Blog Archives

CA Court Decision Will Place BPA Back on Harmful Chemicals List

A California court recently upheld findings that the plastic chemical bisphenol A (BPA) is known to cause reproductive health problems.

In 2013, the state’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) announced that it intended to add BPA to California’s Proposition 65 list of harmful chemicals and require companies to warn consumers when their products can expose them to BPA, but the American Chemistry Council (ACC) petitioned the court to prevent this.

BPA is a chemical used to make a variety of plastics, including food storage containers and bottles, eyeglass lenses, medical products and sports safety equipment. The primary source of exposure to BPA for most people is through diet, and the highest estimated daily intake of BPA occurs in infants and children.

The National Toxicology Program Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction (NTP) has stated that there is “some concern” about the effects of BPA on the brain, behavior, and prostate glad in fetuses, infants and children at current exposures and “minimal concern” about effects on the mammary gland.

OEHHA decided to list BPA based on NTP’s conclusions that there is clear evidence of adverse developmental effects in laboratory animals at high levels of exposure to BPA.

In addition to preventing the listing, ACC also sought a judicial declaration that the proposed listing “is an abuse of discretion.”

The ruling, signed Dec. 18 by Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Timothy M. Frawley, stated that OEHHA “did not abuse its discretion in finding that NTP formally identified BPA as ‘causing reproductive toxicity’ within the meaning of the California definition” and will reinstate the decision to list BPA under the state’s Prop 65 consumer protection law.

The court also denied ACC’s request for a stay pending appeal.

Food Safety News

The Lempert Report: Standards in place for gluten free (video)

So basically now, if a food package says it’s gluten free, you can be well assured that it is!

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Supermarket News

“Growers must be able to have confidence that their packaging will be in place”

Rick Calcott, Sharpak Aylesham
“Growers must be able to have confidence that their packaging will be in place”

In order to perform effectively for customers, growers in the soft fruit industry must have packaging available to ensure fruit can be sold to the market. In recent years, the peaks in demand have been even more unpredictable which has lead to differing pack weights and footprints being used to move large volumes of fresh fruit.

In addition, consumer trends continue to change, meaning retailer decisions must be immediate in order to effectively respond to these demands. These combined pressures add to the growers’ necessity of being able to supply the right packaging at the right time, without incurring extra, unnecessary packaging costs.

“For many years, Sharpak Aylesham has carried out a pre-season campaign to ensure stock is readily available to better cope with high and often unpredictable levels of demand,” explains Rick Calcott, commercial director at Sharpak Aylesham.  “The main focus of a pre-season programme is to take stock early allowing packers to supply responsively for their customers, ensuring that packaged fruit is readily available to the market.”

As a result, packaging suppliers can help to smooth out the irregular nature of demand during the peaks whilst creating flexibility. This also allows a larger range of packs to be manufactured at short notice, thereby catering for all grower and retailer needs.

“Getting stock out into the marketplace not only helps to reduce the surge in requests, which makes the process more manageable, but also gives those in the sector a strong sense of security and trust. In recent years this has become particularly important as growers continue to be on the receiving end of particularly unusual weather patterns,” said Calcott.

In 2013, the late season resulted in fruit volumes being available over a much shorter period of time. Consequently, growers came under increasing pressure to be more flexible and sell fruit in differing pack formats. “Within a few weeks, Sharpak Aylesham launched the SPL range, providing a packaging format for promotional weights in super quick time in order to meet with the fluctuating demand for strawberries,” Calcott explains.

“Those in the industry understand how important packaging is and how the demand can and will continue to change, suggesting that nothing can be taken for granted. Growers must be able to have confidence that their packaging will be in place, emphasising why a pre-season programme is essential,” concludes Calcott.

For more information:
Naomi Ritchie
Tel: 0044 1454 629 741

 

Publication date: 3/14/2014
Author: Nichola Watson
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

States Place Barriers Before Companies Seeking to Slaughter Horses for Export

A New Mexico hearings officer says the state should deny a wastewater discharge permit for Valley Meat in Roswell, and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources says it will get back to Rains Natural Meats in Gallatin once it decides if horses are livestock.

These state regulatory barriers now face the two companies planning to slaughter horses after the Dec. 13 decision from the Tenth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Denver gave USDA permission to provide equine inspections for the two businesses.

The professional water quality staff in the New Mexico Department of the Environment wanted to give a water discharge permit to Valley Meat, but the hearing officer assigned to hear the case, Felicia Orth, recommended that the application be denied due to the company’s previous environmental violations when it was a cattle slaughterhouse.

Valley’s past history, Orth stated, shows a “willful disregard” of New Mexico’s water quality provisions, a question of law and fact that justifies denial. Her recommendation, along with the 49-page decision, now goes to Ryan Flynn, New Mexico’s Secretary of the Environment.

Blair Dunn, attorney for both Valley Meat and Rains Natural Meats, said the Roswell facility requires either a discharge permit for up to 8,000 gallons a day into underground holding tanks, or else it will have to rely on a pump and haul operation, which apparently does not require a permit.

Dunn has 15 days to file a response to the hearing officer’s decision, and Flynn then has 30 days after that to make his decision.

In Missouri, where top state officials claim to be staying out of regulatory decisions, the state DNR says it has to decide if horses are included in the permit it already issued to Rains to slaughter livestock. Dunn says horses have long been deemed livestock under Missouri’s laws and regulation.

A spokesman for Gov. Jay Nixon says the governor’s office is not involved in the decision-making.

Finally, in the ongoing legal action involving possible horse slaughter, the Santa Fe District Court’s family law judge will entertain oral arguments on Monday on whether to continue a restraining order against Valley’s operation until a civil suit brought by Attorney General Gary King plays out.

Both Valley and Rains want to produce horsemeat for human consumption, but only for export. An estimated 158,000 U.S. horses were slaughtered in Mexico and Canada in 2012. No USDA-inspected horse slaughter has occurred in the U.S. since 2007, but the practice could resume under existing USDA budget authority.

Food Safety News

Schnucks buys Columbia Centre Market Place in Illinois

Leaders of St. Louis-based Schnuck Markets Inc. joined with Joseph (Joe) Koppeis to announce the Schnucks purchase of Columbia Centre Market Place Inc., a Koppeis family enterprise in Columbia, IL.

“In this, our 75th anniversary year, we are thankful to area customers whose support has enabled us to expand into new areas,” said Schnucks Chairman and CEO Scott Schnuck. “Schnucks remains committed to introducing more customers to our distinctive combination of quality, value and service.”

Schnucks is buying the grocery store and attached Commerce Bank space only. The sale does not include the land or other properties. Koppeis, who built the approximately 47,000-square-foot facility (including the bank space) in 1989, said the decision to sell is in the best interest of his family and employees.

“The Market Place will be a great location for us in that we will be able to serve new customers and operate in close partnership with Schnucks Waterloo just under eight miles away,” Schnuck said. “We respect the Koppeis family, who like Schnucks are a family enterprise and share our sense of community.”

The Schnucks human resources team will to speak to all 70 employees about employment opportunities with Schnucks.

“After 25 years of serving our community, it’s time to sell and give our employees career growth opportunities with a company like Schnucks,” he said. “My wife and I will turn our attentions to our other commercial real estate enterprises and we will remain landlords to the new Schnucks store.”

Customers will be able to buy essential items from now through the close on Jan. 12. The store will reopen as a Schnucks store on Jan. 16. Schnuck said the transition will be as seamless as possible as both families will work together to minimize inconvenience. The Koppeis family will oversee an immediate sell down of discounted merchandise.

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

All details in place for another outstanding PMA Foodservice Expo

The Produce Marketing Association Foodservice Conference & Expo, which is held annually in Monterey, CA, is July 26-28 this year. Exhibitors and visitors alike are in store for another venue stuffed full of events to keep them busy throughout the entire weekend.

The show opens Friday, July 26 at 6:45 a.m. with the Joe Nucci Memorial Golf Tournament. The tournament features advice from golf pro Jason Owen and a chance to win $ 10,000 in the hole-in-one contest. Golfers also have a great opportunity to network with other industry members. Shotgun start is at 8 a.m.

golf-2012Steve Barnard of Mission Produce and Bryan Silbermann of the Produce Marketing Association at last year’s Joe Nucci Memorial Golf Tournament.Proceeds from the tournament support the PMA Foundation’s Career Pathways program held in conjunction with the PMA Foodservice Conference & Expo.

Those distributors, operators and wholesalers opting out of a round of golf can instead participate in the Behind the Scenes: Field & Plant Tour. The tour starts at 7 a.m. Friday, and takes participants to three farms in the Salinas Valley, referred to as “the salad bowl of the nation.” The tour includes stops at Ocean Mist Farms, Royal Rose LLC and River Ranch Fresh Foods.

From 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, the New Member, Attendee & Exhibitor Reception will be held, followed by the Opening Reception: Fresh Market Flowers from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Saturday is also packed full of things to do. The day begins at 6 a.m. for those participating in the PMA Foundation 5K Race for Talent. Runners and walkers of all levels enjoy a beautiful 3.1-mile flat-out-and-back course, racing along the coastline of Monterey Bay. Individual awards for the top three overall male and female finishers and top two finishers in each age group will be given out during the awards ceremony.

Proceeds from the 5K Race for Talent benefit the development and execution of the PMA Foundation’s mission to attract, develop and retain talent for the global produce industry.

The networking breakfast begins at 8 a.m. Saturday. And at 9:15 a.m., Josh Linkner, founder and former chief executive officers of e-Prize, will present his speech, “Welcome To Innovation: How To Maintain A Competitive Edge In An Era Of Relentless Change.

Linkner will be followed at 10:45 a.m. by an address by Maeve Webster, senior director at Datassential, titled “Innovations & Menu Trends: Predicting the Next Big Thing on the Plate.”

The Chef Demos Lunch starts at 12:15 p.m., where a dash of culinary inspiration, a pinch of strategic insight and a big scoop of fun are blended together.

Organizers say, “Roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty as you prepare your own creative dishes. Take away innovative recipes that integrate produce into appetizers, entrees and desserts. You’ll leave the table with a long list of original tastes, ideas and techniques you can take home and try with colleagues and customers.”

At 2 p.m., on Saturday, author and consultant Chip Bell will present Innovating Your Customer Experience: Satisfying Your Customer’s Hunger for Fresh Ideas.

The Corporate Chef Panel is from 3:30 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. on Saturday, and is moderated by Myrdal Miller, director of programs and culinary nutrition strategic initiatives for the Culinary Institute of America. The panel will detail how evolving palates and healthier lifestyles are increasingly moving produce to the center of the plate. Panelists include Stefano Cordona, senior vice president of Food & Beverage Innovation at Au Bon Pain; Rafi Taherian, executive director at Yale Dining; and Darryl Mickler, senior director of culinary innovation and executive chef at Chili’s Grill & Bar.

The day wraps up with the Women’s Fresh Perspectives Reception. Women’s Fresh Perspectives is to be the catalyst for a vibrant global produce industry through the leadership, development and participation of women.

Sunday, the last day of the event, begins with a networking breakfast. At 9:15 a.m., “Managing Your Digital Brand: The Secrets to Telling Your Story Online,” will be presented by Carisa Miklusak, chief executive officer of tMedia Strategies.

The exhibition floor opens at 11 a.m. on Sunday, following a networking refreshment break at 10:40 a.m. Happy hour on the show floor starts at 3:30 p.m., and draws to a close at 4:30 p.m.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines