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The California Poultry Federation Executive Committee lobbied Congress and the USDA last week. Here they visit with Congressman Kevin McCarthy who represents California’s 22nd congressional district and is the Republican Majority Whip in the U.S. House of Representatives.
From Left: Richard Zacky, Zacky Farms; Congressman McCarthy; Richie King, Foster Farms; David Pitman, Pitman Family Farms; and Bill Mattos, California Poultry Federation.
More than 100 California chefs have formed a group called the Coalition for Humane and Ethical Farming Standards (yes, the acronym spells CHEFS) to fight California’s pending ban on foie gras. The ban on fattened duck or goose liver is set to take effect July 1.
The chefs — including Joachim Splichal of Patina Restaurant Group, Charles Phan of the Slanted Door and Vinny Dotolo of Animal — have signed a charter to promote a proposed Humane and Ethical Foie Gras Act that would mandate regular audits by certified animal welfare experts; cage-free birds; trained caretakers; feeding methods that do not harm the animal in any way; and reasonable limits on fattening.
The charter is being submitted to state Assembly Speaker John Pérez, urging California’s Legislature to reconsider the ban. Read More
Assemblyman David Valadao’s (R-Hanford) measure, AB 2177, to tighten criminal penalties for those committing certain types of violence at livestock facilities was unanimously approved out of the Assembly Committee on Public Safety on Tuesday.
Specifically, AB 2177 adds livestock facilities to the list of places where it is a felony to ignite a destructive device or commit arson with the intent to terrorize. A prison term of up to seven years could result from engaging in such action, and the felony charge could be combined with other charges to include penalties of up to 10 years or life in prison, according to the California Cattlemen’s Association, a key advocate for the bill. Read More
You know about the U.S. federal government’s "all of the above" energy policy to bring new fuel sources to the U.S. marketplace but that doesn’t include fossil fuels because they compete with wind, algae, corn and other favored industries. So, you won’t be surprised to learn that a Dallas-based chemicals company is ready to produce ethanol for fuel from abundantly available natural gas – at lower costs than the corn-ethanol industry is able to produce its fuel – but is blocked by existing law from doing so.
California State University, Stanislaus’ Agricultural Studies Department is pleased to announce the spring Agricultural Studies Speaker Series with Karen Ross, Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). The event is scheduled for Thursday, May 3, 2012 at 6:30 p.m. in the Faculty Development Center, Room 118. The lecture is free of charge. Click here for more information.
The National Chicken Council released the following statement today in response to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, a pseudo-medical, vegan advocacy group, and its misleading claims about supermarket chicken. Attributable to Ashley Peterson, Ph.D., vice president of science and technology:
"These findings, not a ‘peer reviewed’ study, are another misleading attempt by a pseudo-medical group to scare consumers in hopes of advancing their goal of a vegan society and to derail a USDA proposed rule to modernize the poultry inspection system. "Chicken processing plants strictly adhere to USDA’s ‘zero tolerance’ policy for visible fecal material as a food safety standard. Through their Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) programs, chicken plants use a variety of measures to protect food from unintentional contamination and to reduce bacteria levels at these critical control points during the entire processing process. In fact, when a product moves through the plant, bacteria levels are reduced many hundreds of times to a fraction of what was naturally on the bird when it arrived. Read More
The National Chicken Council today released the following statement in response to a New York Times opinion piece, “Arsenic in our chicken,” and refuted the findings of recent studies that claim to have found certain chemical and antimicrobial residues in chicken feather meal:
“As the study’s authors point out, this study looked only at feathers, not meat. If consumers were to take away one message from the findings, it should be from the researchers themselves: ‘We haven’t found anything that is an immediate health concern.’
“The top priority for America’s chicken farmers and processors is to raise healthy, top quality birds, because doing so is not only an ethical obligation, it is the foundation of a safe and wholesome chicken supply. Read more
Many crop analysts are suggesting the scenario is being set for a record corn harvest this fall with corn acreage expected to be 95.86 million acres this year, an increase of 4 percent over last year. But in the end, much depends on the weather conditions in order to achieve a record crop. USDA’s "Prospective Plantings" report today had corn acreage 1.14 million acres above consensus expectations of analysts of 94.72 million acres. USDA said that if 95.86 million acres of corn are planted this year, it would be second only to the 97.2 million acres in 1937. Apparently, some of the increase in corn acres will come at the expense of acres for soybeans this spring. Soybean plantings are estimated to be 73.9 million acres, 1.4 percent below the 74.98 million acres last year and 1.49 million acres under analysts’ consensus of 75.39 million acres. Read More
If only they were, nobody would have a problem with newborn chicks that are dyed in brilliant colors — neon, Fruity Pebbles, pastel, Crayola box — to serve as festive Easter gifts. The dye is either injected in the incubating egg or sprayed on the hatchling, and while poultry farmers say it is harmless, many people object, saying it turns live birds into holiday playthings that are quickly discarded. Read more