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Discovery aims to fight destructive bee disease

University of Guelph researchers hope their new discovery will help combat a disease killing honeybee populations around the world.

The researchers have found a toxin released by the pathogen that causes American foulbrood disease — Paenibacillus larvae (P. larvae) — and developed a lead-based inhibitor against it.

The study was published in the December issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

The finding provides much-needed insight into how the infection occurs, said Rod Merrill, a professor in Guelph’s Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology and a study co-author.

It also could lead to natural and more effective approaches for fighting the most widespread and destructive of bee brood diseases.

“We are the first to do this,” said Merrill, who conducted the study with graduate student Daniel Krska. Also involved were post-doctoral researchers Ravi Ravulapalli and Miguel Lugo, technician Tom Keeling, and Harvard Medical School’s Rob Fieldhouse.

American foulbrood is found throughout Ontario and Canada, and affects both the honeybee industry and pollinator populations. Honeybees are among the world’s most important pollinators, and their numbers are already falling globally because of disease, pesticide use, climate change and other factors.

The disease spreads readily through spores transmitted within and between colonies by adult bee carriers, Merrill said.

Developing larvae are infected by eating the spores. The larvae die but not before releasing millions of additional spores into the colony. As well, the hive’s weakened state attracts “robber bees” looking for honey, which then spread the disease to other colonies.

Treating American foulbrood is complicated because the disease has evolved over decades. “Antibiotics are not working well to contain it,” Merrill said. “There are antibiotic-resistant strains flying around, so to speak.”

The only effective control method is to burn the hive and associated equipment, as the spores may remain viable for 40 years.

“Antibiotics are failing not only humans but bees as well,” Merrill said.

“Our approach is designing tools that disarm bacteria without killing them. It does not put pressure on them to mutate because it’s not threatening their survival, it’s just saying, ‘You cannot hurt us, go away.’”

The Guelph researchers identified a toxin, C3larvin, believed to be necessary for the bacteria to colonize a hive.

“Basically, if we can disarm it, it cannot colonize and cannot cause infection in honeybee larvae. It becomes innocuous,” Merrill said.

This initial study only identified and characterized the toxin. “We don’t yet know how important C3larvin is as a virulence factor in P. larvae in infecting honeybee larvae,” he said.

“Once we know what it does, we can inhibit it and that will help protect the bees from this bacterium that is killing their larvae.”

The Guelph team plans to begin field studies on honeybees next spring with the Institute of Bee Research in Hohen Neuendorf, Germany.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Guelph. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Agriculture and Food News — ScienceDaily

Discovery aims to fight destructive bee disease

University of Guelph researchers hope their new discovery will help combat a disease killing honeybee populations around the world.

The researchers have found a toxin released by the pathogen that causes American foulbrood disease — Paenibacillus larvae (P. larvae) — and developed a lead-based inhibitor against it.

The study was published in the December issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

The finding provides much-needed insight into how the infection occurs, said Rod Merrill, a professor in Guelph’s Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology and a study co-author.

It also could lead to natural and more effective approaches for fighting the most widespread and destructive of bee brood diseases.

“We are the first to do this,” said Merrill, who conducted the study with graduate student Daniel Krska. Also involved were post-doctoral researchers Ravi Ravulapalli and Miguel Lugo, technician Tom Keeling, and Harvard Medical School’s Rob Fieldhouse.

American foulbrood is found throughout Ontario and Canada, and affects both the honeybee industry and pollinator populations. Honeybees are among the world’s most important pollinators, and their numbers are already falling globally because of disease, pesticide use, climate change and other factors.

The disease spreads readily through spores transmitted within and between colonies by adult bee carriers, Merrill said.

Developing larvae are infected by eating the spores. The larvae die but not before releasing millions of additional spores into the colony. As well, the hive’s weakened state attracts “robber bees” looking for honey, which then spread the disease to other colonies.

Treating American foulbrood is complicated because the disease has evolved over decades. “Antibiotics are not working well to contain it,” Merrill said. “There are antibiotic-resistant strains flying around, so to speak.”

The only effective control method is to burn the hive and associated equipment, as the spores may remain viable for 40 years.

“Antibiotics are failing not only humans but bees as well,” Merrill said.

“Our approach is designing tools that disarm bacteria without killing them. It does not put pressure on them to mutate because it’s not threatening their survival, it’s just saying, ‘You cannot hurt us, go away.’”

The Guelph researchers identified a toxin, C3larvin, believed to be necessary for the bacteria to colonize a hive.

“Basically, if we can disarm it, it cannot colonize and cannot cause infection in honeybee larvae. It becomes innocuous,” Merrill said.

This initial study only identified and characterized the toxin. “We don’t yet know how important C3larvin is as a virulence factor in P. larvae in infecting honeybee larvae,” he said.

“Once we know what it does, we can inhibit it and that will help protect the bees from this bacterium that is killing their larvae.”

The Guelph team plans to begin field studies on honeybees next spring with the Institute of Bee Research in Hohen Neuendorf, Germany.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Guelph. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Agriculture and Food News — ScienceDaily

Discovery aims to fight destructive bee disease

University of Guelph researchers hope their new discovery will help combat a disease killing honeybee populations around the world.

The researchers have found a toxin released by the pathogen that causes American foulbrood disease — Paenibacillus larvae (P. larvae) — and developed a lead-based inhibitor against it.

The study was published in the December issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

The finding provides much-needed insight into how the infection occurs, said Rod Merrill, a professor in Guelph’s Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology and a study co-author.

It also could lead to natural and more effective approaches for fighting the most widespread and destructive of bee brood diseases.

“We are the first to do this,” said Merrill, who conducted the study with graduate student Daniel Krska. Also involved were post-doctoral researchers Ravi Ravulapalli and Miguel Lugo, technician Tom Keeling, and Harvard Medical School’s Rob Fieldhouse.

American foulbrood is found throughout Ontario and Canada, and affects both the honeybee industry and pollinator populations. Honeybees are among the world’s most important pollinators, and their numbers are already falling globally because of disease, pesticide use, climate change and other factors.

The disease spreads readily through spores transmitted within and between colonies by adult bee carriers, Merrill said.

Developing larvae are infected by eating the spores. The larvae die but not before releasing millions of additional spores into the colony. As well, the hive’s weakened state attracts “robber bees” looking for honey, which then spread the disease to other colonies.

Treating American foulbrood is complicated because the disease has evolved over decades. “Antibiotics are not working well to contain it,” Merrill said. “There are antibiotic-resistant strains flying around, so to speak.”

The only effective control method is to burn the hive and associated equipment, as the spores may remain viable for 40 years.

“Antibiotics are failing not only humans but bees as well,” Merrill said.

“Our approach is designing tools that disarm bacteria without killing them. It does not put pressure on them to mutate because it’s not threatening their survival, it’s just saying, ‘You cannot hurt us, go away.’”

The Guelph researchers identified a toxin, C3larvin, believed to be necessary for the bacteria to colonize a hive.

“Basically, if we can disarm it, it cannot colonize and cannot cause infection in honeybee larvae. It becomes innocuous,” Merrill said.

This initial study only identified and characterized the toxin. “We don’t yet know how important C3larvin is as a virulence factor in P. larvae in infecting honeybee larvae,” he said.

“Once we know what it does, we can inhibit it and that will help protect the bees from this bacterium that is killing their larvae.”

The Guelph team plans to begin field studies on honeybees next spring with the Institute of Bee Research in Hohen Neuendorf, Germany.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Guelph. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Agriculture and Food News — ScienceDaily

Discovery aims to fight destructive bee disease

University of Guelph researchers hope their new discovery will help combat a disease killing honeybee populations around the world.

The researchers have found a toxin released by the pathogen that causes American foulbrood disease — Paenibacillus larvae (P. larvae) — and developed a lead-based inhibitor against it.

The study was published in the December issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

The finding provides much-needed insight into how the infection occurs, said Rod Merrill, a professor in Guelph’s Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology and a study co-author.

It also could lead to natural and more effective approaches for fighting the most widespread and destructive of bee brood diseases.

“We are the first to do this,” said Merrill, who conducted the study with graduate student Daniel Krska. Also involved were post-doctoral researchers Ravi Ravulapalli and Miguel Lugo, technician Tom Keeling, and Harvard Medical School’s Rob Fieldhouse.

American foulbrood is found throughout Ontario and Canada, and affects both the honeybee industry and pollinator populations. Honeybees are among the world’s most important pollinators, and their numbers are already falling globally because of disease, pesticide use, climate change and other factors.

The disease spreads readily through spores transmitted within and between colonies by adult bee carriers, Merrill said.

Developing larvae are infected by eating the spores. The larvae die but not before releasing millions of additional spores into the colony. As well, the hive’s weakened state attracts “robber bees” looking for honey, which then spread the disease to other colonies.

Treating American foulbrood is complicated because the disease has evolved over decades. “Antibiotics are not working well to contain it,” Merrill said. “There are antibiotic-resistant strains flying around, so to speak.”

The only effective control method is to burn the hive and associated equipment, as the spores may remain viable for 40 years.

“Antibiotics are failing not only humans but bees as well,” Merrill said.

“Our approach is designing tools that disarm bacteria without killing them. It does not put pressure on them to mutate because it’s not threatening their survival, it’s just saying, ‘You cannot hurt us, go away.’”

The Guelph researchers identified a toxin, C3larvin, believed to be necessary for the bacteria to colonize a hive.

“Basically, if we can disarm it, it cannot colonize and cannot cause infection in honeybee larvae. It becomes innocuous,” Merrill said.

This initial study only identified and characterized the toxin. “We don’t yet know how important C3larvin is as a virulence factor in P. larvae in infecting honeybee larvae,” he said.

“Once we know what it does, we can inhibit it and that will help protect the bees from this bacterium that is killing their larvae.”

The Guelph team plans to begin field studies on honeybees next spring with the Institute of Bee Research in Hohen Neuendorf, Germany.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Guelph. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Agriculture and Food News — ScienceDaily

Discovery aims to fight destructive bee disease

University of Guelph researchers hope their new discovery will help combat a disease killing honeybee populations around the world.

The researchers have found a toxin released by the pathogen that causes American foulbrood disease — Paenibacillus larvae (P. larvae) — and developed a lead-based inhibitor against it.

The study was published in the December issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

The finding provides much-needed insight into how the infection occurs, said Rod Merrill, a professor in Guelph’s Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology and a study co-author.

It also could lead to natural and more effective approaches for fighting the most widespread and destructive of bee brood diseases.

“We are the first to do this,” said Merrill, who conducted the study with graduate student Daniel Krska. Also involved were post-doctoral researchers Ravi Ravulapalli and Miguel Lugo, technician Tom Keeling, and Harvard Medical School’s Rob Fieldhouse.

American foulbrood is found throughout Ontario and Canada, and affects both the honeybee industry and pollinator populations. Honeybees are among the world’s most important pollinators, and their numbers are already falling globally because of disease, pesticide use, climate change and other factors.

The disease spreads readily through spores transmitted within and between colonies by adult bee carriers, Merrill said.

Developing larvae are infected by eating the spores. The larvae die but not before releasing millions of additional spores into the colony. As well, the hive’s weakened state attracts “robber bees” looking for honey, which then spread the disease to other colonies.

Treating American foulbrood is complicated because the disease has evolved over decades. “Antibiotics are not working well to contain it,” Merrill said. “There are antibiotic-resistant strains flying around, so to speak.”

The only effective control method is to burn the hive and associated equipment, as the spores may remain viable for 40 years.

“Antibiotics are failing not only humans but bees as well,” Merrill said.

“Our approach is designing tools that disarm bacteria without killing them. It does not put pressure on them to mutate because it’s not threatening their survival, it’s just saying, ‘You cannot hurt us, go away.’”

The Guelph researchers identified a toxin, C3larvin, believed to be necessary for the bacteria to colonize a hive.

“Basically, if we can disarm it, it cannot colonize and cannot cause infection in honeybee larvae. It becomes innocuous,” Merrill said.

This initial study only identified and characterized the toxin. “We don’t yet know how important C3larvin is as a virulence factor in P. larvae in infecting honeybee larvae,” he said.

“Once we know what it does, we can inhibit it and that will help protect the bees from this bacterium that is killing their larvae.”

The Guelph team plans to begin field studies on honeybees next spring with the Institute of Bee Research in Hohen Neuendorf, Germany.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Guelph. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Agriculture and Food News — ScienceDaily

Discovery aims to fight destructive bee disease

University of Guelph researchers hope their new discovery will help combat a disease killing honeybee populations around the world.

The researchers have found a toxin released by the pathogen that causes American foulbrood disease — Paenibacillus larvae (P. larvae) — and developed a lead-based inhibitor against it.

The study was published in the December issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

The finding provides much-needed insight into how the infection occurs, said Rod Merrill, a professor in Guelph’s Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology and a study co-author.

It also could lead to natural and more effective approaches for fighting the most widespread and destructive of bee brood diseases.

“We are the first to do this,” said Merrill, who conducted the study with graduate student Daniel Krska. Also involved were post-doctoral researchers Ravi Ravulapalli and Miguel Lugo, technician Tom Keeling, and Harvard Medical School’s Rob Fieldhouse.

American foulbrood is found throughout Ontario and Canada, and affects both the honeybee industry and pollinator populations. Honeybees are among the world’s most important pollinators, and their numbers are already falling globally because of disease, pesticide use, climate change and other factors.

The disease spreads readily through spores transmitted within and between colonies by adult bee carriers, Merrill said.

Developing larvae are infected by eating the spores. The larvae die but not before releasing millions of additional spores into the colony. As well, the hive’s weakened state attracts “robber bees” looking for honey, which then spread the disease to other colonies.

Treating American foulbrood is complicated because the disease has evolved over decades. “Antibiotics are not working well to contain it,” Merrill said. “There are antibiotic-resistant strains flying around, so to speak.”

The only effective control method is to burn the hive and associated equipment, as the spores may remain viable for 40 years.

“Antibiotics are failing not only humans but bees as well,” Merrill said.

“Our approach is designing tools that disarm bacteria without killing them. It does not put pressure on them to mutate because it’s not threatening their survival, it’s just saying, ‘You cannot hurt us, go away.’”

The Guelph researchers identified a toxin, C3larvin, believed to be necessary for the bacteria to colonize a hive.

“Basically, if we can disarm it, it cannot colonize and cannot cause infection in honeybee larvae. It becomes innocuous,” Merrill said.

This initial study only identified and characterized the toxin. “We don’t yet know how important C3larvin is as a virulence factor in P. larvae in infecting honeybee larvae,” he said.

“Once we know what it does, we can inhibit it and that will help protect the bees from this bacterium that is killing their larvae.”

The Guelph team plans to begin field studies on honeybees next spring with the Institute of Bee Research in Hohen Neuendorf, Germany.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Guelph. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Agriculture and Food News — ScienceDaily

Discovery aims to fight destructive bee disease

University of Guelph researchers hope their new discovery will help combat a disease killing honeybee populations around the world.

The researchers have found a toxin released by the pathogen that causes American foulbrood disease — Paenibacillus larvae (P. larvae) — and developed a lead-based inhibitor against it.

The study was published in the December issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

The finding provides much-needed insight into how the infection occurs, said Rod Merrill, a professor in Guelph’s Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology and a study co-author.

It also could lead to natural and more effective approaches for fighting the most widespread and destructive of bee brood diseases.

“We are the first to do this,” said Merrill, who conducted the study with graduate student Daniel Krska. Also involved were post-doctoral researchers Ravi Ravulapalli and Miguel Lugo, technician Tom Keeling, and Harvard Medical School’s Rob Fieldhouse.

American foulbrood is found throughout Ontario and Canada, and affects both the honeybee industry and pollinator populations. Honeybees are among the world’s most important pollinators, and their numbers are already falling globally because of disease, pesticide use, climate change and other factors.

The disease spreads readily through spores transmitted within and between colonies by adult bee carriers, Merrill said.

Developing larvae are infected by eating the spores. The larvae die but not before releasing millions of additional spores into the colony. As well, the hive’s weakened state attracts “robber bees” looking for honey, which then spread the disease to other colonies.

Treating American foulbrood is complicated because the disease has evolved over decades. “Antibiotics are not working well to contain it,” Merrill said. “There are antibiotic-resistant strains flying around, so to speak.”

The only effective control method is to burn the hive and associated equipment, as the spores may remain viable for 40 years.

“Antibiotics are failing not only humans but bees as well,” Merrill said.

“Our approach is designing tools that disarm bacteria without killing them. It does not put pressure on them to mutate because it’s not threatening their survival, it’s just saying, ‘You cannot hurt us, go away.’”

The Guelph researchers identified a toxin, C3larvin, believed to be necessary for the bacteria to colonize a hive.

“Basically, if we can disarm it, it cannot colonize and cannot cause infection in honeybee larvae. It becomes innocuous,” Merrill said.

This initial study only identified and characterized the toxin. “We don’t yet know how important C3larvin is as a virulence factor in P. larvae in infecting honeybee larvae,” he said.

“Once we know what it does, we can inhibit it and that will help protect the bees from this bacterium that is killing their larvae.”

The Guelph team plans to begin field studies on honeybees next spring with the Institute of Bee Research in Hohen Neuendorf, Germany.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Guelph. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Agriculture and Food News — ScienceDaily

C.H. Robinson collaboration results in Twin Cities Food Fight

C.H. Robinson has teamed up with Twin Cities NBC affiliate KARE 11 to create a one-day food and fund drive called the KARE 11 Food Fight. The unique collaboration aims to fight hunger in Minnesota with all donations benefitting Second Harvest Heartland. During the 2013 event, more than 860,000 pounds of food was collected.chrob

The Food Fight, which takes place on Tuesday, Nov. 25 from 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., pits four KARE 11 anchors — Belinda Jensen, Julie Nelson, Eric Perkins and Randy Shaver — against each other in a friendly competition to see who can collect the most food.

As a co-creator of the event, C.H. Robinson staffs each location throughout the day and provides the transportation needed to collect the donations and deliver them to Second Harvest Heartland. Since 1905, C.H. Robinson has served the food industry through the company’s logistics services and produce business brand, Robinson Fresh. In addition, preventing hunger and providing food assistance are charitable priorities of the C.H. Robinson Foundation. By staffing the Food Fight, and providing employee donations and a monetary gift from the Foundation, C.H. Robinson will donate over 200 volunteer hours and more than 25,000 pounds of food for the event.

“The Food Fight is a creative, fun and festive way for local residents and companies to give back to their own community,” Angie Freeman, vice president of human resources at C.H. Robinson, said in a press release. “Each donation, large or small, allows us to take another step forward in preventing hunger, especially during the holiday season.”

As one of the nation’s larger food banks, Second Harvest Heartland serves more than 530,000 people each year, 33 percent of which are individuals younger than 18 years old. The donations from the Food Fight also lessen the economic burden of purchasing food, since 84 percent of Second Harvest Heartland clients earn less than $ 30,000 per year. For every 1.2 pounds of food donated, Second Harvest Heartland can provide one meal to those Minnesotans experiencing the stress of hunger.

The community-wide competition encourages individuals, companies, and groups to bring food and cash donations to one of the designated locations: Whole Foods in Maple Grove, Byerly’s in Minnetonka, Cub Foods in Eagan and Kowalski’s in Woodbury. Special guests and fun activities will be at all four locations throughout the day.

Individuals can also follow the progress of the event through social media by tracking the following hashtags: #KARE11FoodFight, #TeamBel, #TeamJulie, #TeamPerk and #TeamRandy. For those unable to attend the event, online donations can be made at Second Harvest Heartland’s website.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

Despite Ruling, Midwest Egg Producers Unlikely to Give Up California Market Without a Fight

Even after being told last week that they don’t have standing to sue in federal court, six Midwest egg-producing states aren’t likely to give up either battery cages for their laying hens nor the big California market.

Battery cages are housing systems for chickens, laying hens, and various other types of poultry production systems which are used by most egg producers in the U.S. Originally designed for disease control with mechanisms to remove eggs, deliver feed and dispose of manure, they’ve drawn criticism for cramping the birds.

In November 2008, California voters approved Proposition 2, which, effective Jan. 1, 2015, set standards for confining farm animals. The state assembly amended Prop. 2 in 2010. In 2012, the University of California – Davis estimated that changing the hen housing infrastructure to comply with Prop. 2 was going to cost egg producers $ 385 million.

Attorneys general for the six egg-producing states that joined in the tossed lawsuit — Alabama, Iowa, Kentucky Missouri, Nebraska, and Oklahoma — say they’re reviewing their legal options.

Meanwhile, Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, favored to win easy re-election for his sixth term, promises to keep “fighting for the state’s agricultural industry.” Iowa is the nation’s largest egg producer.

An Oct. 3 Des Moines Register story carried the headline: “California egg law may lead to ag war between the states.” It noted that the new California law will require at least 116 square inches of space per hen, which is slightly smaller than a sheet of legal paper (8.5 by 14 inches). The current industry standard is 67 square inches, or a little smaller than a 10-by-7-inch rectangle.

For a while, it appeared that the chicken cage issue was going to go away in a big national compromise. That was in July 2011, when the United Egg Producers (UEP) and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) entered into a deal to work together on a national cage standard.

It was thought at the time that the industry group and the group usually at the forefront of opposition to large-scale animal production would bring a dramatic end to this lengthy dispute. The much-delayed Farm Bill was to be the vehicle for the UEP-HSUS deal.

But it didn’t happen, and California’s Prop. 2 was later amended to protect that state’s own egg producers by mandating the larger cages for any eggs sold in the state, even if they were produced elsewhere. That’s why the six Midwest states, led by Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster, went to federal court in early 2014.

However, Judge Kimberly Mueller of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California ruled Oct. 2 that they had failed to show that Prop. 2 as amended harmed the general public in their states rather than simply posed potential harm to some egg producers.

“It is patently clear plaintiffs are bringing this action on behalf of a subset of each state’s egg farmers, not on behalf of each state’s population generally,” she wrote in her decision.

“We disagree with the federal court’s opinion that Missouri lacks standing to defend its businesses and consumers against burdensome economic regulation imposed by out-of-state legislatures,” Koster spokesman Eric Slusher said.

While the six states did not gain traction in the courts this time due to the judge’s call on standing, they are unlikely to go away. And their main concerns have little to do with Prop. 2′s promise “to prohibit the cruel confinement of farm animals” in California.

The Midwestern egg-producing states are really challenging — much like a foreign trade barrier — Assembly Bill 1437 passed by the California Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Schwarzenegger in 2010. It added three additional sections to the 2008 law.

Under AB 1437, as of Jan. 1, shell eggs for human consumption cannot be legally sold in California unless the involved laying hen was kept in facilities that meet California’s animal care standards.

It’s a requirement that has raised numerous questions, but among the most important is whether California can impose its animal care standards on other states as the price of entry to its market. Also, in the recently dismissed lawsuit, the six states argued that the evidence shows that the real purpose of the 2010 amendments was merely to “level the playing field so that in-state producers are not disadvantaged.”

That quote was from a California Assembly committee report for AB 1437. In other words, the states argued that California was not acting to make food safer nor animals healthier, but to advance its own purely commercial interests.

As to whether cage size does involve food safety, there is also dispute. The six states argued that there is no scientific evidence of a correlation between cage size or stocking density and the incidence of Salmonella in egg-laying hens. AB 1437 advocates, however, claimed that battery-cage eggs are 25 times more likely to harbor Salmonella than eggs from cage-free hens.

Food Safety News

Despite Ruling, Midwest Egg Producers Unlikely to Give Up California Market Without a Fight

Even after being told last week that they don’t have standing to sue in federal court, six Midwest egg-producing states aren’t likely to give up either battery cages for their laying hens nor the big California market.

Battery cages are housing systems for chickens, laying hens, and various other types of poultry production systems which are used by most egg producers in the U.S. Originally designed for disease control with mechanisms to remove eggs, deliver feed and dispose of manure, they’ve drawn criticism for cramping the birds.

In November 2008, California voters approved Proposition 2, which, effective Jan. 1, 2015, set standards for confining farm animals. The state assembly amended Prop. 2 in 2010. In 2012, the University of California – Davis estimated that changing the hen housing infrastructure to comply with Prop. 2 was going to cost egg producers $ 385 million.

Attorneys general for the six egg-producing states that joined in the tossed lawsuit — Alabama, Iowa, Kentucky Missouri, Nebraska, and Oklahoma — say they’re reviewing their legal options.

Meanwhile, Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, favored to win easy re-election for his sixth term, promises to keep “fighting for the state’s agricultural industry.” Iowa is the nation’s largest egg producer.

An Oct. 3 Des Moines Register story carried the headline: “California egg law may lead to ag war between the states.” It noted that the new California law will require at least 116 square inches of space per hen, which is slightly smaller than a sheet of legal paper (8.5 by 14 inches). The current industry standard is 67 square inches, or a little smaller than a 10-by-7-inch rectangle.

For a while, it appeared that the chicken cage issue was going to go away in a big national compromise. That was in July 2011, when the United Egg Producers (UEP) and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) entered into a deal to work together on a national cage standard.

It was thought at the time that the industry group and the group usually at the forefront of opposition to large-scale animal production would bring a dramatic end to this lengthy dispute. The much-delayed Farm Bill was to be the vehicle for the UEP-HSUS deal.

But it didn’t happen, and California’s Prop. 2 was later amended to protect that state’s own egg producers by mandating the larger cages for any eggs sold in the state, even if they were produced elsewhere. That’s why the six Midwest states, led by Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster, went to federal court in early 2014.

However, Judge Kimberly Mueller of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California ruled Oct. 2 that they had failed to show that Prop. 2 as amended harmed the general public in their states rather than simply posed potential harm to some egg producers.

“It is patently clear plaintiffs are bringing this action on behalf of a subset of each state’s egg farmers, not on behalf of each state’s population generally,” she wrote in her decision.

“We disagree with the federal court’s opinion that Missouri lacks standing to defend its businesses and consumers against burdensome economic regulation imposed by out-of-state legislatures,” Koster spokesman Eric Slusher said.

While the six states did not gain traction in the courts this time due to the judge’s call on standing, they are unlikely to go away. And their main concerns have little to do with Prop. 2′s promise “to prohibit the cruel confinement of farm animals” in California.

The Midwestern egg-producing states are really challenging — much like a foreign trade barrier — Assembly Bill 1437 passed by the California Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Schwarzenegger in 2010. It added three additional sections to the 2008 law.

Under AB 1437, as of Jan. 1, shell eggs for human consumption cannot be legally sold in California unless the involved laying hen was kept in facilities that meet California’s animal care standards.

It’s a requirement that has raised numerous questions, but among the most important is whether California can impose its animal care standards on other states as the price of entry to its market. Also, in the recently dismissed lawsuit, the six states argued that the evidence shows that the real purpose of the 2010 amendments was merely to “level the playing field so that in-state producers are not disadvantaged.”

That quote was from a California Assembly committee report for AB 1437. In other words, the states argued that California was not acting to make food safer nor animals healthier, but to advance its own purely commercial interests.

As to whether cage size does involve food safety, there is also dispute. The six states argued that there is no scientific evidence of a correlation between cage size or stocking density and the incidence of Salmonella in egg-laying hens. AB 1437 advocates, however, claimed that battery-cage eggs are 25 times more likely to harbor Salmonella than eggs from cage-free hens.

Food Safety News

Despite Ruling, Midwest Egg Producers Unlikely to Give Up California Market Without a Fight

Even after being told last week that they don’t have standing to sue in federal court, six Midwest egg-producing states aren’t likely to give up either battery cages for their laying hens nor the big California market.

Battery cages are housing systems for chickens, laying hens, and various other types of poultry production systems which are used by most egg producers in the U.S. Originally designed for disease control with mechanisms to remove eggs, deliver feed and dispose of manure, they’ve drawn criticism for cramping the birds.

In November 2008, California voters approved Proposition 2, which, effective Jan. 1, 2015, set standards for confining farm animals. The state assembly amended Prop. 2 in 2010. In 2012, the University of California – Davis estimated that changing the hen housing infrastructure to comply with Prop. 2 was going to cost egg producers $ 385 million.

Attorneys general for the six egg-producing states that joined in the tossed lawsuit — Alabama, Iowa, Kentucky Missouri, Nebraska, and Oklahoma — say they’re reviewing their legal options.

Meanwhile, Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, favored to win easy re-election for his sixth term, promises to keep “fighting for the state’s agricultural industry.” Iowa is the nation’s largest egg producer.

An Oct. 3 Des Moines Register story carried the headline: “California egg law may lead to ag war between the states.” It noted that the new California law will require at least 116 square inches of space per hen, which is slightly smaller than a sheet of legal paper (8.5 by 14 inches). The current industry standard is 67 square inches, or a little smaller than a 10-by-7-inch rectangle.

For a while, it appeared that the chicken cage issue was going to go away in a big national compromise. That was in July 2011, when the United Egg Producers (UEP) and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) entered into a deal to work together on a national cage standard.

It was thought at the time that the industry group and the group usually at the forefront of opposition to large-scale animal production would bring a dramatic end to this lengthy dispute. The much-delayed Farm Bill was to be the vehicle for the UEP-HSUS deal.

But it didn’t happen, and California’s Prop. 2 was later amended to protect that state’s own egg producers by mandating the larger cages for any eggs sold in the state, even if they were produced elsewhere. That’s why the six Midwest states, led by Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster, went to federal court in early 2014.

However, Judge Kimberly Mueller of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California ruled Oct. 2 that they had failed to show that Prop. 2 as amended harmed the general public in their states rather than simply posed potential harm to some egg producers.

“It is patently clear plaintiffs are bringing this action on behalf of a subset of each state’s egg farmers, not on behalf of each state’s population generally,” she wrote in her decision.

“We disagree with the federal court’s opinion that Missouri lacks standing to defend its businesses and consumers against burdensome economic regulation imposed by out-of-state legislatures,” Koster spokesman Eric Slusher said.

While the six states did not gain traction in the courts this time due to the judge’s call on standing, they are unlikely to go away. And their main concerns have little to do with Prop. 2′s promise “to prohibit the cruel confinement of farm animals” in California.

The Midwestern egg-producing states are really challenging — much like a foreign trade barrier — Assembly Bill 1437 passed by the California Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Schwarzenegger in 2010. It added three additional sections to the 2008 law.

Under AB 1437, as of Jan. 1, shell eggs for human consumption cannot be legally sold in California unless the involved laying hen was kept in facilities that meet California’s animal care standards.

It’s a requirement that has raised numerous questions, but among the most important is whether California can impose its animal care standards on other states as the price of entry to its market. Also, in the recently dismissed lawsuit, the six states argued that the evidence shows that the real purpose of the 2010 amendments was merely to “level the playing field so that in-state producers are not disadvantaged.”

That quote was from a California Assembly committee report for AB 1437. In other words, the states argued that California was not acting to make food safer nor animals healthier, but to advance its own purely commercial interests.

As to whether cage size does involve food safety, there is also dispute. The six states argued that there is no scientific evidence of a correlation between cage size or stocking density and the incidence of Salmonella in egg-laying hens. AB 1437 advocates, however, claimed that battery-cage eggs are 25 times more likely to harbor Salmonella than eggs from cage-free hens.

Food Safety News

Harris Teeter and Titan Farms team up to fight hunger

Titan Farms and Harris Teeter donated more than 58,000 pounds of peaches to the Second Harvest food banks in Winston-Salem and Charlotte, NC, to help feed the hungry in the local communities. This donation is part of the retailer’s participation in the second annual Peaches with A Purpose program, sponsored by peach grower Titan Farms.titan

Titan Farms, one of the larger peach growers on the East Coast, created the Peaches with a Purpose program to help feed the underserved while bringing attention to the problem of food insecurity in the United States. This is the second year the North Carolina-based retailer and the peach grower partnered in the fight to aid hunger relief.

“We are pleased to partner with Harris Teeter on this program that assists them in giving back to their local communities,” Lori Anne Carr, vice president of Titan Farms, said in a press release. “It is an honor to bring it back for a second year and we look forward to strengthening with each year to come.”

The program ran through the month of August and encompassed 144 Harris Teeter stores in North Carolina. For the total amount of peaches purchased during the campaign period, Harris Teeter in turn donated a percentage back to the food bank. The total donation is in excess of 58,000 pounds of peaches from the fields of Titan Farms.

“On behalf of the hundreds of thousands of children, seniors and families who struggle daily with hunger in our region, we want to thank Harris Teeter and their partner Titan Farms for their commitment to help end hunger,” Kay Carter, executive director for Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina, said in the release. “Produce is an item that those living in poverty can least afford but need as part of a healthy diet.  We are very grateful for this support.”

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

Harris Teeter and Titan Farms team up to fight hunger

Titan Farms and Harris Teeter donated more than 58,000 pounds of peaches to the Second Harvest food banks in Winston-Salem and Charlotte, NC, to help feed the hungry in the local communities. This donation is part of the retailer’s participation in the second annual Peaches with A Purpose program, sponsored by peach grower Titan Farms.titan

Titan Farms, one of the larger peach growers on the East Coast, created the Peaches with a Purpose program to help feed the underserved while bringing attention to the problem of food insecurity in the United States. This is the second year the North Carolina-based retailer and the peach grower partnered in the fight to aid hunger relief.

“We are pleased to partner with Harris Teeter on this program that assists them in giving back to their local communities,” Lori Anne Carr, vice president of Titan Farms, said in a press release. “It is an honor to bring it back for a second year and we look forward to strengthening with each year to come.”

The program ran through the month of August and encompassed 144 Harris Teeter stores in North Carolina. For the total amount of peaches purchased during the campaign period, Harris Teeter in turn donated a percentage back to the food bank. The total donation is in excess of 58,000 pounds of peaches from the fields of Titan Farms.

“On behalf of the hundreds of thousands of children, seniors and families who struggle daily with hunger in our region, we want to thank Harris Teeter and their partner Titan Farms for their commitment to help end hunger,” Kay Carter, executive director for Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina, said in the release. “Produce is an item that those living in poverty can least afford but need as part of a healthy diet.  We are very grateful for this support.”

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

Harris Teeter and Titan Farms team up to fight hunger

Titan Farms and Harris Teeter donated more than 58,000 pounds of peaches to the Second Harvest food banks in Winston-Salem and Charlotte, NC, to help feed the hungry in the local communities. This donation is part of the retailer’s participation in the second annual Peaches with A Purpose program, sponsored by peach grower Titan Farms.titan

Titan Farms, one of the larger peach growers on the East Coast, created the Peaches with a Purpose program to help feed the underserved while bringing attention to the problem of food insecurity in the United States. This is the second year the North Carolina-based retailer and the peach grower partnered in the fight to aid hunger relief.

“We are pleased to partner with Harris Teeter on this program that assists them in giving back to their local communities,” Lori Anne Carr, vice president of Titan Farms, said in a press release. “It is an honor to bring it back for a second year and we look forward to strengthening with each year to come.”

The program ran through the month of August and encompassed 144 Harris Teeter stores in North Carolina. For the total amount of peaches purchased during the campaign period, Harris Teeter in turn donated a percentage back to the food bank. The total donation is in excess of 58,000 pounds of peaches from the fields of Titan Farms.

“On behalf of the hundreds of thousands of children, seniors and families who struggle daily with hunger in our region, we want to thank Harris Teeter and their partner Titan Farms for their commitment to help end hunger,” Kay Carter, executive director for Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina, said in the release. “Produce is an item that those living in poverty can least afford but need as part of a healthy diet.  We are very grateful for this support.”

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

Harris Teeter and Titan Farms team up to fight hunger

Titan Farms and Harris Teeter donated more than 58,000 pounds of peaches to the Second Harvest food banks in Winston-Salem and Charlotte, NC, to help feed the hungry in the local communities. This donation is part of the retailer’s participation in the second annual Peaches with A Purpose program, sponsored by peach grower Titan Farms.titan

Titan Farms, one of the larger peach growers on the East Coast, created the Peaches with a Purpose program to help feed the underserved while bringing attention to the problem of food insecurity in the United States. This is the second year the North Carolina-based retailer and the peach grower partnered in the fight to aid hunger relief.

“We are pleased to partner with Harris Teeter on this program that assists them in giving back to their local communities,” Lori Anne Carr, vice president of Titan Farms, said in a press release. “It is an honor to bring it back for a second year and we look forward to strengthening with each year to come.”

The program ran through the month of August and encompassed 144 Harris Teeter stores in North Carolina. For the total amount of peaches purchased during the campaign period, Harris Teeter in turn donated a percentage back to the food bank. The total donation is in excess of 58,000 pounds of peaches from the fields of Titan Farms.

“On behalf of the hundreds of thousands of children, seniors and families who struggle daily with hunger in our region, we want to thank Harris Teeter and their partner Titan Farms for their commitment to help end hunger,” Kay Carter, executive director for Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina, said in the release. “Produce is an item that those living in poverty can least afford but need as part of a healthy diet.  We are very grateful for this support.”

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

Harris Teeter and Titan Farms team up to fight hunger

Titan Farms and Harris Teeter donated more than 58,000 pounds of peaches to the Second Harvest food banks in Winston-Salem and Charlotte, NC, to help feed the hungry in the local communities. This donation is part of the retailer’s participation in the second annual Peaches with A Purpose program, sponsored by peach grower Titan Farms.titan

Titan Farms, one of the larger peach growers on the East Coast, created the Peaches with a Purpose program to help feed the underserved while bringing attention to the problem of food insecurity in the United States. This is the second year the North Carolina-based retailer and the peach grower partnered in the fight to aid hunger relief.

“We are pleased to partner with Harris Teeter on this program that assists them in giving back to their local communities,” Lori Anne Carr, vice president of Titan Farms, said in a press release. “It is an honor to bring it back for a second year and we look forward to strengthening with each year to come.”

The program ran through the month of August and encompassed 144 Harris Teeter stores in North Carolina. For the total amount of peaches purchased during the campaign period, Harris Teeter in turn donated a percentage back to the food bank. The total donation is in excess of 58,000 pounds of peaches from the fields of Titan Farms.

“On behalf of the hundreds of thousands of children, seniors and families who struggle daily with hunger in our region, we want to thank Harris Teeter and their partner Titan Farms for their commitment to help end hunger,” Kay Carter, executive director for Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina, said in the release. “Produce is an item that those living in poverty can least afford but need as part of a healthy diet.  We are very grateful for this support.”

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

Harris Teeter and Titan Farms team up to fight hunger

Titan Farms and Harris Teeter donated more than 58,000 pounds of peaches to the Second Harvest food banks in Winston-Salem and Charlotte, NC, to help feed the hungry in the local communities. This donation is part of the retailer’s participation in the second annual Peaches with A Purpose program, sponsored by peach grower Titan Farms.titan

Titan Farms, one of the larger peach growers on the East Coast, created the Peaches with a Purpose program to help feed the underserved while bringing attention to the problem of food insecurity in the United States. This is the second year the North Carolina-based retailer and the peach grower partnered in the fight to aid hunger relief.

“We are pleased to partner with Harris Teeter on this program that assists them in giving back to their local communities,” Lori Anne Carr, vice president of Titan Farms, said in a press release. “It is an honor to bring it back for a second year and we look forward to strengthening with each year to come.”

The program ran through the month of August and encompassed 144 Harris Teeter stores in North Carolina. For the total amount of peaches purchased during the campaign period, Harris Teeter in turn donated a percentage back to the food bank. The total donation is in excess of 58,000 pounds of peaches from the fields of Titan Farms.

“On behalf of the hundreds of thousands of children, seniors and families who struggle daily with hunger in our region, we want to thank Harris Teeter and their partner Titan Farms for their commitment to help end hunger,” Kay Carter, executive director for Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina, said in the release. “Produce is an item that those living in poverty can least afford but need as part of a healthy diet.  We are very grateful for this support.”

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

Harris Teeter and Titan Farms team up to fight hunger

Titan Farms and Harris Teeter donated more than 58,000 pounds of peaches to the Second Harvest food banks in Winston-Salem and Charlotte, NC, to help feed the hungry in the local communities. This donation is part of the retailer’s participation in the second annual Peaches with A Purpose program, sponsored by peach grower Titan Farms.titan

Titan Farms, one of the larger peach growers on the East Coast, created the Peaches with a Purpose program to help feed the underserved while bringing attention to the problem of food insecurity in the United States. This is the second year the North Carolina-based retailer and the peach grower partnered in the fight to aid hunger relief.

“We are pleased to partner with Harris Teeter on this program that assists them in giving back to their local communities,” Lori Anne Carr, vice president of Titan Farms, said in a press release. “It is an honor to bring it back for a second year and we look forward to strengthening with each year to come.”

The program ran through the month of August and encompassed 144 Harris Teeter stores in North Carolina. For the total amount of peaches purchased during the campaign period, Harris Teeter in turn donated a percentage back to the food bank. The total donation is in excess of 58,000 pounds of peaches from the fields of Titan Farms.

“On behalf of the hundreds of thousands of children, seniors and families who struggle daily with hunger in our region, we want to thank Harris Teeter and their partner Titan Farms for their commitment to help end hunger,” Kay Carter, executive director for Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina, said in the release. “Produce is an item that those living in poverty can least afford but need as part of a healthy diet.  We are very grateful for this support.”

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.