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Spending Bill Bans ‘Chinese Chicken’ From Federal Meal Programs

A provision included in the $ 1.1-trillion spending bill Congress passed last week and which is now headed to the president’s desk prevents poultry processed in China from being used in the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, Child and Adult Care Food Program and Summer Food Service Program (Section 736 of Division A).

Four Chinese poultry-processing plants have been approved to export cooked chicken to the U.S. as long as the chicken was raised and slaughtered in the U.S., Canada or Chile.

The ban on including such products in federal meal programs was introduced by Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and cosponsored by Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME). Both are members of the House Appropriations Committee and added the amendment to the Fiscal Year 2015 agriculture appropriations bill last spring.

Congressional leaders included the provision in the omnibus spending bill that funds the federal government through Sept. 30, 2015, the end of FY 2015.

“Banning Chinese chicken from school meals is a common-sense step to protect our kids,” DeLauro said in a statement. “China’s food safety record is atrocious, yet last year USDA deemed poultry processed in China to be as safe as poultry processed here. Children are among the most susceptible to foodborne illness. We cannot take unnecessary risks with their health.”

Nancy Huehnergarth told Food Safety News that she and Bettina Siegel, co-sponsors of a Change.org petition to keep poultry processed in China off U.S. plates, were relieved to see the provision carry over into the omnibus bill.

“We’re really happy,” Huehnergarth said. “It’s exactly what we were hoping for.”

In garnering nearly 329,000 signatures, the petition showed strong grassroots support for the ban. The team plans to declare victory once the president signs the bill, which he has indicated he plans to do.

China, on the other hand, is not so pleased because of provisions in the U.S. bill that “discriminate against Chinese companies, violate the principles of fair trade and send the wrong signal,” International Business Times reported. In addition to the poultry ban, the bill also restricts purchase of IT systems produced in China.

“China urges U.S. to take effective measures to correct the erroneous practice and create a favorable environment for the healthy development of Sino-US economic and trade relations,” stated Chinese Ministry of Commerce spokesman Sun Jiwen.

Food Safety News

Russia bans fruit, veg imports from U.S., EU, Australia, Canada and Norway

Russia bans fruit, veg imports from U.S., EU, Australia, Canada and Norway

Russia will ban fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, milk and dairy imports from the United States, the European Union, Australia, Canada and Norway, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev told a government meeting on Thursday.

“There is nothing good in sanctions and it wasn’t an easy decision to take, but we had to do it,” Medvedev said. The ban is valid from Aug. 7 and will last for one year, he said.

Medvedev also said that the country was considering a ban of transit flights for European and US Airlines to the Asia-Pacific region.

Medvedev said western sanctions were a “dead-end track”, but Russia has been forced to respond to the measures taken by the western countries.

Alcohol imports from both the EU and the US will not be restricted.

“We are actually speaking of an embargo on imports of whole categories of products from countries which have introduced sanctions against Russian organizations and individuals,” Medvedev said.

Medvedev believes the year-long embargo Russia is imposing will boost domestic agriculture.

“We are only lagging behind in production of certain varieties of meat and milk. We have to catch up and our farmers are ready to do so, especially if we help them.”

Medvedev also said he sincerely hoped “our partners’ economic pragmatism will prevail over bad political decisions, and they will think before trying to frighten Russia and impose restrictions on it. And mutual trade and economic partnership will be restored in the volumes which existed before. We would have liked that to happen.”

Dmitry Medvedev instructed the Federal Customs Service (FCS) to see that the banned imports could not cross the Russian border.

The Russian PM has also warned against possible attempts to use the situation to drive up prices.

“I would like to warn that attempts to gain from price speculation in this situation will be roughly stopped,” Medvedev said.

Source: Reuters, RT.com

Publication date: 8/7/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Russia bans fruit, veg imports from U.S., EU, Australia, Canada and Norway

Russia bans fruit, veg imports from U.S., EU, Australia, Canada and Norway

Russia will ban fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, milk and dairy imports from the United States, the European Union, Australia, Canada and Norway, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev told a government meeting on Thursday.

“There is nothing good in sanctions and it wasn’t an easy decision to take, but we had to do it,” Medvedev said. The ban is valid from Aug. 7 and will last for one year, he said.

Medvedev also said that the country was considering a ban of transit flights for European and US Airlines to the Asia-Pacific region.

Medvedev said western sanctions were a “dead-end track”, but Russia has been forced to respond to the measures taken by the western countries.

Alcohol imports from both the EU and the US will not be restricted.

“We are actually speaking of an embargo on imports of whole categories of products from countries which have introduced sanctions against Russian organizations and individuals,” Medvedev said.

Medvedev believes the year-long embargo Russia is imposing will boost domestic agriculture.

“We are only lagging behind in production of certain varieties of meat and milk. We have to catch up and our farmers are ready to do so, especially if we help them.”

Medvedev also said he sincerely hoped “our partners’ economic pragmatism will prevail over bad political decisions, and they will think before trying to frighten Russia and impose restrictions on it. And mutual trade and economic partnership will be restored in the volumes which existed before. We would have liked that to happen.”

Dmitry Medvedev instructed the Federal Customs Service (FCS) to see that the banned imports could not cross the Russian border.

The Russian PM has also warned against possible attempts to use the situation to drive up prices.

“I would like to warn that attempts to gain from price speculation in this situation will be roughly stopped,” Medvedev said.

Source: Reuters, RT.com

Publication date: 8/7/2014


FreshPlaza.com

EU bans vegetables from Ghana

EU bans vegetables from Ghana

The European Union has put a temporary ban on exports of vegetables from Ghana to their region.

The ban was put in place after EU authorities identified some vegetables from Ghana that did not meet their quality standards.

This is not the first time Ghanaian farmers and exporters have had to face this setback having failed to meet certain benchmarks.

Some months ago, mangoes from Ghana were banned because of fly infestation.

Ghana faced another sanction last year, when the EU noted that fish supposedly from Ghana did not really come from Ghanaian territorial waters.

Reacting to the latest news, Agric Minister, Fiifi Kwetey said the Ministry is putting measures in place to address the issues.

“As a country, we will from time to time have some of these concerns. I don’t think it is the first time we have had those concerns. We are clearly going to take them on board in order to ensure that if we are going to have sustainable exports, we cannot afford to compromise on quality,” he assured.

According to him, “some of the quality we are talking about is not something at the Ministerial level. It has to do with production; that is taking place down in the farms. We will give support to them in terms of equipment to ensure that those minimum standards are kept.”

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Publication date: 8/1/2014


FreshPlaza.com

EU exporters fear further Russian bans

Who’s next? Greece?
EU exporters fear further Russian bans

The political battle between EU and Russia has hit the Polish export of fruit and vegetables. So what can we expect next?, is the question being asked by other EU exporters to Russia. “It’s difficult to predict what’s going to happen. A day before the ban on Polish fruit and vegetables was announced, I was sure it wouldn’t happen,” says Irina Koziy from FruitNews.ru, Russian specialized information resource for fresh produce industry.

However there is a hope that there will be a certain agreement between the phyotsanitary departments in Poland and Russia, within the next two months. “The current ban has been enforced in the period when shipments are at their lowest throughout the year,” Irinia continues. During August and September there aren’t a lot of shipments for products like apples and cabbages. The big volumes of these items start to move from October. For stonefruit it is the end of the season, 80% of the volume to Russia has been shipped already, so only 20% is affected.

Poland is the biggest supplier of imported apples to Russia. 80% of the apples in Russia are imported and about 50% of that volume comes from Poland. “I don’t see another source to fill that gap. Poland is a large source for low cost apples for Russian consumers,” concludes Irina.

According to a Belgian potato exporter, “The future for European agro export to Russian does not look good.” He believes the Russians will ban potato imports soon and if this happens there will be not many options left for European exporters as growing seasons have been good in most countries so there is less need for imports.

“The Russian market is always good for large volumes but so far this season we really don’t know where to go.”

The ban came as an absolute surprise for Europe. Russia had not warned beforehand about a possible ban, a European Commission official told reporters in Brussels, adding that the Commission would closely look into the causes for Russia’s embargo.

Russian agricultural watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor said this week it is also considering banning fruit imports from Greece next week due to the repeated supply of fruit contaminated with oriental fruit moths.

“Our experts are currently examining the seriousness of the situation, and assessing the risks. The assessment will be over in a couple of days, at the beginning of next week. After that, there is a possibility of imposing restrictions on Greek fruit imports to Russia,” said Alexei Alexeyenko, Rosselkhoznadzor’s deputy head.

Publication date: 8/1/2014
Author: Nichola Watson
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

EU exporters fear further Russian bans

Who’s next? Greece?
EU exporters fear further Russian bans

The political battle between EU and Russia has hit the Polish export of fruit and vegetables. So what can we expect next?, is the question being asked by other EU exporters to Russia. “It’s difficult to predict what’s going to happen. A day before the ban on Polish fruit and vegetables was announced, I was sure it wouldn’t happen,” says Irina Koziy from FruitNews.ru, Russian specialized information resource for fresh produce industry.

However there is a hope that there will be a certain agreement between the phyotsanitary departments in Poland and Russia, within the next two months. “The current ban has been enforced in the period when shipments are at their lowest throughout the year,” Irinia continues. During August and September there aren’t a lot of shipments for products like apples and cabbages. The big volumes of these items start to move from October. For stonefruit it is the end of the season, 80% of the volume to Russia has been shipped already, so only 20% is affected.

Poland is the biggest supplier of imported apples to Russia. 80% of the apples in Russia are imported and about 50% of that volume comes from Poland. “I don’t see another source to fill that gap. Poland is a large source for low cost apples for Russian consumers,” concludes Irina.

According to a Belgian potato exporter, “The future for European agro export to Russian does not look good.” He believes the Russians will ban potato imports soon and if this happens there will be not many options left for European exporters as growing seasons have been good in most countries so there is less need for imports.

“The Russian market is always good for large volumes but so far this season we really don’t know where to go.”

The ban came as an absolute surprise for Europe. Russia had not warned beforehand about a possible ban, a European Commission official told reporters in Brussels, adding that the Commission would closely look into the causes for Russia’s embargo.

Russian agricultural watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor said this week it is also considering banning fruit imports from Greece next week due to the repeated supply of fruit contaminated with oriental fruit moths.

“Our experts are currently examining the seriousness of the situation, and assessing the risks. The assessment will be over in a couple of days, at the beginning of next week. After that, there is a possibility of imposing restrictions on Greek fruit imports to Russia,” said Alexei Alexeyenko, Rosselkhoznadzor’s deputy head.

Publication date: 8/1/2014
Author: Nichola Watson
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

Mexico Bans Foster Farms Chicken from Plants Linked to Outbreak

The government of Mexico has banned imports of Foster Farms chicken from the poultry grower’s three central California processing facilities linked to a Salmonella outbreak in the U.S., according to The Oregonian.

This is the first time Mexico has banned meat products from a U.S. facility as a result of a public health alert issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, according to a source at the agency. Mexico has not banned meat from other Foster Farms plants in California, Oregon and Washington.

Since March 2013, at least 338 Americans in 20 states and Puerto Rico have fallen ill with Salmonella Heidelberg in connection to raw chicken meat from the three facilities. The USDA did not ask for a recall, instead issuing a public health alert. Foster Farms did not voluntarily recall any products, though the Kroger family of stores pulled implicated Foster Farms chicken from shelves earlier this month.

A Costco store in South San Francisco, Calif., also recalled a number of rotisserie chickens in connection to the outbreak earlier this month, due to the cooked chicken becoming cross-contaminated in the store’s kitchen.

Foster Farms company president Ron Foster apologized to consumers last Friday, and said sales have dropped 25 percent since news of the outbreak went public early this month.

 

Food Safety News

Mexico Bans Foster Farms Chicken from Plants Linked to Outbreak

The government of Mexico has banned imports of Foster Farms chicken from the poultry grower’s three central California processing facilities linked to a Salmonella outbreak in the U.S., according to The Oregonian.

This is the first time Mexico has banned meat products from a U.S. facility as a result of a public health alert issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, according to a source at the agency. Mexico has not banned meat from other Foster Farms plants in California, Oregon and Washington.

Since March 2013, at least 338 Americans in 20 states and Puerto Rico have fallen ill with Salmonella Heidelberg in connection to raw chicken meat from the three facilities. The USDA did not ask for a recall, instead issuing a public health alert. Foster Farms did not voluntarily recall any products, though the Kroger family of stores pulled implicated Foster Farms chicken from shelves earlier this month.

A Costco store in South San Francisco, Calif., also recalled a number of rotisserie chickens in connection to the outbreak earlier this month, due to the cooked chicken becoming cross-contaminated in the store’s kitchen.

Foster Farms company president Ron Foster apologized to consumers last Friday, and said sales have dropped 25 percent since news of the outbreak went public early this month.

 

Food Safety News

Mexico Bans Foster Farms Chicken from Plants Linked to Outbreak

The government of Mexico has banned imports of Foster Farms chicken from the poultry grower’s three central California processing facilities linked to a Salmonella outbreak in the U.S., according to The Oregonian.

This is the first time Mexico has banned meat products from a U.S. facility as a result of a public health alert issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, according to a source at the agency. Mexico has not banned meat from other Foster Farms plants in California, Oregon and Washington.

Since March 2013, at least 338 Americans in 20 states and Puerto Rico have fallen ill with Salmonella Heidelberg in connection to raw chicken meat from the three facilities. The USDA did not ask for a recall, instead issuing a public health alert. Foster Farms did not voluntarily recall any products, though the Kroger family of stores pulled implicated Foster Farms chicken from shelves earlier this month.

A Costco store in South San Francisco, Calif., also recalled a number of rotisserie chickens in connection to the outbreak earlier this month, due to the cooked chicken becoming cross-contaminated in the store’s kitchen.

Foster Farms company president Ron Foster apologized to consumers last Friday, and said sales have dropped 25 percent since news of the outbreak went public early this month.

 

Food Safety News

Mexico Bans Foster Farms Chicken from Plants Linked to Outbreak

The government of Mexico has banned imports of Foster Farms chicken from the poultry grower’s three central California processing facilities linked to a Salmonella outbreak in the U.S., according to The Oregonian.

This is the first time Mexico has banned meat products from a U.S. facility as a result of a public health alert issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, according to a source at the agency. Mexico has not banned meat from other Foster Farms plants in California, Oregon and Washington.

Since March 2013, at least 338 Americans in 20 states and Puerto Rico have fallen ill with Salmonella Heidelberg in connection to raw chicken meat from the three facilities. The USDA did not ask for a recall, instead issuing a public health alert. Foster Farms did not voluntarily recall any products, though the Kroger family of stores pulled implicated Foster Farms chicken from shelves earlier this month.

A Costco store in South San Francisco, Calif., also recalled a number of rotisserie chickens in connection to the outbreak earlier this month, due to the cooked chicken becoming cross-contaminated in the store’s kitchen.

Foster Farms company president Ron Foster apologized to consumers last Friday, and said sales have dropped 25 percent since news of the outbreak went public early this month.

 

Food Safety News

Mexico Bans Foster Farms Chicken from Plants Linked to Outbreak

The government of Mexico has banned imports of Foster Farms chicken from the poultry grower’s three central California processing facilities linked to a Salmonella outbreak in the U.S., according to The Oregonian.

This is the first time Mexico has banned meat products from a U.S. facility as a result of a public health alert issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, according to a source at the agency. Mexico has not banned meat from other Foster Farms plants in California, Oregon and Washington.

Since March 2013, at least 338 Americans in 20 states and Puerto Rico have fallen ill with Salmonella Heidelberg in connection to raw chicken meat from the three facilities. The USDA did not ask for a recall, instead issuing a public health alert. Foster Farms did not voluntarily recall any products, though the Kroger family of stores pulled implicated Foster Farms chicken from shelves earlier this month.

A Costco store in South San Francisco, Calif., also recalled a number of rotisserie chickens in connection to the outbreak earlier this month, due to the cooked chicken becoming cross-contaminated in the store’s kitchen.

Foster Farms company president Ron Foster apologized to consumers last Friday, and said sales have dropped 25 percent since news of the outbreak went public early this month.

 

Food Safety News

Mexico Bans Foster Farms Chicken from Plants Linked to Outbreak

The government of Mexico has banned imports of Foster Farms chicken from the poultry grower’s three central California processing facilities linked to a Salmonella outbreak in the U.S., according to The Oregonian.

This is the first time Mexico has banned meat products from a U.S. facility as a result of a public health alert issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, according to a source at the agency. Mexico has not banned meat from other Foster Farms plants in California, Oregon and Washington.

Since March 2013, at least 338 Americans in 20 states and Puerto Rico have fallen ill with Salmonella Heidelberg in connection to raw chicken meat from the three facilities. The USDA did not ask for a recall, instead issuing a public health alert. Foster Farms did not voluntarily recall any products, though the Kroger family of stores pulled implicated Foster Farms chicken from shelves earlier this month.

A Costco store in South San Francisco, Calif., also recalled a number of rotisserie chickens in connection to the outbreak earlier this month, due to the cooked chicken becoming cross-contaminated in the store’s kitchen.

Foster Farms company president Ron Foster apologized to consumers last Friday, and said sales have dropped 25 percent since news of the outbreak went public early this month.

 

Food Safety News

Mexico Bans Foster Farms Chicken from Plants Linked to Outbreak

The government of Mexico has banned imports of Foster Farms chicken from the poultry grower’s three central California processing facilities linked to a Salmonella outbreak in the U.S., according to The Oregonian.

This is the first time Mexico has banned meat products from a U.S. facility as a result of a public health alert issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, according to a source at the agency. Mexico has not banned meat from other Foster Farms plants in California, Oregon and Washington.

Since March 2013, at least 338 Americans in 20 states and Puerto Rico have fallen ill with Salmonella Heidelberg in connection to raw chicken meat from the three facilities. The USDA did not ask for a recall, instead issuing a public health alert. Foster Farms did not voluntarily recall any products, though the Kroger family of stores pulled implicated Foster Farms chicken from shelves earlier this month.

A Costco store in South San Francisco, Calif., also recalled a number of rotisserie chickens in connection to the outbreak earlier this month, due to the cooked chicken becoming cross-contaminated in the store’s kitchen.

Foster Farms company president Ron Foster apologized to consumers last Friday, and said sales have dropped 25 percent since news of the outbreak went public early this month.

 

Food Safety News