14 MAY

Buckling down on biosecurity

“Practicing good biosecurity is like trying to lose weight,” a veterinarian once told Poultry Health Today. “It sounds simple, but it’s not that easy.” For this special report, our editors talked with disease experts about what poultry companies can do to buckle down on biosecurity and protect their flocks from infectious diseases.
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14 MAY

‘Devil in the details’ on White House RFS meeting

On Tuesday morning, President Donald Trump convened a meeting at the White House with Sens. Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa), Joni Ernst (R., Iowa), Ted Cruz (R., Texas) and Pat Toomey (R., Pa.), along with Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt and Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, for yet another discussion on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). As a result of the meeting, it appears consensus was reached regarding allowing the year-round use of E15 fuel blends, but as Grassley said, the “devil is in the details.”  Read more

08 MAY

California passes UK to become world’s 5th largest economy

California surpassed the United Kingdom to become the fifth largest economy in the world in 2017 with a gross domestic product of $2.7 trillion, according to new federal data released Friday.  California’s jump to fifth place in the world ranking represents an increase of more than $100 billion from 2016. The Golden State now ranks above the economies of United Kingdom, India, France, Brazil, Italy and Canada, according to the California Department of Finance.  Read more

08 MAY

OSHA state plan employers must report, too

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced on April 30 that employers in state plans are now required to file their injury and illness reports using the federal agency’s online portal, even if their states have not adopted the Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses regulation. OSHA had previously required only employers in state plans that had adopted the regulation’s requirements to submit their data to the federal agency-an oversight it only learned of recently. The tracking rule went into effect on Jan. 1, 2017.
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08 MAY

President taps Dr. Mindy Brashears as new undersecretary for food safety

President Donald Trump has tapped Dr. Mindy Brashears to be the US Dept. of Agriculture’s (USDA) Undersecretary for Food Safety. US Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue applauded the president’s selection.

“Food safety is at the core of USDA’s mission, because it directly affects the health and well-being of millions of Americans every day. President Trump has made an excellent choice in Dr. Mindy Brashears, and I am excited to have her join the team,” Perdue said in a statement. “Dr. Brashears has spent decades finding ways to improve food safety standards through innovation, invention, and leadership on research missions across the globe. I look forward to her bringing that wealth of expertise and track record of results here to USDA.”  Read more

07 MAY

How bipartisan are Senate Chicken Caucus members?

The Senate Chicken Caucus formed in 2013 with the intent of being a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators with a common interest in the chicken industry.

According to information on the website of Sen. Chris Coons, D-Delaware, the caucus “serves as a formal group of members whose mission is to educate other senators and staff about the history, contributions, challenges and opportunities facing the U.S. chicken industry.” Coons, who co-chairs the Senate Chicken Caucus with Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Georgia, further stated that the caucus “provides a forum for industry leaders, officials and other stakeholders to meet with legislators and examine ways in which the federal government can better serve chicken producers.”  Read more

07 MAY

Battle over cage-free hens resumes in Golden State

A coalition of animal welfare groups has gathered enough signatures to place a measure on the November ballot in California that would require all egg-laying hens be cage-free by 2022. Activists are optimistic that the measure will pass. The Humane Society of the United States’ California director, Crystal Moreland, recently said that polling shows 72 percent of voters in the state support it.

“Its passage will produce dramatically better outcomes for millions of animals, establishing a bright-line legal standard that cage confinement is forbidden,” HSUS Acting President and CEO Kitty Block said in a blog post announcing that the Prevent Cruelty California coalition had gathered enough signatures to place the measure on the November ballot. “Once approved, it will be the strongest law against farm animal confinement in the world.”  Read more

07 MAY

Stick to facts about environmental stake of going ‘meatless’

Astrophysicist Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson says, “The good thing about science is it’s true whether or not you believe in it,” which bears repeating in light of certified vegan lifestyle coach, Michelle Schaefer’s April 16 article, “Meatless Mondays: Consequences for our dining table,” which appeared in the Journal & Courier.

While a topical article, unfortunately the stats given to support her argument go against scientific consensus and are not cited, meaning we cannot research the source of her information.  Read more

01 MAY

NAFTA agreement won’t be reached by May 1

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer met again Friday in Washington with Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland and Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo. After the meeting, Guajardo and Freeland stressed gains had been made and that more parts of a revised North American Free Trade Agreement are now almost done.  Guajardo said the three ministers meet next on May 7, once Lighthizer is back from China, and that technical talks with lower-level officials will continue until then. Freeland said there won’t be a deal before the next ministerial meeting.  Read more