Tag Archive: Nestle


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the guardian

Environmental groups claim Nestlé is breaking federal law by operating on an expired permit to remove millions of gallons of water from a southern California forest despite the state’s historic drought

A new lawsuit against Nestlé claims the company is illegally pumping millions of gallons of water from California’s San Bernardino National Forest.
A new lawsuit against Nestlé claims the company is illegally pumping millions of gallons of water from California’s San Bernardino National Forest. Photograph: Larry W Smith/EPA

A consortium of environmental advocacy groups filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the US Forest Service, alleging that the federal agency has allowed food and beverage giant Nestlé to illegally pump millions of gallons of water from California’s San Bernardino National Forest for decades, despite the current historic drought.

The Story of Stuff Project, along with co-plaintiffs the Center for Biological Diversity and the Courage Campaign Institute, claim that Nestlé is breaking federal law, operating on a permit expired nearly 20 years ago, in 1988, removing between 50m-150m gallons of water each year from a creek in the southern Californian forest to use in its Arrowhead bottled water brand. The organizations are asking the US Forest Service to immediately turn off the water spigot and conduct a permit review, assessing the environmental impact of Nestlé’s operations.

“They are taking water from a national forest that desperately needs that water,” said Michael O’Heaney, executive director at the Story of Stuff, a group that advocates to clean up consumer culture. “The Forest Service is obligated by law to ensure the natural resources of the forest are protected.”

Lisa Belenky, senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity, said the Forest Service “has a duty to look at permits and make sure they’re current and do an environmental review to make sure it isn’t impacting areas of the forest”.

But Nestlé says it isn’t breaking any laws, and insists that its permit hasn’t expired.

 

Read More Here

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Healthy Living

Nestle Recalls Hot Pockets with Meat “Unfit for Human Food”

Image Credit: Wikimedia/Lenin McCarthy

The Philly Steak and Cheese Hot Pockets and the Croissant Crust Philly Steak and Cheese varieties are the ones affected by this recall. The total amount of recalled cases is around 238,000. The site announcing the voluntary recall has since been taken down.

Nestlé’s recall is in response to a recall of meat by Rancho Feeding that also affected some Hot Pocket varieties.

According to Nestle, “Our teams at Nestle have reviewed our vendor records and have determined that one Nestle brand has been impacted by the Rancho meat recall.” They also added that this recall only affects meat used in a production facility in California.

Though the Hot Pocket recall is small, the Rancho meat recall is much larger, including some 8.7 million pounds of meat. It also is categorized as a Class I Recall, which according to the United States Department of Agriculture means “This is a health hazard situation where there is a reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death.”

So what is it about this meat that makes it so dangerous and “unfit for human food”? The answer will likely turn your stomach; it comes from diseased animals.

Read More Here

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breakingtheset

Published on Sep 18, 2013

Abby Martin Breaks the Set on Brazil’s Response to NSA Spying, Monsanto’s Revolving Door, Nestle’s Lawless Water Exploits, Wal-Mart’s War Against Livable Wages and How to Stop the TPP.

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EPISODE BREAKDOWN: On this episode of Breaking the Set, Abby Martin remarks on news that Brazilian President, Dilma Rousseff postponed her meeting with Obama in light of NSA spying on her country. Abby then breaks down how the Ag giant Monsanto has established a permanent revolving door in Washington, highlighting major conflicts of interest between top government officials who have personal stakes in the company. Abby then talks to Sheila Muxlow, campaign director of the WaterWealth Project, about Nestlé’s massive water extraction operation in Hope, Canada, what North Americans can do to protect this valuable resource from exploitation. Abby then speaks with Nikki Lewis, executive director of DC Jobs with Justice about Wal-Mart’s win over the DC city council regarding higher wages for employees, and how this decision will affect the city’s working class. BTS wraps up the show with a call to action, urging all Americans to tell Congress to vote against the Trans Pacific Partnership, a trade deal between multinational corporations being discussed in total secrecy.

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FARM NEWS

by Staff Writers
Shanghai (AFP) July 04, 2013

 

A unit of Swiss food giant Nestle is cutting prices for baby formula in China by as much as 20 percent, it said after the government launched a investigation into alleged price-fixing by foreign firms.

Wyeth Nutrition confirmed the investigation by China’s top economic planner, which has been reported by state media, and pledged to “immediately” cut prices on some formula products by six to 20 percent, according to a statement late Wednesday.

“Wyeth Nutrition has always respected and been willing to abide by China’s laws and regulations and is actively cooperating with the anti-monopoly investigation into the company,” it said.

The firm promised not to raise prices on new formula products for a year and said it had improved marketing policies to ensure they were in line with regulations.

The response came after media reports on Tuesday that the National Development Reform Commission had launched a probe of foreign baby formula makers for high prices, which it claimed resulted from a monopoly-like situation.

But a 2008 scandal involving tainted formula that killed six children and sickened more than 300,000 has prompted domestic consumers to shun local brands and created huge demand for foreign products, both those sold through normal channels and informally imported.

 

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Nestle and Mars may face $10mn fine for ‘chocolate conspiracy’

Published time: June 07, 2013 11:37

AFP Photo / Olivier Morin

AFP Photo / Olivier Morin


Two food giants and a network of independent wholesalers have been blamed for the price-fixing of popular chocolate bars in Canada. A third company, Hershey’s Canada, could avoid fines for pleading guilty and cooperating with an investigation.
The alleged price-fixing involved chocolate bars sold across Canada from 2002 to 2008, including Kit Kat, Coffee Crisp, Aero, Twix, Snickers, Bounty and M&Ms,  a spokesman for the Competition Bureau, Pierre Yves Guay, told AFP.

“It’s difficult, however, to estimate the amount of the overcharging because of the complexity of the pricing in that market,” he said.

Competition Commissioner John Pecman called their alleged actions “egregious anti-competitive behavior that harms Canadian consumers” and “a serious criminal offense”, according to reports.

Three individuals were also charged: Robert Leonidas, former President of Nestle Canada; Sandra Martinez, former President of Confectionery for Nestlé Canada; and David Glenn Stevens, President and CEO of ITWAL, Reuters reports.

 

Read Full Article Here

 

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Financial Post

Criminal charges laid against Nestle Canada, other companies for chocolate price fixing

Armina Ligaya | 13/06/06 | Last Updated: 13/06/07 12:51 PM ET
More from Armina Ligaya | @arminaligaya

Nestle Canada is facing criminal charges for price fixing chocolate, along with Mars Canada.

Jason Adlen/BloombergNestle Canada is facing criminal charges for price fixing chocolate, along with Mars Canada.

 

 

Two of the world’s largest chocolate companies are among those facing criminal charges for allegedly conspiring to fix the price of chocolatey treats across Canada.

 

The charges, laid Thursday, come six years after Canada’s Competition Bureau launched an investigation into the allegations, and found evidence suggesting that a price-fixing cartel collaborated, agreed or arranged to set the prices of chocolate products.

 

Criminal charges have been laid against candy makers Nestlé Canada Inc. and Mars Canada Inc., and ITWAL Limited, a national network of independent wholesale distributors, after the competition bureau referred its evidence to the Public Prosecution Service of Canada.

 

Price-fixing is a serious criminal offence and today’s charges demonstrate the competition bureau’s resolve to stop cartel activity in Canada

 

“We are fully committed to pursuing those who engage in egregious, anti-competitive behaviour that harms Canadian consumers,” said John Pecman, interim commissioner of competition, in a statement. ”Price-fixing is a serious criminal offence and today’s charges demonstrate the competition bureau’s resolve to stop cartel activity in Canada.”

 

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NO to GMO in baby formula photo NoGMOinbabyformula_zps0593e7fd.jpg

While  GMO’s  are  not  allowed in  infant  formula in   the  EU corporations and their shareholders refuse to remove them from American  baby  formula’s.   They  believe,  it  seems , that since our legislators care more   about the money being  made by  Monsanto and other Agritech companies than the health of our children.  Perhaps  , they then have no moral or ethical responsibilities to the  safety of our  children’s health?

Are   American  babies any  less worthy of protection from these untested poisons?  Or  are our  children viable  guinea pigs for these  greedy monsters  that  care only for their bottom line?.

If you  spend money  , YOU HAVE A SAY AND  YOU  CAN MAKE A  DIFFERENCE  Call,  write , send e-mails let  these companies know that you will seek alternative products or simply do without until they take the  voice of the  American People and the health of our babies to heart. We  will not  be ignored any longer. The time has come to tell Washington and  corporations who is really  in charge of their bottom line!!

~Desert Rose ~

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Pressure Mounts to Remove GMOs from Infant Formula; Abbott Laboratories Shareholders Set To Vote on Non-GMO Policy

Monday, 29 April 2013 12:23 By Staff, Cornucopia Institute | Press Release

Cornucopia, WI — Shareholders of Abbott Laboratories will vote on whether the manufacturer of Similac, a leading brand of infant formula, should adopt a policy of sourcing ingredients that have not been genetically engineered.

The vast majority of corn and soy-based ingredients in processed foods in the United States, including infant formula, come from genetically engineered crops developed by Monsanto and other biotechnology companies. Dairy ingredients may come from dairy cows that were treated with genetically engineered bovine growth hormones.

The annual meeting, open to all owners of Abbott stock, takes place at Abbott Laboratories’ headquarters in Abbott Park, Illinois on April 26.

“Based on the body of existing research, nobody should be eating GMO foods, especially not babies,” says Charlotte Vallaeys, Policy Director at Cornucopia.The Cornucopia Institute, a farm and food policy research group, joined As You Sow, a shareholder advocacy group that filed the resolution, in calling on Abbott Laboratories shareholders to vote yes on the resolution. Cornucopia recently launched a social media campaign, on Facebook and Twitter, and a petition drive.

“Until infant formula makers stop using GMO ingredients, hundreds of thousands of newborns, infants and toddlers are unwitting participants in this huge, uncontrolled experiment with the health of the next generation. It’s time for formula makers to stop experimenting with the health of babies who consume their products,” she added.

Read Full Article Here

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Abbott Labs Shareholders Vote to Keep GMOs in Similac Infant Formulas

Posted on April 30, 2013 by

Baby fed with bottleAbbott Laboratories shareholders have rejected a proposal to remove genetically engineered ingredients from Similac infant formulas, according to DairyReporter.com,. [source]

In a press release dated April 23, 2013, As You Sow, an Abbott Labs investor, announced that it would present a resolution at the annual shareholders meeting, April 26, 2013, to have GMOs removed from Similac infant formula. As You Sow cited the “new and credible scientific concerns” about the safety of GMOs and the shift of public opinion illustrated by a recent poll where 91% of consumers wanted foods with GMO content to be labeled.

The proposal was presented to the shareholders by Andrew Behar, CEO of As You Sow,  and, according to a company spokesperson, it was rejected receiving only 3% of the votes. [source]  It looks like only 3% of shareholders are able to value the health of babies over a potential loss of profit.  Is this more profit at any cost?

Be assured that although shareholders rejected the proposal, it was NOT because a GMO-free infant formula could not be marketed.  Abbott Labs is already doing so in the EU.[source]

Read Full Post Here

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Abbott Laboratories shareholders reject proposal to remove GMOs from infant formula

An Abbott Laboratories shareholder proposal to remove genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) from its natural products – including its Similac infant formula range – has been rejected, the Illinois-based company has revealed.

Nestlé and Mead Johnson Nutrition dismiss call to remove GMOs from US infant formula

Nestlé USA and Mead Johnson Nutrition have dismissed calls to remove genetically-modified organisms (GMO) from their infant formula products in the US – citing the approved use of GMOs by several national and global regulatory bodies.

http://www.dairyreporter.com/Regulation-Safety/Nestle-and-Mead-Johnson-Nutrition-dismiss-call-to-remove-GMOs-from-US-infant-formula

Nestle CEO Seeks to Control the World’s Water Supply

bottled-water-plastic

Gun control may be a hot topic, but what about water control? Recent comments from Nestle CEO Peter Brabeck imply that the world’s water will soon come under the control of corporations like his. Brabeck makes the astonishing claim that water is not a human right, but should be managed by business people and governing bodies. He wants water controlled, privatized, and delegated in a way that sustains the planet. View the astonishing interview below:

Water control hitting the United StatesAll of this means that Brabeck’s future plans include monitoring and controlling the amount of water people use. One day, cities and towns may be forced by international law to limit each household to a set amount of water. People may have to obtain permits to dig wells or pay fines for collecting rainwater. Laws like these are already in motion in the United States. Learn more here: http://www.naturalnews.com/029286_rainwater_collection_water.htmlNestle’s CEO thinks all water should have a price


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In the interview, Brabeck touts that his company is the largest foodstuff corporation in the world with over $65 billion in profit each year. He proudly claims that millions of people are dependent on him and his company. Does this guy think he is a god?

He calls water a “foodstuff” that needs an assigned value. Who controls the price of water? Brabeck bases his sustainability projects on the fact that a third of the world’s population may face water shortages within 15-20 years. By price controlling water, Brabeck believes he may save the planet from food and water shortages in the coming years.

With the threat of future water shortages, is it necessary to strip all humans of their natural liberty to water, as Brabeck suggests?

Read Full Article Here

Corporate Assault on Our Lives And Our Health

How plastic bottled water is harming you and the environment

water
by: Anita Khalek
(NaturalNews) As soda sales leveled off in the U.S., multinational corporations like PepsiCo, Coca Cola and Nestle found a cash cow in marketing bottled water as the healthy alternative. Though blessed with an abundance of clean water, the U.S. now consumes more bottled water than any other country, piling up enough empty bottles to run the circumference of the equator every 27 hours, and we do so at an unacceptable price to both human health and the environment.

A feigned image of health

The World Bank estimates the bottled water market at $800 billion, making the prospect of a fraction of this fortune enough for companies to salivate over. Marketing words like pristine, pure, and fresh, have been used to describe bottled water, while undermining the perceived quality of tap water. Yet, contamination issues have led to over 100 recalls on bottled water in recent years. Unlike tap water, which is tested hundreds of times a day and is under constant monitoring, bottled water producers are not required to provide water quality reports. Bottled water is not regulated, as the FDA has no jurisdiction on bottled water sourced and sold in the same state, which is often mined from local streams and lakes before being sold back to the public at a cost thousands of times more than what they can readily get from their own faucet.

Hazards on the environment

The hazards of bottled water far outweigh its convenience. Small towns across the U.S. and around the world are being exploited for water resources to feed the manufactured demand of giant corporations selling public water and commodifying a necessity of life. Furthermore, poor neighborhoods, often in minority communities, are being poisoned by the toxic manufacturing of plastic bottles.

According to the Environmental Working Group, the annual manufacturing of plastic bottles for water alone in the U.S. market takes as much oil as required to fuel a million cars. At the consumer end, it is estimated that only one out of five bottles actually gets recycled, with much of the rest polluting our fragile environment. The throw-away bottled water economy has a significant burden on its resource as well, where it is estimated that two liters of water are needed to bottle every liter on the store shelf, resulting in approximately 72 billion gallons wasted annually worldwide.

Harzards on health

Producers of bottled water are not required to offer water quality reports, leaving a consumer to wonder what kind of filtering is actually occurring. In third-party testing, bottled water showed traces of bacteria, chemicals, fluoride, endocrine disruptors such as BPA and PETE (or PET). In fact, whether the filtering process is pure or not does not exclude some of these chemicals since the process of storing the water in the PET plastic water bottles (especially after being exposed to heat during transportation and storage) infuses the water with leaching from the plastic. The fact is plain and simple: in the majority of counties across the U.S., local tap water is safer than the plastic-laced water bought for insanely inflated prices.

A clearer path ahead

Given its ease and convenience, it takes commitment and planning to relinquish the costly addiction to bottled water. Nonetheless, it must be done for the sake of our own health, the health of others, and for the sake of our fragile, over-polluted environment. A healthier alternative would be to install a good quality filter in the home and use non-plastic, reusable water bottles. If a need arises, glass-bottled spring water is a better choice as it is bottled at the source and is naturally filtered underground.

Sources for this article include

http://www.ewg.org/bottled-water-2011-home
http://recipes.howstuffworks.com
http://thewaterproject.org/bottled_water.asp
http://earth911.com
http://www.rd.com/health/rethink-what-you-drink/3/
http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com

About the author:
Anita is a researcher, a writer and a passionate believer in the healing power of food. Using her culinary skills and amateur photography, she regularly creates new recipes and shares her techniques on her food blog at www.myfreshlevant.com.
Questions and suggestions can be directed to anita@myfreshlevant.com

Crossroads News : Changes In The World Around Us And Our Place In It

 

  Community : Health  – Nutrition – Breast Feeding – Poisons in Our Foods  – Food Safety  –  Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) –  Corporate Assault on Our Lives And Our Health

 

If breastfeeding is healthier for babies, why are hospitals pushing corporate infant formula? How a growing number of states and cities are banning marketing in the maternity ward.

 

YES Magazine

Mother breastfeeding by Amy Bundy-555.jpg

Photo by Amy Bundy.

From TIME magazine’s provocative photo of a mother breastfeeding her toddler to the recent controversy surrounding an American University professor who breastfed her baby while teaching a class, how we feed babies often attracts its fair share of media attention.

But while news coverage often focuses on what are perceived as personal choices related to infant feeding, an important piece of the puzzle is often missing from their analysis: the intrusion of massive corporations into the relationships between patients and health-care providers, and the subordination of public-health considerations to profit margins.

Fortunately, advocates and activists are joining forces and putting a spotlight on this missing piece of the puzzle. And momentum is building as hospitals across the country—including all of those in Massachusetts and Rhode Island—are telling the infant-formula industry to take their marketing pitches elsewhere.

Science or sales pitch?

With the many benefits of breastfeeding touted by the Surgeon General and other public-health officials, why would hospitals send a new mom home with a bag full of formula?

Consider this: Across the country, up to 72 percent of health-care facilities with maternity units distribute so-called infant formula to new mothers in industry-supplied “discharge bags,” complete with formula samples, coupons for formula, and marketing materials.

With the many benefits of breastfeeding touted by the Surgeon General and other public-health officials, why would hospitals send a new mom home with a bag full of formula? Because the infant-formula industry, which is worth $3.5 billion in the United States alone, knows there couldn’t be a better marketing tool than hospital freebies that are seemingly endorsed by health-care providers.

Studies show that women who receive infant formula samples in maternity wards are more likely to stop breastfeeding sooner and less likely to breastfeed exclusively. Though all major health care organizations recommend that infants be breastfed exclusively through six months, only 16.3 percent of moms nationwide achieve this goal. Experts agree that one of the obstacles to exclusive breastfeeding is ubiquitous infant formula marketing.

Prop37-555.gif
Soccer Moms Face Off Against Monsanto
An initiative on the ballot in California to require the labeling of genetically modified organisms seems likely to succeed.

Certainly, families should make their own decisions about how to feed their babies, taking into account a variety of life circumstances and personal preferences that might make them elect to use infant formula instead of breastfeeding. But as far as practicing evidence-based medicine goes, it makes sense for health care providers to recommend the option that is best for their patients’ health. That recommendation is seriously undermined by infant-formula marketing in health care facilities, highlighting the conflict between the ideal goals of hospitals (health) and goals of formula manufacturers (profit). As one humorous comic put it, discharge bags seem to send the message, “Breast is best, but you probably can’t do it.”

This issue strikes a chord that goes beyond this particular product. We look to our health care providers for scientifically based medical advice, not for a sales pitch. So many aspects of our lives are commercialized, from schools plastered with advertisements, to bridges, highways, and roads named for the corporations that make the highest offer. Still, at the very least, shouldn’t our relationships with our health care providers be spared from the encroachment of values that turn every human interaction into one of buying and selling? Shouldn’t we be able to trust that our doctors, nurses or midwives are offering us advice that is best for us, not best for the bottom lines of deep-pocketed corporations?

The struggle for a marketing-free maternity ward

Last fall, Rhode Island became the first state in which all maternity hospitals voluntarily eliminated industry-sponsored discharge bags.

Fortunately, we are starting to see change on this issue, thanks to many years of work by committed public-health advocates and activists. Recently, Public Citizen, the organization I work for, launched a campaign calling on health-care facilities to stop allowing the distribution of infant-formula samples to new moms. More than 15,000 people have signed Public Citizen’s petition calling on the three major manufacturers of infant formula—Abbott, Mead Johnson, and Nestlé—to stop using health-care facilities to market their products. Some states are leading the charge to get infant formula marketing out of hospitals.

Last fall, Rhode Island became the first state in which all maternity hospitals voluntarily eliminated industry-sponsored discharge bags. This summer, Massachusetts followed suit, with all 49 of its hospitals ending formula marketing on their premises. Massachusetts advocates overcame significant obstacles: In 2005, then-governor Mitt Romney forced the state’s department of health to overturn regulations that would have banned formula discharge bags from hospitals. Most recently, 28 of New York City’s hospitals voluntarily agreed to stop distributing infant-formula marketing materials to new moms.

The movement to ensure that health care facilities promote health, not corporate profits, is gaining speed. It’s time for hospitals across the country to say “no more” to corporate interests encroaching on patients’ access to quality health care.


Elizabeth Ben-Ishai adapted this article for YES! Magazine, a national, nonprofit media organization that fuses powerful ideas with practical actions. She is a Senior Researcher and Campaign Coordinator at Public Citizen.

Interested?

Food Safety

South Carolina Investigating 11 Cases of E. Coli Infection

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) is investigating an outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 infection that may include at least 11 cases.

ecoliasadulterant-iphone.jpg

According to a news release Friday, at least two of the cases have progressed to hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a complication of E. coli infection that can lead to kidney failure.

The health department said the illnesses appear to be related to dining at a Spartanburg-area Mexican restaurant during the last week ……

 

Read Full Article Here

 

 

Another Illness Added to Salmonella Outbreak Tied to Dog Food

At least 15 individuals in 9 states have been infected with Salmonella Infantis linked to dry dog food, according to an outbreak update by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The number of ill persons in each state is as follows: Alabama (1), Connecticut (1), Michigan (1), Missouri (3), North Carolina (3), New Jersey (1), Ohio (2), Pennsylvania (2), and Virginia (1). One new ill person was reported from Pennsylvania.

CDC said there is also one person in Canada linked to the outbreak.

Among the 10 patients with available information, 5 were hospitalized, which is an unusually high hospitalization rate. No deaths have been reported.f April, 2012.

 

Read Full Article Here

 

 

Reps. Markey, Slaughter Press FDA on Antibiotic Use in Ethanol Production

Congressional query follows IATP report on distillers grains fed to animals

With growing concern over antibiotic resistance, public health advocates have long pushed for more responsible use of these drugs — both in human medicine and animal agriculture — but there is one piece of the antibiotics puzzle that has not received as much attention: ethanol production.

Last week, Reps. Ed Markey (D-MA) and Louise Slaughter (D-NY) wrote to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration asking some tough questions about the potential link between ethanol byproducts in animal feed and antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

“Antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria are a grave public health threat that is growing worldwide,” wrote Markey and Slaughter. “As the threat of antibiotic resistance expands, we must ensure that the unnecessary use of antibiotics in agricultural animals is minimized and FDA has the ability to limit their use if it serves to protect public health.”

cornpile_iphone.jpgThe letter follows a new report by Minneapolis-based Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, which highlights the fact that many ethanol producers routinely add antibiotics like medically important penicillin and erythromycin, as well as virginiamycin and tylosin, when mixing corn mash and warm water to ferment the ethanol.

Producers use antibiotics to keep the tanks from being contaminated with Lactobacilli, bacteria that compete with the yeast and lowers the ethanol yield. Contamination is common so tanks are often inoculated as a preventative measure.

So, what does this process have to do with food safety and antimicrobial resistance? Well, the leftover distillers grains can contain antibiotic residues and they are routinely fed to food animals.

 

Read Full Article Here

 

 

Australia Relaxes Code to Permit Some Raw Milk Cheeses

Australia is set to OK the sale of some hard, grating cheeses made from unpasteurized milk, but Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) says raw drinking milk “presents too high a risk” to consider its commerce.

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The change for some raw milk cheese is the result of an assessment, known as Proposal P1007, which considered whether Australia’s dairy standards were too restrictive.
“Australia has a very safe supply of milk and dairy products thanks to existing regulations in the Food Standards Code that set controls to manage potential microbiological hazards,” FSANZ explained in published statements.

The agency wanted to see whether there were “feasible safety systems” for raw milk products that would preserve the integrity and public health safety of its dairy supply.

 

Read Full Article Here

 

 

Regulatory Leapfrog is Underway

FSIS Trumps Some Aspects of FDA Regulations and FSMA

Opinion
USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has announced a series of prevention-based food safety policy measures, including a final rule designed to make FSIS aware of adulterated or misbranded food in the supply chain that is similar to FDA’s Reportable Food Registry; a proposed rule for earlier, more expansive traceback for E. coli; and a draft guidance on validating HACCP systems.
FSIS published an advance copy of the Final Rule entitled “Requirements for Official Establishments to Notify FSIS of Adulterated or Misbranded Product, Prepare and Maintain Written Recall Procedures, and Document Certain Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points System Plan Reassessments.” The rule implements three provisions included in the 2008 Farm Bill and requires establishments to:
– notify FSIS within 24 hours that a meat or poultry product that could be subject to Class I, II or III recall has been shipped into commerce.
– prepare and maintain written recall procedures.
– document each reassessment of their HACCP plan.

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The notification requirements show some similarity to FDA’s Reportable Food Registry (RFR), however they clearly go much further in terms of what needs to be reported to FSIS. Also FSIS chose to implement a completely different system with facilities directed to notify, that is – make a phone call to – the appropriate District Office within 24 hours of “learning or determining that an adulterated or misbranded product received by or originating from the establishment has entered commerce, if the establishment believes or has reason to believe that this has happened.”  As with many rules the precise interpretation of “reason to believe” is significant.  Would this mean that a presumptive positive is a reason to believe?
In contrast, the RFR (discussed in a previous newsletter) requires FDA-regulated food facilities to report when there is “reasonable probability” that an article of food will cause serious adverse health consequences – a Class I situation. Additionally, the report is to be submitted through the electronic RFR portal as soon as practicable, but in no case later than 24 hours after determining that an article of food is a reportable food.
Although FSIS received comment suggestions to follow the standard established by RFR, or to incorporate a de minimis standard (that is, the determining of a risk level that is too small to be concerned with). FSIS chose to maintain its standard of reporting of any adulteration or misbranding stating, “If the Agency adopted the RFR standard or a similar de minimis standard, establishments may not be required to notify FSIS about product that could trigger a Class II or Class III recall.” While this is certainly true it is most assuredly “leaping” over the current FDA RFR requirements in terms of regulatory stringency.
As such, the rule assesses the public health concern or hazard presented by a product then classifies the concern as:

‘Do Pass’ Recommendation Added to Missouri Ag-Gag Bill

Only a floor vote in the Missouri Senate may stand between Gov. Jay Nixon’s desk and a bill making fraud and interference new crimes if carried out at agricultural facilities, a so-called “ag-gag” law.
House Bill 1860, adopted by the Missouri House on a 124-29 vote, now carries an important  “do pass” recommendation from the powerful Missouri Senate Agriculture, Food Production, and Outdoor Resources Committee.
The “do pass” recommendation was attached to the bill on May 10, and it could have been brought up for a vote at any time since then. But for the past week, Missouri’s General Assembly was caught up in what observers called  “contentious cross-chamber negotiations” on the “Show Me” state’s new budget.

Outbreak of HUS E. Coli Linked to Spartanburg, South Carolina Mexican Restaurant

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) has issued a health advisory alerting doctors and other health care providers about an outbreak of shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) cases linked to a Spartanburg-area Mexican restaurant.

During the last week of April, 2012, eleven people became ill with E. coli 0157:H7 infections. The restaurant has not yet been named and, according to Adam R. Myrick, Public Information Officer of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, the agency “doesn’t plan to name the restaurant at this point.” The DHEC is working to determine if specific food items might be involved.

The department has interviewed three patients so far. Of those three people, two have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a serious illness that can lead to kidney failure and death.

 

Read Full Article Here

 

Under The Sea: Oysters and Norovirus Outbreaks

Area 23, a shellfish harvesting zone off the Louisiana coast roughly equal in size to the city of New Orleans, was closed this week after health officials linked a norovirus outbreak to its oysters.

An investigation into the outbreak that sickened 14 people who ate oysters at a Louisiana restaurant determined that the oysters were tainted before they arrived at the restaurant. Health officials issued a recall of the oysters and the temporary closure of Area 23.

Closing a harvesting zone the size of a major metropolitan area might seem like an indicator of a massive outbreak, but that’s likely not that case, according to Ken Pastorick, spokesman for the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (LHH).

 

Read Full Article Here

 

 

Organic Pastures Outbreak Is Fifth Raw Milk Outbreak This Year

The Campylobacter raw milk outbreak linked to Organic Pastures Dairy in Fresno County, California is the fifth foodborne illness outbreak this year caused by raw milk.

On May 10, the California Department of Food and Agriculture issued a quarantine and recall of all  Organic Pastures raw milk, raw skim milk, raw cream and raw butter after samples of raw cream tested positive for Campylobacter.

At least 10 people have been diagnosed with confirmed Campylobacter infections after consuming raw milk products produced by the farm. Those sickened range in age from nine months to 38 years old, six of them are children.

In 2011, a total of nine foodborne illness outbreaks linked to raw milk products sickened 123 people, according to information from state health and agriculture departments. So far this year, five raw milk outbreaks have sickened 142 people. They are:

 

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CDC Tracking 5 Overlapping Turtle Salmonella Outbreaks in 27 States

Five overlapping Salmonella outbreaks linked to human contact with small turtles have sickened at least 124 people in 27 states, prompting the continuation of a public health investigation that began last year. One of the outbreaks dates back to June 2011 and another to August 2011.

Two new outbreaks have unfolded since early last month, sprouting new geographic distributions of Salmonella infections that are spreading in many cases from human contact with contaminated water in the turtles’ environments.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 7 of 10 outbreak victims are children under the age of 10. In many cases the turtles are pets purchased from street vendors because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration banned the sale and distribution of turtles in 1975

 

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Recalls

 

 

Jonnly Fruits Recalls Several Beverages for Undeclared Milk Derivative

May 12, 2012 By

Jonlly Fruits Inc. of Puerto Rico is recalling Jonnly Fruit and Natural Tropic beverages in several flavors because they contain undeclared sodium caseinate, a milk derivative, that is one of the major food allergens. The FDA has posted this recall in Spanish. You can see all product labels at the FDA site.

Product details:

 

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Whole Foods Market Recalls Cupcakes for Undeclared Walnuts

Whole Foods Market is recalling its variety cupcake six-packs sold in Northern California because some of the cupcakes contain undeclared walnuts. Walnuts are tree nuts, one of the major food allergens.

One illness has been reported. Anyone with an allergy to walnuts may suffer a serious or life-threatening reaction if they eat these cupcakes.

Product details:

 

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Nestlé Recalls Purina Veterinarian Diets OM Canned Cat Food for Thiamine Deficiency

Kitten pawing at pet foodNestlé Purina PetCare (NPP) is recalling one lot of Purina Veterinary Diets® OM Overweight Management canned cat food because it has low levels of Vitamin B1 (thiamine).

Product details:

  • Purina Veterinary Diets® OM Overweight Management Feline Formula
  • 5.5 ounce cans
  • “Best By” Date JUN 2013
  • Production Code 11721159
  • UPC number 38100 – 13810
  • Sold by veterinarians in the United States and Canada
  • Distributed to clinics between June 2011 and May 2012 in the U.S. and Canada
  • Not sold in retail stores

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Articles of Interest

EPA Grossly Misrepresents The Toxicity Of Corexit Used In Gulf Of Mexico

Susan Aarde
Activist Post
plane spraying corexit

© Apalachicola Bay Corexit Poisoning

Quite incredibly, the EPA issued a positive report on May 1, 2012 regarding the safety and toxicity of various dispersants used in the BP Gulf Oil Spill. Included in this assessment was the use of Corexit.

This report “indicated that all eight dispersants had roughly the same toxicity,” and all fell into the “practically non-toxic” or “slightly toxic” category. Scientists found that none of the eight dispersants displayed endocrine-disrupting activity of “biological significance.”

The same report went on to say that “dispersant-oil mixtures were generally no more toxic to the aquatic test species than oil alone.”

The first question that jumps out for those who have researched this subject with any degree of thoroughness is how this recent report fails to reconcile with previous studies performed by the EPA.

Here is some test data retrieved from the EPA website that was posted previous to the BP Gulf Oil Spill.

The dispersant (Corexit 9500) and dispersed oil have demonstrated the following levels of toxicity per the EPA website link that follows:

(1) 10.72 parts per million (ppm) of oil alone will kill 50% of the fish test species in a normal aquatic environment within 96 hours.

(2) 25.20 parts per million of dispersant (Corexit 9500) alone will kill 50% of the fish test species in a normal aquatic environment within 96 hours.

(3) 2.61 parts per million of dispersed oil (Corexit-laden) alone will kill 50% of the fish test species in a normal aquatic environment within 96 hours.

This data diverges from the recent report to such a significant degree that the results which were just posted at the EPA.gov website under the title of “The BP Oil Spill: Responsive Science Supports Emergency Response” must be seriously scrutinized.

What is the buying public to make of such conflicting data? Those who have medical conditions which require complete avoidance of toxic seafood need to know with certainty what they are eating.

Likewise, the fishermen in the Gulf need to know the true condition of their catch. Swimmers and beachgoers need to know the state of the water, as well as the beaches. Boaters ought to be informed of the relevant risk factors when out in the areas of recently sprayed waters, whether surface or deep sea.

The most serious questions to emerge from this report revolve around the issue of credibility. Can the EPA ever be trusted again to conduct the necessary research regarding anything having to do with the Gulf of Mexico oil spill caused by BP?

Issuing such blanket statements about the relatively low toxicity associated with this spill, irrespective of location on the beach, in the waters, in the wetlands or estuaries, seems to be quite disingenuous.

Furthermore, the federal government’s declaration that the “clean up phase” of the Deepwater Horizon spill is over begs for review, especially in light of the large quantities of submerged oil unaccounted for residing in the water column, DOJ’s discovery of false flow rate numbers reported by BP and new sightings of oil slicks all over the Gulf.

In light of all that, the clean up phase is not over and further use of Corexit dispersant isn’t an effective solution.

Moreover, the fact that the EPA has approved for use a very safe bioremediation agent known as Oil Spill Eater II, but has yet to allow its use in the Gulf raises many additional questions.

From our investigation, it has become clear that Corexit has been given preferential treatment over other much safer alternatives. The Gulf Oil Spill Remediation Conference (GOSRC) was quoted as follows in this regard:

When we heard about Oil Spill Eater II, and the fact that it is EPA-approved (NCP listed) and has demonstrated its effectiveness at least 14 times for the BP Gulf Oil Spill, we wondered why it wasn’t being used 24/7.

The GOSRC went on to issue a press release entitled: Coalition Of Enviro, Citizens And Political Groups Demand COREXIT Use Be Stopped which pointed out the deliberate false image which has been created around the use of this toxic dispersant – Corexit 9500.

The Gulf Rescue Alliance (GRA) also made the recent observations in their press release entitled: BP Gulf Oil Spill Revisited.

Many of these studies point out the obvious; that when you mix a tremendous volume of released oil with methane gas and further mix it with a toxic dispersant like Corexit, as they have done throughout this oil spill, a chemical cocktail is created that will have as far-reaching ecological ramifications as it will profound environmental consequences.

The Earth Orgainization (TEO) has also weighed in on this issue through their release of an excellent documentary entitled: Hidden Crisis in the GULF. Barbara Wiseman, TEO President, has been an ardent advocate for safer oil remediation measures since the very beginning of this oil spill. She has said that:

At the beginning of the disaster, TEO investigated to find effective, non-toxic technologies currently available in adequate supply to clean up an oil spill of this size. Once we isolated the best solutions, we then investigated to find what the barriers to getting them implemented were. The barriers have all come down to specific people in the EPA. They are, in effect, holding the Gulf hostage and, for some unexplained reason, won’t let it be cleaned up.

Lastly, perhaps the words of Steven Pedigo reflect the voice of reason more than any other in this ongoing oil spill when he was quoted in A 2nd Anniversary Report on the BP Gulf Oil Spillas follows:

The toxic dispersants add absolutely nothing to EFFECTIVE RESPONSE. There is no scientific basis for it, and their use violates The Clean Water Act, EPA’s charter and common sense.

Corexit’s label clearly states it can cause kidney failure and death and the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) specifically warns, ‘Do not contaminate surface water with it. Additionally, toxicity testing in regards to marine species shows little tolerance by all forms of sea life; thus, applying it on spills as a preferred response method increases the toxicity of the spilled oil on which it is used.

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