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Food News

Gluten-free diet may increase risk of arsenic, mercury exposure

Science Daily | Posted on February 14, 2017

People who eat a gluten-free diet may be at risk for increased exposure to arsenic and mercury -- toxic metals that can lead to cardiovascular disease, cancer and neurological effects, according to a report in the journal Epidemiology.

Health benefits of organic food, farming outlined in new report

Harvard | Posted on February 12, 2017

Why did the European Parliament commission this report and what was its most important takeaway? The European Parliament is concerned about food safety and human health. They asked a group of experts from several countries to review the possible health advantages of organic food and organic farming. Our report reviews existing scientific evidence regarding the impact of organic food on human health, including in vitro and animal studies, epidemiological studies, and food crop analyses.

Sanderson shareholder proposal on reducing antibiotic use fails

Meatingplace (free registration required) | Posted on February 11, 2017

A shareholder proposal calling for Sanderson Farms Inc. to phase out the use of medically important antibiotics for growth promotion and disease prevention in its poultry operations failed at the company's annual meeting. The proposal had been filed by As You Sow, an Oakland, Calif.-based environmental and social advocacy organization. Sanderson management had recommended that shareholders vote against the proposal. Sanderson's continued use of antibiotics for disease prevention — not growth promotion — is part of the company's consumer marketing program. Its message is that the advantages of antibiotic-free poultry are overblown, and that such programs serve mostly to give poultry processors a reason to hike prices.

Plant-based ‘milk’ labeling is misleading, but it’s not what’s killing the dairy milk market

Food Navigator | Posted on February 9, 2017

he dairy lobby is justifiably frustrated about the widespread use of dairy-terms (milk, cheese, yogurt) to describe plant-based products, but it also needs to focus on its own game to understand why sales of fluid dairy milk are declining.

Beef, pork propel Tyson to record Q1 net income

Meatingplace (free registration required) | Posted on February 9, 2017

Strong gains in its beef and pork segments fueled record-setting results for Tyson Foods in the first quarter of 2017, the processor announced this morning.  Tyson said earnings per share hit a record $1.59, a 38-percent improvement on year-ago results. Operating income rose 27 percent to a record $982 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2017, while net income in the period reached $594 million, up 29 percent from profits in the same period one year ago. Sales in the first quarter increased by less than one-tenth of one percent compared with the first quarter of fiscal 2016 to $9.18 billion.

New Mexico Bill Would Ban "Milk" On Non-Dairy Products

KRWG | Posted on February 9, 2017

State Senator Cliff Pirtle (R-Roswell) wants to end the misrepresentationf plant based "milk" products.  His SB 161 calls for the end of the mislabeling of beverages as “milk” when they don’t have cow or goat milk in them. Senator Pirtle said the cartons in the dairy section of products called soy milk, almond milk and silk milk  are confusing to the public because they think they are milk and they are not.  He is asking that in New Mexico there be more truth in advertising and these beverages be labeled something as such “imitation milk.”

Bipartisan vote crushes Virginia bill to legalize raw milk sales

Food Safety News | Posted on February 9, 2017

Republicans and Democrats joined forces in a committee of the Virginia House of Delegates to defeat an attempt to legalize the sale of raw, unpasteurized milk by a vote of more than two to one.  The 6-15 vote against House Bill 2030 saw all six votes in favor cast by Republican members of the Committee for Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources. One committee member, Republican James Morefield, did not vote on the bill.  Republicans Nicholas Freitas, Robert Marshall sponsored the bill, which would have allowed direct-to-consumer sales of raw milk and other uninspected, uncertified and unregulated foods at farmers markets, on farms or at producers’ homes.  Of those voting against the bill, eight were Republicans and seven were Democrats. Those 15 delegates came down on the same side of the issue as their state’s public health and agriculture departments.

US exports 14 million eggs to avian flu-struck S. Korea

Watt Ag Net | Posted on February 6, 2017

The country is accepting its first-ever egg imports from the US in response to shortages causing sharp increases in food prices. The U.S. exported 14 million eggs to South Korea in January as the nation continues to deal with a widespread avian influenza outbreak.

Americans Are Eating So Much Bacon That Reserves Are at a 50-Year Low

Fortune | Posted on February 2, 2017

U.S. bacon reserves have hit a 50 year low. The non-profit Ohio Pork Council said that demand for frozen pork belly, often made into bacon, has far outpaced supply, USA Today reports. “Today’s pig farmers are setting historic records by producing more pigs than ever. Yet our reserves are still depleting,” said Rich Deaton, the group's president.  With low reserve levels, prices have increased; the cost of pork belly rose by 20% in January, according to the council. Officials said that increased foreign demand might also be responsible, however, as hog farmers export around 26% of their total product according to the group.

Raw milk measure buried in Massachusetts legislation

Food Safety News | Posted on February 2, 2017

Tucked into a rambling bill “promoting agriculture in the Commonwealth” of Massachusetts that includes provisions on joy-riding all-terrain vehicle operators, rain sensors on residential landscape sprinkler systems, and sundry sections on land assessments, re-valuation and taxation, is language to legalize the sale of unpasteurized raw milk. The Massachusetts bill, SD 1796, includes more than 7,300 words — 780 of them pertain to efforts to legalize on-farm raw milk sales direct to consumers as well as sales through herd- or animal-share programs for dairy cows and goats. The Massachusetts bill does not specifically address pathogen testing or other food safety requirements for raw milk, instead stating: “The department of agricultural resources and the department of public health, acting jointly, shall adopt and promulgate reasonable rules and regulations governing the handling, packaging, storage, testing, and transportation of raw milk, provided that non-mechanical refrigeration shall be permitted.”