AgDay Daily Recap - December 1, 2010

December 1, 2010 07:39 AM
 

TODAY ON AGDAY:
DECEMBER 1, 2010

FOOD SAFETY BILL:
A COMPREHENSIVE FOOD SAFETY BILL TOOK A BIG STEP FORWARD ON TUESDAY. THE SENATE PASSED LEGISLATION THAT GIVES THE GOVERNMENT MORE AUTHORITY TO INCREASE INSPECTIONS OF FOOD PROCESSING FACILITIES. BUT THE BIG QUESTION REMAINS - - HOW DO YOU PAY FOR IT? THE 1.4 BILLION DOLLAR BILL PASSED THE SENATE 73-25. SUPPORTERS SAY PASSAGE IS CRITICAL AFTER WIDESPREAD SALMONELLA OUTBREAKS IN PEANUTS, EGGS AND PRODUCE. THE MEASURE WOULD ALSO PLACE STRICTER STANDARDS ON IMPORTED FOODS AND GIVE FDA MORE POWER TO FORCE COMPANIES TO RECALL TAINTED FOOD. THIS VERSION INCLUDES AN AMENDMENT FROM MONTANA SENATOR JON TESTER WHICH WOULD EXEMPT SMALLER GROWERS FROM THE STRICTER REGULATIONS. THE BILL HOWEVER DOES NOT APPLY TO MEAT, POULTRY AND PROCESSED EGGS, WHICH STILL FALL UNDER USDA JURISDICTION.

PRO FARMER REAX:
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT IS UNCLEAR, AS THERE'S LITTLE TIME LEFT IN THE LAME-DUCK SESSION. THERE IS INDICATION ON THE HOUSE-SIDE THAT IT WOULD BE WILLING TO APPROVE THE SENATE VERSION AND THEN PASS IT ALONG TO THE PRESIDENT'S DESK FOR HIS SIGNATURE. THE MEASURE WOULD MEAN HIRING ADDITIONAL INSPECTORS. SO, HOW DO YOU PAY FOR IT? PRO FARMER WASHINGTON EDITOR ROGER BERNARD SAYS THE FOCUS NOW TURNS TO APPROPRIATIONS.

WRIGHT EGG:
ONE DAY AFTER THE SENATE PASSES ITS VERSION OF THE FOOD SAFETY ACT, THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION SAYS IT WILL ALLOW AN IOWA EGG FARM LINKED TO A WIDESPREAD SALMONELLA OUTBREAK TO RESUME SELLING ITS SHELL EGGS TO CONSUMERS. WRIGHT COUNTY EGG RECALLED 380 MILLION EGGS EARLIER THIS YEAR AFTER THE FARM WAS LINKED TO MORE THAN 1,600 SALMONELLA ILLNESSES. A SUBSEQUENT FDA INSPECTION REVEALED DEAD CHICKENS, INSECTS, RODENTS AND LARGE AMOUNTS OF MANURE AT THE FARM. THE COMPANY HAS NOT BEEN ALLOWED TO SELL SHELL EGGS SINCE THEN, EXCEPT TO BREAKER FACILITIES THAT PASTEURIZE THE EGGS. FDA SAYS THE COMPANY CAN RESUME SHELL EGG SALES FROM ONE OF ITS SIX FARMS AFTER IT IMPLEMENTED CORRECTIVE MEASURES.

GMO APPLE:
AS WE REPORTED YESTERDAY, A CANADIAN BIO-TECH FIRM IS ASKING USDA TO APPROVE A GENETICALLY MODIFIED APPLE. THE COMPANY SAYS THE GMO APPLE WON'T TURN BROWN AS QUICKLY AFTER IT'S SLICED. THE COMPANY - OKANAGAN SPECIALTY FRUITS - SAYS IT LICENSED THE TECHNOLOGY FROM AN AUSTRALIAN FIRM THAT USES IT ON POTATOES. THE APPROVAL PROCESS CAN TAKE YEARS. READY-TO-EAT VEGETABLE AND FRUIT PIECES WHICH ARE SEALED IN SPECIALIZED BAGS ARE ALREADY AVAILABLE. THESE PRODUCTS CAN LAST UP TO THREE WEEKS. AND NOW WE SEE FRESH-CUT APPLE SLICES AT SOME FAST-FOOD CHAINS. ACCORDING TO OKANAGAN, THE ANTIOXIDANT SOLUTION USED TO TREAT THOSE SLICES ADDS SIGNIFICANT COST TO PRODUCTION. OSF SAYS THEIR GMO APPLES COULD REDUCE THAT COST.
BUT ARE CONSUMERS READY TO EAT GMO APPLES?

GMO INBOX:
FROM THE AGDAY INBOX, WE HEARD FROM WARD HILLTOP FARMS IN MINNESOTA. THEY WRITE "AS THE PUBLIC CONTINUES TO EDUCATE THEMSELVES ABOUT THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF ORGANIC, NON-GMO FOODS, AS WELL AS THE HEALTH BENEFITS, INCREASING DEMAND WILL TURN THE TABLES IN THIS COUNTRY.” AND FROM JEANENE MILLER OF FREDONIA, KENTUCKY..."PLEASE DON'T MESS WITH ANY MORE OF OUR FOOD. I DON'T LIKE THE IDEA OF GMO ANYTHING. I DON'T CARE WHAT THE STUDIES SAY, IT IS NOT NATURAL, IT IS NOT GOOD FOR OUR BODIES IN THE LONG RUN. I AM TOTALLY AGAINST TOTALLY AGAINST MESSING WITH THE DNA OF OUR FOOD." THANKS TO EVERYONE FOR THEIR COMMENTS.

KOREA FMD:
IN OTHER NEWS…SOUTH KOREA HAS CONFIRMED NEW CASES OF FOOT AND MOUTH DISEASE. THIS TIME AT A CATTLE HERD IN THE SOUTHEASTERN PART OF THE COUNTRY. PREVIOUSLY KOREAN OFFICIALS FOUND FMD AT TWO NEARBY HOG FARMS. THE AREA WAS QUARENTINED AND IN SEPTEMBER, THE WORLD ORGANIZATION FOR ANIMAL HEALTH DECLARED SOUTH KOREA FREE OF THE DISEASE.  THESE CATTLE ARE FROM THE QUARANTINED AREA. A NEW QUARANTINE HAS BEEN SET UP--AND COULD AFFECT UP TO 23,000 ANIMALS.

MACHINERY MINUTE; TIRE PRICES:
IN MACHINERY MINUTE, TWO TIRE MAKERS SAY IT'LL COST YOU MORE TO PUT NEW TIRES ON YOUR FARM EQUIPMENT. EUROPEAN TIRE MAKER CGS TIRES SAYS IT'S BOOSTING PRICES ON FARM AND INDUSTRIAL TIRES. THE COMPANY SAYS DUE TO THE RISING PRICES OF RAW MATERIALS, IT WILL INCREASE THE PRICES FOR ALL OF ITS PRODUCTS IN EUROPE AND NORTH AMERICA BY AS MUCH AS TEN PERCENT. CGS TIRES PRODUCES FARM EQUIPMENT TIRES UNDER THE MITAS AND CONTINENTAL NAMES. THE COMPANY IS BASED IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC. AND THE TITAN TIRE CORPORATION SAYS IT WILL ALSO BOOST PRICES, UP TO 8% ON ITS TITAN BRANDED AND GOODYEAR-BRANDED FARM TIRES. THE INCREASES TAKE EFFECT JANUARY FIRST.

LEGACY TEASE:
COMING UP TOMORROW IT'S OUR SPECIAL MONTHLY PROGRAM "LEAVE A LEGACY". WE'LL BE LOOKING AT FEDERAL PROGRAM THAT HELPS TO GET MORE YOUNG PEOPLE STARTED IN FARMING. IT'S PART OF A USDA PROGRAM THAT CONNECTS RETIRING FARMERS WITH UP-AND-COMERS.  JOIN HOST KEVIN SPAFFORD FOR HIS EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH DEPUTY AGRICULTURE SECRETARY KATHLEEN MERRIGAN TOMORROW MORNING ON LEAVE A LEGACY.

ANALYSIS:
JUSTIN KELLY

IN THE COUNTRY; CUT FLOWERS:
CUT FLOWERS ARE A GREAT WAY TO BRIGHTEN UP THE BLEAKNESS OF WINTER BUT SOMEONE HAS TO GROW THEM. MANY COME FROM CALIFORNIA WHERE CUT FLOWERS ARE A MAJOR AGRICULTURAL CROP.  SURVEYS SHOW THE GLODEN STATE SELLS ABOUT 500 MILLION STEMS OF FLOWERS EVERY YEAR. AND AS DENNIS NEWHALL OF CALIFORNIA COUNTRY TV REPORTS, IT’S AN INDUSTRY WITH A LONG-STEM HISTORY.  THANKS DENNIS...MUCH PRETTIER FIELDS THAN THE CORN STUBBLE OF THE MIDWEST THIS TIME OF YEAR. COMING UP NEXT ON FOOD AND YOUR FAMILY, WE'RE SORTING OUT THE LATEST INFORMATION ON VITAMIN D.

VITAMIN D GUIDELINES:
IN FOOD AND YOUR FAMILY NEW DIETARY GUIDELINES ARE OUT FOR VITAMIN D. KNOWN AS THE SUNSHINE VITAMIN, VITAMIN D IS ESSENTIAL TO HEALTH AND STRONG BONES. TO GET THE NEW GUIDELINES RESEARCHERS POURED OVER NEARLY 1,000 PUBLISHED STUDIES. THE CONCLUSION...MOST PEOPLE IN THE U.S. AND CANADA AGES ONE TO 70, SHOULD CONSUME 600 UNITS OF VITAMINE D DAILY. THOSE OVER 70 SHOULD CONSUME MORE...ABOUT 800 UNITS. THAT'S HIGHER THAN CURRENT GOVERMENT LABELS SUGGEST. VITAMIN D IS MADE NATURALLY BY THE BODY'S SKIN THROUGH SUN EXPOSURE. BUT DUE TO WORK OR WHERE THEY LIVE, MANY PEOPLE DON'T GET ENOUGH. YOU CAN GET MORE VITAMIN D THROUGH FOODS THAT HAVE BEEN FORTIFIED WITH VITAMIN D SUCH AS MILK OR CEREAL...OR IN THINGS LIKE FISH, LIVER AND EGGS.

CONTACT PAGE:
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