AFDO Issues Guidance on Cottage Foods
Controversy Continues As Comment Period Closes for HIMP
The comment period for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s proposal to expand the HACCP Based Inspection Models Project (HIMP) closed on Tuesday with strong support from the chicken and turkey industries and more strong criticism from federal poultry inspectors.
Both the National Chicken Council and the National Turkey Federation filed comments in favor of the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) rule, which would expand the HIMP pilot beyond the 20 poultry plants already operating under the program.
“The National Chicken Council (NCC) and our members believe a statistically valid, scientifically-based approach to poultry processing will improve food safety and better protect public health,” said NCC in their comment filed online Tuesday.
The HIMP model, which has been utilized in 25 chicken and poultry plants since 1998, reduces the number of FSIS 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 FSIS says expanding HIMP would modernize an outdated inspection system, save taxpayers around $90 million over three years, and prevent 5,200 foodborne illnesses, mostly from Salmonella, annually
In their comments, NCC called HIMP a “successful pilot program” and said the industry could safely handle faster line speeds: “We are confident the increased line speeds allowed under the proposed rule have been demonstrated over several years to be safe for workers in the broiler chicken industry.”
The National Turkey Federation also strongly supported HIMP in its comments posted on regulations.gov on Tuesday, calling the inspection scheme “the logical next step in modernization of the nation’s food safety system.”
“The proposed rule is a modern, sensible approach that will allow the food safety inspectors to focus on public health,” NTF President Joel Brandenberger said. “The proposed rule will lead to a revamped inspection system that allows the federal inspectors to shift to prevention-oriented inspection systems and redeploy its resources in a manner that better protects the public from foodborne diseases.”
The USDA also estimates that the modernization plan would save the poultry industries $250 million annually, by allowing them to speed up their processing lines.
But union representing federal food safety inspectors, Food & Water Watch, and the Government Accountability Project (GAP), a whistleblower group, have all been extremely critical of HIMP and have helped organize opposition, including the release of documents and affidavits from inspectors that they believe illustrate major flaws in the model.
GAP’s Food Integrity Campaign on Tuesday released more affidavits criticizing HIMP.
“In total, six federal inspectors with HIMP-plant experience have come forward at risk to their professional lives,” said Amanda Hitt, director of GAP’s Food Integrity Campaign (FIC). “That’s a huge number, considering the HIMP pilot is only in a few plants – there’s not that many federal inspectors who have this kind of firsthand knowledge.”
Local Health Departments Test Food Ahead of Presidential Conventions
And The BS and Coverup Continues!!!!!
Just look at this article published by Food Safety News and tell me if you feel comfortable eating radioactive anything simply because they say it is within safe limits. Since when is radioactivity safe? Is this a joke? Because truly I do not find it in the least bit amusing!!
Bluefin Tuna With Elevated Radioactivity Still Safe
Across the vast Pacific, the mighty bluefin tuna carried radioactive contamination that leaked from Japan’s crippled nuclear plant to the shores of the United States 9,650 kilometers away the first time a huge migrating fish has been shown to carry radioactivity such a distance.
“We were frankly kind of startled,” said Nicholas Fisher, one of the researchers reporting the findings online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The levels of radioactive cesium were 10 times higher than the amount measured in tuna off the California coast in previous years. But even so, that’s still far below safe-to-eat limits set by the US and Japanese governments.
Previously, smaller fish and plankton were found with elevated levels of radiation in Japanese waters after a magnitude-9 earthquake in March 2011 triggered a tsunami that badly damaged the Fukushima Dai-ichi reactors.
But scientists did not expect the nuclear fallout to linger in huge fish that sail the world because such fish can metabolize and shed radioactive substances.
One of the largest and speediest fish, Pacific bluefin tuna can grow to 10 feet (3 meters) and weigh more than 450 kilograms. They spawn off the Japan coast and swim east at breakneck speed to school in waters off California and the tip of Baja California, Mexico.
Five months after the Fukushima disaster, Fisher of Stony Brook University in New York and a team decided to test Pacific bluefin that were caught off the coast of San Diego. To their surprise, tissue samples from all 15 tuna captured contained levels of two radioactive substances ceisum-134 and cesium-137 that were higher than in previous catches.
To rule out the possibility that the radiation was carried by ocean currents or deposited in the sea through the atmosphere, the team also analyzed yellowfin tuna, found in the eastern Pacific, and bluefin that migrated to Southern California before the nuclear crisis. They found no trace of cesium-134 and only background levels of cesium-137 left over from nuclear weapons testing in the 1960s.
The results “are unequivocal. Fukushima was the source,” said Ken Buesseler of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, who had no role in the research.
Bluefin tuna absorbed radioactive cesium from swimming in contaminated waters and feeding on contaminated prey such as krill and squid, the scientists said. As the predators made the journey east, they shed some of the radiation through metabolism and as they grew larger. Even so, they weren’t able to completely flush out all the contamination from their system.
“That’s a big ocean. To swim across it and still retain these radionuclides is pretty amazing,” Fisher said.
Pacific bluefin tuna are prized in Japan where a thin slice of the tender red meat prepared as sushi can fetch $24 per piece at top Tokyo restaurants. Japanese consume 80 per cent of the world’s Pacific and Atlantic bluefin tuna.
The real test of how radioactivity affects tuna populations comes this summer when researchers planned to repeat the study with a larger number of samples. Bluefin tuna that journeyed last year were exposed to radiation for about a month. The upcoming travelers have been swimming in radioactive waters for a longer period. How this will affect concentrations of contamination remains to be seen.
Now that scientists know that bluefin tuna can transport radiation, they also want to track the movements of other migratory species including sea turtles, sharks and seabirds.
Urgent Warning: Fukushima Estimate of Situation
By Maj. Gen. Albert N. Stubblebine (US Army, Ret.)
Estimate of Situation about Fukushima, Japan, focusing on the immediate threat to the Northern Hemisphere emanating from the highly radioactive ruins of the 5 Fukushima nuclear reactors.
Natural Solutions Foundation, an international NGO (non-governmental organization), released a 27 minute public service Estimate of Situation about Fukushima, Japan focusing on the immediate threat to the Northern Hemisphere emanating from the highly radioactive ruins of the 5 Fukushima nuclear reactors.
Gen. Stubblebine’s prognosis is dire: “When the highly radioactive Spent Fuel Rods are exposed to air, there will be massive explosions releasing many times the amount or radiation released thus far. Bizarrely, they are stored three stories above ground in open concrete storage pools. Whether through evaporation of the water in the pools, or due to the inevitable further collapse of the structure, there is a severe risk.
“United States public health authorities agree that tens of thousands of North Americans have already died from the Fukushima calamity. When the final cataclysm occurs, sooner rather than later, the whole Northern Hemisphere is at risk of becoming largely uninhabitable.”
General Stubblebine details in his riveting video the amounts of radioactive materials that will be propelled across the Pacific and across the United States if the Fukushima reactor structures (especially Spent Fuel Pool Number 4) collapse. With over 15,000 ‘spent fuel rods’ on the site, the Fukushima reactors have accumulated one of the largest stockpiles of these dangerous, intensely radioactive materials on the planet. No remediation work is being done at the site; there is no official remedial planning or disaster preparation. No private remediation, or public discussion of the need for it, is permitted by the Government of Japan under its new suppression of nuclear discussion laws.
The Natural Solutions Foundation joins seventy Japanese NGOs(1) in calling upon the Secretary General of the United Nations and Prime Minister of Japan last month to coordinate emergency action to shore-up critical structures now at imminent risk of collapse. It has been variously estimated(2), that a relatively mild earthquake (i.e., 5.0 or greater on the Richter Scale) will collapse the previously damaged Spent Fuel Rod holding tank of Unit No. 4, containing 85 times the amount of radioactive Cesium137 contained in Chernobyl’s now-entombed reactor. An estimated 1Million Europeans are believed to have died as a direct result of that radiation emission following the nuclear explosion of Chernobyl.
The US Government’s statistics document an excess death rate of 20,000 US residents, mostly healthy infants, in the first 9 months following the multiple nuclear events at Fukushima. .
As a humanitarian, strategist, intelligence analyst, father and grandfather, General Bert understands that doing nothing is, quite simply, not an option.
Following his incisive Estimate of Situation, General Bert’s free public service video outlines four simple steps you can take to protect yourself and your family.
Please visit http://www.GeneralBert.com to access this urgent warning and subsequent updates without cost. And please share this link with all your circles of influence.
The Trustees of the Natural Solutions Foundation, the largest health freedom organization in the world, urge your participation in disseminating this message since the mainstream media has remained curiously silent in the United States on this massive increase in radiation. The lack of information is, however, a matter of State policy in Japan where it is now a felony offense to discuss negative aspects of either nuclear power or the Fukushima situation in particular.
# # #
The video is also available without charge at www.GeneralBert.com.
Also visit Natural Solutions Foundation for more information.
You’ll Probably Accidentally Eat This Toxic Food Today
- Ronnie Cummins with the Organic Consumers Association, Pamm Larry, founder of LabelGMOs.org and Dave Murphy, founder of Food Democracy Now, discuss the California Right to Know Campaign—a ballot initiative to get labeling for genetically engineered foods voted into law on November 6, 2012
- Extending through May 26, a broad coalition of farmers, health groups, and organic food manufacturers, will attempt to raise one million dollars to support the California labeling initiative. Donations can be made online, via regular snail mail, and over the phone, and the first one million dollars raised during this Money Bomb Against Monsanto campaign will be matched by another million dollars!
- The genetically engineered food industry is based on lies. Genetically engineered foods are NOT substantially equivalent to conventional foods. They do NOT produce increased yields. And they are NOT more nutritious. On the contrary, they’re substantially different from anything mankind has ever consumed before; hundreds of studies have demonstrated organic farming outproduces genetically engineered crops by as much as 100 to 1; and genetically engineered foods have been shown to be significantly devoid of valuable nutrients
Published on May 8, 2012 by mercola
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/05/15/california-gmo-… Internationally renowned natural health physician and Mercola.com founder Dr. Joseph Mercola together with Pam Larry, Northern California Director of LabelGMOs.org, Dave Murphy, founder of Food Democracy Now and Ronnie Cummins, Director, Organic Consumers Association, discuss about labeling GMO’s in giving the consumer the right to know and choose what type of food they will consume.
After Eight Expansions, How Big is the Diamond Pet Foods Recall?
With Diamond Pet Foods on May 18 announcing yet another expansion of its recall of dry pet foods, pet owners again consulted food labels and continued sharing stories of pet illnesses allegedly resulting from Salmonella-contaminated kibble. For some writers covering the recall, the story was already frustratingly familiar.
As the Christian Science Monitor noted days later, the addition of Diamond Naturals Small Breed Lamb & Rice formula was the recall’s eighth expansion, with it now encompassing at least nine brand names and numerous formulas.
This latest expansion also included the first contaminated product made at a facility in Meta, Missouri instead of the original facility linked to the outbreak in Gaston, South Carolina. Diamond also has a production facility in Lathrop, California.
On Tuesday, FDA spokeswoman Laura Alvey told Food Safety News that the contamination at the Missouri plant came from Salmonella Liverpool, not the Salmonella Infantis from the South Carolina plant that triggered the outbreak and recall.
Alvey went on to say that the Missouri plant was now included in the FDA’s ongoing investigation into Diamond.
Pet owners reporting illnesses worldwide
Pets are only rarely tested for gastrointestinal bacteria such as Salmonella, making it impossible to estimate the number ill from the outbreak. Regardless, the FDA does know of two clinically confirmed Salmonella infections in dogs from the same household where they were served a recalled brand.
On the day of the most recent recall expansion, the Calgary Herald in Alberta reported that two cats in a Montreal animal shelter died after eating recalled cat food. Around that same time, another human case was reported in Nova Scotia, bringing the confirmed human cases to 17: 15 in the U.S. and 2 in Canada.
The human cases have occurred in Missouri (3 illnesses), North Carolina (3), Pennsylvania (2), Ohio (2), Michigan (1), Alabama (1), Virginia (1), Connecticut (1), New Jersey (1), Quebec (1), and Nova Scotia (1).
Microbiologist and eFoodAlert author Phyllis Entis has been chronicling her readers’ stories on her website and has been contacted by readers in Ireland and France who reported sickening their dogs after feeding them Taste of the Wild, one of the recalled brands.
On May 21, the public health arm of the Singapore government released a consumer advisory on the recall. Four of the nine affected brands are sold in Singapore.
“This stuff is all around the world,” Entis said. “There are a lot of countries where this product might be, but Diamond — to the best of my knowledge — has not released a list of countries.”
On eFoodAlert, Entis compiled her own list of places Diamond products are likely distributed, which includes countries in Europe, Asia, Australia and South America.
“The sloppiest recall I’ve ever seen”
Since 2005, Susan Thixton has been writing about pet food problems in the U.S. on her website TruthAboutPetFood.com. She’s covered numerous pet food recalls in that time, including the melamine outbreak of 2007 that involved the recall of more than 90 brands.
But when it comes to disorganization, she said, Diamond’s recall surpasses them all.
“This has got to be the sloppiest recall I’ve ever seen,” she told Food Safety News.
From the initial one-brand recall on April 6 to the latest expansion, the Diamond recall has been plagued by hiccups such as corrections to production codes and best-by dates.
What’s more, the company seems to make — and then correct — the same mistakes with successive expansions. Thixton detailed these maneuvers on her website in a post titled “Sloppy, Sloppy, Sloppy.”
Chicken of the Sea Recalls Korean Oysters
Articles of Interest
Egg Standards Bill Introduced in Senate
Infighting among animal agriculture and animal rights groups continues
Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) and a bipartisan group of seven other senators introduced a bill late last week to set federal housing standards for egg-laying hens, again sparking protest from both pork and beef producers, as well as other animal rights activists who are now calling it the “rotten egg bill.”
The measure, which mirrors a bill recently introduced in the House, is based on a landmark deal struck between the Humane Society of the United States and United Egg Producers, would double the space allowed to each of the nation’s approximately 280 million egg-laying hens, which HSUS has advocated for years, and also give the egg industry regulatory certainty across state lines.
The compromise has the support of American Veterinary Medical Association, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), as well as several consumer groups and state egg associations, but it’s not clear whether the coalition will have a strong enough coalition to put it into law, especially since other powerful agricultural interests and some animal rights groups are actively fighting the proposal.
After Feinsten introduced the Egg Products Inspection Act Amendments of 2012 — with Sens. Richard Blumenthal, (D-CT) Scott Brown (R-MA), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR) David Vitter (R-LA), and Ron Wyden (D-OR) — the Humane Farming Association expressed “outrage” over the move.
Facility Profiling: A Benefit or Putting Food Makers in the Cross Hairs?
Is voluntary submission a trial, or a precursor to mandated submission?
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