five-year probe of  illnesses and deaths linked to chicken jerky dog treats from China.

Since 2007, thousands of dogs have become sick or died after eating jerky treats made in China. This week, the FDA released heavily redacted reports of  April inspections of Chinese manufacturing facilities and revealed  that China refused to let inspectors collect samples for independent analysis.”The FDA waited until it received 2,000 reports of illnesses and deaths in U.S. dogs before launching its investigation. Although the China investigation took place in April, it took the FDA four months to admit that they were denied permission from collecting samples from the Chinese facilities. As the FDA dragged its feet, the suspect treats remained on store shelves and put thousands of dogs at risk,” Hauter said in a statement.

“What’s more disgraceful than the FDA’s dawdling is the fact that it has full authority under Section 306 of the Food Safety Modernization Act to refuse shipments of these treats from China now. Enough is enough. It’s time for the FDA to issue an import alert on all pet food manufactured in China before more animals and the humans that love them suffer needlessly,” she said.

Although numerous tests have been performed on the treats over the last five years, the FDA has been unable to discover what about them makes dogs so sick.  Private diagnostic labs have now been recruited to solve the mystery, In the meantime, consumers should not buy dog or pet food treats made in China.

Salmonella Cantaloupe Lawsuits against Walmart and Chamberlain Farms Filed on Behalf of Children

Cantaloupe Recall OutbreakOne lawsuit has been filed against Walmart and Chamberlain Farms, of Owensville, Indiana, on behalf of two children, siblings, who were diagnosed with Salmonella Typhimurium after eating cantaloupe purchased at a Michigan Walmart store. Another lawsuit has has been filed against Chamberlain Farms on behalf of another child from Michigan. According to the lawsuits, the children are part of a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium infections that have been linked to cantaloupe grown by Chamberlain Farms and distributed to retailers, including Walmart, in several states.

Kentucky has been hardest hit, with over 50 confirmed cases of illness and two deaths. To date, the CDC has reported illnesses in the following states: Alabama (13), Arkansas (3), California (2), Georgia (3), Illinois (21), Indiana (18), Iowa (7), Kentucky (56), Massachusetts (2), Michigan (6), Minnesota (4), Mississippi (5), Missouri (12), New Jersey (2), North Carolina (3), Ohio (4), Pennsylvania (2), South Carolina (3), Tennessee (6), Texas (2), and Wisconsin (4).

These lawsuits represent the first of many that attorneys anticipate will be filed on behalf of the more than 170 victims of the cantaloupe Salmonella outbreak. “Victims of this outbreak and their families should be compensated for medical expenses, lost income, physical pain, emotional distress and other damages,” said attorney Fred Pritzker, national Salmonella lawyer and food safety advocate. “Businesses responsible for growing and selling contaminated food need to be held accountable, and these lawsuits accomplish that.”

According to Pritzker, who represents Salmonella food poisoning victims throughout the United States, these kinds of cases generally make claims under three theories of liability: strict liability, negligence and breach of contract. “Food sold for human consumption should be always be free of dangerous pathogens like Salmonella,” said Pritzker.

Valley Meats Disputes State Fine For Improper Cow Disposal

Food Safety News

New Mexico’s Valley Meat Co. is appealing a state fine of $86,400 for improper disposal of composted cattle remains.
Valley Meat gained notoriety earlier this year when it applied to USDA for equine inspection services to open a horse slaughter facility for export at its closed beef plant near Roswell, NM.

arkansasfairhorse_320x175.jpg

The New Mexico Environment Department issued a compliance order Aug 2, citing Valley Meat for failure to register as a compositing facility for property located near the slaughterhouse, and for failing to properly dispose of solid waste.
Valley Meat received the order and notice about the fine by e-mail on Aug. 14. Company attorney A. Blair Dunn said Valley Meat would file an appeal and request a hearing by state officials.
New Mexico’s order came after a 2 year stand off over Valley Meat’s failure to move a 400 ton pile of composted cattle remains because a local landfill could not receive the waste due to state restrictions.
As for registering the site, Dunn says the state lost two previous applications and then took the position that the third one was not filed in a timely manner.
After President Obama and Congress last year lifted a 5 year ban on horse slaughter inspection, Valley Meats filed an application that is still pending for equine inspection services at the closed facility it had once used for beef.
Horse slaughter opponents sought to discredit Valley Meats in its application for equine inspections by using the two-year-old problem with the pile of dead cows at the Roswell plant.
An inspector for USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service had first questioned the 15-foot pile of rotting cow flesh in January 2010.
Valley may resume beef operations while it waits for action on its request for equine inspection services.

I am going to be posting this one in its  entirety along  with  comments from readers.  The  purpose  for my posting  it is that there  is  so much that  is said  and presented  from  so many  different  facets and mindsets  that  I think it  presents a  varied  look into this  very  hotly  debated  subject.  Animals  rights, humane  treatment,  failure  of  the  meat  industry  to be held responsible  for its many inhumane  practices in  their  goal to increase their  bottom line  at  any  cost, Government  responsibility,  food borne illness and the  correlation between  animal treatment  and  the safety of our  food  supply

If  you wish  to respond  directly to the comments  included here  , please do so by  visiting the  site via  the link in the title of the  article.  As these  comments  were  placed   there  rather than  here   I  feel it  would be  counter  productive   for replies to be  placed  here  on this  blog  rather than where  they belong,  on the original  article.  Thank you

Central Valley Meat Company: USDA Did its Job, OK?

Food Safety News
Opinion

On August 19, 2012, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) ordered its inspection staff at Central Valley Meat (CVM) to go home. Because the Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA) of 1906 requires inspection by USDA to be continuous during slaughter of cattle, this USDA action essentially shuttered the plant for the time being.

beefcattle-usda406x250.jpgThis action at CVM has been well documented at Food Safety News and many other electronic Ag and Meat journals. The reporting has been fair and complete, but the discussions that have followed have been, at times, so inaccurate and unfair that I have felt the need to respond in some detail.

I was at the USDA on February 1, 2008, when a similar action was taken at Hallmark/Westland meats. There are similarities and there are differences, but the role of the USDA was the same at both plants.

First, the similarities:

Undercover agents working at slaughter plants as undercover agents for the Humane Society of the United States (Hallmark/Westland) and Compassion Over Killing (CVM)  used hidden cameras to film egregious inhumane handling of cows.

Both animal rights groups have an agenda that includes preventing the killing of animals for human consumption. This agenda can be moved forward with disgustingly shocking videos, and by driving the cost of meat up by necessitating changes in the slaughter and fabricating processes.

Both plants slaughtered a very large number of old, culled dairy cows and sold beef to the National School Lunch Program (NSLP).

If you want to get the public’s attention using video, you want to go to a facility that slaughters old dairy cows and then sells the meat to the NSLP. As opposed to 20-30 month old steers that have been content to eat grain in a feedlot, these cows are often 10-12 years of age, and are often not in good enough shape to handle a ride of even a few miles in hot weather.

They sometimes are sick, they always are old, and they often lay down to rest and refuse to get up. And here lies the opportunity for video if the plant is not impeccable in its handling of these non-ambulatory or “downer” animals.

But on with the similarities:

Each plant had an inspection work force felt to be adequate to assure our meat was safe. That work force would include on-line inspectors whose only opportunity to observe inhumane handling would be coming to and going from work plus break time, time which is officially their own, not the plant’s or the USDA’s.

There might be one or two off-line inspectors with multiple responsibilities.

There would also be a Public Health Veterinarian on duty. S/He is responsible in most plants to observe animals in motion and at rest to screen for Central Nervous System disorders such as BSE and other chronic disease manifestations.

But this individual is also usually responsible for carcass by carcass inspection after the hide has been pulled off. At Hallmark, this individual was condemning about 20 carcasses per day to protect you and me.

You see, contrary to so many discussants’ uninformed opinions, this person cannot be in two places at once.

I compare the PHV to a State Trooper.

It is my job to obey the speed limit, it is the trooper’s job to be a presence at times that encourages me to not speed, not knowing when he will pop up.

It is the plant’s job to obey the Humane handling Act, and it is the PHV’s job to occasionally stroll through the pens to confirm the Act is being complied with.

If the discussants calling for USDA employee’s heads, and even the Secretary’s job, want 24/7 FSIS coverage, then go get the funding for it and watch our taxes go up.

There was one major difference, so far, between CVM and Hallmark.

In 2008, if a cow had passed antemortem inspection by the PHV, in motion and at rest, then decided to lie down and not get up, the plant could ask the PHV to come out to the pen and examine the animal.

If a cause for the non-ambulatory condition could be determined, such as a fractured leg or ruptured tendon, the animal could be euthanized on the spot and then taken to the knock box.

In the Hallmark incident, there was irrefutable evidence that non-ambulatory cattle entered the food supply without follow up inspection by the PHV. Investigations confirmed this had been going on for over one year. Not often, but on occasion.

This fact makes the meat “unfit” for consumption because rules were not followed and proper inspection not completed.

We were criticized, but why have rules like the “downer rule” if they are not a part of protection of the food supply?

The HSUS won on this count, because the USDA responded the next year by completely banning all downers and non-ambulatory cattle from getting into the food chain. Throwing away perfectly good meat is a waste, and drives up the cost of our beef.

One slaughter plant out of 800 tried to cheat the system, and an entire industry was taken to task.

The difference, so far, at CVM, is that although the video is despicable, there is no evidence these mistreated animals ever got into the facility and the food chain.

It is being said by bashers of the federal government that the USDA overreacted at CVM. There is a law, passed by Congress and signed by the President of the United States that says inhumane handling will not be tolerated and FSIS is to suspend inspection when it is seen.

USDA/FSIS was simply following the law. You don’t like it, change the law but do not drag these federal employees over the coals for doing what they had to do.

If any reader is interested, the transcript of my testimony in front of the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigation of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, regarding Hallmark/Westland and the Q and A that followed can be seen online.

In closing, I expect Terry to add his two cents worth and I will point out that the risk of variant CJD from eating US beef is as close to zero as we can make it. There are many interlocking steps to keep us safe, including:

1. The ruminant to ruminant feed ban in effect for over a decade to protect our herd.

2. The removal of Specified Risk Materials in the slaughter facilities under the continuous and watchful eyes of FSIS Inspectors to protect human health.

3. The observation by the PHVs of animals in motion.

4. No downers or non-ambulatory cattle allowed in the food chain, and

5. The USDA’s ongoing surveillance of animals at high risk for BSE, assuring us that the exposure risk is almost nil.

Editor’s Note:  –Dr. Raymond Responds To Some of the Comments Below–
 
Wowser, only a blog on raw milk could stir up more vitriol and I was only stating the facts behind USDA”s action.
Shelly,  if you go to the COK web sight, the second sentence you will read is this:
 “COK focuses on cruelty to animals in agriculture and promotes vegetarian eating as a way to build a kinder world, both for humans and nonhumans.”
So please explain your first response by saying  I had lost all creditibility by calling a spade a spade?
And just so you know, the USDA will not be fining Central Valley because the law prohibits them from doing so. I know, because every year we went to the Appropriations  Committee with our budget and requested authority to fine plants for certain circumstances and every year we were denied. Again, just trying to point out the facts so people can make informed decisions and comments.
As for the comment that USDA is supposed to promote Ag, and therefore this action should get people fired? As I tried to explain, they just followed the law. And besides promoting Ag, they promote and protect animal, plant and human health, run the US Forest Service, direct food stamps and school lunches to name a few other items of business for the USDA.
Shelly, where do I “imply” the video was ‘staged”? I called is disgusting and despicable, but I meant the footage, not the technique.
I have no problems with vegans, everyone should have a choice. What I have a problem with is when others try to impose their beliefs on me by driving up the cost of meat. Oh, and yes, perfectly good meat is destroyed because the Obama Administration banned all non-ambulatory cattle, not just old culled dairy cows. 20 month old, grain fed steers break legs and rupture tendons on ice and slippery surfaces. We use to be able to eat them, now they are taken to rendering and that, my friends, is a waste and drives up costs at the grocery stores.
The animal rights activists are winning, and we are helping them with inhumane practices.
BTW, USDA shuttered 12 plants in 1997, the year before Hallmark, for inhumane handling observed by FSIS employees. They just didn’t send the videos to the Washington Post and NY Times.
                                                                                                      –
Image:  Watering cattle and providing shelter are two important ways to help keep them cooler and less stressed during heat waves. 

 
Photo by Keith Weller, USDA, ARS, Photo Library.
 

Discuss

Shelley
08/27/2012
4:42AM

“Both animal rights groups have an agenda that includes preventing the killing of animals for human consumption. This agenda can be moved forward with disgustingly shocking videos, and by driving the cost of meat up by necessitating changes in the slaughter and fabricating processes. “

You lost any credibility–any–with this paragraph.

Yes, many in the animal welfare movement would like to end all meat consumption, but others in the movement are doing nothing more than attempting to stop the most, as you say, egregious forms of cruelty when it comes to livestock practices.

Throwing away perfectly good meat? From cows too sick to even move? Are you serious?

No wonder we have the problems we have today, if your attitude reflects the USDA’s attitude at the time you were still employed by the government. Hopefully, times have changed with you gone.

The people doing most of the blaming of the USDA in this incident are people who are also doing everything in their power to misdirect attention from the entity truly responsible for the cruel practices outlined in the video: the company that owns and operates the plant.

The lack of training and capability demonstrated in the video should give any person concerned about food safety pause, because if this level of incompetency is matched throughout the plant, then we have to wonder how safe the meat truly is.

We are all aware that the USDA is underfunded. That doesn’t mean we have to just say, “Oh well, guess we can’t do anything”. What we can do is what the undercover investigators did do: expose the acts of cruelty, and take the investigative material to the USDA for prompt action. And the action was prompt.

If, as you imply, the videos are “staged” or not conclusive, the USDA would not have acted.

So perhaps in your reactive defense of the USDA, you might consider the fact that these investigators acted in concert with the USDA, not against it.

Ted
08/27/2012
5:14AM

No, not OK Doc. Not even close to OK.

You correctly point out inspectors are to be pulled when inhumane treatment is endemic at the plant in question. Obviously your intrepid inspectors did not see with their own eyes evidence sufficient to warrant their walking off the job.

No, instead some USDA PR toadie viewed biased unofficial video images from known hostile activists, then panicked and pulled inspection from the plant, effectively destroying it.

USDA rushed into the activists’ arms, eagerly playing the stooge to their underhanded agenda.

USDA missed the play. Completely. Then covered it’s own ass against the threat of nasty public relations flak from extremists in our midst.

Screw USDA if they aren’t there for agriculture. Close the department to reduce the national debt…or rename it the United States Department of Anti-agriculture. Goddam scab bureaucrats being jerked around by the hair.

Jon
08/27/2012
6:55AM

Seems former USDAer and now Meatingplace advocate “Doc Meat” has a bone to pick with food safety scrutiny:
“The HSUS won on this count, because the USDA responded the next year by completely banning all downers and non-ambulatory cattle from getting into the food chain. Throwing away perfectly good meat is a waste, and drives up the cost of our beef.

Given a choice many consumers might not appreciate the “perfectly good meat” of “spent” dairy cows. Inbred factory dairy cows that are confined on concrete for their entire lives, drug injected, milked 3 times a day, fed farm waste products including chicken manure/bedding fed cow parts doesn’t produce a high quality or safe meat to begin with. And Doc — and Ted — feel prohibiting downers is a waste?

gmh
08/27/2012
7:44AM

Hmmm…seems to be a strange sort of consensus forming — USDA has not only dropped the ball, it has kicked it out of bounds to penalize the home team.

From meatless Mondays to kneejerk plant closings, USDA seems to be hacking away at the very agriculture they are funded to promote. Time to stop defending USDA and begin defunding USDA. Do a complete spring housecleaning — from top to bottom sweep skulking antifarm advocates on the USDA dole back out into the nonprofit sector where they belong.

Vilsack should step down. USDA programs hurtful to agriculture should be dismantled — the entire USDA can go if need be. Election year and a farm bill on the horizon — no better time than the present to set sinister out-of-whack things aright. Call and email your congressmen, insist our corrupted USDA be cleaned up or shut down. Espionage and sabotage at USDA threaten food security and so national security.

Finally, a cause everyone can agree upon!

Janet Weeks V
08/27/2012
8:04AM

No words, just utter disbelief. USDA decides: it’s cruelty as usual for California slaughterhouse, in spite of USDA policy. Humane Methods of Slaughter Act? Bah humbug! At least now consumers KNOW FOR SURE that their hamburger and dairy come from sick, lame cows who can barely walk to the kill floor and are beaten, prodded with electric prods, sprayed with scalding water, and tortured before and while they are killed. Will USDA or plant managers monitor the animal cruelty at this facility or install video surveillance? Highly unlikely. It’s cruelty as usual in spite of American values and morality. The only way to stop this insanity is to quit buying the product. No meat. No dairy. No eggs.

Go Vegan and nobody gets hurt.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZRS-kzgoRq0

appalled
08/27/2012
8:16AM

Let’s correct your “trooper” analogy Doc. Here’s what just happened:

Imagine for the moment I don’t care for you or the way you live so I stalk you everywhere you go, waiting for an opportunity to jam you up good. I spot a trooper who’s distracted and recognize my chance.

I run up to the trooper screaming and crying and flailing my arms and tell him I saw you roll through a stop sign and show him where I’ve published on the internet some video of some car rolling through some stop sign. I threaten to raise holy Hell with the trooper and his supervisor and his supervisor’s supervisor, and so on. That trooper thinks he isn’t paid enough, certainly not enough to protect you (and himself) from my hysteria. Not to worry; there is an expedient solution, however.

And I am gratified when the trooper immediately hunts you down and suspends your drivers license, impounds your car and prevents you showing up at your work so you get fired. I am so delighted I practically wet myself.

Consider it a weaselly form of vigilante citizen’s arrest if it makes you feel any better.

Shelley
08/27/2012
8:52AM

The plant re-opened today, after the USDA reviewed its plan for correction.

So much for destroying the plant.

I would hope that the agency at least imposes some stiff fines.

Shelley
08/27/2012
8:58AM

Perhaps better than a fine is the fact that so many companies will no longer do business with Central Valley Meat. And it can’t supply meat to the school lunch program until it proves it has mended its ways.

In the end, the videos did do what they hoped to accomplish: eliminate egregious acts of inhumane cruelty.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/08/central-valley-slaughterhouse-reopens.html

Terry S. Singeltary Sr.
08/27/2012
9:57AM

OPINION REBUTTAL Terry

Greetings,

Well Dr. Raymond, since you called me out, I must respond Sir. Yes, our children health and safety mean more to me than taxes.
Dr. Richard Raymond former Undersecretary for Food Safety, U.S. Department of Agriculture (2005-2008) stated ;

“then go get the funding for it and watch our taxes go up.”
Dr. Richard Raymond former Undersecretary for Food Safety, U.S. Department of Agriculture (2005-2008) stated ;

In closing, I expect Terry to add his two cents worth and I will point out that the risk of variant CJD from eating US beef is as close to zero as we can make it. There are many interlocking steps to keep us safe, including:

1. The ruminant to ruminant feed ban in effect for over a decade to protect our herd.

2. The removal of Specified Risk Materials in the slaughter facilities under the continuous and watchful eyes of FSIS Inspectors to protect human health.

3. The observation by the PHVs of animals in motion.

4. No downers or non-ambulatory cattle allowed in the food chain, and

5. The USDA’s ongoing surveillance of animals at high risk for BSE, assuring us that the exposure risk is almost nil.

Image: Watering cattle and providing shelter are two important ways to help keep them cooler and less stressed during heat waves. Photo by Keith Weller, USDA, ARS, Photo Library.

© Food Safety News

Hello Dr. Raymond Sir,

Indeed I would like to comment on some of your fallacies Dr. Raymond.

Dr. Ramond stated in 1. that ;

1. The ruminant to ruminant feed ban in effect for over a decade to protect our herd.

Sir, as late as 2007, one decade post partial and voluntary mad cow feed ban, 10,000,000. pounds of banned prohibited blood laced meat and bone meal mad cow feed went out into commerce, to be fed out. 2006 was a banner year as well for suspect banned mad cow protein in commerce. “The ruminant to ruminant feed ban in effect for over a decade to protect our herd.” that you state Sir, was merely ink on paper for the past decade. You can see for yourself here, I have listed some, but not all here ;

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Final Feed Investigation Summary – California BSE Case – July 2012

http://transmissiblespongiformencephalopathy.blogspot.com/2012/08/final-feed-investigation-summary.html

even more disturbing now ;

Sunday, August 26, 2012
Detection of PrPSc in peripheral tissues of clinically affected cattle after oral challenge with BSE
http://vir.sgmjournals.org/content/early/2012/08/16/vir.0.044578-0.abstract
more here ;

http://transmissiblespongiformencephalopathy.blogspot.com/2012/08/detection-of-prpsc-in-peripheral.html
Dr. Richard Raymond former Undersecretary for Food Safety, U.S. Department of Agriculture (2005-2008) stated ;

2. The removal of Specified Risk Materials in the slaughter facilities under the continuous and watchful eyes of FSIS Inspectors to protect human health.

Dr. Raymond Sir, another ink on paper only phenomenon. please see the many breaches on specified risk materials here ;

a few examples, one very recently, and the following link will list more SRM breaches ;

2011

Ohio Department of Agriculture and Ohio Department of Health

Governor

John R. Kasich

Lieutenant Governor

Mary Taylor

ODA Director

James Zehringer

ODH Director

Theodore E. Wymyslo, M.D.

DT: July 14, 2011

TO: Health Commissioners, Directors of Environmental Health and Interested Parties

RE: Recall Announcement (ODA/ODH) 2011-076

Valley Farm Meats (DBA Strasburg Provision, Inc) Issues Precautionary Recall for Beef Products Due to Possible Contamination with Prohibited Materials

[STRASBURG, Ohio] – Valley Farm Meats (DBA Strasburg Provision, Inc) of Strasburg, OH announces a voluntary recall of an unknown amount of beef products that may contain the spinal cord and vertebral column, which are considered specified risk materials (SRMs). SRMs must be removed from cattle over 30 months of age in accordance with federal and state regulations. SRMs are tissues that are known to contain the infective agent in cattle infected with Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), as well as materials that are closely associated with these potentially infective tissues. Therefore, federal and state regulations prohibit SRMs from use as human food to minimize potential human exposure to the BSE agent.

http://www.agri.ohio.gov/public_docs/recalls/2011/Recall_FS_76-2011.pdf

North Dakota Firm Recalls Whole Beef Head Products That Contain Prohibited Materials

Recall Release CLASS II RECALL FSIS-RC-023-2010 HEALTH RISK: LOW

Congressional and Public Affairs (202) 720-9113 Catherine Cochran

WASHINGTON, April 5, 2010 – North American Bison Co-Op, a New Rockford, N.D., establishment is recalling approximately 25,000 pounds of whole beef heads containing tongues that may not have had the tonsils completely removed, which is not compliant with regulations that require the removal of tonsils from cattle of all ages, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

Tonsils are considered a specified risk material (SRM) and must be removed from cattle of all ages in accordance with FSIS regulations. SRMs are tissues that are known to contain the infective agent in cattle infected with Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), as well as materials that are closely associated with these potentially infective tissues. Therefore, FSIS prohibits SRMs from use as human food to minimize potential human exposure to the BSE agent.

http://www.fsis.usda.gov/News_&_Events/Recall_023_2010_Release/index.asp

Missouri Firm Recalls Cattle Heads That Contain Prohibited Materials

Recall Release CLASS II RECALL FSIS-RC-021-2008 HEALTH RISK: LOW

Congressional and Public Affairs (202) 720-9113 Amanda Eamich

WASHINGTON, June 26, 2008 – Paradise Locker Meats, a Trimble, Mo., establishment, is voluntarily recalling approximately 120 pounds of fresh cattle heads with tonsils not completely removed, which is not compliant with regulations that require the removal of tonsils from cattle of all ages, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service announced today.

Tonsils are considered a specified risk material (SRM) and must be removed from cattle of all ages in accordance with FSIS regulations. SRMs are tissues that are known to contain the infective agent in cattle infected with BSE, as well as materials that are closely associated with these potentially infective tissues. Therefore, FSIS prohibits SRMs from use as human food to minimize potential human exposure to the BSE agent.

http://www.fsis.usda.gov/News_&_Events/Recall_021_2008_Release/index.asp

see many more SRM breaches here ;

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Final Feed Investigation Summary – California BSE Case – July 2012

http://transmissiblespongiformencephalopathy.blogspot.com/2012/08/final-feed-investigation-summary.html

again, even more disturbing now ;

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Detection of PrPSc in peripheral tissues of clinically affected cattle after oral challenge with BSE

http://transmissiblespongiformencephalopathy.blogspot.com/2012/08/detection-of-prpsc-in-peripheral.html

Dr. Richard Raymond former Undersecretary for Food Safety, U.S. Department of Agriculture (2005-2008) stated ;

3. The observation by the PHVs of animals in motion.

Sir, you stated yourself that Public Health Veterinarian ;
> But this individual is also usually responsible for carcass by carcass inspection after the hide has been pulled off. At Hallmark, this individual was condemning about 20 carcasses per day to protect you and me.
> You see, contrary to so many discussants’ uninformed opinions, this person cannot be in two places at once.
> It is the plant’s job to obey the Humane handling Act, and it is the PHV’s job to occasionally stroll through the pens to confirm the Act is being complied with.
> If the discussants calling for USDA employee’s heads, and even the Secretary’s job, want 24/7 FSIS coverage, then go get the funding for it and watch our taxes go up.

Sir, after the Hallmark debacle, and the fact that deadstock downer cows did make it to the NSLP, and the fact of the National recall there from, I find it disturbing still that there is NO recall of the meat, if any left, from the Central Valley Meat company from last year. You Sir, nor anyone else, can guarantee now that these type practices have not occurred last year, the year before, and or the year before that at Central Valley Meat Co., and I think our children, and the fact that ;
> > > Ackerman says downed cattle are 50 times more likely to have mad cow disease (also known as Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy, or BSE) than ambulatory cattle that are suspected of having BSE. Of the 20 confirmed cases of mad cow disease in North America since 1993, at least 16 have involved downer cattle, he said. < < <
I think our childrens safety from the Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy TSE prion mad cow type disease, is much more important.

don’t forget the children…

PLEASE be aware, for 4 years, the USDA fed our children all across the Nation (including TEXAS) dead stock downer cows, the most high risk cattle for BSE aka mad cow disease and other dangerous pathogens. who will watch our children for CJD for the next 5+ decades ???

WAS your child exposed to mad cow disease via the NSLP ???

HALLMARK DEBACLE HERE WITH DOWNERS AND OUR CHILDREN VIA THE USDA AND THE NSLP.

SCHOOL LUNCH PROGRAM FROM DOWNER CATTLE UPDATE

http://downercattle.blogspot.com/2009/05/who-will-watch-children.html

http://downercattle.blogspot.com/
DID YOUR CHILD CONSUME SOME OF THESE DEAD STOCK DOWNER COWS, THE MOST HIGH RISK FOR MAD COW DISEASE ???
this recall was not for the welfare of the animals. …tss
you can check and see here ;
http://www.fns.usda.gov/fns/safety/pdf/Hallmark-Westland_byState.pdf

Dr. Richard Raymond former Undersecretary for Food Safety, U.S. Department of Agriculture (2005-2008) stated ;
4. No downers or non-ambulatory cattle allowed in the food chain, and

Sir, this the be now, if your not caught at it. that’s why some want the undercover videos banned. Also, I still think that prisoners are humans, and they are being fed pet food in some instances. could this happen with the NSLP ??? let’s hope not, but in the past, during the infamous enhanced BSE surveillance program, there was gentleman supplying the USDA, with PERFECTLY HEALTHY CATTLE BRAINS FOR TESTING, brains that he knew were free from mad cow disease. your system is far from perfect, in fact, it’s an imperfect system. it has been shown to have flaws, major flaws time and time again by the GAO and OIG, and others. these are the facts.
see Texas prisoners being fed pet food here;

http://www.justice.gov/usao/txe/News/2012/edtx-john-soules-foods-081712.html

Dr. Richard Raymond former Undersecretary for Food Safety, U.S. Department of Agriculture (2005-2008) stated ;
5. The USDA’s ongoing surveillance of animals at high risk for BSE, assuring us that the exposure risk is almost nil.
I kindly disagree Sir, and so does the OIE. That’s why the USA is still classified as BSE GBR risk factor of 3. there are many flaws Sir, and because of the fact of still feeding cows to cows via banned suspect BSE feed as late as 2007, millions and millions of pounds, and the most recent atypical L-type BASE BSE in California in 2012, I think the USA BSE GBR risk factor should be raised to BSE GBR 4.

NOW, what about that mad cow BSE surveillance and testing program ???

PAUL BROWN COMMENT TO ME ON THIS ISSUE

Tuesday, September 12, 2006 11:10 AM

“Actually, Terry, I have been critical of the USDA handling of the mad cow issue for some years, and with Linda Detwiler and others sent lengthy detailed critiques and recommendations to both the USDA and the Canadian Food Agency.”

OR, what the Honorable Phyllis Fong of the OIG found ;

Audit Report

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) Surveillance Program – Phase II

and

Food Safety and Inspection Service

Controls Over BSE Sampling, Specified Risk Materials, and Advanced Meat Recovery Products – Phase III

Report No. 50601-10-KC January 2006

Finding 2 Inherent Challenges in Identifying and Testing High-Risk Cattle Still Remain

http://www.usda.gov/oig/webdocs/50601-10-KC.pdf

“”These 9,200 cases were different because brain tissue samples were preserved with formalin, which makes them suitable for only one type of test–immunohistochemistry, or IHC.”

THIS WAS DONE FOR A REASON!

THE IHC test has been proven to be the LEAST LIKELY to detect BSE/TSE in the bovine, and these were probably from the most high risk cattle pool, the ones the USDA et al, SHOULD have been testing. …TSS

USDA 2003

We have to be careful that we don’t get so set in the way we do things that we forget to look for different emerging variations of disease. We’ve gotten away from collecting the whole brain in our systems. We’re using the brain stem and we’re looking in only one area. In Norway, they were doing a project and looking at cases of Scrapie, and they found this where they did not find lesions or PRP in the area of the obex. They found it in the cerebellum and the cerebrum. It’s a good lesson for us. Ames had to go back and change the procedure for looking at Scrapie samples. In the USDA, we had routinely looked at all the sections of the brain, and then we got away from it. They’ve recently gone back. Dr. Keller: Tissues are routinely tested, based on which tissue provides an ‘official’ test result as recognized by APHIS.

Dr. Detwiler: That’s on the slaughter. But on the clinical cases, aren’t they still asking for the brain? But even on the slaughter, they’re looking only at the brainstem. We may be missing certain things if we confine ourselves to one area.

snip………….

Dr. Detwiler: It seems a good idea, but I’m not aware of it. Another important thing to get across to the public is that the negatives do not guarantee absence of infectivity. The animal could be early in the disease and the incubation period. Even sample collection is so important. If you’re not collecting the right area of the brain in sheep, or if collecting lymphoreticular tissue, and you don’t get a good biopsy, you could miss the area with the PRP in it and come up with a negative test. There’s a new, unusual form of Scrapie that’s been detected in Norway. We have to be careful that we don’t get so set in the way we do things that we forget to look for different emerging variations of disease. We’ve gotten away from collecting the whole brain in our systems. We’re using the brain stem and we’re looking in only one area. In Norway, they were doing a project and looking at cases of Scrapie, and they found this where they did not find lesions or PRP in the area of the obex. They found it in the cerebellum and the cerebrum. It’s a good lesson for us. Ames had to go back and change the procedure for looking at Scrapie samples. In the USDA, we had routinely looked at all the sections of the brain, and then we got away from it. They’ve recently gone back.

Dr. Keller: Tissues are routinely tested, based on which tissue provides an ‘official’ test result as recognized by APHIS .

Dr. Detwiler: That’s on the slaughter. But on the clinical cases, aren’t they still asking for the brain? But even on the slaughter, they’re looking only at the brainstem. We may be missing certain things if we confine ourselves to one area.

snip…

FULL TEXT;

Completely Edited Version PRION ROUNDTABLE

Accomplished this day, Wednesday, December 11, 2003, Denver, Colorado

2005

http://madcowtesting.blogspot.com/2009/02/report-on-testing-ruminants-for-tses-in.html

FINAL REPORT 2ND TEXAS MAD COW

http://www.aphis.usda.gov/newsroom/hot_issues/bse/downloads/bse_final_epi_report8-05.pdf

Subject: USDA OIG SEMIANNUAL REPORT TO CONGRESS FY 2007 1st Half (bogus BSE sampling FROM HEALTHY USDA CATTLE) Date: June 21, 2007 at 2:49 pm PST

Owner and Corporation Plead Guilty to Defrauding Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) Surveillance Program

An Arizona meat processing company and its owner pled guilty in February 2007 to charges of theft of Government funds, mail fraud, and wire fraud. The owner and his company defrauded the BSE Surveillance Program when they falsified BSE Surveillance Data Collection Forms and then submitted payment requests to USDA for the services. In addition to the targeted sample population (those cattle that were more than 30 months old or had other risk factors for BSE), the owner submitted to USDA, or caused to be submitted, BSE obex (brain stem) samples from healthy USDA-inspected cattle. As a result, the owner fraudulently received approximately $390,000. Sentencing is scheduled for May 2007.

snip…

Topics that will be covered in ongoing or planned reviews under Goal 1 include:

soundness of BSE maintenance sampling (APHIS),

implementation of Performance-Based Inspection System enhancements for specified risk material (SRM) violations and improved inspection controls over SRMs (FSIS and APHIS),

snip…

The findings and recommendations from these efforts will be covered in future semiannual reports as the relevant audits and investigations are completed.

4 USDA OIG SEMIANNUAL REPORT TO CONGRESS FY 2007 1st Half

http://www.usda.gov/oig/webdocs/sarc070619.pdf

-MORE Office of the United States Attorney District of Arizona FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE For Information Contact Public Affairs February 16, 2007 WYN HORNBUCKLE Telephone: (602) 514-7625 Cell: (602) 525-2681

CORPORATION AND ITS PRESIDENT PLEAD GUILTY TO DEFRAUDING GOVERNMENT’S MAD COW DISEASE SURVEILLANCE PROGRAM

PHOENIX — Farm Fresh Meats, Inc. and Roland Emerson Farabee, 55, of Maricopa, Arizona, pleaded guilty to stealing $390,000 in government funds, mail fraud and wire fraud, in federal district court in Phoenix. U.S. Attorney Daniel Knauss stated, “The integrity of the system that tests for mad cow disease relies upon the honest cooperation of enterprises like Farm Fresh Meats. Without that honest cooperation, consumers both in the U.S. and internationally are at risk. We want to thank the USDA’s Office of Inspector General for their continuing efforts to safeguard the public health and enforce the law.” Farm Fresh Meats and Farabee were charged by Information with theft of government funds, mail fraud and wire fraud. According to the Information, on June 7, 2004, Farabee, on behalf of Farm Fresh Meats, signed a contract with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (the “USDA Agreement”) to collect obex samples from cattle at high risk of mad cow disease (the “Targeted Cattle Population”). The Targeted Cattle Population consisted of the following cattle: cattle over thirty months of age; nonambulatory cattle; cattle exhibiting signs of central nervous system disorders; cattle exhibiting signs of mad cow disease; and dead cattle. Pursuant to the USDA Agreement, the USDA agreed to pay Farm Fresh Meats $150 per obex sample for collecting obex samples from cattle within the Targeted Cattle Population, and submitting the obex samples to a USDA laboratory for mad cow disease testing. Farm Fresh Meats further agreed to maintain in cold storage the sampled cattle carcasses and heads until the test results were received by Farm Fresh Meats.

Evidence uncovered during the government’s investigation established that Farm Fresh Meats and Farabee submitted samples from cattle outside the Targeted Cattle Population. Specifically, Farm Fresh Meats and Farabee submitted, or caused to be submitted, obex samples from healthy, USDA inspected cattle, in order to steal government moneys.

Evidence collected also demonstrated that Farm Fresh Meats and Farabee failed to maintain cattle carcasses and heads pending test results and falsified corporate books and records to conceal their malfeasance. Such actions, to the extent an obex sample tested positive (fortunately, none did), could have jeopardized the USDA’s ability to identify the diseased animal and pinpoint its place of origin. On Wednesday, February 14, 2007, Farm Fresh Meats and Farabee pleaded guilty to stealing government funds and using the mails and wires to effect the scheme. According to their guilty pleas:

(a) Farm Fresh Meats collected, and Farabee directed others to collect, obex samples from cattle outside the Targeted Cattle Population, which were not subject to payment by the USDA;

(b) Farm Fresh Meats 2 and Farabee caused to be submitted payment requests to the USDA knowing that the requests were based on obex samples that were not subject to payment under the USDA Agreement;

(c) Farm Fresh Meats completed and submitted, and Farabee directed others to complete and submit, BSE Surveillance Data Collection Forms to the USDA’s testing laboratory that were false and misleading;

(d) Farm Fresh Meats completed and submitted, and Farabee directed others to complete and submit, BSE Surveillance Submission Forms filed with the USDA that were false and misleading;

(e) Farm Fresh Meats falsified, and Farabee directed others to falsify, internal Farm Fresh Meats documents to conceal the fact that Farm Fresh Meats was seeking and obtaining payment from the USDA for obex samples obtained from cattle outside the Targeted Cattle Population; and

(f) Farm Fresh Meats failed to comply with, and Farabee directed others to fail to comply with, the USDA Agreement by discarding cattle carcasses and heads prior to receiving BSE test results. A conviction for theft of government funds carries a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment. Mail fraud and wire fraud convictions carry a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment. Convictions for the above referenced violations also carry a maximum fine of $250,000 for individuals and $500,000 for organizations. In determining an actual sentence, Judge Earl H. Carroll will consult the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide appropriate sentencing ranges. The judge, however, is not bound by those guidelines in determining a sentence.

Sentencing is set before Judge Earl H. Carroll on May 14, 2007. The investigation in this case was conducted by Assistant Special Agent in Charge Alejandro Quintero, United States Department of Agriculture, Office of Inspector General. The prosecution is being handled by Robert Long, Assistant U.S. Attorney, District of Arizona, Phoenix. CASE NUMBER: CR-07-00160-PHX-EHC RELEASE NUMBER: 2007-051(Farabee) # # #

http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/az/press_releases/2007/2007-051(Farabee).pdf

Section 2. Testing Protocols and Quality Assurance Controls

In November 2004, USDA announced that its rapid screening test, Bio-Rad Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA), produced an inconclusive BSE test result as part of its enhanced BSE surveillance program. The ELISA rapid screening test performed at a BSE contract laboratory produced three high positive reactive results.40 As required,41 the contract laboratory forwarded the inconclusive sample to the APHIS National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) for confirmatory testing. NVSL repeated the ELISA testing and again produced three high positive reactive results.42 In accordance with its established protocol, NVSL ran its confirmatory test, an immunohistochemistry (IHC) test, which was interpreted as negative for BSE. In addition, NVSL performed a histological43 examination of the tissue and did not detect lesions44 consistent with BSE.

Faced with conflicting results, NVSL scientists recommended additional testing to resolve the discrepancy but APHIS headquarters officials concluded no further testing was necessary because testing protocols were followed. In our discussions with APHIS officials, they justified their decision not to do additional testing because the IHC is internationally recognized as the “gold standard.” Also, they believed that conducting additional tests would undermine confidence in USDA’s established testing protocols.

http://www.usda.gov/oig/webdocs/50601-10-KC.pdf

FDA STATEMENT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 4, 2004 Media Inquiries: 301-827-6242 Consumer Inquiries: 888-INFO-FDA

Statement on Texas Cow With Central Nervous System Symptoms

On Friday, April 30th, the Food and Drug Administration learned that a cow with central nervous system symptoms had been killed and shipped to a processor for rendering into animal protein for use in animal feed.

FDA, which is responsible for the safety of animal feed, immediately began an investigation. On Friday and throughout the weekend, FDA investigators inspected the slaughterhouse, the rendering facility, the farm where the animal came from, and the processor that initially received the cow from the slaughterhouse.

FDA’s investigation showed that the animal in question had already been rendered into “meat and bone meal” (a type of protein animal feed). Over the weekend FDA was able to track down all the implicated material. That material is being held by the firm, which is cooperating fully with FDA.

Cattle with central nervous system symptoms are of particular interest because cattle with bovine spongiform encephalopathy or BSE, also known as “mad cow disease,” can exhibit such symptoms. In this case, there is no way now to test for BSE. But even if the cow had BSE, FDA’s animal feed rule would prohibit the feeding of its rendered protein to other ruminant animals (e.g., cows, goats, sheep, bison).

FDA is sending a letter to the firm summarizing its findings and informing the firm that FDA will not object to use of this material in swine feed only. If it is not used in swine feed, this material will be destroyed. Pigs have been shown not to be susceptible to BSE. If the firm agrees to use the material for swine feed only, FDA will track the material all the way through the supply chain from the processor to the farm to ensure that the feed is properly monitored and used only as feed for pigs.

To protect the U.S. against BSE, FDA works to keep certain mammalian protein out of animal feed for cattle and other ruminant animals. FDA established its animal feed rule in 1997 after the BSE epidemic in the U.K. showed that the disease spreads by feeding infected ruminant protein to cattle.

Under the current regulation, the material from this Texas cow is not allowed in feed for cattle or other ruminant animals. FDA’s action specifying that the material go only into swine feed means also that it will not be fed to poultry.

FDA is committed to protecting the U.S. from BSE and collaborates closely with the U.S. Department of Agriculture on all BSE issues. The animal feed rule provides crucial protection against the spread of BSE, but it is only one of several such firewalls. FDA will soon be improving the animal feed rule, to make this strong system even stronger.

#

http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/2004/ucm108292.htm
SEE FULL TEXT OF ALL THIS HERE ;
http://transmissiblespongiformencephalopathy.blogspot.com/2012/05/update-from-aphis-regarding-detection.html
Dr. Richard Raymond former Undersecretary for Food Safety, U.S. Department of Agriculture (2005-2008) stated ;
“In closing, I expect Terry to add his two cents worth and I will point out that the risk of variant CJD from eating US beef is as close to zero as we can make it. “

Dr. Raymond Sir, it is not vCJD we will find here from the atypical TSE growing in the many different species here in the USA and North America. Science that has been out for several years now shows that some cases of sporadic CJD can be linked to the atypical BSE. In fact Sir, atypical Scrapie shows many similarities with human TSE prion disease. please see ;

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Seven main threats for the future linked to prions

First threat

The TSE road map defining the evolution of European policy for protection against prion diseases is based on a certain numbers of hypotheses some of which may turn out to be erroneous. In particular, a form of BSE (called atypical Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy), recently identified by systematic testing in aged cattle without clinical signs, may be the origin of classical BSE and thus potentially constitute a reservoir, which may be impossible to eradicate if a sporadic origin is confirmed. ***Also, a link is suspected between atypical BSE and some apparently sporadic cases of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans. These atypical BSE cases constitute an unforeseen first threat that could sharply modify the European approach to prion diseases.

Second threat

snip…
http://www.neuroprion.org/en/np-neuroprion.html

EFSA Journal 2011 The European Response to BSE: A Success Story

This is an interesting editorial about the Mad Cow Disease debacle, and it’s ramifications that will continue to play out for decades to come ;

Monday, October 10, 2011

EFSA Journal 2011 The European Response to BSE: A Success Story

snip…

EFSA and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) recently delivered a scientific opinion on any possible epidemiological or molecular association between TSEs in animals and humans (EFSA Panel on Biological Hazards (BIOHAZ) and ECDC, 2011). This opinion confirmed Classical BSE prions as the only TSE agents demonstrated to be zoonotic so far but the possibility that a small proportion of human cases so far classified as “sporadic” CJD are of zoonotic origin could not be excluded. Moreover, transmission experiments to non-human primates suggest that some TSE agents in addition to Classical BSE prions in cattle (namely L-type Atypical BSE, Classical BSE in sheep, transmissible mink encephalopathy (TME) and chronic wasting disease (CWD) agents) might have zoonotic potential.

snip…
http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/e991.htm?emt=1
http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/doc/e991.pdf

see follow-up here about North America BSE Mad Cow TSE prion risk factors, and the ever emerging strains of Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy in many species here in the USA, including humans ;

http://transmissiblespongiformencephalopathy.blogspot.com/2011/10/efsa-journal-2011-european-response-to.html

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Are USDA assurances on mad cow case ‘gross oversimplification’?

SNIP…

What irks many scientists is the USDA’s April 25 statement that the rare disease is “not generally associated with an animal consuming infected feed.”

The USDA’s conclusion is a “gross oversimplification,” said Dr. Paul Brown, one of the world’s experts on this type of disease who retired recently from the National Institutes of Health. “(The agency) has no foundation on which to base that statement.”

“We can’t say it’s not feed related,” agreed Dr. Linda Detwiler, an official with the USDA during the Clinton Administration now at Mississippi State.

In the May 1 email to me, USDA’s Cole backed off a bit. “No one knows the origins of atypical cases of BSE,” she said

The argument about feed is critical because if feed is the cause, not a spontaneous mutation, the California cow could be part of a larger outbreak.
SNIP…
http://bseusa.blogspot.com/2012/05/are-usda-assurances-on-mad-cow-case.html

Monday, August 6, 2012

TAFS BSE in USA August 6, 2012

BSE in USA

http://bseusa.blogspot.com/2012/08/tafs-bse-in-usa-august-6-2012.html

Monday, August 06, 2012

Atypical neuropathological sCJD-MM phenotype with abundant white matter Kuru-type plaques sparing the cerebellar cortex

http://creutzfeldt-jakob-disease.blogspot.com/2012/08/atypical-neuropathological-scjd-mm.html

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Behavioural and Psychiatric Features of the Human Prion Diseases: Experience in 368 Prospectively Studied Patients

http://creutzfeldt-jakob-disease.blogspot.com/2012/08/behavioural-and-psychiatric-features-of.html
Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease Human TSE report update North America, Canada, Mexico, and USDA PRION UNIT as of May 18, 2012

type determination pending Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease (tdpCJD), is on the rise in Canada and the USA

http://creutzfeldt-jakob-disease.blogspot.com/2012/06/creutzfeldt-jakob-disease-human-tse.html

Friday, August 24, 2012

Iatrogenic prion diseases in humans: an update

http://transmissiblespongiformencephalopathy.blogspot.com/2012/08/iatrogenic-prion-diseases-in-humans.html

Monday, July 23, 2012

The National Prion Disease Pathology Surveillance Center July 2012

http://prionunitusaupdate2008.blogspot.com/2012/07/the-national-prion-disease-pathology.html

Monday, August 20, 2012

CASE REPORTS CREUTZFELDT-JAKOB DISEASE: AN UNDER-RECOGNIZED CAUSE OF DEMENTIA

http://creutzfeldt-jakob-disease.blogspot.com/2012/08/case-reports-creutzfeldt-jakob-disease.html
Dr. Richard Raymond former Undersecretary for Food Safety, U.S. Department of Agriculture (2005-2008) stated ;
In closing, I expect Terry to add his two cents worth and I will point out that the risk of variant CJD from eating US beef is as close to zero as we can make it.
Dr. Raymond Sir, I disagree with you, I think that you (USDA et al) could do much better.

I think our children and the consumer deserves better, and I don’t care how much taxes AND BSE TSE TESTING, it takes to make our food safe. …

layperson
I lost my mother to the Heidenhain Variant of Creutzfeldt Jakob disease confirmed on December 14, 1997.
my neighbor lost his mother exactly one year previously to the sporadic CJD strains confirmed, on December 14, 1996.

sporadic Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease is NOT a single strain, but multiple strains (with new type pending classifications CJD, of unknown origin, in young and old in the USA),
with route and source unknown to date.

just made a promise, all facts should be presented, not just the industry fed political science fed facts. …

kind regards,

terry

Terry S. Singeltary Sr.
P.O. Box 42
Bacliff, Texas USA 77518
flounder9@verizon.net

Terry S. Singeltary Sr.
08/27/2012
10:54AM

Monday, August 27, 2012
Central Valley Meat Company: USDA Did its Job, OK?
Opinion & Contributed Articles
by Dr. Richard Raymond | Aug 27, 2012 Opinion
Dr. Richard Raymond former Undersecretary for Food Safety, U.S. Department of Agriculture (2005-2008)
snip…

In closing, I expect Terry to add his two cents worth and I will point out that the risk of variant CJD from eating US beef is as close to zero as we can make it. There are many interlocking steps to keep us safe, including:

1. The ruminant to ruminant feed ban in effect for over a decade to protect our herd.

2. The removal of Specified Risk Materials in the slaughter facilities under the continuous and watchful eyes of FSIS Inspectors to protect human health.

3. The observation by the PHVs of animals in motion.

4. No downers or non-ambulatory cattle allowed in the food chain, and

5. The USDA’s ongoing surveillance of animals at high risk for BSE, assuring us that the exposure risk is almost nil.

http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/08/central-valley-meat-company-usda-did-its-job-ok/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=120827
OPINION REBUTTAL Terry
Greetings,

Well Dr. Raymond, since you called me out, I must respond Sir.
Yes, our children health and safety mean more to me than taxes.
Indeed I would like to comment on some of your fallacies Dr. Raymond.

Dr. Richard Raymond former Undersecretary for Food Safety, U.S. Department of Agriculture (2005-2008) stated ;

snip…

see Terry full text rebuttal on Dr. Raymond and the USDA BSE surveillance, SRM, and feed ban and all the fallacies there from ;

Monday, August 27, 2012

Central Valley Meat Company: USDA Did its Job, OK?

Opinion & Contributed Articles

by Dr. Richard Raymond | Aug 27, 2012 Opinion

Dr. Richard Raymond former Undersecretary for Food Safety, U.S. Department of Agriculture (2005-2008)
http://downercattle.blogspot.com/2012/08/central-valley-meat-company-usda-did.html

Jethro
08/27/2012
12:05PM

Clever distraction, Doc Raymond, baiting Terry to stop by and smother this thread with his voluminous BSE crap. I suppose you think that givesyou and your beloved USDA needed cover to slip out of the bright light of well deserved scrutiny?

Your cute political stunt only amplifies the stench of USDA’s latest evacuation of chickensh!t in the face of anti-farm terrorists. Your beloved extremists may have you by the jewels but they do not have the market cornered on outrage or tenacity. We shall see what we shall see regarding the value of USDA in upcoming policy and budgeting. It isn’t in the nature of farmers to keep a kicking cow or a biting dog. Besides, we are in desperate need of Federal cost cutting and USDA is an easy mark, ripe for plucking. We will be national heroes (except among bureaucratic hogs at the trough) when we nimbly trim most of USDA from the budget. One more obstacle to business and prosperity will be eliminated.

This isn’t over. It is just beginning Doc.

Jade
08/27/2012
12:06PM

Shelley,
You are correct in stating that most people in the animal welfare movement are doing nothing more than attempting to stop cruelty when it comes to livestock practices. However, the author was clearly talking about animal RIGHTS groups, which will go to extreme lengths to prove a point. Animal welfare organizations have a much different agenda than animal rights organizations. I have absolutely no respect for the HSUS or PETA, and if you saw earlier, the name of the animal rights group that released the video is Compassion Without Killing. I would have to say they are against animal consumption due to the “without killing” part of the name, but that is an assumption. In no way am I condoning what happend at the plant.. I think it is absolutely horrifying and the plant should suffer the consequences, and the employees commiting the crime should be terminated. However, I have no tolerance for animal rights groups that exist simply to ruin the reputation of and bring down animal processors/growers.

Terry S. Singeltary Sr.
08/27/2012
1:50PM

re-jethro

Jethro
08/27/2012
12:05PM

say there jethro,
Farmers are National Heros.

Farmers were that before the teaparty.

Farmers will be that, after the teaparty.

Finally, TSE prions know no borders, TSE prions know no age groups, TSE prions know no political party.
sadly, it is a political and industry fed disease $$$
and it is mutating, jethro’s post just proved it. …
with sad regards,
terry

Shelley
08/27/2012
2:00PM

Jethro, I haven’t read through all that Terry provided, but I respect people who take time to write a thorough reply.

Jade, I would call PETA an “animal rights” group, but HSUS is most definitely an animal welfare group. No animal rights group would have agreed to a hen colony system compromise with the egg industry, which HSUS did.

And frankly, does it matter?

The organization filmed obvious acts of inhumane treatment of cows, and then took the evidence to the USDA. The USDA then immediately acted.

In addition, the group published its undercover investigations, and companies who bought meat from Central Valley, stopped doing so.

In the end, does it matter how the group terms itself, because the end result is (we hope) significant improvements in handling of the cows at the plant.

Now, some people may view the video and decide not to eat beef. Or buy dairy products. Others, though, may continue, but look more closely at the suppliers at the products. At a minimum, we hope things improve at this plant. And that’s what matters.

Dr. Richard Raymond
08/27/2012
2:23PM

Wowser, only a blog on raw milk could stir up more vitriol and I was only stating the facts behind USDA”s action.

Shelly, if you go to the COK web sight, the second sentence you will read is this:

“COK focuses on cruelty to animals in agriculture and promotes vegetarian eating as a way to build a kinder world, both for humans and nonhumans.”

So please explain your first response by saying I had lost all creditibility by calling a spade a spade?

And just so you know, the USDA will not be fining Central Valley because the law prohibits them from doing so. I know, because every year we went to the Approps committee with our budget and requested authority to fine plants for certain circumstances and every year we were denied. Again, just trying to point out the facts so people can make informed decisions and comments.

As for the comment that USDA is supposed to promote Ag, and therefore this action should get people fired? As I tried to explain, they just followed the law. And besides promoting ag, they promote and protect animal, plant and human health, run the US Forest Service, direct food stamps and school lunches to name a few other items of business for the USDA.

Shelly, where do I “imply” the video was ‘staged”? I called is disgusting and despicable, but I meant the footage, not the technique.

I have no problems with vegans, everyone should have a choice. What I have a problem with is when others try to impose their beliefs on me by driving up the cost of meat. Oh, and yes, perfectly good meat is destroyed because the Obama Administration banned all non-ambulatory cattle, not just old culled dairy cows. 20 month old, grain fed steers break legs and rupture tendons on ice and slippery surfaces. We use to be able to eat them, now they are taken to rendering and that, my friends, is a waste and drives up costs at the grocery stores.

The animal rights activists are winning, and we are helping them with inhumane practices.

BTW, USDA shuttered 12 plants in 1997, the year before Hallmark, for inhumane handling observed by FSIS employees. They just didn’t send the videos to the Washington Post and NY Times.

Shelley
08/27/2012
4:01PM

“Undercover agents working at slaughter plants as undercover agents for the Humane Society of the United States (Hallmark/Westland) and Compassion Over Killing (CVM) used hidden cameras to film egregious inhumane handling of cows.

Both animal rights groups have an agenda that includes preventing the killing of animals for human consumption. This agenda can be moved forward with disgustingly shocking videos, and by driving the cost of meat up by necessitating changes in the slaughter and fabricating processes.”

Both animal rights groups have an agenda?

You’re too quick to dismiss animal welfare activities, or to lump them all the same. This undermined your credibility.

As for the following statement:

‘Shelly, where do I “imply” the video was ‘staged”? I called is disgusting and despicable, but I meant the footage, not the technique.’

I looked through your post and I thought I remembered reading something about the video shown online was only a few minutes, and we don’t know what the other video had.

And there was another statement, about throwing away good meat, or something to that effect.

In fact, your post seems to be different.

Did you edit your writing after you published it? Not just added the response to us–but actually changed your original writing?

Jon
08/27/2012
4:46PM

That’s the Main problem with USDA isn’t it? The meat/produce/biotech/etc food industry insists USDA is there to promote their US Agribusiness — period. The foxes are very content to run the taxpayer-fed henhouse — through revolving doors and campaign contributions and other forms of legitimized corruption.

But USDA — Really — is a Gov’t (of the people, by the people, for the people) Regulatory Agency charged with — protecting the public.

What USDA needs is the power to create Agribusiness user fees and to heavily FINE these miscreant food corporations so that we the public aren’t subsidizing all these gluttonous foxes. Looks like there needs to be some house cleaning first…..

Cyndy
08/27/2012
6:44PM

“If a cause for the non-ambulatory condition could be determined, such as a fractured leg or ruptured tendon, the animal could be euthanized on the spot and then taken to the knock box.”

OK, I’m confused about the above statement. The animal is euthanized on the spot and then taken to the knock box? Does this mean that this animal is still slaughtered for its meat? With the euthanizing drugs in the meat? Please clarify. Thanks!

doc raymond
08/27/2012
7:11PM

Nice try, Shelly, but the post has not been altered or doctored up.

minkpuppy
08/28/2012
8:35AM

Shelley,

Perhaps you misread or misinterpreted some of the comments in the article? Please consider that rather than accusing Dr. Raymond of sneakily editing the article because he you called out. It costs you nothing to admit that maybe, just maybe, you were mistaken about what you thought you read this one time rather than becoming defensive and accusing the other person of lying. It doesn’t reflect well on you or your credibility when you do so.

The article is exactly the same as the one I read yesterday, before Dr. Raymond responded to comments. I had decided I was done commenting on this issue because of the nastiness that’s being spewed by certain posters but I cannot stand by and let your comment go. My experience with Dr. Raymond is that he’s a straight shooter, always has been. People don’t always like what he says but he says what needs to be said. He has nothing to gain by changing what he wrote and pretending he didn’t.

***For the record, before the haters jump on my butt, I hide my identity for a reason. I don’t feel like getting fired over stating my opinion on my own time if it disagrees with FSIS policy and practice. It’s easier to just use a nickname than to constantly state that I don’t represent FSIS on here. The people that need to know my identity already do and I correspond with them through emails regularly.***

This video may not have been staged but it was highly edited. Some elements were certainly embellished in the narration to make it appear that the cows were actually still alive when they were hoisted up on the chain when they were clearly dead due to the slack tongues and necks. The hot shots to the face, standing on the muzzle, forcing cows to stand and multiple shots to the head were not staged and needed to be dealt with.

I have no problem with whistleblowers calling attention to abuses as long as they stick to the actual abuses and don’t misrepresent normal death responses. Posting video of normal post-stun kicking and twitching dead cow with an obviously slack neck and tongue while claiming the cow is still alive is a blatant falsehood and does nothing to help people understand the actual kill process.

Death is never a pretty sight but as horrible as it is, let’s not confuse it with abusive treatment. It’s normal to be disturbed by it even when it’s done correctly. I worry about the people that aren’t bothered by it because they are the ones that end up abusing animals and people.

As far as the cows in the COK video are concerned, many of them could not walk due to udders horribly swollen with milk because they hadn’t been milked in at least 24 hours. High producing cows have to be milked at least 3x a day or they are miserable. It’s horribly inhumane to do that to a cow just because she’s going to the kill plant. The kill plant isn’t going to milk her and neither is the sale barn. The farmers should have the decency to euthanize the cow at the farm if she’s already suffering from illness or injury. Don’t compound it by making her carry around a huge, unmilked udder.

For a look at slaughter done properly, see http://www.animalhandling.org/ht/d/sp/i/80622/pid/80622. It accurately depicts the post-stunning reponse of the cows that is often portrayed as abuse by animal rights videos and explains how to determine if the cow is dead or not.

minkpuppy
08/28/2012
8:39AM

Cyndy,

The animals are not euthanized with drugs. They are euthanized with a hand-held captive bolt stunner applied to the skull. The bolt destroys the brain instantaneously. Drugs are never used to euthanize animals at slaughter plants.

Jade
08/28/2012
8:48AM

It does make a huge difference wether or not an organization deems itself animal rights or animal welfare. One is simply for the welfare of the animals, while animal rights groups believe animals have the right to live their lives without any human interference. Animal rights groups, HSUS included, want to abolish agriciulture. They go so far as to believe that we should not keep any domesticated animals because we are controlling them against their will, and god forbid we should do anything like ride a horse or keep chickens in the back yard for eggs, or keep a goat for milk. Again, I stress that what happened at this plant is unacceptable, but I swear these animal rights activists are going to be the demise of agriculture, even organic, natural, or sustainable agriculture.

Shelley
08/28/2012
10:55AM

I checked my feed reader, and I can’t tell if the writing is edited or not. But I could find sentences that led to what I think I may have been responding to. So apologies for questioning whether the text was edited or not.

I need to remember to copy text I’m replying to when I write a comment.

Anyway, to address your comment about staged video, you wrote the following

“They sometimes are sick, they always are old, and they often lay down to rest and refuse to get up. And here lies the opportunity for video if the plant is not impeccable in its handling of these non-ambulatory or “downer” animals.”

You imply that the undercover investigator is misrepresenting what’s happening in the plant–or that what is filmed is somehow not as bad as it seems. I don’t think anyone could misrepresent what was shown in the videos for Central Valley Meat.

I could have sworn there was something about unfairly closing plants, but that could have been comments to another of the writings on this event. Anyway, you also state, in your comment

“I have no problems with vegans, everyone should have a choice. What I have a problem with is when others try to impose their beliefs on me by driving up the cost of meat. Oh, and yes, perfectly good meat is destroyed because the Obama Administration banned all non-ambulatory cattle, not just old culled dairy cows. 20 month old, grain fed steers break legs and rupture tendons on ice and slippery surfaces. We use to be able to eat them, now they are taken to rendering and that, my friends, is a waste and drives up costs at the grocery stores..”

The concern about non-ambulatory cows is based on fears of Bovine spongiform encephalopathy, not based on humane handling concerns.

Though humane handling and food safety frequently go hand in hand, in this case, the ruling was based purely on food safety issues.

There’s a simple solution for milk farmers: don’t wait until cows are at death’s door to send off to slaughter. In addition, the farmers could rest the cow a few weeks, in which case it can handle the transport without collapse.

Regardless, if a cow is sick, it should not go into the food system.

Shelley
08/28/2012
11:53AM

MinkPuppy, I don’t need your lecture.

I could not find the text I thought I had responded to. It made it difficult to defend what I wrote in the first comment when I could’t find the text.

I asked if the text had been edited. It isn’t unusual for writers to edit their text, though usually they do note when the do.

Regardless, I apologized for traducing doc raymond’s honor.

Having said that, doc raymond is a big boy, I’m a big girl, we’ll work it out between us–as doc raymond demonstrated.

R.P.
08/28/2012
12:41PM

What a pathetic cluster.

Here we have smug bureaucrats and hysterical terrorists, timid patriots and belligerent scabs all stubbornly wrestling in their own ideological excrement. Meanwhile, a chickensh!t USDA serves the cause of extreme animal rights terrorists, capriciously shuttering a legitimate business AND directly curtailing their trade. Shades of more and more damage to be doled out to our food system, no doubt.

USDA has been infiltrated by anti-agriculture activist scabs. They corrupt our inspection service, our social services, our policy making.

Certainly there remain a few tried and true USDA employees but they are overwhelmed and can no longer craft intelligent rational policy. We cannot discern the good guys from the skulking activist scabs so we must purge all of them before it is too late for everyone.

There’s a new farm bill to be crafted. Let’s make it clear to congress our obsolete compromised USDA no longer supports the modern American agriculture that is so essential to our national security. Begin defunding USDA right away. Before the skunks decimate the henhouse irrevocably. Throw the creepy saboteurs out, all of them without exception, there is nothing to lose by it and everything to gain. It would be the first fiscally responsible move Congress has made in years.

Barbara Holman
08/29/2012
9:50AM

“If you want to get the public’s attention using video, you want to go to a facility that slaughters old dairy cows and then sells the meat to the NSLP. As opposed to 20-30 month old steers that have been content to eat grain in a feedlot, these cows are often 10-12 years of age, and are often not in good enough shape to handle a ride of even a few miles in hot weather.”

IOW, these animals have been so abused and mistreated that they must be further abused and mistreated.

Every time one of these undercover videos is made public, the so-called “food animal” industry tries to get us to believe that its an isolated incident. There is no reason to believe that’s the case. In fact, just the opposite is made clear every time we see this mind-numbing cruelty.

Don’t blame the messenger, as this op/ed does. Blame the industry for wanting bigger and bigger profits which is partially the reason for the cruelty – the workers cannot turn off the assembly line because it costs the company money.

This op/ed is very self-serving and defensive. He wants to believe the animals are treated well and its those bag ole animal rights people who are the real problem.

The real problem is that the consumer willingly believes these lies. They continue to buy and eat diseased “food” even though they know it will contribute to their own deaths from heart disease, cancer, diabetes, kidney disease and the list goes on and on.

Go ahead and eat chunks of charred corpse but don’t pretend you don’t the truth behind how it came to be on your plate.

Minkpuppy
08/29/2012
10:14AM

Shelley,

We all let our mouths and fingers get the better of us at times. It’s not easy to tell the context when you’re reading a post or email. I apologize if you took offense.

I’m getting more than a bit aggravated with this whole fiasco and will defend my colleagues tooth and nail without regrets or apologies. At first, I was outraged as everyone else but after gather the information and seeing the video, I realized I have no place bashing the inspectors at CVM. I’ve worked in the kill plants and I know what they have to deal with. I forgot where I came from and I apologize to the inspectors at CVM for jumping on the bandwagon and assuming they weren’t doing their jobs. Sometimes we get so accustomed to what we always see that we miss what we should be seeing.

I see this fiasco as more of a failing of the meat industry and FSIS management as a whole because they have not been letting everyone know what we do that is good and right. The AMI “glass walls” project is a step in the right direction but that video should have been out years ago.

Putting a face on the inspection force would also help tremendously. Instead we have to hide behind nicknames for fear of saying something that D.C. doesn’t like or hasn’t “authorized” which would result in a witch hunt for our jobs and livelihood. FSIS needs to get its head out of its butt and let inspectors talk about what we do and how we do it so people know that we are out there protecting them.

Shelley
08/29/2012
3:42PM

I understand, MinkPuppy. You and I agree more often than not.

I must confess I was feeling very irritated because I couldn’t find text I remembered. However, I should have assumed I had a brain fart, rather than the text was edited.

(It doesn’t help that, in another web site, in a thread related to the HSUS/Ringling Brothers RICO case, Center for Consumer Freedom people were marking every one of my comments as spam. Still, that was that site, this site is different.)

As for what you’re saying, I happen to believe the “boots on the ground” do a tough job with little thanks. I’ve seen this with the USDA APHIS AWA inspectors, where they’ve actually been threatened by backwoods red necks here in Missouri. I’m currently working on one story and my favorite little graphic for the story is a snapshot of an envelope with a threat on it–I just can’t tell if the threat is to the inspectors, the USDA, or the entire country.

(I love the FOIA–you get so much good material for stories.)

I see in these posts, here at FSN (and elsewhere), industry hacks who either blame the undercover agents (as Animal Rights Extremists/Terrorists), or who blame the (Big Government Evil) USDA–anything, other than the company who allowed such egregious inhumane handling to continue.

We’ll never do better as long as these games are played. We definitely won’t have good discussions while these games are played.

As I said, MinkPuppy, we agree more often than not.

Central Valley Meat Says It’s Reopened For Business

Food Poisoning Bulletin

One week after an undercover video prompted the  U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)  to suspend operations at  Central Valley Meat in Hanford, Calif., for what it described as “disturbing evidence of inhumane treatment of cattle”  the company says it is reopened for business.

“Sunday afternoon, the USDA informed us that it has accepted our action plan and we are free to reopen. With the announcement of that decision, Central Valley Meat will resume operations Monday morning and welcome our employees back to work,” the statement said. “We have worked closely with both inspectors and industry experts while developing our USDA-approved action plan. As a result, Central Valley Meat will provide better training for our workers, better monitoring of our facilities, and more frequent third-party audits of our operations. We believe these measures will establish a new industry standard for the handling of animals.”

Last week, after receiving the video, from Compassion Over Killing,  the USDA sent several teams of investigators to California  to gather information.  The inspectors found humane handling violations and suspended operations, but said that inspectors did not find any violations that posed a food safety concern such as downer cattle entering the food system.

The video prompted McDonalds, In-N-Out Burger, Costco and the USDA to announce that they would suspend purchases from the company. In response to the backlash, Central Valley Meat distributed to various media outlets a statement by renown professor of animal science, Temple Grandin, who reviewed  the video several times.

Grandin said some of the observations made by the narrator of the video are incorrect and that the cattle are stunned properly but that there was “overly aggressive and unacceptable use of electric prods with non-ambulatory cattle and in sensitive areas like the face. While there are times when prods are absolutely necessary, they must be used sparingly and never in the face or other sensitive areas. I would classify this as egregious animal abuse. This plant needs to rely less on prods and move to lower stress driving tools. Devices as simple as a stick with an inflated plastic bag on the end can be extremely effective in moving livestock. In general, cattle are handled much more easily by calm and patient handlers. The more agitated they become, the more difficult they become to move. I have advised the company about specific strategies for improving handling, like using a simple sheet of cardboard to move animals.”

Many of the animals slaughtered at Central Valley are “spent”  or, no longer productive, dairy cows, many of whom should have been euthanized on their farms, according to Grandin. “Some of the major issues in the video originate due to the poor condition of the animals arriving at the plant, many of which should have been euthanized on the farm. I urge the dairy industry to market their cows before they become weak and extremely debilitated.”

The USDA was unable to respond for requests for more information about this story by press time.

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[In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit, for research and/or educational purposes. This constitutes ‘FAIR USE’ of any such copyrighted material.]

Food Safety

 

Publisher’s Platform: It’s Time to Put Parnell Behind Bars

by Bill Marler | Apr 22, 2012
Opinion
I have developed a friendship with many of Stewart Parnell’s victims of the Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) Salmonella outbreak of 2009.  Many of them attended a press conference in 2011, where they asked why, after two years, was Parnell still free?  Re-reading internal emails from PCA from 2008 and 2009, I, too, have to ask why?

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“Turn them loose,” Parnell had told his plant manager in an internal e-mail disclosed at the House hearing. The e-mail referred to products that once were deemed contaminated but were cleared in a second test last year.
Parnell ordered products identified with salmonella to be shipped and quoting his complaints that tests discovering the contaminated food were “costing us huge $$$$$.”
Parnell insisted that the outbreak did not start at his plant, calling that a misunderstanding by the media and public health officials. “No salmonella has been found anywhere else in our products, or in our plants, or in any unopened containers of our product.”
Parnell complained to a worker after they notified him that salmonella had been found in more products. “I go thru this about once a week,” he wrote in a June 2008 e-mail. “I will hold my breath ………. again.”

Salmonella Ranks Highest in Reports to FDA’s Early-Warning Registry

April 22, 2012 By

For the second year in a row, Salmonella accounted for the largest percentage of hazards reported to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration under a new, early-warning reporting system.

Called the Reportable Food Registry, it requires manufacturers, processors, packers and distributors of FDA-regulated foods and animal feeds to quickly report to FDA any foods, feeds or ingredients that could result in serious adverse health consequences to humans or animals.

According to a new FDA report for the 12-month period that ended September 7, 2011, there were 225 primary, online reports involving 22 commodity categories. Salmonella accounted for 38.2 percent of reported hazards — a leading percentage that was very similar to the registry’s results in Year 1.

Undeclared allergens accounted for 33.3 percent and Listeria monocytogenes accounted for 17.8 percent of the 225 reports.

 

Read Full Article Here

 

 

Oregon Raw Milk E.coli Outbreak Targets Children

April 22, 2012 By

Of the 19 people who have been sickened by the raw milk E.coli outbreak linked to Foundation Farm in Oregon, 15 are children, four of whom have been hospitalized with kidney failure, according to the Oregon Health Authority.

The four children have hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a condition that develops in some children after an E. coli infection.  With HUS ”damaged red blood cells start to clog the filtering system in the kidneys, which may eventually cause the life-threatening kidney failure associated with hemolytic uremic syndrome,” according to the Mayo Clinic. Treatment of HUS can include fluid replacement, red blood cell transfusions, platelet transfusions, plasma exchange and kidney dialysis

 

Read Full Article Here

 

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Articles of Interest

Letter From The Editor: Comments

by Dan Flynn | Apr 22, 2012
Opinion
I really did not plan on stirring up reader comments last week, but I did.
That’s not what I have in mind for these Sunday sermons and generating comments is never on my agenda when reporting and writing news.
Nonetheless, Food Safety News welcomes comments and from time to time, I’ve generated my share.
Last week when I wrote about supermarkets, it was just my reactions to something we all have to do. I am always happy if I make someone smile or even chuckle a bit, but I am not here to give my political pronunciations on all foodie subjects. So, for those of you who thought I was dancing around a little, true that.

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The other subject that always brings comments that, frankly, often do not seem to be in sync with the story involved the application for a grant of inspection for horse slaughter for export by a New Mexico company that was previously in the beef slaughter business.
Just the paragraph above is enough to have me again accused of “promoting horse slaughter” by at least some of our readers.  This has been coming up repeatedly ever since I first reported on this subject. There was even a comment in our reader survey labeling me as a “promoter” of horse slaughter.
Folks, I am an observer, not a player, in this game. The Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA) has been around since 1906, giving USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service the authority and mandate to provide inspection and regulation of cattle, sheep, goats, swine and equines.
But USDA was then banned by Congress from using tax money for ante-mortem inspection of horses–meaning before an animal is killed– beginning in fiscal year 2006, and in 2007 the last three horse slaughter operations in the U.S. were shut down.
Roll forward to late 2011, and a House-Senate Conference Committee and President Obama came to an agreement to resume the mostly tax-funded inspections if a qualified business requests them.
Horse slaughter is a subject where – to quote former USDA Undersecretary for Food Safety Richard Raymond – “there is no middle ground, sometimes there is no common sense.”
Since the ban was lifted, Food Safety News has reported on two potential calls on FSIS resources for horse slaughter inspection. One has involved a private group currently focused on Missouri, and the other is from Roswell, NM.

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[In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit, for research and/or educational purposes. This constitutes ‘FAIR USE’ of any such copyrighted material.]

Food Safety

 

Stop the giveaway to Big Ag. Support local foods in the Farm Bill!

Every five years, the federal farm bill sets our nation’s food policies — it’s the single biggest factor in determining what ends up on your plate.

But right now Congress is only providing minimal support for healthy, local and organic foods while expanding wasteful subsidies and giveaways that support the wealthiest agribusinesses — at the expense of family farmers.

Next week, the Senate Agriculture Committee will start writing its version of the 2012 Farm Bill. It’s incredibly important that Congress get this right — so CREDO Action is teaming up with Environmental Working Group to stop the giveaway to Big Ag and support food and farm policies that protect our environment and expand access to healthy food.

Tell the Senate: Stop the giveaway to Big Ag. Pass a Farm Bill that supports local, healthy and organic food.

Read Full Article Here

 

 

Oregon Teen in Critical Condition from E. Coli Linked to Raw Milk

A 13-year-old, one of four children hospitalized in an outbreak E. coli infection linked to raw milk, is in critical condition, according to a spokesman from Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland, OR.

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As of Thursday, the potentially fatal foodborne pathogen had sickened as many as 18 people in Oregon. Five of the cases patients have lab-confirmed cases of E. coli infection and the others have symptoms, with test results pending. All of those ill in the outbreak reported drinking unpasteurized milk form Foundation Farm near Wilsonville.
The hospitalized children, who range in age from 1 to 13, developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure; information about the conditions of the other three children was not immediately available.

Salmonella Again Tops Reportable Food Registry Hazards

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday released its second annual review of the Reportable Food Registry, the program that requires domestic and foreign food makers to report potentially hazardous foods that have entered U.S. commerce.

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The program’s second year of operation, from Sept. 8, 2010 to Sept. 7 2011, included 882 reports of hazardous human and animal foods, including 225 “primary reports” on particular food items. That compares with the 2,240 reports entered in the first year, of which 229 were primary reports. (The FDA attributed the difference to three food items that received a huge number of secondary reports the first year.)
Despite the drop in secondary reports, the FDA saw the number of “amended reports” — reports that correct or add to primary reports – increase from 139 to 174 (25 percent) this year. The increase suggests more facilities are investigating problems and following up on their causes with the FDA.
Salmonella contamination prompted 38.2 percent of this year’s reports, while undeclared allergens accounted for 33.3 percent and Listeria accounted for 17.8 percent. That compares similarly with the first year, when Salmonella made 37.6 percent, undeclared allergens 30.1 percent and Listeria 14.4 percent.
E. coli O157:H7 accounted for 0.4 percent of contaminants reported this year and 2.6 percent the year before.

30 Lawmakers Ask USDA to ‘Correct the Public Record’ on LFTB

Thirty lawmakers wrote to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Thursday asking what the U.S. Department of Agriculture has done and can do in the future to help stop “the campaign of the misinformation” about Lean Finely Textured Beef, now widely known to American consumers as “pink slime.”

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Calling the media coverage and subsequent consumer revolt against LFTB “a campaign of misinformation,” members of Congress, many of them from beef states, asked USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service to outline what steps it had taken to “correct the public record and educate consumers about the safety of LFTB.”

“Although we believe the USDA is in a unique position to help bring to light the facts about LFTB, we understand that Congress, too, can play a role,” reads the letter. “We will continue to do our part to educate the public about this important issue and the significant role that BPI has played in advancing food safety in America, but we also believe that we must work in concert with the USDA.”

Felony Indictment Charges Four in Tainted Cheese Conspiracy

A federal grand jury in Chicago has returned a six-count indictment against four individuals, alleging they were involved in a 2007 scheme to ship more than 110,000 pounds of contaminated Mexican-style cheese.

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The indictment does not claim that the cheese caused human illnesses or other public health consequences, according to Patrick J. Fitzgerald, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois. But lab analysis of the cheese showed it was adulterated with Salmonella, E. coli and other illness-causing bacteria, Fitzgerald said.
The conspiracy was complex. One defendant owned an Illinois company that imported the dried Mexican cheese to the U.S., and another defendant owned a Wisconsin company with a facility in suburban Elmhurst, IL that distributed cheese to customers nationwide.

Oh Rats! They Carry Salmonella, Too

Along with reports of Salmonella infection outbreaks involving contact with chicks and ducks, tiny turtles and pet frogs, add 46 cases of Salmonella I 4,[5],12:i:- infection linked to handling rodents sold as food for pet reptiles and amphibians.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in its April 20 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report “Notes from the Field,” says 22 states are reporting the illnesses, and that the median age of those stricken is 11 years old. More than one third of those ill are younger than 5. At least 6 case patients have been hospitalized.

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Many of the children and others infected reported handling live or frozen rats or mice, which the CDC refers to as “feeder rodents.”

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Allergen Alert

 

 

Allergen Alert: Preserved Apricots With Sulfites

Hong Lee Trading of Brooklyn, NY is recalling Peacock Brand Preserved Apricots imported from Vietnam because they may contain sulfites that were not declared on the label.

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Routine sampling and analysis by New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets Food Inspectors revealed the presence of sulfites in packages of the preserved apricots.

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Articles of Interest

 

Italy’s Experience Liberalizing Raw Milk Sales: Can’t Put the Genie Back in the Bottle

Magnitude of health burden appears underestimated, or underreported

Opinion
On Jan. 25, 2007, Italy formally authorized the sale of raw milk to consumers through automatic vending devices. The decision had its legal basis in the generous interpretation  of a 2004 provision in European Union hygiene law, and followed intense lobbying from farmers and local authorities.
In fact, since 2004, local authorities had permitted sales of raw milk in their territories.
The 2007 decision requires registration of vending devices with the authorities, and authorized the placing of devices not only within farms, but also elsewhere in the same province. Pooling of milk from different farms is not permitted; each device corresponds to an individual farm.
The decision also mandates two analytical controls per month, on farm (and not in the end product), on Plate count (at 30 °C , per ml, with a limit of ≤ 100 000) and somatic cell count (per ml, with a limit of 400,000), and requires compliance with the limits, set by EU law, for the average of the two measurements. An unfortunate consequence of this requirement has been that compliance with the limits has been interpreted as proof of safety of the final product.
In the technical annex to the decision, a number of mandatory procedures are named, and the legal requirement for raw milk to be safe is repeated multiple times. In language which lends itself to multiple interpretations, analytical monitoring is required for pathogens (S. aureus, Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella spp, E. coli O157, Campylobacter) and contaminants (aflatoxins) on animals and milk, though no minimum frequency is mandated.
Moreover, fresh raw milk has to be supplied daily, and unsold milk from the previous day has to be collected and cannot be sold as such.
The vending devices can provide raw milk from tap, or automatically fill bottles, which need to carry the label “unpasteurized raw milk.” Moreover, raw milk has to be kept between 0 and 4 C (32 to 39 F) at all times, with an automatic mechanism to stop distribution if temperature exceeds the limits. A temperature data logger needs to be installed.

 

Read Full Article Here

 

 

Bayer Advanced Insect Killer Plays on Consumer’s Fear of Germs

 

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Bayer’s GERM KILLER Insect spray preys on consumer’s fanatical fear of germs! Absolutely IDIOTIC!

I love to show the public how ridiculously stupid they are.

I was in Lowe’s yesterday.  I happened to notice a display of Bayer insect spray that made me (involuntarily!)  shout…, “WHAT?”  It wasn’t the Bayer name that got me; it was the fact that I saw GERM KILLER on the same label with the words “insect”.  Incredibly, the label says…

 

Read Full Article Here

 

 

Is Vermont’s Governor Surrendering to Monsanto?

Vermont’s governor has 2 weeks to stand with 90 percent of his constituents who favor labeling genetically engineered foods, or cave to Monsanto.
 

Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin has less than two weeks to either stand with the 90 percent of his constituents who support a mandatory labeling bill for genetically engineered foods — or cave in to Monsanto’s threat to sue the state if legislators pass H.722.

If the Governor’s words this past week are any indication, he’s already surrendered to Monsanto. But Vermonters, not known for backing down from a fight, are challenging legislators to take on the biotech industry. They’re even offering to raise money for the state’s defense.

Last week thousands of Vermonters flooded the Governor’s office with petitions, phone calls and emails, to make the case for GMO labeling of all food sold in Vermont and to demand a vote on the bill. Under Vermont’s constitution, the Governor can extend the state’s legislative session indefinitely, ultimately forcing a vote on the bill. If he doesn’t extend the session, or urge legislators to vote on the bill, it will die in committee.

 

Read Full Article Here

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[In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit, for research and/or educational purposes. This constitutes ‘FAIR USE’ of any such copyrighted material.]

Food Safety

ABC Slams USDA’s Poultry Inspection Plan

USDA tells ABC it will delay HIMP plan to respond to critics

by Helena Bottemiller | Apr 19, 2012

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will delay a proposed rule to expand a controversial poultry inspection system, ABC World News reported in a scathing segment Wednesday.

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The decision was made “to give the agency more time to respond to critics,” according to the report by ABC’s Jim Avila, who was a key figure in the recent “pink slime” firestorm.

The rule in question would broadly expand the HACCP Based Inspection Models Project (HIMP) beyond the 20 poultry plants already participating. The HIMP model reduces the number of Food Safety and Inspection Service inspectors on duty and largely turns over physical inspections to company employees, while allowing plants to speed up their lines to 175 birds per minute, over the current 140 bpm limit. FSIS says the proposal will modernize an outdated inspection system, save taxpayers around $90 million over three years, and prevent 5,200 foodborne illnesses, mostly from Salmonella, annually.

The National Chicken Council has been strongly in favor of the proposal, which would save the industry $250 million each year, according to USDA estimates.

Read Full Article Here

Missouri House Moves Ag-Gag Bill to Senate

by Dan Flynn | Apr 19, 2012
Missouri could become the third state this year to impose criminal sanctions, including jail time, against the practices animal welfare groups have used to expose both animal agriculture cruelty and food safety violations.

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In a 124-29 vote, Missouri’s lower house adopted a House Bill 1860 amended to include a section on “Agricultural Production Facility Fraud” with the same sort of ag-gag provisions that were signed into law in Iowa and Utah earlier this year.
If the state Senate agrees before it adjourns May 12, Missouri’s new agricultural crimes will be production “facility fraud” and “interference.”

Anyone recording the image or sound at an ag production facility without the consent of the owner could be charged with a Class A misdemeanor.  Conviction of a Class A misdemeanor carries a jail term of up to one year and a $1,000 fine or

Read Full Article Here

Food Poisoning Strikes 250 Inmates at Michigan Jail

by News Desk | Apr 19, 2012
About 250 inmates being held at the Kent County Jail in Grand Rapids, MI suffering with food poisoning symptoms since Sunday still do not know for certain what ails them.
None required hospitalization and all are said to be recovering.

E. Coli Case Count in Missouri Rises to 14; Raw Milk Implicated

by News Desk | Apr 19, 2012
Fourteen people have been sickened by E. coli O157:H7 in central Missouri, and seven now report consuming unpasteurized milk from the same farm before becoming ill, according to Gena Terlizzi, office of public information, Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.

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Investigators at the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Service (DHSS) have not yet identified a definite source of the outbreak, but a farm in Howard County is under investigation.

‘Food Wars’ in Post-Soviet Space: New Episodes

by Volha Samasiuk | Apr 19, 2012
Opinion
Food safety and technical standards and regulations are traditionally viewed as effective tools for public health protection. However, they can also be used as protectionist measures aiming to shield domestic producers from competition. The weak legal framework for implementing these measures may lead to trade disputes between countries. Here are the several examples of such conflicts among post-Soviet countries that are not uncommon at the present time.
A Bit of History
In the Soviet era, the economy of former Soviet republics developed as an integral part of USSR’s single national-economic complex. Russia, a country with huge natural, financial and human resources, dominated and tended to be the center for political and economic decisions. Other republics were mostly considered as raw suppliers for Russia.
The Soviet Union’s breakup resulted in sharp economic contraction as traditional trade ties collapsed. The agricultural and food production sectors of newly independent states come under significant pressure. Each former republic faced the necessity of protecting its own food producers and at the same time providing its population with food.

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Recalls

Listeria Concern Prompts Expanded Deli Sandwich Recall

by Julia Thomas | Apr 19, 2012
M.E. Thompson of Jacksonville, FL is expanding the recall of its Anytime Deli Turkey & Ham Footlong to include the Italian Footlong and Classic Cuban, sold under the brand names Anytime Deli, Sandwich Central and Dandee, because the sandwiches may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

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The recall was the result of routine sampling by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, which revealed that the finished products contained Listeria monocytogenes.  According to the recall news release, since the original sampling no other finished products have been shown to contain Listeria, but the latest recall is a precautionary measure.
No confirmed illnesses have been reported to date.

Hong Lee Trading Recalling Preserved Apricots for Undeclared Sulfites

April 19, 2012 By

Hong Lee Trading of Brooklyn New York is recalling Peacock Brand Preserved Apricots because the product may contain undeclared sulfites.

Product details:

  • Peacock Brand Preserved Apricots
  • Un-coded, 300 gram (10.6 ounce) clear plastic container
  • Sold nationwide
  • Product of Vietnam
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Allergy Alert

Canada Rescinds Allergy Alert for BioX Xtreme Power Products

April 19, 2012 By Leave a Comment

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has rescinded a March 2012 allergy alert for BioX brand Xtreme Power Whey Isolate Powder and Protein Shot Recovery Blue Raspberry Drink. The products do not contain egg.

 

Read Full Article Here

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Articles of Interest

First lawsuit filed in salmonella outbreak tied to sushi

Courtesy of Amy Karfonta

Amy Karfonta, a 22-year-old from Wisconsin, came down with salmonella symptoms days after eating a tuna roll at a sushi restaurant.

By Bill Briggs

The first lawsuit spawned by a salmonella outbreak that appears to be linked to sushi — which has now sickened 141 people in 20 states plus the District of Columbia — was filed late Wednesday against Moon Marine U.S.A. Corp, a Cupertino, Calif., seafood importer.

The suit alleges that two Wisconsin women, ages 22 and 33, were hospitalized and still are recovering from salmonella poisoning contracted six to nine weeks ago when they dined, separately, at the same local restaurant, both consuming tuna rolls originally sold by Moon Marine.

Read Full Article Here

USDA Makes Grants Available for Farm to School Programs

by Gretchen Goetz | Apr 19, 2012

Farm to school food programs are set to receive a boost this October in the form of $3.5 million in federal grant money.

Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Kathleen Merrigan announced Tuesday that the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service is now accepting applications for a series of grants – each one to be no more than  $100,000 – to fund programs that bring locally produced foods to school cafeterias.

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The money was earmarked by the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act (HHFKA) of 2010 championed by First Lady Michelle Obama. The act aims to improve child nutrition nationwide in order to combat the dual problems of overweight and obesity and food insecurity. In the United States, approximately 17 percent of children ages 2-19 are obese and, according to Merrigan, 18 million are food insecure, meaning they do not always know where their next meal will come from.

“We know for some many children school meals are the only real meal they get in the day so it’s very important that these meals be top notch and farm to school can play a very important role there,” said Merrigan at Tuesday’s press conference.

Read Full Article Here

 

Lawsuit Claims KFC Store Directed Workers to Serve Rotten Chicken

April 19, 2012 By

A former KFC store manager in Oregon has filed a wrongful termination lawsuit in state Circuit Court in Multnomah County saying he was fired for refusing to cook and serve rotten chicken. The suit by James Macneal was filed this week and is partly based on an Oregon health and safety whistleblowing law.

Macneal alleges in a complaint against the local owners of a KFC outlet in Seaside, Oregon, that he and another employee were repeatedly told to use raw chicken that was past expiration. His refusal, resistance and threat to call the Oregon Health Department resulted in his firing last May, the lawsuit alleges.

 

Read Full Article Here

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[In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit, for research and/or educational purposes. This constitutes ‘FAIR USE’ of any such copyrighted material.]

Food Safety

Flashback: USDA ‘Doesn’t Know’ if You Are Eating Cloned Meat

Anthony Gucciardi
NaturalSociety
It may come as a surprise, but you may be consuming cloned meat on a regular basis. In fact, the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture (head of the USDA) says that he has no idea whether or not cloned meat has been sold inside the United States — or even how much. But instead of investigating or setting up parameters, the USDA asserts that it is safe in their view so there is no cause for alarm. It is currently forbidden by the agency itself for any producer to distribute or sell cloned meat.The news came back in August of 2010, when U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack went on record saying that he really doesn’t know whether or not cloned meat is being put on dinner tables nationwide. The announcement was made after the United Kingdom’s Food Standards Agency told consumers that meat from descendants of cloned animals had alreadyentered the food supply. Of course the agency made the statements a year after the cloned products leaked into the food chain. Still, just like the USDA, the UK’s FSA stated that they believe cloned meat poses no risk, so citizens should not panic. The reason? They say that cloned meat has ‘ no substantial difference’ to traditional meat, and therefore it is safe.

Hawaii Focuses on Food Safety and Local Ag

More locally grown food and safer growing methods are the goals of a couple of bills close to passing the final hurdle in the Hawaii Legislature.
Small farmers appear split on the bills. They like House Bill 2703, which sets out to double the locally grown food supply by 2020. They have doubts about HB 1947, which would give the Hawaii Department of Agriculture the power to conduct audit and certification programs.
Both measures are waiting for a final vote in the Hawaii Senate before they will likely land on Governor Neil Abercrombie’s desk.
A sign that changes may be in the works came over the weekend when the Diamond Head Farmers Market, held on Saturdays, told farmers that in the future they’d have to be “safety certified” to have a place to sell their products. The Diamond Head is considered Oahu’s leading farmers market.
It’s run by Kapiolani Community College (KCC), which opted to get the word out early to farmers.  It expects to lose only a couple of vendors.

New SE Test Kits for Eggs, Environmental Samples

Applied Biosystems TaqMan ® is a new Salmonella Enteritidis detection kit used on eggs that is now also able to take environmental samples at production houses involved in handling and packaging.
The kit previously received an “interim” approval for environmental sampling from the National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP), the unit of the U.S. Department of Agriculture that governs safety standards at poultry houses .
Life Technologies Corporation, the NASDAQ traded company that makes the kit, will now be able to use the method to test for SE in both eggs and poultry houses….
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Recalls

Ceramic Wine Goblets Recalled

An Illinois-based company is recalling ceramic wine goblets sold nationwide because they may contain more leachable lead and cadmium than federal regulations allow.

Enesco, LLC of Itasca, IL has announced a voluntary recall of 300 of its “Any Wine Will Do” wine goblets because internal product testing revealed levels of leachable lead and cadmium beyond those considered safe by Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidance.

Read Full Article Here

Berry Cookies Recalled for Undeclared Milk

Biscomerica Corp. is recalling 4 types of berry cookies because they may contain milk that is not listed as an ingredient.

The California-based company is voluntarily recalling cartons of its Knott’s Berry Farm brand Boysenberry Cookies, Blueberry Cookies, Raspberry Cookies and Strawberry Cookies, citing a risk that the products may contain undeclared milk.

Vegetable Biryani Recalled for Undeclared Allergen

A New York-based company is voluntarily recalling packages of frozen Vegetable Biryani because they contain an undeclared nut allergen.

Rajbhong Food of Flushing, NY has issued a recall of packages of frozen, ready-to-eat Vegetable Biryani because they contain cashews – a potential allergen – that are not listed as an ingredient.
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Articles of Interest

Raw Milk: A Mother’s Story

by Mary McGonigle-Martin

My interest in health and nutrition began some 30 years ago.  At 19 I quit smoking and for the first time in my life put on some extra pounds. (I’m sure it had something to do with the Hershey chocolate bars I consumed to ward off each and every cigarette craving.)  Anyway, these extra pounds motivated my investigation of weight loss diets and I was horrified to discover that everything I’d been consuming my entire life was in essence a physiological time bomb. Processed foods are bad for you?  Who could have known? And how could this be?  I mean, if processed foods hurt people, why are they allowed to be sold?
Having always been an avid reader I was amazed to discover a world replete with nutritional information regarding diet and how to eat healthy.  I slowly transformed my bad habits.  I quit my job at a fast food restaurant and went to work in a vitamin store. Running replaced my affinity for cigarettes and my former assortment of junk food was nowhere to be found in the health food store I now regularly found myself.
Studying food labels became the rule, and I shunned any artificial flavorings, colorings, chemicals or preservatives. I juiced, ate fruits and vegetables, whole grain products, yogurt and baked chicken and fish. Raw eggs, milk and cheese also became part of my new diet after I came across encouraging literature regarding their benefits. (Raw milk is legal in California, so its purchase only required a quick trip to the health food store.)
My fervent dedication to eating well lasted for several years. When my husband entered my life, it became very difficult to maintain the purity of my diet. As time passed, I continued to eat healthier than most of my peers, but not as strict as I had for those few years in my late teens and early 20s…..

Dairy-Related Outbreaks, Illnesses, Recalls: 2010 to Present

In February of this year the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a study which found that raw milk is 150 times more likely than pasteurized milk to sicken those who drink it. The study took into account all dairy-related outbreaks between 1993 and 2006.
Since that time, a number of outbreaks linked to dairy products have occurred, expanding the data set on dairy outbreaks beyond what the CDC was able to take into account.
The following line list was compiled by Real Raw Milk Facts through searches for government and dairy industry press releases, reports and newsletters announcing dairy-related outbreaks and recalls.
The data precede official statistics from the CDC, which have an approximately 2-year time lag before being available to the public.

[In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit, for research and/or educational purposes. This constitutes ‘FAIR USE’ of any such copyrighted material.]

Food Safety

FDA Warning Letters

By News Desk

From the U.S. and Food and Drug Administration warning letters posted since our March 20, 2012 update:- J.M. Smucker of Orrville, OH, was warned that a January 2012 inspection of the company’s Ripon, WI facility determined that the firm was…

http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/03/fda-warning-letters-march-27-2012-update/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=120328

Alabama McDonald’s Customers Possibly Exposed to Hepatitis A

By News Desk

Customers who ate at a McDonald’s in Northport, AL between February 28 and March 14 may have been exposed to hepatitis A through an infected employee, according to the Alabama Department of Health. In a news alert, state health officials advised…

http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/03/alabama-mcdonalds-customers-possibly-exposed-to-hepatitis-a/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=120328

Governors and USDA Officials Join Together to Defend BPI

By James Andrews

In response to the dramatic public reaction to recent media stories on Beef Products Inc.’s lean finely textured beef (LFTB) — the ground beef supplement often referred to as “pink slime” — leaders in government are coming to the defense…

http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/03/governors-and-usda-officials-join-together-to-defend-bpi/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=120329

Food Safety Is Top Priority for London 2012 Games

By Dan Flynn

Transportation, terrorism and tickets have been among the top concerns for planners of London 2012, the summer Olympic Games that begin in just 120 days.But now they are turning their attention to a new problem—what to do about food safety..

http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/03/food-safety-is-top-priority-at-london-2012-games/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=120329

Advisory Committee Discusses New School Ground Beef Safety Criteria

By News Desk

The National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods (NACMCF), an interagency committee with outside experts, held a meeting Wednesday (via conference call) to discuss ground beef purchasing requirements for federal food and nutrition assistance programs — and unanimously accepted…

http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/03/advisory-committee-approves-new-school-ground-beef-safety-criteria/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=120329

FSIS Issues New Trim Sampling Requirements

By News Desk

The USDA’s Food Safety & Inspection Service (FSIS) issued a notice last week that gives its inspection personnel specific instructions on how to randomly select the beef trimmings to be tested under the MT50 project code, which includes E. coli…

http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/03/fsis-issues-new-trim-sampling-requirements/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=120329

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Health

Bedrock of vaccination theory crumbles as science reveals antibodies not necessary to fight viruses

By Ethan A. Huff

(NaturalNews) While the medical, pharmaceutical, and vaccine industries are busy pushing new vaccines for practically every condition under the sun, a new study published in the journal Immunity completely deconstructs the entire vaccination theory. It turns out that the body’s natural immune systems, comprised of both innate and adaptive components, work together to ward off disease without the need for antibody-producing vaccines. The theory behind vaccines is that they mimic infection by spurring…

http://www.naturalnews.com/035371_vaccine_theory_antibodies_viruses.html

Unraveling the myth of ‘bad’ chloresterol

By J. D. Heyes,

(NaturalNews) Scratch what you think you know about the supposed ill effects of cholesterol. Turns out, it’s not the villain it’s been made out to be, says one notable expert. Writing for the online medical journal PreventDisease.com, Dr. Ron Rosedale, M.D., a noted international authority on nutrition and metabolic medicine, says that despite the common belief that cholesterol is the primary culprit behind cardiovascular disease and “despite dozens of studies, cholesterol has not been shown to…

http://www.naturalnews.com/035375_cholesterol_myths_heart_disease.html

More aspartame side effects revealed – headaches, blurred vision, neurological symptoms and more

By Aurora Geib,

(NaturalNews) For a great majority of Americans who consume processed food, food additives are an ever-present component of the menu and one with serious health effects. In the United States as well as in Canada, aspartame – an artificial low-calorie sweetener – has been used as a food additive as early as 1981 after it was approved for use in dry goods. It was approved again in the US in 1983 for carbonated drinks. This approval came in the face of much opposition which has not seen any respite…

http://www.naturalnews.com/035382_aspartame_side_effects_headaches.html

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Holistic Health

Eating This Fatty Snack Can Protect Your Heart and More

By Dr. Mercola

If you’re looking for a nutritious, quick snack, nuts (raw, organic and in moderation) are a near perfect option.

With healthy fats, fiber, plant sterols and many vitamins and minerals, nuts pack a powerful nutritional punch, all wrapped up in a tiny bite-sized package.

In fact, a recent epidemiologic study revealed that nuts offer many benefits for your health, even reducing your risk of serious chronic disease.

Nuts Support Heart Health, Lower Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome Risk

There have not been many epidemiologic studies undertaken to assess the effect of nut consumption on health risks, but a recent study involving more than 13,000 people, published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, set out to do just that.

Those who ate nuts gained numerous benefits compared to non-nut eaters, including:…..

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/03/29/raw-nuts-health-benefits.aspx?e_cid=20120329_DNL_art_3

Using your thoughts to better your reality

By Kim Evans,

(NaturalNews) There’s something to be said for focusing on the positive. Actually, metaphysicians and personal life coaches will tell you that focusing on the positive is everything. They’ll tell you that and they’ll tell you that your subconscious mind drives the reality around you. So if you’re subconsciously, or consciously, focused on the negative, your subconscious mind will steer you right there. Metaphysicians will also tell you that we create all, or most of the problems in our lives,…

http://www.naturalnews.com/035374_thinking_positive_reality_mental_focus.html

Beets help prevent cancer and prevent cancer

By Paul Fassa,

(NaturalNews)It figures: one of the least tasty vegetables turns out to be among the healthiest – beets. Fortunately, raw beets work well for juicing. Beets mixed with juiced fresh carrots, some apple and some greens thrown in then topped off with a freshly squeezed lemon provides a tasty vegetable juice. Beets lose a lot of their nutritional value if cooked more than 15 minutes. This means the the most delicious beet entree offered, beet soup with a couple of dollops of sour cream, won’t support…

http://www.naturalnews.com/035377_beets_cancer_cardiovascular_disease.html

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Pet Health

Enzyme Replacement Therapy for EPI

Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI) is a condition in which an animal’s body can’t produce enough digestive enzymes to properly break down food. Because the food isn’t broken down, the animal is unable to absorb the nutrients, and it passes through the body undigested. This is why the disease is sometimes called maldigestion syndrome.

The affected cat or dog is essentially starving to death, even though he or she is eating voraciously. The animal will pass foul-smelling, loose, light-colored stools and lose weight rapidly. The stool may sometimes contain blood in cats with EPI. The body deteriorates rapidly (atrophy) and the haircoat becomes dull and thin.

Cause and Diagnosis of EPI…..

http://www.petmd.com/dog/wellness/evr_multi_ezyme_replacement_therapy_for_epi#.T3U0ZbRZfe8

Feeding Dogs with EPI

Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI), also known as maldigestion syndrome, causes an animal to be unable to break down the nutrients in food. This in turn causes the nutrients in the food to pass through the body undigested. Basically, a cat or dog with EPI is starving to death, even as it develops a voracious appetite.

EPI is due to a defect in the pancreas which prohibits the organ’s ability to produce the necessary digestive enzymes. The pancreas, though small, produces and stores the enzymes necessary for breaking down protein, starch, and fats in the food the animal eats. If the food is not broken down so that the body can absorb the nutrients, the animal cannot survive. Your pet will also have foul-smelling, loose, light-colored stools and become emaciated quickly…..

http://www.petmd.com/dog/care/evr_multi_feeding_dogs_with_epi#.T3U1CrRZfe8

Exercising with Your Dog 101

Do you feel guilty that your pet doesn’t get enough time with you? It’s a trap that happens to most of us, but one that can be easily remedied. Here are some guidelines for enriching your pet’s life and health through exercise.

Why Exercising Your Dog Makes Sense

Big or small, young or old, dogs need to exercise daily. While some breeds have special needs that have to be taken into account, and dogs do slow down as they age, they still need to take part in some form of daily physical activity. Without activity, your dog will become bored, frustrated and unhealthy. Exercise tones the muscles, helps the body and metabolic system to function properly, and engages the mind. Anyone who has had a dog that suffers from lack of physical activity and mental stimulation will tell you that they will often turn to destructive behaviors — behaviors that magically disappear once the dog is getting out everyday.

Physically, dogs will also become obese if they are not allowed to burn off the calories they take in during the day. This is especially true if they are being given a lot of treats in compensation for lack of attention…..

http://www.petmd.com/dog/wellness/evr_dg_exercising_with_your_dog101#.T3U0rLRZfe8

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Recalls

Salsa Recalled Over Jalapeno Salmonella Concerns

By Julia Thomas

Club Chef is recalling certain salsas because they may be contaminated with Salmonella.The potential for contamination was noted after a random test by the Ohio Department of Agriculture in a store in Ohio revealed the presence of Salmonella in a…

http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/03/salsa-recalled/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=120329

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Misc

Massive public protests spur France to ban plantings of Monsanto’s MON810 GMO corn

By Jonathan Benson,

(NaturalNews) On the heels of ongoing, massive protests against genetically-modified organisms (GMOs), French agricultural officials have announced that plantings of Monsanto’s MON810 GM corn, which contains built-in Bt toxin, will no longer be permitted within France. Reports explain that the moratorium is only temporary, but since there is no indication that opposition to the “Frankencorn” will cease anytime soon, the ban could last indefinitely. Last November, French authorities lifted a longtime…

http://www.naturalnews.com/035379_France_GM_corn_Monsanto.html

EPA tramples personal property rights, orders couple to fork over $75,000 a day for phony ‘violations’

By Ethan A. Huff,

(NaturalNews) An Idaho couple that was ordered recently by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to stop building a house on their own property and pay fines of up to $75,000 a day until the property was returned back to its original condition, has been granted due process and a hearing by the U.S. Supreme Court. The ruling is a first as it now allows property owners to challenge the EPA’s violation allegations prior to, rather than after, enforcement actions are taken. In 2005, Mike and Chantell…

http://www.naturalnews.com/035381_EPA_property_rights_violations.html

Food Safety

Department of Agriculture to offer beef without ‘pink slime’ to schools

By Mike Lillis

Facing increasing pressure over its embrace of “pink slime,” the Obama administration announced Thursday that it will offer schools ground beef absent the controversial product.

http://thehill.com/blogs/hillicon-valley/technology/216299-house-democrats-demand-meeting-with-apple-over-privacy

Working with Public Health Officials Key Topic at Food Safety Summit

By News Desk

Oscar Garrison, President of AFDO will present How the Food Industry and Public Health Officials Must Collaborate to Succeed at the Food Safety Summit on Wed, April 18. In addition to this keynote, Mr. Garrison will present a follow up…

http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/03/working-with-public-health-officials-a-key-topic-at-food-safety-summit/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=120315

 

USDA Offers School Districts Choice on ‘Pink Slime’

By Helena Bottemiller

In response to nationwide concern among parents and school service providers about ‘pink slime’ being purchased by the national school lunch program, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Thursday that next year it will give school districts the ability to…

http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/03/usda-to-offer-school-districts-choice-on-pink-slime/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=120315

Health

 

Washington elites queue up to see nine justices on hot seat

By Janet Adamy and Jess Bravin

The hottest ticket in the capital is for a spot inside the Supreme Court to watch three days of arguments challenging the 2010 health-care law that begin here a week from Monday.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303863404577283631472580966.html?mod=ITP_AHED

 

Holistic Health

 

Australia May Declare Homeopathy ‘Baseless and Unethical’

Homeopathic medicine practitioners may have to defend their practice in Australia after the National Health and Medical Research Council decided that their practices may be ineffective and unethical. A statement issued claims that it is “unethical for health practitioners to treat patients using homeopathy, because a homeopathic medicine or procedure has apparently been shown to be ineffective.”

http://www.activistpost.com/2012/03/australia-may-declare-homeopathy.html

 

Prevent or reverse hardening of the arteries without deadly pharmaceuticals

(NaturalNews) It’s commonly known that cranberry juice is beneficial for clearing and eliminating infections of urinary tracts. But several studies have recently discovered another benefit for cranberry juice – heart health. Hardened and obstructed arteries lead to blood vessels collapsing or rupturing, initiating heart attacks. Cranberry juice helps arteries become more flexible as well as remaining sufficiently dilated to not obstruct blood flow. It appears that what helps clear the urinary…

 

http://www.naturalnews.com/035249_hardening_of_the_arteries_cranberries_remedies.html

 

Big Pharma propaganda now pushing drug that ‘treats’ racism – chemical mind control?


(NaturalNews) Research has shown the Beta-blocker Propranolol has the side effect of making people less subconsciously racist it was reported in the Daily Telegraph. While racism is not a trait celebrated by most, it is a basic right to have free thought on all subjects, and these findings have wide ranging moral ramifications. Over the years the push for anti-racism has been celebrated as a liberal goal to create a world in which we all thrive in an environment where everyone is equal regardless…

Easy homemade remedies relieve arthritis and joint pain

(NaturalNews) Homemade remedies for arthritis, gout and other joint pain are never farther away than the kitchen cupboard or the refrigerator. Joint disease is the result of various causes ranging from aging, to over-use and autoimmune diseases that attack joints and surrounding tissue. Pharmaceutical companies have designer drugs that reduce inflammation to help relieve pain and often cause significant side effects. The ingredients for homemade remedies can be purchased at grocery and health food…

Warning to vegetarians: Many prescription drugs secretly made with animal parts


(NaturalNews) Genetically modified organisms and bovine growth hormones are in thousands of prescription drugs all over the world without any warning whatsoever. Plus, over 40% of humans are allergic to either consuming or injecting gelatin, which is the most popular hidden animal part in drugs and vaccines today. In fact, the gelatin coatings, capsules and liquid additives for medicines are not made from harmless food, but rather from the skin, cartilage, connective tissues and bones of animals…

FDA scandal: board members with drug maker ties voted to approve drug that’s killing women


(NaturalNews) An investigation by the Washington Monthly and the British Medical Journal has found that at least four members of an advisory board which voted to approve a drug used in birth control pills had either done work for the drugs’ manufacturer or received research funds from the manufacturer. Though the four committee members disclosed their ties to the FDA, the FDA decided that the ties did not matter and did not make the disclosures public. Tragically, the drugs the committee endorsed…

Doctor from MMR controversy wins High Court appeal – next up, Dr. Andrew Wakefield himself

 

(NaturalNews) The U.K. General Medical Council’s (GMC) rash and unfounded decision to strike Professor John Walker-Smith, who had helped Dr. Andrew Wakefield in treating desperately-ill children with regressive autism symptoms and severe gastrointestinal problems, off the medical register for alleged “professional misconduct” has been exposed as a fraud. During a recent High Court appeal, Mr. Justice Mitting ruled that Prof. Walker-Smith’s striking “cannot stand” because of serious misconduct in…

Improve posture Part II – The lower body


(NaturalNews) Now that everyone is sitting up straight in their desk chair, it’s time to address the second half of poor posture, the lower extremities. Think about it – humans did not evolve to sit in a chair for half of their day; we are physical beings and sitting has detrimental effects to our low backs and legs. For those who have a hard time straightening up from being seated to standing, you may want to pay attention. A hidden, but reversible cause of back painIn a seated position, the…

Just a few minutes of daily exercise alters DNA to help prevent chronic disease


(NaturalNews) Many people think the genes they inherited at birth are static and predetermine their fate for the remainder of their life. Extensive research into the science of epigenetics is providing startling evidence that this thought process is grossly outdated, and our individual DNA is dynamic and continually influenced by multiple lifestyle factors including diet, environment, stress and physical activity. Researchers publishing the result of a study in the journal Cell Metabolism provide…

Questions your doctor should ask before putting your kid on ADHD meds


(NaturalNews) A woman came to see me years ago, very concerned because her 9-year-old her son, Bobby (name changed), was “severely disrespectful” in school. His teacher suggested that he was ADHD and asked the mother to please get it under control. Bobby routinely refused to follow instructions, couldn’t sit still or follow lesson plans, and would often get up to wander aimlessly around the classroom in the middle of a lecture. Of course, the thoughtful teacher referred mom to a nice doctor with…

Vitamin D prevents stress fractures in preteen and teenage girls


(NaturalNews) Conventional wisdom holds that calcium and dairy products are needed for strong, healthy bones and teeth. However, recent research published in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine shows that vitamin D intake may actually be the more essential nutrient for strong bones. The team of researchers, who hailed from various medical establishments in Boston, MA, followed over 6700 girls between 9 and 15 years of age from 1996-2001. The research was conducted via questionnaire sent…

Low circulating omega-3 fatty acids lead to accelerated brain aging and dementia

(NaturalNews) Omega-3 fats including DHA and EPA are preferentially selected by the human body to form the critical cellular membrane boundary separating the cell nucleus and DNA with the surrounding extracellular environment. The precise fatty acid composition of the membrane determines permeability properties for the passage of essential materials such as oxygen, micronutrients and glucose required for proper cell function. Researchers publishing in Neurology have found that a diet lacking in…

http://www.naturalnews.com/035263_omega-3s_dementia_aging.html

Pet Health

 

More Evidence Real Meat is the Right Food for Your Cat

By Dr. Becker

A study1 was published in October 2011 on the digestibility of three different feline diets — a raw beef-based diet, a cooked beef-based diet, and a high-protein extruded (dry food/kibble) diet.

The study involved 9 shorthair domestic cats, adult females

http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2012/03/16/protein-in-real-meat-are-better-for-cats.aspx

 

Recalls

 

Canada E. Coli Beef Recall Expands Again

By Julia Thomas

Canadian health authorities are once again expanding a recall of certain beef products as part of an ongoing E. coli O157:H7 investigation.One illness has been reported in connection with these products.The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and New Food Classics are…

http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/03/canada-e-coli-beef-recall-expands-again/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=120315

 

Pregnant Woman’s Listeria Case Prompts Cheese Recall in NJ

By Mary Rothschild

A woman 38 weeks pregnant was diagnosed with Listeria monocytogenes infection, and the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services is now warning the public not to eat any cheese products produced by El Ranchero del Sur of South…

http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/03/listeria-case-prompts-cheese-recall-in-new-jersey/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=120315

 

Wildlife

 

Scotts Insecticide Was for the Birds

By News Desk

Because its top-selling bird seed came with a little poison, a guilty plea has been entered for the $3 billion Scotts Miracle-Gro Company.In pleading guilty to breaking federal pesticide laws, Ohio-based Scotts offered to pay a $4 million fine and…

http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/03/scotts-put-a-little-poison-on-that-bird-seed/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=120315

 

Allergen Alert

 

Allergen Alert: Cheetos With Milk, Soy

By Olivia Marler

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and PK Trading of Mississauga, Ontario, are warning people with allergies to milk or soy not to consume certain Frito Lay Cheetos because they contain milk and soy, which are not declared on the…

 

http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/corpaffr/recarapp/2012/20120314be.shtml

 

Allergen Alert: Sulfites in Dried Fungus

By Olivia Marler

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and importer Canadian T & J International Development of Richmond, BC, are warning people with sensitivity to sulphites not to eat certain Natural World brand Dried Fungus because it contains sulphites, which are not…

http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/03/allergen-alert-sulfites-in-dried-fungus/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=120315

 

Misc

 

Del Monte Fresh Produce Drops Lawsuit Threat Against Oregon

By News Desk

Del Monte Fresh Produce has withdrawn its threatened lawsuit against the Oregon Public Health Division and its senior epidemiologist, who with other public health officials last year traced a multistate outbreak of Salmonella infection to cantaloupes imported from the company’s…

http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/03/del-monte-fresh-produce-drops-lawsuit-threat-against-oregon/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=120315

 

State Food Freedom Bills Go Down to Defeat Again

By Dan Flynn

Tagged as “inexpedient to legislate” in New Hampshire and shelved in Utah, state food freedom bills got little traction for a second straight year.Shannon Shutts, spokeswoman for the New Hampshire House of Representatives, says when America’s largest state legislative body…

http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/03/state-food-freedom-bills-go-down-again/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=120316

Food Safety

The Hill: Dem presses USDA to ban ‘pink slime’ in school lunches

By Mike Lillis

A Maine Democrat is pressing the Obama administration to ban “pink slime” in school cafeterias.

http://thehill.com/homenews/house/216109-dem-presses-usda-to-ban-pink-slime-in-school-lunches

Catering Service Focus of Ottawa Outbreak Probe

By Dan Flynn

Three of 16 children with laboratory-confirmed Salmonella infections are being treated in Ottawa hospitals in an outbreak that has also sickened four adults.Health officials in Canada’s capital city investigating the outbreak have focused on a catering company called The Lunch…

http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/03/catering-service-may-be-link-in-ottawa-salmonella-outbreak/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=120314

FDA Warning Letters:

By News Desk

From U.S. Food and Drug Administration warning letters posted March 13, 2012:Staples, Incorporated of Framingham, MA warned that an October/November 2011 inspection of the company’s Stockton, CA facility documented serious violations of the Current Good Manufacturing Practice regulation for foods,…

http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/03/fda-warning-letters/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=120314

CDC: Outbreaks Linked to Imported Foods Increasing

By Helena Bottemiller

Foodborne illness outbreaks linked to imported food appeared to rise between 2009 and 2010, according to a new analysis released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Wednesday.CDC reported that half of the foods implicated in outbreaks were imported…

http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/03/cdc-outbreaks-linked-to-imported-foods-increasing-2/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=120314

Health

One US state is gagging doctors who want to tell you about the fracking chemicals in your blood

Pennsylvania, where the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution were signed and where the U.S. coal, oil and nuclear industries began, has adopted what may be the most anti-democratic, anti-environmental law in the country, giving gas companies the right to drill anywhere, overturn local zoning laws, seize private property and muzzle physicians from disclosing specific health impacts from drilling fluids on patients.

http://www.alternet.org/environment/154459/fracking_democracy:_why_pennsylvania%27s_act_13_may_be_the_nation%27s_worst_corporate_giveaway_

Antibiotic May Reduce Time Patients Carry E. Coli

By Gretchen Goetz

Antibiotics are not usually recommended for treating E. coli infections; however one of these drugs showed promising results when given to victims of last year’s massive European outbreak linked to sprouts. Azithromycin, administered to patients to prevent the spread of meningitis,…

http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/03/antibiotic-may-reduce-time-patients-carry-e-coli/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=120314

Gastroenteritis Deaths Have Doubled

By Mary Rothschild

Most people erroneously call it “stomach flu” and think of it as an unpleasant nuisance, but the vomiting and diarrhea caused by inflammation of the stomach and intestines — gastroenteritis – can be lethal, and appears to be growing deadlier.The..

http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/03/gastroenteritis-is-deadly/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=120314

O104:H4 Genome Sequencing Used to Kill the Bug

By Dan Flynn

The deadly pathogen known as E. coli O104:H4, which devastated northern Europe last year, can itself be killed, San Francisco-based AvidBiotics Corporation announced Wednesday.Dean Scholl, who leads a team of scientists from AvidBiotics and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, said…

http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/03/team-uses-o104h4-genome-sequencing-to-kill-it/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=120314

CBO: Health law could cause as many as 20 million to lose employer coverage

By Julian Pecquet

As many as 20 million Americans could lose their employer-provided coverage because of President Obama’s healthcare reform law, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said in a new report Thursday.

The figure represents the worst-case scenario, CBO says, and the law could just as well increase employer coverage by 3 million people in 2019.

http://thehill.com/blogs/healthwatch/health-reform-implementation/216223-cbo-millions-of-americans-could-lose-their-employer-coverage

Monsanto’s Roundup is Killing Human Kidney Cells

Anthony Gucciardi, News Report:

“Monsanto’s ‘biopesticide’ known as Bt is not only developing mutated insects and requiring excessive pesticide use, but new findings show that it is also killing human kidney cells — even in low doses. Amazingly, Monsanto’s superweed-breeding Roundup also has the same effect. Scientists have demonstrated in new research that the Bt pesticide, in addition to Monsanto’s best-selling herbicide Roundup, exhibit direct toxicity to human cells.”

http://www.nationofchange.org/monsanto-s-roundup-killing-human-kidney-cells-1331826999

Plan to Cut Benefits for Injured Federal Workers Stirs Concern

Jim Morris, News Analysis:

“The measure, championed by Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, is included in a postal reform bill that may come up for a vote this month. Collins said it would stamp out abuses while saving money. Officials with federal employees’ unions say the legislation would unfairly punish victims of workplace violence and other traumatic injuries — and their families. Under the proposal, compensation would be capped at 50 percent of pre-injury pay for FECA recipients at age 65.”

http://www.nationofchange.org/plan-cut-benefits-injured-federal-workers-stirs-concern-1331824363

Holistic Health

Honey, I killed the superbug

by: John Stapleton

Australian researchers have been astonished to discover a cure-all right under their noses — a honey sold in health food shops as a natural medicine. Far from being an obscure health food with dubious healing qualities…

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/honey-i-killed-the-superbug/story-fna7dq6e-1225737035676

FDA petition to label GMOs nears one million signatures – sign it today!

By Jonathan Benson,

(NaturalNews) Only a few more weeks remain before the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stops accepting public comments about a petition filed by the Center for Food Safety (CFS) seeking the FDA’s compliance with requiring mandatory labeling of genetically-modified organisms (GMOs). And with more than 850,000 comments already submitted, according to Just Label It!, truth in labeling advocates everywhere are hopeful that the petition will reach its target of at least 1,000,000 signatures by…

http://www.naturalnews.com/035223_GMO_labeling_petition.html

Gluten attacks the brain and damages the nervous system

By Sarka-Jonae Miller,

(NaturalNews) Some people are literally stumbling through life thinking they are a klutz when really gluten is to blame. Before gastrointestinal symptoms like upset stomach appear, neurological damage may already be done, according to the Center for Peripheral Neuropathy. The Gluten Free Society calls gluten a “potential neurotoxin.” Gluten damage may cause everything from unexplained dizziness to numbness in the hands and feet. Gluten ataxiaApproximately 10 percent of people with Celiac disease…

http://www.naturalnews.com/035224_gluten_nervous_system_brain_damage.html

World renowned heart surgeon renounces mainstream heart health practice

By Paul Fassa,

(NaturalNews) It is very encouraging to see a mainstream medicine insider with impressive credentials come out and confirm what some of us outsiders have known for a while. Dr. Dwight Lundell has been a heart specialist MD and surgeon for 25 years, having performed 5,000 open heart surgeries. He was Chief Surgeon at the Banner Heart Hospital in Mesa, AZ, and he ran a successful private practice. This is how he begins his personal testimony: “We physicians with all our training, knowledge and…

http://www.naturalnews.com/035226_heart_surgeon_statin_drugs_health.html

Bye-bye allergy head – Six tips for easy breathing this allergy season

By Kelly Pepper, D.C.,

(NaturalNews) Spring – what a beautiful time of the year, unless this means suffering with hay fever, itchy eyes, itchy skin, runny nose or asthma. Fortunately there are some simple, natural strategies to use instead of antihistamines or steroids (which actually worsen the underlying problems that are causing the allergies). 1. Boost the immune systemWhen we talk about allergies, boosting the immune system is integral to relief. Eliminate things that can weaken the immune system such as high sugar…

http://www.naturalnews.com/035227_allergy_season_breathing_remedies.html

FDA admits mercury in cosmetic products is extremely toxic – so how is it safe in dental fillings, vaccines?

By Ethan A. Huff,

(NaturalNews) The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued an updated warning about skin care products that may contain mercury, including many anti-aging, smoothing, skin-lightening, and beauty lotions and creams sold at ethnic beauty shops and online. Some of the tainted personal care products, most of which are imported, have been found to contain mercury levels far higher than acceptable limits, including one product that reportedly contained 131,000 times the acceptable limit of mercury…

http://www.naturalnews.com/035229_cosmetic_products_mercury_toxicity.html

New Jersey children nearly poisoned to death with pharmacy fluoride pills

By Ethan A. Huff,

(NaturalNews) More than a dozen families in New Jersey were shocked to learn recently that some of the supposed fluoride pills they had received from a CVS/pharmacy in Chatham were actually tamoxifen pills, a chemotherapy drug used to treat breast cancer. ABC News reports that an unknown error resulted in some of these families administering this chemotherapy medication to their children rather than the fluoride pills, a monumental error that could have life-threatening consequences. The Chatham…

http://www.naturalnews.com/035230_fluoride_pills_poison_children.html

Nutrition Alert for Patriots – urgent infographic released by NaturalNews

By Mike Adams,

(NaturalNews) We’ve just published a new infographic with an urgent health message for patriots — and by “patriots” I mean anyone who believes in America as a nation of free people… Constitutional America, with its Bill of Rights intact and respected. This infographic reveals a recipe for greatly improved health, vitality and longevity by following a few simple guidelines. It covers toxic foods and products to avoid, nutritional sources that boost courage and energy, and even tips on surviving…

http://www.naturalnews.com/035231_Nutrition_patriots_infographic.html

Whey protein and lactose intolerance

By Derrell Jones,

(NaturalNews) Many people are interested in shedding fat and building lean muscle essentially sculpting their bodies into works of art or maybe looking for a slimmed down version of their current selves. The benefits of being a little leaner these days help with many conditions such has diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular health and cholesterol to name a few. After all, sculpting lean muscle is the surest way to sustained, long term weight loss with the added benefit of increased health. One of the…

http://www.naturalnews.com/035233_whey_protein_lactose_intolerance_powder.html

Vitamin D found to shrink fibroid tumors

By Jonathan Benson,

(NaturalNews) Each year, roughly 200,000 women undergo a surgical procedure that involves the removal of their uteruses due to the growth of non-cancerous tumors known as uterine fibroids, which commonly develop in and around the walls of the uterus. But a new study published online in the journal Biology of Reproduction has found that vitamin D may effectively reduce the size of existing uterine fibroids, and may even help prevent them from forming in the first place. For their study, Sunil K…

http://www.naturalnews.com/035234_vitamin_D_fibroids_tumors.html

Agriculture

California Farming Communities Threatened by Nitrate Pollution

By James Andrews

A quarter-million residents of California’s Tulare Lake Basin and Salinas Valley may be drinking water contaminated with nitrate from fertilizer and animal manure, according to a study released Tuesday by a researchers at the University of California, Davis. As a result,…

http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/03/california-farming-communities-threatened-by-nitrate-pollution/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=120314

How the FBI MonitoredOrganic Farmers’ Market Under the Guise of Combating Terrorism:

The FBI conducted a three-year investigation, of activists for no apparent reason aside from the fact that they were anarchists, or protested the war in Iraq, or were “militant feminists.” Here’s the file.

http://gawker.com/5892639/how-the-fbi-monitored-crusty-punks-anarchist-hangouts-and-an-organic-farmers-market-under-the-guise-of-combating-terrorism

Pet Health

Three Main Brands Tied to Illnesses from Chicken Dog Treats

By Mary Rothschild

Nestle Purina PetCare Co.’s Waggin’ Train and Canyon Creek Ranch jerky treats or tenders, and the Del Monte Corp.’s Milo’s Kitchen Home-style Dog Treats were the brand names most often cited by pet owners and veterinarians in complaints to the…

http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/03/three-brands-tied-to-illnesses-from-chicken-jerky-dog-treats/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=120314

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