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Obama plan may allow millions of immigrants to stay and work in U.S.

Obama plan may allow millions of immigrants to stay and work in U.S.

President Obama is expected to announce, as early as next week, a broad overhaul of the nation’s immigration enforcement system that will protect up to five million unauthorized immigrants from the threat of deportation and provide many of them with work permits, according to administration officials who have direct knowledge of the plan.

Mr. Obama intends to order changes that will significantly refocus the activities of the government’s 12,000 immigration agents. One key piece of the order, officials said, will allow many parents of children who are American citizens or legal residents to obtain legal work documents and no longer worry about being discovered, separated from their families and sent away

That part of Mr. Obama’s plan alone could affect as many as 3.3 million people who have been living in the United States illegally for at least five years, according to an analysis by the Migration Policy Institute, an immigration research organization in Washington. But the White House is also considering a stricter policy that would limit the benefits to people who have lived in the country for at least 10 years, or about 2.5 million people.

Extending protections to more undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children, and to their parents, could affect an additional one million or more if they are included in the final plan that the president announces. White House officials are also still debating whether to include protections for farm workers who have entered the country illegally but have been employed for years in the agriculture industry, a move that could affect hundreds of thousands of people.

Mr. Obama’s actions will also expand opportunities for legal immigrants who have high-tech skills, shift extra security resources to the nation’s southern border, revamp a controversial immigration enforcement program called Secure Communities, and provide clearer guidance to the agencies that enforce immigration laws about who should be a low priority for deportation, especially those with strong family ties and no serious criminal history.

A new memorandum, which will direct the actions of enforcement and border agents and immigration judges, will make clear that deportations should still proceed for convicted criminals, foreigners who pose national security risks and recent border crossers, officials said.

White House officials declined to comment publicly before a formal announcement by Mr. Obama, who will return from an eight-day trip to Asia on Sunday. Administration officials said details about the package of executive actions were still being finished and could change. An announcement could be pushed off until next month but will not be delayed to next year, officials said.

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

Publication date: 11/14/2014


FreshPlaza.com

HAB invests millions of dollars to promote health benefits of Hass avocados

The conversation about healthy food choices is “pervasive among most Americans” who generally recognize that “fruits and vegetables are building blocks for a healthy diet,” said Emiliano Escobedo, executive director of the Hass Avocado Board in Irvine, CA. Yet “despite what we all know,” studies show that most Americans are still not yet consuming as many fruits and vegetables as suggested by dietary guidelines and continue over-consuming sodium, sugar and saturated fat.

“Unfortunately, today in the United States, one-third of adults in our society are categorized as obese and another one-third as overweight,” Escobedo told The Produce News.05-MexAvos-HAB-Emiliano-EscEmiliano Escobedo “That is a serious issue because obesity is related to conditions like stroke and heart disease, type II diabetes and cancer, some of the leading causes of preventable death.”

Because of the exceptional health benefits of Hass avocados, “we see this as an opportunity,” he said.

There is “clearly a need to educate Americans on the link between diet and disease,” he said. “There is room for growth in the consumption of fruits and vegetables,” including avocados, and “we think that avocados have nutritional properties that can help Americans live a better life, so we want to leverage that.”

Avocado consumption in the United States has been rising dramatically in the last few years, but there is still much room for growth.

HAB studies have shown that consumers buy avocados for two principal reasons: they like the taste and they recognize the health benefits. “Those are the two main drivers,” Escobedo said.

HAB focuses most of its efforts and most of its funding on  additional scientific research into the health benefits of avocados and on promotional programs to increase consumer awareness of those benefits.

“We have invested nearly $ 5 million in nutrition research in the areas of heart health, weight management, diabetes and healthy living” and developed a promotional program called Love One Today, backed by a multi-million dollar budget, to promote the research findings and increase consumer awareness of the benefits of including Hass avocados in the diet on a regular basis can bring.

Recently published clinical trials by University of California at Los Angeles and Loma Linda University found that adding avocados to a meal helps reduce inflation markers and that adding avocados to lunch “reduces hunger for a longer period of time,” leading to less snacking and, therefore, reduced total calorie intake, he said.

The most recently published study, by Ohio State University, “found that avocados boost the absorption of nutrients and antioxidants that are found in products that are consumed with avocados.” Eating avocados with tomatoes, for example, boosts the body’s consumption of the antioxidants in tomatoes by a factor of 10. “So avocados are definitely a nutrient booster,” Escobedo said.

Current studies, one at Penn State and one at Tufts University, are looking at such things as the potential of avocados in the diet to reduce bad cholesterol levels in the body and to improve cognitive function among older population, he said.

The research “is generating a lot of media attention,” both consumer media and publications targeted to dieticians and other health professionals. Through the efforts of HAB, “we have obtained hundreds of millions of impressions” in various health and fitness publications in the United States as well as on radio and television, Escobedo said, emphasizing that this is editorial coverage, not paid advertisement. Studies to track the influence of those impressions on consumer attitudes demonstrates that “they are becoming more aware of the benefits of avocados, and as a result, we are seeing demand increase.”

It is not HAB alone that is leveraging the health message for Hass avocados, he said. Other stakeholders are doing so as well, including Avocados from Mexico and other industry organizations representing all other major sources of Hass avocados marketed in the United States.

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

HAB spends millions of dollars to promote health benefits of Hass avocados

The conversation about healthy food choices is “pervasive among most Americans” who generally recognize that “fruits and vegetables are building blocks for a healthy diet,” said Emiliano Escobedo, executive director of the Hass Avocado Board in Irvine, CA. Yet “despite what we all know,” studies show that most Americans are still not yet consuming as many fruits and vegetables as suggested by dietary guidelines and continue over-consuming sodium, sugar and saturated fat.

“Unfortunately, today in the United States, one-third of adults in our society are categorized as obese and another one-third as overweight,” Escobedo told The Produce News.05-MexAvos-HAB-Emiliano-EscEmiliano Escobedo “That is a serious issue because obesity is related to conditions like stroke and heart disease, type II diabetes and cancer, some of the leading causes of preventable death.”

Because of the exceptional health benefits of Hass avocados, “we see this as an opportunity,” he said.

There is “clearly a need to educate Americans on the link between diet and disease,” he said. “There is room for growth in the consumption of fruits and vegetables,” including avocados, and “we think that avocados have nutritional properties that can help Americans live a better life, so we want to leverage that.”

Avocado consumption in the United States has been rising dramatically in the last few years, but there is still much room for growth.

HAB studies have shown that consumers buy avocados for two principal reasons: they like the taste and they recognize the health benefits. “Those are the two main drivers,” Escobedo said.

HAB focuses most of its efforts and most of its funding on  additional scientific research into the health benefits of avocados and on promotional programs to increase consumer awareness of those benefits.

“We have invested nearly $ 5 million in nutrition research in the areas of heart health, weight management, diabetes and healthy living” and developed a promotional program called Love One Today, backed by a multi-million dollar budget, to promote the research findings and increase consumer awareness of the benefits of including Hass avocados in the diet on a regular basis can bring.

Recently published clinical trials by University of California at Los Angeles and Loma Linda University found that adding avocados to a meal helps reduce inflation markers and that adding avocados to lunch “reduces hunger for a longer period of time,” leading to less snacking and, therefore, reduced total calorie intake, he said.

The most recently published study, by Ohio State University, “found that avocados boost the absorption of nutrients and antioxidants that are found in products that are consumed with avocados.” Eating avocados with tomatoes, for example, boosts the body’s consumption of the antioxidants in tomatoes by a factor of 10. “So avocados are definitely a nutrient booster,” Escobedo said.

Current studies, one at Penn State and one at Tufts University, are looking at such things as the potential of avocados in the diet to reduce bad cholesterol levels in the body and to improve cognitive function among older population, he said.

The research “is generating a lot of media attention,” both consumer media and publications targeted to dieticians and other health professionals. Through the efforts of HAB, “we have obtained hundreds of millions of impressions” in various health and fitness publications in the United States as well as on radio and television, Escobedo said, emphasizing that this is editorial coverage, not paid advertisement. Studies to track the influence of those impressions on consumer attitudes demonstrates that “they are becoming more aware of the benefits of avocados, and as a result, we are seeing demand increase.”

It is not HAB alone that is leveraging the health message for Hass avocados, he said. Other stakeholders are doing so as well, including Avocados from Mexico and other industry organizations representing all other major sources of Hass avocados marketed in the United States.

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

HAB spends millions of dollars to promote health benefits of Hass avocados

The conversation about healthy food choices is “pervasive among most Americans” who generally recognize that “fruits and vegetables are building blocks for a healthy diet,” said Emiliano Escobedo, executive director of the Hass Avocado Board in Irvine, CA. Yet “despite what we all know,” studies show that most Americans are still not yet consuming as many fruits and vegetables as suggested by dietary guidelines and continue over-consuming sodium, sugar and saturated fat.

“Unfortunately, today in the United States, one-third of adults in our society are categorized as obese and another one-third as overweight,” Escobedo told The Produce News.05-MexAvos-HAB-Emiliano-EscEmiliano Escobedo “That is a serious issue because obesity is related to conditions like stroke and heart disease, type II diabetes and cancer, some of the leading causes of preventable death.”

Because of the exceptional health benefits of Hass avocados, “we see this as an opportunity,” he said.

There is “clearly a need to educate Americans on the link between diet and disease,” he said. “There is room for growth in the consumption of fruits and vegetables,” including avocados, and “we think that avocados have nutritional properties that can help Americans live a better life, so we want to leverage that.”

Avocado consumption in the United States has been rising dramatically in the last few years, but there is still much room for growth.

HAB studies have shown that consumers buy avocados for two principal reasons: they like the taste and they recognize the health benefits. “Those are the two main drivers,” Escobedo said.

HAB focuses most of its efforts and most of its funding on  additional scientific research into the health benefits of avocados and on promotional programs to increase consumer awareness of those benefits.

“We have invested nearly $ 5 million in nutrition research in the areas of heart health, weight management, diabetes and healthy living” and developed a promotional program called Love One Today, backed by a multi-million dollar budget, to promote the research findings and increase consumer awareness of the benefits of including Hass avocados in the diet on a regular basis can bring.

Recently published clinical trials by University of California at Los Angeles and Loma Linda University found that adding avocados to a meal helps reduce inflation markers and that adding avocados to lunch “reduces hunger for a longer period of time,” leading to less snacking and, therefore, reduced total calorie intake, he said.

The most recently published study, by Ohio State University, “found that avocados boost the absorption of nutrients and antioxidants that are found in products that are consumed with avocados.” Eating avocados with tomatoes, for example, boosts the body’s consumption of the antioxidants in tomatoes by a factor of 10. “So avocados are definitely a nutrient booster,” Escobedo said.

Current studies, one at Penn State and one at Tufts University, are looking at such things as the potential of avocados in the diet to reduce bad cholesterol levels in the body and to improve cognitive function among older population, he said.

The research “is generating a lot of media attention,” both consumer media and publications targeted to dieticians and other health professionals. Through the efforts of HAB, “we have obtained hundreds of millions of impressions” in various health and fitness publications in the United States as well as on radio and television, Escobedo said, emphasizing that this is editorial coverage, not paid advertisement. Studies to track the influence of those impressions on consumer attitudes demonstrates that “they are becoming more aware of the benefits of avocados, and as a result, we are seeing demand increase.”

It is not HAB alone that is leveraging the health message for Hass avocados, he said. Other stakeholders are doing so as well, including Avocados from Mexico and other industry organizations representing all other major sources of Hass avocados marketed in the United States.

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

HAB spends millions of dollars to promote health benefits of Hass avocados

The conversation about healthy food choices is “pervasive among most Americans” who generally recognize that “fruits and vegetables are building blocks for a healthy diet,” said Emiliano Escobedo, executive director of the Hass Avocado Board in Irvine, CA. Yet “despite what we all know,” studies show that most Americans are still not yet consuming as many fruits and vegetables as suggested by dietary guidelines and continue over-consuming sodium, sugar and saturated fat.

“Unfortunately, today in the United States, one-third of adults in our society are categorized as obese and another one-third as overweight,” Escobedo told The Produce News.05-MexAvos-HAB-Emiliano-EscEmiliano Escobedo “That is a serious issue because obesity is related to conditions like stroke and heart disease, type II diabetes and cancer, some of the leading causes of preventable death.”

Because of the exceptional health benefits of Hass avocados, “we see this as an opportunity,” he said.

There is “clearly a need to educate Americans on the link between diet and disease,” he said. “There is room for growth in the consumption of fruits and vegetables,” including avocados, and “we think that avocados have nutritional properties that can help Americans live a better life, so we want to leverage that.”

Avocado consumption in the United States has been rising dramatically in the last few years, but there is still much room for growth.

HAB studies have shown that consumers buy avocados for two principal reasons: they like the taste and they recognize the health benefits. “Those are the two main drivers,” Escobedo said.

HAB focuses most of its efforts and most of its funding on  additional scientific research into the health benefits of avocados and on promotional programs to increase consumer awareness of those benefits.

“We have invested nearly $ 5 million in nutrition research in the areas of heart health, weight management, diabetes and healthy living” and developed a promotional program called Love One Today, backed by a multi-million dollar budget, to promote the research findings and increase consumer awareness of the benefits of including Hass avocados in the diet on a regular basis can bring.

Recently published clinical trials by University of California at Los Angeles and Loma Linda University found that adding avocados to a meal helps reduce inflation markers and that adding avocados to lunch “reduces hunger for a longer period of time,” leading to less snacking and, therefore, reduced total calorie intake, he said.

The most recently published study, by Ohio State University, “found that avocados boost the absorption of nutrients and antioxidants that are found in products that are consumed with avocados.” Eating avocados with tomatoes, for example, boosts the body’s consumption of the antioxidants in tomatoes by a factor of 10. “So avocados are definitely a nutrient booster,” Escobedo said.

Current studies, one at Penn State and one at Tufts University, are looking at such things as the potential of avocados in the diet to reduce bad cholesterol levels in the body and to improve cognitive function among older population, he said.

The research “is generating a lot of media attention,” both consumer media and publications targeted to dieticians and other health professionals. Through the efforts of HAB, “we have obtained hundreds of millions of impressions” in various health and fitness publications in the United States as well as on radio and television, Escobedo said, emphasizing that this is editorial coverage, not paid advertisement. Studies to track the influence of those impressions on consumer attitudes demonstrates that “they are becoming more aware of the benefits of avocados, and as a result, we are seeing demand increase.”

It is not HAB alone that is leveraging the health message for Hass avocados, he said. Other stakeholders are doing so as well, including Avocados from Mexico and other industry organizations representing all other major sources of Hass avocados marketed in the United States.

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

Second Auction May Fetch Millions More For NM Organic Peanut Processing Plant

The Portales, NM, processing plant that was at one time the largest producer of organic peanut butter in the U.S. was auctioned off last Thursday to Severn, NC-based Hampton Farms for $ 20.05 million. However, the Sunland Inc. plant will be auctioned off again today for at least $ 25 million, an amount offered to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for New Mexico from Canada’s Golden Boy Foods.

The unusual turn of events occurred just before the bankruptcy court entered a final sale order on last Thursday’s offer when Golden Boy Foods wired a counteroffer of $ 25 million to a trust account. That becomes the new opening bid for today’s auction. In addition to Hampton, California’s Ready Roast Nut Company LLC had bid in last week’s auction .

It’s left Bankruptcy Judge David T. Thuma with a tough decision to make. He said he was “loath to disturb the results of a judicial auction,” but, on behalf of the unsecured creditors of Sunland Inc., he did not want to lose the additional $ 4.95 million that Golden Boy Foods brought to the bankruptcy proceedings.

Sunland filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy last October after peanut and nut butters it manufactured at the Portales plant in 2012 were found responsible for a 20-state outbreak of Salmonella. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) suspended Sunland’s food plant registration for several weeks under the first use of a new government power found in the Food Safety Modernization Act.

Hampton Farms, the nation’s largest peanut roaster, has said that it plans to re-open the Portales plant. Golden Boy makes peanut and nut butters from several locations in Canada, but has not said how it would use the Portales plant.

Sunland once purchased much of the Valencia peanut crop grown along the Texas-New Mexico border for add-value processing. Many peanut growers in the area are waiting for the court’s decision on the sale as part of their decision on whether to plant a Valencia crop for the coming season. Soil temperatures are expected to be warm enough to plant peanuts in April.

Food Safety News

Sterile flies save food crops, millions of dollars in eradication efforts

Irradiated, sterile flies dropped over seaports and agricultural areas to mate with unsuspecting females save food crops and millions of dollars in prevented infestations and the ensuing eradication efforts. But blasting these secret-suitor insects with radiation via electron beams, X-rays or gamma-rays, tends to make them weaker than typical males — and not so appealing to females as possible mates.

What sterile-insect operations need, says University of Florida insect physiologist Daniel Hahn, is the insect world’s version of George Clooney: 52 years old, gray-haired and still dazzling the ladies.

Hahn, an associate professor with UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, and his former postdoctoral associate, Giancarlo López-Martínez, now an assistant professor at New Mexico State University, describe in research publications this month and last, that sterilizing insects in a low-oxygen environment helps create suitors who more closely resemble the suave Clooney than do those sterilized in a normal-oxygen environment.

“Our males (insects) are not only more sexually competitive, they are maintaining their sexual competitiveness and their virility, into old age,” Hahn said, “and that has the potential to make them much better biological control agents.”

The sterile insect technique, or SIT, has been used for decades and is considered a much preferable alternative to spraying pesticides over urban or suburban areas near major ports. In this biological control method, large numbers of sterile, male insects are released to compete with wild males for the attention of invasive wild females.

A female duped into accepting a sterile male would then find herself without offspring, thus trimming the population and its threat to the state’s important agricultural crops. The technique has been used effectively against the Mediterranean fruit fly, called the Medfly, and the cattle-infesting screw-worm fly, among others.

Florida spends roughly $ 6 million a year using SIT to prevent Mediterranean fruit fly infestations, while California spends about $ 17 million a year. Because of the inherent dangers in importing even one Mediterranean fruit fly into the state, in their recent studies, López-Martínez and Hahn investigated the physiological effects of applying low-oxygen treatments prior to and during irradiation sterilization on two other plant pests: the Caribbean fruit fly and the invasive cactus moth.

The “low-oxygen effect” has been known for decades, but the physiological basis for it had never been rigorously tested or analyzed, Hahn said. They suspected, and found, that under the low-oxygen conditions, the insects’ cells would produce antioxidants that can help better protect them from the off-target radiation damage.

Some operations that rear and sterilize insects, such as one in Guatemala that produces many of the sterile medflies dropped over Florida’s major ports roughly every seven days, do employ low-oxygen conditions, called hypoxia or anoxia. But many others don’t, he said, including those who rear and sterilize the cactus moth.

The reseachers found using a low-oxygen environment during sterilization boosted the sterile males’ longevity as well as their ability to attract and successfully mate. They found that the positive effects of low-oxygen treatments even extended into their ‘old age’ — in the insects’ case, about 30 days under cushy laboratory conditions.

Treatments that both improve the sexual performance of sterile males and maintain high performance longer in older males can substantially increase the effectiveness and decrease the economic costs of SIT programs, Hahn said.

The January paper was published by PLoS One, and the February paper in the Journal of Economic Entomology. Hahn and López-Martínez were joined as authors of that paper by James Carpenter of the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service in Tifton, Ga., and Stephen Hight of the USDA-ARS at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee.

Agriculture and Food News — ScienceDaily

Lost Beef and Pork Sales to Russia Over Ractopamine Costing Just Millions, Not Billions

The ban on U.S. pork and beef exports to Russia over ractopamine is costly for American producers, but not so much as was recently reported by the U.S. Ambassador to Moscow.

U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul told a Moscow business newspaper the year old ban had cost America’s pork and beef industries $ 4 to $ 5 billion.  The ban on the feed additive used in the U.S. has cost American producers about $ 4 to $ 5 million, and Ambassador McFaul quickly acknowledged the mistake without saying how it came about.

Ractopamine is a growth additive that results in more lean meat production. While world regulatory bodies have set safe levels for its use, numerous countries have banned the substance.

McFaul, who grew up in Montana, has been U.S. Ambassador to Russia for two years and is going through a new round of attention from Moscow’s media. In addition explaining the U.S. interest in exporting pork and beef to Russia, the Ambassador has been talking about the need to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions, destroy Syria’s chemical weapons and getting cargo into and out of Afghanistan.  McFaul went to Moscow as Ambassador directly from the White House, where he was Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Russia and Eurasian Affairs at the National Security Council.

The international Codex Alimentarius Commission set safe limits for residual ractopamine in meats in July 2012, but Russia went ahead with its December 2012 announcement of the ban. McFaul said U.S. pork and beef actually stopped entering Russia in February 2013. While the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives and 27 other regulatory authorities around the world concur with the safe levels for the growth additive that produces leaner meat, China and the European Union have also banned ractopamine.

Food Safety News