Industry

Federal fisheries regulators halt West Coast sardine season - KSN-TV

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — Federal regulators on Wednesday approved an early closure of commercial sardine fishing off Oregon, Washington and California to prevent overfishing.

The decision was aimed at saving the West Coast sardine fishery from the kind of collapse that led to the demise of Cannery Row, made famous by John Steinbeck’s novel of the same name set in Monterey, California.

Meeting outside Santa Rosa, California, the Pacific Fishery Management Council voted to direct NOAA Fisheries Service to halt the current season as early as possible, affecting about 100 fishing boats with sardine permits, though far fewer are actively fishing at the moment. The season normally would end June 30.

Frank Lockhart of NOAA Fisheries Service estimated it would take one to two weeks to notify fishermen and bring sardine fishing to a close.

Earlier this week, the council shut down the next sardine season, which was set to begin July 1.

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USDA Revises Safe Ingredients List for Meat Production

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US - USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has issued a revised directive updating the list of safe and suitable ingredients used in the production of meat, poultry and egg products.

Specifically, FSIS revised the entry for a blend of lactic acid, citric acid and potassium hydroxide, listing it as a spray or dip for poultry, beef, pork and lamb carcasses, heads and organs.

The directive also includes amended labeling requirements for ready-to-eat meat products containing tomato lycopene extract and concentrate.

FSIS added an aqueous mixture of peroxyacetic acid and a combination of sulfuric acid, ammonium sulfate and water for use as antimicrobial substances.

Oat fiber and oat hull fiber also were added to the list for use as binders in whole muscle cuts of meat and poultry and comminuted meat and poultry products.

To view the complete table of safe and suitable ingredients, click here .

 

Restaurants Falling Behind in Customer Trust of Meat

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A policy of sourcing more British meat and promoting the fact on-pack to customers means supermarkets are stealing a lead on restaurants and fast-food chains when it comes to gaining public trust, according to a new survey.

Nearly 70 per cent of shoppers trust the meat they buy in supermarkets either a lot or a fair amount, according to YouGov data released by BPEX. This compares with only 58 per cent trusting the meat they are served in restaurants and 17 per cent in fast-food outlets.

“Since Horsegate in 2013, supermarkets have worked hard to restore trust by sourcing more British meat and labelling the fact clearly—and their strategy is obviously working,” according to National Pig Association chairman Richard Lister.

“If foodservice companies want the public to trust them to a similar degree, the answer is staring them in the face. They should copy the retailers and serve British meat instead of imported meat from continental cold stores.”

Many foodservice outlets in Britain already have a British-only rule for the fresh pork they serve, but fail to inform their customers. 

Berries test negative for Hep A

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Updated April 16, 2015 16:16:48

The company whose frozen berries were linked to the outbreak of 31 cases of Hepatitis A says there is no evidence that a failure in food safety testing led to the spread of the virus.

However, the Federal Health Department is still pointing at the Nanna's brand as the likely source of the contamination.

Patties Foods recalled a number of different brands of frozen fruit, including Nanna's and Creative Gourmet, after they were epidemiologically linked to 31 cases of consumers across Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales.

Two initial tests by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) were positive for Hepatitis A.

Audio: Steven Chaur, managing director and CEO of Patties Foods (ABC Rural)

One opened packet recovered from a consumer who had contracted Hepatitis A tested positive, but DHHS noted that, as it was already opened when tested, it could have been contaminated after opening.

Indo quota planning push

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IF THE Indonesian government agrees to allocate Australian live cattle import quotas annually, instead of quarterly, it could change beef industries on both sides of the Timor Sea.

That’s the argument those involved with live export in Australia and Indonesia laid out to Indonesia’s Trade and Co-ordinating Affairs ministries last week, in the hope of injecting more long-term certainty into what is currently a rollercoaster business.

In the first quarter of 2015, live exporters were given a quota of 100,000 live cattle to Indonesia. In the current quarter, Indonesia has allocated permits for 250,000 head. Next quarter is anyone’s guess.

Australian Live Exporters Council (ALEC) chief executive Alison Penfold, who was in Indonesia last week, said the quarterly permit system doesn’t produce optimum outcomes for either side of the trade.

The Indonesian government is concerned with inflationary pressures on beef, Ms Penfold said, yet the whole trade is being forced by the quarterly permit system to work on a spot-market basis.

Drones enlisted to fight poppy disease

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Updated April 16, 2015 10:55:07

Agricultural drones could help Tasmania's poppy industry fight the systemic mildew that has wiped hundreds of thousands of dollars from the 2015 harvest.

Poppy grower and co-owner of Drone Ag, Will Bignell, from Bothwell in the Central Highlands, flew drones over poppy crops last season and saw the extent of the damage on his own crops and others.

He is investing in a $20,000 custom-built drone camera and will map the disease this coming season.

"We are investing in a multi-spectral camera which will be taking a whole different number of wavelengths of light," Mr Bignell said.

"There's quite a bit of literature suggesting that this method can help detect areas of stress in broad acre crops.

"There's been a bit of work done on poppies previously, and some other vegetable crops.

Photo: An example of crop vigour, as seen via a drone, in a poppy paddock at Thorpe Farm, Bothwell Tasmania. (Will Bignell)

Psyllid found on Norfolk Island

The discovery of sap-sucking insects on Norfolk Island has given scientists a head start in controlling a major biosecurity threat to Australia.

The tomato-potato psyllid (Bactericera cockerelli) has not previously been detected on Norfolk Island, but has now been found as part of a major quarantine survey co-ordinated by the Australian and Norfolk Island governments.

During the survey, insect traps were set by Plant Biosecurity CRC researchers Andrew Geering and John Thomas, from the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation.

The psyllid was recognised in trap contents.

The tomato-potato psyllid feeds on tomato, potato and capsicum crops, Dr Geering said.

It transmits a serious disease known as Zebra chip caused by the bacterium Ca. Liberibacter solanacearum, which we have also found in these crops on Norfolk Island. The insect and the disease would be major threats to Australian growers if they arrived on the mainland.

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Large Volume Intravenous (IV) Solution Shortage

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The FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) is aware that the U.S. is currently facing a shortage of 3-5 liter volume units of fluids intended for intravenous (IV) administration in large animals. These large volume IV solutions are used to provide large animals with IV fluid replacement therapy.


CVM is currently coordinating with drug manufacturers to increase the availability of these products in order to address the current shortage and meet long-term demand. There are several foreign firms that are preparing to import 5 liter fluids into the U.S. Please continue to visit the drug shortage information webpage for updates. As products become available, we will update our drug shortages - IV Fluids page with additional information.


CVM remains committed to taking steps to address drug shortages, including finding alternative sources.

 

Vietnam removes more BSE-related beef import restrictions - Farm Futures

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Vietnam's recent removal of BSE-related restrictions on imports of U.S. beef is a welcome decision for U.S. beef processors, the U.S. Meat Export Federation's Travis Arp, Ph. D., said this week.

Arp, USMEF's technical services manager, said Vietnam reopened to boneless U.S. beef cuts in 2005 and added bone-in cuts in 2006. But in both cases, access was limited to beef from cattle less than 30 months of age. With the latest change, Vietnam now accepts a full range of cuts from U.S. cattle of all ages, and U.S. exporters can now ship a full range of beef cuts and face fewer regulatory hurdles when serving the Vietnamese market.

For example, no USDA export verification program is needed, and segregation of cattle at the processing plant is no longer required, USMEF said.

"Packers and processors won't have to do any more segregation" by age, Arp said, reducing costs for packers. "In the same token, we'll have a lot of processors that do exclusively over 30-month cattle get access to this market, who previously didn't have it."

 

 

US backs plan for African center for disease control

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The United States Monday threw its weight behind an African Union plan to set up a regional disease control center in the wake of the deadly Ebola crisis.

Meeting with Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, the chairwoman of the African Union, US Secretary of State John Kerry signed a deal to support what he called a "very bold plan" for an African center for disease control to be opened in Addis Ababa.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was set up "70 years ago in response to an epidemic of malaria," Kerry said as he met Zuma at the State Department.

"An African counterpart is already clearly needed, not just because of Ebola, but to cope with health threats of every kind and to enable countries throughout the region to share information and build the capacity to prevent, detect, and treat outbreaks of epidemic disease."

Under the memorandum of understanding the United States will provide expert technical help for a surveillance and response unit as well as an emergency operations center, and fellowships for African epidemiologists to work in the center.

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