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Food News

EU moves to ban sale of lower-quality branded food in eastern Europe

The Guardian | Posted on April 19, 2018

Brussels wants to make it illegal for food and drink multinationals to sell inferior versions of well-known brands to customers in eastern Europe, after studies suggested hundreds of products were involved in the practice. An EU directive banning so-called “dual food” was announced on Wednesday following longstanding complaints from member states in central and eastern Europe. Coca-Cola, Pepsi, HiPP baby food, Birds Eye, Lidl and Spar have denied accusations of selling lower quality goods in the east bearing identical branding to products sold in western Europe. Persil and Ariel have been accused of selling a less effective washing product formula in eastern Europe, a claim they also refute. The European commission will next month provide member states with a methodology for testing multinational brands, so that the real culprits can be identified. 

GAO to USDA: Take further action to reduce pathogens in meat

Meatingplace (free registration required) | Posted on April 19, 2018

The GAO said USDA has developed standards limiting the amount of salmonella and campylobacter permitted in certain meat and poultry, such as ground beef, pork carcasses and chicken breasts. But it has not developed standards for other products that are widely available, such as turkey breasts and pork chops. Further, USDA's process for deciding which products to consider for new standards is unclear because it is not fully documented, which is not consistent with federal standards for internal control, GAO said.

2018 a year for lots of meat

Brownfield Ag News | Posted on April 18, 2018

Lower prices for producers on nearly every type of meat are forecast by USDA for this year which means lower prices for consumers. The reason is bigger supplies of almost every type of meat. “We’ve got beef, pork, broilers increasing production year over year,” says Seth Meyer, USDA Outlook Board Chairman. Meyers says turkey production is the only exception, down just a little. Meyers says overall meat production this year should be higher by more than 3%. And that translates to lower prices for most livestock producers.

Montana residents fight proposed multi-species plant

Meatingplace (free registration required) | Posted on April 18, 2018

Hundreds of residents in Great Falls, Mont., gathered on Saturday night to voice concerns about a proposal to build a large multi-species slaughter facility in the area. Canadian company Friesen Foods, having purchased 3,000 acres of undeveloped farmland in the area, has proposed to build the “Madison Food Park.” The facility, as the company has described, would be a state-of-the-art, robotically controlled, environmentally friendly, multi-species food processing plant for cattle, pigs and chickens and related further processing facilities for beef, pork and poultry.

After research, flavored milk returns to some schools

Hoard's Dairyman | Posted on April 13, 2018

While local school boards, Parent Teacher Associations, and most recently the Trump administration weigh in on food served in schools, the dialogue around flavored milk is more multifaceted than in years past. There is opportunity for both plain and flavored milk in schools. Once scrutinized for its sugar content, flavored milk is now being viewed for its role in overall health, academic achievement, and — most recently — food waste reduction.Flavored milk has all of the major nutrients found in plain milk — including calcium, vitamin D, and potassium, which are all underconsumed nutrients of concern according to the most recent Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Missouri bills: If it comes from a lab, it’s not meat

Watt Ag Net | Posted on April 12, 2018

As the sale of cell-cultured foods become closer to a reality, lawmakers in Missouri want to protect its livestock and poultry producers. If you don’t know what cell-cultured foods are, another name to which I have heard them referred is laboratory-grown meat. However, the latter name is exactly what the legislators don’t want to hear or seen used in the Show Me State.Bills in both the state’s Senate and House of Representatives have been proposed that if passed, would prohibit companies from advertising and promoting those products as meat.Rep. Jeff Knight has proposed Missouri HB 2607, while Sen. Sandy Crawford has proposed Missouri SB 977. The bills are identical, and read as follows: “Currently, no person advertising, offering for sale, or selling a carcass shall engage in any misleading or deceptive practice including misrepresenting the cut, grade, brand or trade name, or weight or measure of any product. This act also prohibits misrepresenting a product as meat that is not derived from harvested production livestock or poultry.”

More groups ask USDA to distinguish food animal meat from lab-created protein

Meatingplace (free registration required) | Posted on April 12, 2018

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association(NCBA) and the National Farmers Union (NFU) are the latest two organizations to call on USDA to establish labeling requirements that better inform consumers about the difference between products that come from food animals and those that were created in a laboratory.

Food allergies may be triggered by exposure to infant wipes, dust and food

Science Daily | Posted on April 10, 2018

Infant and childhood food allergy has now been linked to a mix of environmental and genetic factors that must coexist to trigger the allergy, reports a new study. Those factors include genetics that alter skin absorbency, use of infant cleansing wipes that leave soap on the skin, skin exposure to allergens in dust and skin exposure to food from those providing infant care. The good news is factors leading to food allergy can be modified in the home environment.

Midwestern BioAg gets a dream opportunity with new partnership with General Mills

Wisconsin State Journal | Posted on April 10, 2018

“Biological farmers want to feed the soil life and create the ideal home (for plants) and we’ve got a whole concept,” Zimmer said. A major food manufacturer, General Mills, agrees. Last month, it announced it was partnering with Midwestern BioAg — the Madison-based biological farming company Zimmer founded in 1979 — to convert the 34,000-acre Gunsmoke Farm near Pierre, South Dakota, into an organic farm. When it’s completed in 2020, it will become the largest organic transition in North America, Zimmer said.

Clean Meat

OFW Law | Posted on April 10, 2018

All the time, we hear the loud voices of consumer groups that insist the public must be informed about the food we eat. "Label it organic."  "If it has GMOs, the consumer must know."  "You should not label it natural if it is not natural," whatever 'natural' means. Now, we have millions of dollars being invested in a new "clean meat" industry. But it’s not "meat," as we know it. It’s not a beef steak or a pork chop. Can the food be labeled "clean meat" or "clean beef" if the product is grown from cell cultures in a lab?  Cultured meat products don’t come from conventional animals. Doesn’t the "clean meat" label mislead the grocery shopper?The meat industry has competed against veggie burgers over recent years; but at least they were honest about their vegetable origin. "Clean meat" has no intention of giving up its name, according to Jessie Almy, Policy Director at the Good Food Institute. Glynn Tonsor, a Kansas State University agricultural economist, has this to say: "There are already a lot of alternative proteins out there. But this is the first one that’s using the term 'meat' in marketing and on its labels.  'Clean meat' has a certain ring to it, after all.  'Lab-grown cultured meat product' sounds like a cousin of pink slime."  Remember that? Nutritious lean meat was disparaged as "pink slime" and folks are trying to suggest livestock products aren’t "clean."  Come on!