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U.S.D.A. approves modified potato

U.S.D.A. approves modified potato

A potato genetically engineered to reduce the amounts of a potentially harmful ingredient in French fries and potato chips has been approved for commercial planting, the Department of Agriculture announced on Friday.

The potato’s DNA has been altered so that less of a chemical called acrylamide, which is suspected of causing cancer in people, is produced when the potato is fried.

The new potato also resists bruising, a characteristic long sought by potato growers and processors for financial reasons. Potatoes bruised during harvesting, shipping or storage can lose value or become unusable.

The biotech tubers were developed by the J. R. Simplot Company, a privately held company based in Boise, Idaho, which was the initial supplier of frozen French fries to McDonald’s in the 1960s and is still a major supplier.

The potato is one of a new wave of genetically modified crops that aim to provide benefits to consumers, not just to farmers as the widely grown biotech crops like herbicide-tolerant soybeans and corn do. The nonbruising aspect of the potato is similar to that of genetically engineered nonbrowning apples, developed by Okanagan Specialty Fruits, which are awaiting regulatory approval.

Please click here to read the full article from the NY Times.

Publication date: 11/10/2014


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FSIS Approves Chinese Plants for Poultry Processing

Four Chinese poultry processing plants have been approved to export cooked chicken to the U.S.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has approved China’s export health certificate which demonstrates that poultry exported to the U.S. was raised and slaughtered in the U.S., Canada or Chile and that it was cooked to a proper temperature.

For the first time, FSIS also published the names of the four Chinese poultry processing establishments it audited in March 2013 and found to be operating under requirements equivalent to those of the U.S.

The plants are located in the Shandong province and include Shangdong Delicate Food Co., Weifang Legang Food Co., Qingyun Ruifeng Food Co., and Qingdao Nine-alliance Group Co.

It will be up to U.S. companies to decide to import cooked poultry from China. It’s currently unknown when – or even if – the marketplace will participate in the arrangement which could be economically beneficial for them.

When they do, FSIS will re-inspect the products exported by the four Chinese establishments when they reach U.S. ports before they will be allowed into domestic commerce.

Chinese-processed poultry that hits U.S. stores would be labeled as such, although if it’s repacked or further processed in the U.S., information that it had originated in China would not be included on the label. FSIS believes this repackaging is unlikely to occur, but states that if it does, it would be done under agency supervision.

Nancy Huehnergarth, a nutrition policy consultant and one of the women behind the Change.org petition to keep Chinese chicken off U.S. plates (which currently has 327,500 signatures), thinks consumers should be scared about the new development given China’s “abysmal” record on food safety. She is particularly worried that consumers’ right to know where their food comes from will be jeopardized by repackaging and reprocessing.

Food Safety News

EPA Approves Herbicide for Use on Dow’s GE Crops

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has approved the registration of Dow Chemical’s Enlist Duo herbicide, a new blend of 2,4-D and glyphosate.

The product is intended for use on Dow’s Enlist genetically engineered corn and soybeans, which were approved by the Department of Agriculture last month.

Dow stated in a press release that EPA’s decision means that the company can “bring to the market this necessary, innovative technology that is expected to deliver significant growth for Dow while at the same time addressing a critical global challenge.”

The combination of the two chemicals “will control and help prevent further development of herbicide-resistant weeds,” the company said.

A number of farm, food, health, public interest, consumer, fisheries and environmental organizations submitted comments in opposition to both proposals, arguing that its use on millions of acres of farm fields could negatively impact both environmental and human health. Members of Congress and prominent doctors, scientists and researchers also expressed their opposition.

2,4-D was a component of Agent Orange, which was produced by Dow and Monsanto and used as a defoliant in Vietnam, and glyphosate is the active ingredient in Roundup, the top-selling weed killer developed by Monsanto.

The opposition groups are particularly concerned about the health risks associated with 2,4-D exposure, including non-Hodgkin lymphoma, suppressed immune function, lower sperm count, and a greater risk of Parkinson’s disease. There are also risks of learning disabilities, behavioral problems and chronic diseases in children.

In terms of environmental effects, critics say that Enlist Duo will increase soils, surface and groundwater contamination and perpetuate the “pesticide treadmill,” which is when farmers use larger amounts of increasingly toxic chemicals to control herbicide-resistant weeds, eventually requiring the use of different chemicals.

Now that EPA has announced its approval of Enlist Duo, these groups are outraged.

“EPA has turned its back on those it purports to protect — the American people and our environment,” said Andrew Kimbrell, executive director for the Center for Food Safety. He added that his organization will “pursue all available legal options to stop the commercialization of these dangerous crops.”

Ronnie Cummins, international director of the Organic Consumers Association (OCA), argued that now it’s time for consumers to “shut down this treadmill of higher doses of increasingly toxic poisons.” OCA now plans to put more effort into its campaigns for mandatory GMO-labeling laws and for federal policies that promote organic agriculture.

Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) said that, “EPA shunned its duties to protect the environment and safeguard public health by bowing to corporate interests instead of relying on science.”

Food Safety News

EPA Approves Herbicide for Use on Dow’s GE Crops

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has approved the registration of Dow Chemical’s Enlist Duo herbicide, a new blend of 2,4-D and glyphosate.

The product is intended for use on Dow’s Enlist genetically engineered corn and soybeans, which were approved by the Department of Agriculture last month.

Dow stated in a press release that EPA’s decision means that the company can “bring to the market this necessary, innovative technology that is expected to deliver significant growth for Dow while at the same time addressing a critical global challenge.”

The combination of the two chemicals “will control and help prevent further development of herbicide-resistant weeds,” the company said.

A number of farm, food, health, public interest, consumer, fisheries and environmental organizations submitted comments in opposition to both proposals, arguing that its use on millions of acres of farm fields could negatively impact both environmental and human health. Members of Congress and prominent doctors, scientists and researchers also expressed their opposition.

2,4-D was a component of Agent Orange, which was produced by Dow and Monsanto and used as a defoliant in Vietnam, and glyphosate is the active ingredient in Roundup, the top-selling weed killer developed by Monsanto.

The opposition groups are particularly concerned about the health risks associated with 2,4-D exposure, including non-Hodgkin lymphoma, suppressed immune function, lower sperm count, and a greater risk of Parkinson’s disease. There are also risks of learning disabilities, behavioral problems and chronic diseases in children.

In terms of environmental effects, critics say that Enlist Duo will increase soils, surface and groundwater contamination and perpetuate the “pesticide treadmill,” which is when farmers use larger amounts of increasingly toxic chemicals to control herbicide-resistant weeds, eventually requiring the use of different chemicals.

Now that EPA has announced its approval of Enlist Duo, these groups are outraged.

“EPA has turned its back on those it purports to protect — the American people and our environment,” said Andrew Kimbrell, executive director for the Center for Food Safety. He added that his organization will “pursue all available legal options to stop the commercialization of these dangerous crops.”

Ronnie Cummins, international director of the Organic Consumers Association (OCA), argued that now it’s time for consumers to “shut down this treadmill of higher doses of increasingly toxic poisons.” OCA now plans to put more effort into its campaigns for mandatory GMO-labeling laws and for federal policies that promote organic agriculture.

Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) said that, “EPA shunned its duties to protect the environment and safeguard public health by bowing to corporate interests instead of relying on science.”

Food Safety News

EPA Approves Herbicide for Use on Dow’s GE Crops

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has approved the registration of Dow Chemical’s Enlist Duo herbicide, a new blend of 2,4-D and glyphosate.

The product is intended for use on Dow’s Enlist genetically engineered corn and soybeans, which were approved by the Department of Agriculture last month.

Dow stated in a press release that EPA’s decision means that the company can “bring to the market this necessary, innovative technology that is expected to deliver significant growth for Dow while at the same time addressing a critical global challenge.”

The combination of the two chemicals “will control and help prevent further development of herbicide-resistant weeds,” the company said.

A number of farm, food, health, public interest, consumer, fisheries and environmental organizations submitted comments in opposition to both proposals, arguing that its use on millions of acres of farm fields could negatively impact both environmental and human health. Members of Congress and prominent doctors, scientists and researchers also expressed their opposition.

2,4-D was a component of Agent Orange, which was produced by Dow and Monsanto and used as a defoliant in Vietnam, and glyphosate is the active ingredient in Roundup, the top-selling weed killer developed by Monsanto.

The opposition groups are particularly concerned about the health risks associated with 2,4-D exposure, including non-Hodgkin lymphoma, suppressed immune function, lower sperm count, and a greater risk of Parkinson’s disease. There are also risks of learning disabilities, behavioral problems and chronic diseases in children.

In terms of environmental effects, critics say that Enlist Duo will increase soils, surface and groundwater contamination and perpetuate the “pesticide treadmill,” which is when farmers use larger amounts of increasingly toxic chemicals to control herbicide-resistant weeds, eventually requiring the use of different chemicals.

Now that EPA has announced its approval of Enlist Duo, these groups are outraged.

“EPA has turned its back on those it purports to protect — the American people and our environment,” said Andrew Kimbrell, executive director for the Center for Food Safety. He added that his organization will “pursue all available legal options to stop the commercialization of these dangerous crops.”

Ronnie Cummins, international director of the Organic Consumers Association (OCA), argued that now it’s time for consumers to “shut down this treadmill of higher doses of increasingly toxic poisons.” OCA now plans to put more effort into its campaigns for mandatory GMO-labeling laws and for federal policies that promote organic agriculture.

Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) said that, “EPA shunned its duties to protect the environment and safeguard public health by bowing to corporate interests instead of relying on science.”

Food Safety News

FSIS Approves Non-GMO Label for Meat

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service has approved for the first time a third-party certification label that claims a meat product is free of genetically modified organisms.


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The Non-GMO Project, a third-party certifying organization, had asked FSIS in October 2012 for permission to issue a label for food companies stating that the animals used were fed an entirely non-GMO diet. The agency worked with the organization, the food companies in question, the Food and Drug Administration and the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service to verify the accuracy of the label.

However, this approval does not equate to an official sanction of the non-GMO claims, merely that the product meets the Non-GMO Project’s standards for what constitutes GMO-free.

Read more: Center Store Survey’s GMO Label Findings

“The agency has not developed any new policy regarding non-GE or non-GMO products and is not certifying that the labeled products are free of genetic engineering or genetic modifications,” said FSIS spokesperson Cathy Cochran.

FSIS permits food companies to use third-party certification labels provided the claims are “truthful, accurate and not misleading” and that information is available for consumers to scrutinize the claims.

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Italy: Prices 20% lower for summer fruit
“We usually start selling summer fruit from Spain and Southern Italy in early May. This year, however, the campaign is early and we are currently selling Spanish peaches, nectarines and apricots to Italian retailers,” explains Raffaele Bucella (in the photo with general director Sandro Zani), sales manager…..


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Spain: Garlic harvest kicks off with quality, but low prices
The garlic harvest has started this week in Extremadura, where according to companies like SAT Mogalla “we expect a campaign with good calibres and better quality than last year, which was already quite good.”However, the stock build-up from 2013 and the fiercer competition from China in Europe are the two…..


Italy: Anger of an aubergine producer
Mario Incardona, administrator for Gold Green, posted some pictures and made an appeal on his Facebook page. Aubergines are in fact quoted at €0.20/kg at Vittoria’s market but are then sold at €2.20/kg in supermarkets.”This is a year of hard work and sacrifices down the drain. I prefer to give my product…..

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Prince de Bretagne glamorises artichokes in response to decline
Prince de Bretagne has decided to update the image of artichokes in their latest ‘glamour’ advertising campaign that defines humour, aesthetics and sensuality. The campaign will launch today, the 29th May and will continue through June. Statistics show that artichoke consumption has decreased by…..


Saves 90% of water compared to conventional farming
France: Start-up company growing lettuce with vapour
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French tomato season early but demand weak
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Great improvement of melon varietal in last 5 years
The melon market is not as disappointing as it used to be a few years ago, at least in terms of quality. “I won’t deny the fact that I have criticised some Italian productions for their scarce palatability, but this year I have to say that quality is good,” says Bruno Francescon, one of the leading players…..

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Spain: Melon and watermelon prices down by around 30%
The agricultural organisation ASAJA claims that melon and watermelon prices have fallen by around 30% this season. So far, the value of watermelons has dropped 0.22 Euro/kg compared to last year, while Galia melons have seen a decline of 0.12 Euro/kg, according to a statement.ASAJA says that products such as…..

Cor Hendriks, Rabobank:
Over supply in greenhouse vegetable sector, but still investments in new constructions
There is an over supply in the greenhouse vegetable sector. Not just in the Netherlands, but also in other places in Europe. This was said by Cor Hendriks, sector manager of horticulture at the Rabobank. Companies are stopping and going into administration. If the prices don’t improve, more companies will…..

Devoted to sustainability
Interpom | Primeurs 2014 greater than all previous editions
The 17th edition of Interpom | Primeurs will take place from Sunday 23 to Tuesday, November 25, 2014 in Kortrijk, Belgium.Interpom | Primeurs is the indoor exhibition for the potato, fruit and vegetable sector in Europe where all agents of the chain are present: from cultivation to processing and…..

French garlic production threatened by Spain and China
French garlic producers are threatened by competition from Spain and China. The EU has just revealed that Chinese imports could go over 12,500 tons/year. ”After two very difficult years” the Aniail (interprofessional garlic association) says that this is bad news for garlic producers. ”The iberian…..



Oceania

Decision to transition HAL into a grower-owned body
The board of Horticulture Australia Limited (HAL) has voted to accept recommendations in the ACIL Allen review to scrap the body and transition to grower ownership.HAL is responsible for managing investing $ 100 million in programs of marketing or research for the fruit, vegetable, nuts, turf and nursery…..

Tasmanian fruit farmers hit back at Eric Abetz:
Our industry is not a ‘dumping ground’ for young jobless
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Africa

Morocco reaches 92.5% of its tomato export quota
In week 20 of 2014, Morocco exported 2,492 tons of tomatoes at an average price of 48.30 Euro per 100 kilos to the EU. According to the Observatory of Prices and Markets of the Ministry of Agriculture, exports fell by 5% in volume and 15% in value when compared to the previous period. Most of the volume was…..


Tunisia seizes contraband apples and pears
The Minister of Commerce has announced in a press release that contraband apples and pears sold in organised circuits will be seized. All types of apples or pears marketed without import authorisation, stocked or sold in wholesale will be seized. This operation will also concern large retailers and…..

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World

Trade amounted to U.S. $ 3.9 billion in 2013
Trade between Peru and Brazil grew almost 800% in 13 years
In the last thirteen years, trade between Peru and Brazil grew eight times, said the business manager of the Brazilian Export Promotion Agency (APEX), Ricardo Santana.”There is an exponential growth in trade between Peru and Brazil, for example, in 2000, our trade amounted to just over U.S. $ 500 million and…..



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Label’Vie opens 4th Carrefour hypermarket in Morocco
The Label’Vie inaugurated a new Carrefour hypermarket on the 21st May in Morocco. It is the 4th Carrefour hypermarket that the Moroccan group have franchised (following those in Salé, Marrakech and Fès). The opening of this hypermarket has opened 300 employment opportunities, mainly to people in the region……

Tesco completes the establishment of Joint Venture with CRE
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India’s top 10 food retailers accumulate $ 2.2 billion losses in FY14
India’s top 10 food retailers are estimated to have accumulated losses worth $ 2.20 billion in the fiscal year ended March 2014, as they scaled up operations and refined their business models, according to a report by ratings agency Crisil.The companies, which the report estimated generated $ 3.98 billion in…..

Belgium and Luxembourg, Dirk Van den Berghe
Delhaize CEO to leave Delhaize Group
Delhaize Group have announced that Dirk Van den Berghe has decided to resign from his role as CEO of Delhaize Belgium and Luxembourg effective July 31, 2014.Delhaize Group is announcing that Mr. Van den Berghe has decided to resign and accept a new role outside the company. Frans Muller, Delhaize Group…..

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FDA Approves Campylobacter Vaccine for Human Trials

A vaccine to protect against Campylobacter jejuni was recently approved for human clinical trials by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Campylobacter is a major cause of bacterial diarrhea worldwide — estimated to be the cause of 4-15 percent of cases. It’s a problem in both developed and developing countries and is associated with unpasteurized dairy products, contaminated water, poultry and produce.

In the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that campylobacteriosis affects more than 1.3 million people every year.

Although Campylobacter infections are generally mild, complications can include reactive arthritis neurological disorders such as Guillain-Barré syndrome, a disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks part of the peripheral nervous system.

The latest potential vaccine for the bacteria was developed through the collaboration of the Naval Medical Research Center (NMRC) and Professor Mario Monteiro of the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada.

Campylobacter is one of a select group of pathogens that produces a polysaccharide capsule — or sugar coating on the surface of the bug — which is kind of a protective layer, explained Dr. Patricia Guerry, head of the NMRC Campylobacter research group.

So the vaccine is a conjugate containing polysaccharides from C. jejuni joined to a protein to enhance immunogenicity.

“The idea is it can generate antibodies against the polysaccharide capsule,” Guerry says. This, in turn, causes lysis, or a disintegration of the bacteria.

If you were infected by Campylobacter and got sick, you’d generate antibodies and you would likely be protected against a second infection. The vaccine gives an individual the opportunity to make these antibodies without the infection.

There are a number of polysaccharides conjugate vaccines on the market today. Prevnar for pneumococcal pneumonia is one of the best-known examples.

They have been very successful for pneumococcal infections, Guerry notes, but “Campylobacter is unusual for an enteric pathogen in that it also expresses the polysaccharide capsule.”

There are currently no licensed vaccines for Campylobacter, but NMRC has tested two others that it ultimately did not develop past Phase I.

This latest vaccine is currently in Phase I testing where it’s being tested for safety and immunogenicity. The previous ones “passed in terms of safety, but they weren’t particularly immunogenic,” Guerry explains.

If the current vaccine passes into Phase IIB, “we would immunize other volunteers with what appears to be the best dose and then challenge them with a strain of Campylobacter to see if it protects against diarrhea,” she says.

In a 2009 study, the vaccine provided 100-percent protection against diarrhea in monkeys when challenged with C. jejuni 81-176.

It’s important to note that the model for the testing in humans involves a strain of the bacteria developed by NMRC that is unable to induce Guillain-Barré syndrome (caused by a certain structure on the cell wall of some strains).

“We have been through FDA approval of this and it’s been through 100 people already in other studies, so we are unique in having the ability to come back and do a human challenge with this strain,” Guerry says.

If the vaccine were ultimately licensed, Guerry says it would be primarily for travelers.

“The military is interested in it because troops are a certain sub-class of travelers, but it could also be marketed to civilian travelers going to endemic areas,” she says.

Food Safety News

Vermont Legislature Approves GMO Labeling Bill

With the opportunity to make a little history on the line, the Vermont House of Representatives decided not to quibble about its original GMO labeling bill. Instead of asking for a conference committee with the Vermont Senate to work out their differences, the House on Wednesday just passed the upper chamber’s version on a 114-30 vote.

That action sends the amended House Bill 112 to Gov. Peter Shumlin’s desk. If Shumlin signs it, as he has indicated he will, Vermont will become the first state to require, solely on its own authority, the mandatory labeling of foods containing ingredients that were subjected to “genetic engineering.”

Reaction to the Vermont House vote broke along predictable lines. A spokesman for the Grocery Manufacturers Association said the Vermont bill is “critically flawed and bad for consumers,” while the Vermont Public Interest Research Group hailed the bill as a “model that rest of the country can look to moving forward.”

In a statement, the GMA further noted that, “GM crops are safe and have important benefits for people and our planet. The government therefore has no compelling interest in warning consumers about foods containing GM ingredients ….”

The Vermont Senate had extensively amended the original version of HB 112 adopted by the House last year. Among the changes was the inclusion of a legal defense fund for the new law, which would not take effect until July 1, 2016.

Consumers Union, the advocacy arm of Consumer Reports, testified in support of HB 112 and similar legislation in other states and said it plans to help defend such laws in court if necessary.

“Consumers Union especially commends Vermont for having the courage to stand up to corporate bullying, including threats of suits and other legal action from the large biotech companies and food retailers. If Vermont is sued, we intend to use all the resources at our disposal to support Vermont in its groundbreaking effort,” said Jean Halloran, the group’s director of food policy initiatives.

The amended bill also sets up a process for deciding if milk and milk products should be subjected to the law’s mandates or entirely exempted.

The Vermont House delayed action for 24 hours to allow three committees to consider whether it should ask for a conference with the Senate or simply vote to concur, which it did Wednesday. Since the campaign to label genetically engineered food began, voters in California and Washington state rejected the scheme and lawmakers in Maine and Connecticut passed labeling laws that would only go into effect if adopted by surrounding states.

Food Safety News

Vermont Senate Approves GMO Labeling Bill, Sends It Back to House for Final Vote

Members of the Vermont Senate voted 28-2 on Wednesday for a bill that, if the Vermont House of Representatives concurs with the Senate’s changes, would make it the first state in the country to require labeling of foods made with genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

The bill, H. 112, passed the Vermont House last year but needs to go back there for final approval of changes made in the Senate. Then, if House members give their final approval and Gov. Peter Shumlin signs it, which he has said he is likely to do, H. 112 would become effective on July 1, 2016.

Vermont’s legislation has no trigger clause like Maine and Connecticut, which have passed GMO-labeling laws but made them contingent on neighboring states taking similar action.

“We are really excited that Vermont is going to be leading on this,” said Falko Schilling of the the Vermont Public Interest Research Group, one of the organizations supporting the legislation.

“Today’s victory in Vermont has been 20 years in the making,” said Ronnie Cummins, national director of the Organic Consumers Association. “Ever since genetically modified crops and foods entered the U.S. food supply in the early 1990s, without adequate independent pre-market safety testing and without labels, U.S. consumers have fought to require the labeling of foods containing GMOs.”

H. 112 would require the labeling of processed foods sold at Vermont retail outlets and containing genetically modified corn, soybeans, or any other GMO ingredients. It would also forbid describing any food products with GMO ingredients as “natural” or “all natural.” Exempted are animal feeds and some food-processing aids such as enzymes for making yogurt.

GMO labeling of milk and milk products are not included in the version of H. 112 passed Wednesday; however, the bill requires a report by Jan. 15, 2015, from the state’s attorney general, in consultation with the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, on whether they should be and the legal basis for the recommendation.

U.S. Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) introduced a bill in Congress last week which would bar any state from taking the action Vermont appears poised to do. His “Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act” would prohibit mandatory labeling of GMO foods and also prohibit voters from proposing initiatives to do so at the state level.

Industry groups, including the Grocery Manufacturers Association, have banded together into the Coalition for Safe and Affordable Food, which has been fighting similar GMO-labeling legislation and voter initiatives in several states in recent years. They reportedly spent about $ 60 million against labeling initiatives in California in 2012 and Washington state in 2013, and both proposals were narrowly defeated.

Pro-labeling groups in Vermont say they expect industry groups to go to court to stop mandatory labeling legislation enacted by the states. As preparation, the Senate version of H. 112 includes $ 1.5 million to help pay legal defense costs, and the Vermont Right to Know GMOs coalition has already started a fund to cover such expenses, which some estimates put as high as $ 8 million should the state lose.

“It’s not just Vermont. This affects everyone who eats,” said Andrea Stander, a coalition spokeswoman. “Consumers all across the country have woken up to the fact that we’ve become an unregulated feeding experiment by the biotech industry. People want to know if their foods are made with these ingredients. This gives people the choice.”

Some scientists who have studied GMOs say there are no additional health or safety issues involved in consuming them than there are in consuming non-GMO foods.

“This debate isn’t about food safety,” said Karen Batra of the Biotechnoloy Industry Organization. “Our science experts … point to more than 1,700 credible peer-reviewed studies that find no legitimate concern.”

She said that all mandatory GMO labeling does is make farming and food manufacturing more expensive and complicated. More than 60 countries, including the European Union, now require such labeling.

Food Safety News

UF/IFAS approves new citrus cultivars for release

UF/IFAS approves new citrus cultivars for release

Fourteen new cultivars, including eight coleus varieties and six citrus, have been approved for release by the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

All of the citrus cultivars have sparked high industry interest, said Kevin Folta, associate professor and chairman of the UF/IFAS horticultural sciences department. The committee approved the citrus cultivars under the UF/IFAS Citrus Fast Track Release Option, meaning they will be made available to growers and, thus, the market, 10-15 years faster than the 15 to 20 years typically required to breed and release such cultivars.

The following citrus cultivars will be released:
• C4-5-49 (hybrid lemon): A seedless, juicy lemon-like fruit shaped like a tangelo. Its best potential likely lies in niche markets or local production.
• C4-16-12 (sweet orange-like hybrid) ? A seedless, orange-like hybrid for juice processing. It is potentially tolerant to citrus greening, said Jude Grosser, UF professor in plant cell genetics.
• UFR-17 (rootstock) – In experimental trials, trees grafted onto this ‘tetrazyg’ rootstock have shown a reduced frequency of infection from citrus greening and have shown reduced disease symptoms once infected as compared to commercial diploid rootstocks.
• C4-11-19 (pummelo) – A delicious new red-fleshed fruit for the fresh citrus market. Fruit holds well on the tree, creating a long harvest window.
• N7-4 (pummelo) – A very large,attractive fruit with pink flesh and somewhat thinner rind than most pummelos. It’s described as less bitter than grapefruit.
• UKP-1 (pummelo) – A delicious red-fleshed sweet fruit for the fresh citrus market. Again, this fruit is less bitter and acidic than grapefruit.

Plant patent applications will be filed on the 14 cultivars approved for release, and the varieties will be licensed by Florida Foundation Seed Producers, Inc. FFSP will seek licensees for these released cultivars in 2014.

Publication date: 2/20/2014


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FDA approves SALMONELEX™ against salmonella

FDA approves SALMONELEX™ against salmonella

The FDA & USDA have announced that they have approved SALMONELEX™ as a “GRAS” (Generally Recognized as Safe) food processing aid against Salmonella. The new product consists of natural phages against Salmonella and is produced by Micreos of The Netherlands. The company confirms that industrial scale projects with US poultry processors will start in January 2014.
 
According to a report published in December 2013 by the US Food Safety & Inspection Services of the USDA, Salmonella contributes most to the FSIS’s ‘All-Illness’ performance measure and Salmonella illness estimates have continued at a steady high or slightly increased rate despite FSIS interventions.
 
Micreos’ CEO Mark Offerhaus: “Now that the FDA and USDA have given the green light we can offer food processors a new and natural solution against Salmonella, including antibiotic resistant strains. SALMONELEX is seen as a very elegant solution as it targets only Salmonella and has no other effect on the treated food product, neither in taste, nor texture. Following the successful launch of LISTEX against Listeria, we are now further expanding the ‘green’ arsenal of weapons against foodborne pathogens. Given the prevalence of Salmonella in raw poultry, we expect poultry processors to be the first and largest users of SALMONELEX”.
 
SALMONELEX eliminates Salmonella, rather than merely inhibiting its growth. It is easy to apply: it can be sprayed topically or added to chill tank water. Micreos anticipates that it will soon be listed by the Organic Material Review Institute (OMRI) for use in organic foods, just like its phage product against Listeria, LISTEX. 
 
Dirk de Meester, business development manager for Micreos: “Research has shown that SALMONELEX does not dissipate in the presence of protein. Thus, the product enables processors to reduce the use of chemicals and reach Salmonella in places where antimicrobial chemicals are ineffective, for example in follicles which close when exposed to cold water in a chiller.”

For more information:
Dirk de Meester
Micreos Food Safety
Tel: +31 6 46 04 85 03
Email: [email protected]
www.micreos.com

Publication date: 1/2/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Judge Approves Fresh & Easy Property Sale

WILMINGTON, Del. — A federal bankruptcy court judge here gave approval last week for Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market to sell 53 properties for $ 41.5 million, according to a report on Law360.com.

As previously reported by SN, an affiliate of Fortress Investment Group is acquiring the properties, which include include 29 sites in California, 16 in Arizona and eight in Nevada. Twenty of the sites being sold have buildings on them, and the remaining 33 are land-only parcels.


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Also, Fresh & Easy filed a monthly operating report that showed the operating company turned a profit in the most recent four-week period, through Nov. 24. It reported net income at its operating division of $ 6.4 million, on sales of $ 70 million. Operting income for the month was $ 9.6 million.

In the preceding month, Fresh & Easy reported a loss of $ 19.9 million on sales of $ 69.5 million.

Los Angeles-based investment firm Yucaipa Cos. acquired the chain from bankruptcy last month and has installed Jim Keyes, former chief executive officer at 7-Eleven, as president.

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USDA approves import of Mexican dragonfruit and pomegranates

USDA approves import of Mexican dragonfruit and pomegranates

An Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) risk analysis has found Mexican pomegranates and dragon fruit should be allowed into the U.S. market.

A brief on the analysis was published on the U.S. Government’s Federal Register, calling on the public to send submissions in response the results.

“We are advising the public of our decision to authorize the importation into the continental United States of fresh pitayas and pomegranates from Mexico. Based on the findings of pest risk analyses, which we made available to the public for review and comment through a previous notice, we believe that the application of one or more designated phytosanitary measures will be sufficient to mitigate the risks of introducing or disseminating plant pests or noxious weeds via the importation of fresh pitayas and pomegranates from Mexico.”

Click here for the full report

Publication date: 8/14/2013


FreshPlaza.com