Daily Archives: September 26, 2006

Experts: U.S. must protect food supply

Experts: U.S. must protect food supply


Wichita Eagle / Associated Press

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The United States needs to continue taking steps to protect its food supply from terrorism just as it would its buildings, airports and other infrastructure, FBI deputy director John S. Pistole said.

“The threat from agroterrorism may not be widely recognized, but the threat is real and the impact could be devastating,” Pistole said Monday. “The recent E. coli outbreak in California spinach has captured the public attention even without a terror nexus.”

Pistole, keynote speaker at the second International Symposium on Agroterrorism, pointed to a nonterrorism example – a single case of mad cow disease in the United States in 2003 – to illustrate the potential impact.

“Days after the discovery, 53 countries banned U.S. beef imports. The economic loss to the U.S. cattle industry from the loss of beef imports just to Japan was more than $2 billion a year,” Pistole said. “Almost three years later, countries have reopened their borders to U.S. beef, but exports still have not reached 2003 levels.”


How RFID Affects Religious Beliefs

How RFID Affects Religious Beliefs

RFID Gazette

Margaret Schaut, an RFID Gazette reader, left a comment on the post Brisk sales of RFID livestock tags regarding the Amish community in the state of Indiana. She works directly with the Amish community there, and they brought their concerns to her. The United States is in the process of implementing the NAIS – National Animal Identifcation System. As part of this program, all livestock animals will be tagged for identification with several intentions including controlling diseased animals.


Stable Business: The Farm Sitters take care of the animals when farmers are away

Stable Business: The Farm Sitters take care of the animals when farmers are away

By Fran Daniel

Winston Salem Journal

KING – As farm sitters, Sondra Stanley and Vicki Brown of Germanton get to know the animals they care for well.

They have looked after three saddle-bred horses – Silk, Ray and Annabel – on a small farm in King several times, most recently for seven days.

“Most horses have their own pecking order,” said Stanley, after giving Silk a scoop of grain in her stall. “When you go to someone’s property to take care of their horses, you need to know their personalities, who’s the boss, who goes first, who goes second. In this case, Silk is always No. 1. She’s the prima donna of the bunch.


Statement of CGFI’s Alex Avery on Assertions That Grain-fed Cattle are Responsible for E-coli Outbreak

Statement of CGFI’s Alex Avery on Assertions That Grain-fed Cattle are Responsible for E-coli Outbreak


The current e-coli crisis is receiving much attention from the national news media. Today, Alex Avery, the Center for Global Food Issues’ director of research, takes issue with a New York Times op-ed on the topic.

(PRWEB) September 22, 2006 — The current e-coli crisis is receiving much attention from the national news media. Today, Alex Avery, the Center for Global Food Issues’ director of research, takes issue with a New York Times op-ed on the topic and issues the following statement:

“Nina Planck’s New York Times opinion piece on the e-coli crisis and its relationship to grain fed beef is an absolute howler,” Avery says. “Rather than refute point by point all of the gross inaccuracies, out-and-out lies and mere misrepresentations, here are some resources where the facts are available to all who actually would prefer facts.


Ethical Responsibilities to Be Examined at Animal Welfare Conference

Ethical Responsibilities to Be Examined at Animal Welfare Conference

University of Guelph

The ethical responsibilities surrounding animal welfare will be explored at the seventh annual Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) Animal Welfare Forum Sept. 30 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Lifetime Learning Centre. The forum will also mark the retirement of Guelph professor Ian Duncan, a world leader in animal welfare.

The OVC Animal Welfare Forum is intended to raise awareness of the welfare of animals, including companion animals, lab and zoo animals and livestock. Organizers also aim to raise money for the annual $1,000 Care-a-thon animal welfare graduate research scholarship.

“We feel that animal welfare as a general topic is very important for veterinary students as well as for the general public,” said Lizete Valdmanis, a U of G veterinary medicine student and co-president of the OVC Animal Welfare Club. “Our major focus is education and awareness of various animal welfare issues, and as a student group, we want to gain a broader understanding of some of these issues.”


Vaccine May Eliminate E. Coli in Cattle

Vaccine May Eliminate E. Coli in Cattle

by Sarah McCammon

National Public Radio

It’s not yet clear how E. coli 0157 H7 contaminated spinach during the recent nationwide outbreak. One likely source of the E. coli bacterial strain is cattle waste, which could have tainted irrigation water used to grow the spinach.

Cattle can tolerate the bacteria with no problems, but E. coli can cause severe illness and even death in humans. At a University of Nebraska research feedlot near Lincoln, researchers are now working on an E. coli vaccine that would be given to cattle instead of humans.


Pasture Land May Have Long Recovery From Drought

Pasture Land May Have Long Recovery From Drought

Successful Farming

Recent rains have greened up grasslands in South Dakota, but a federal rangeland specialist warns ranchers that the pastures are a long way from full recovery after years of drought, the Rapid City Journal reported in an article on its Web site.

“While the green looks nice, the plants have been severely stressed and it may take years to recover productivity,” said Stan Boltz, state rangeland management specialist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service in Huron, S.D. “The damage to vegetation from a drought really is immeasurable. Root structures have been reduced, and it may take years of careful management to bring the grasses back to full production,” Boltz said, according to the article. He said even with normal precipitation next year’s production on the rangelands will be about 30% of average. “With good precipitation two years after a drought year, production may still only be 50% of normal.”


U.S. Beef Outlook in Japan “Tremendous”

U.S. Beef Outlook in Japan “Tremendous”


USMEF says the Japanese interest in U.S. beef is “Tremendous” but producers need to keep better birth records.

The U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) updated its efforts to improve U.S. beef sales in Japan Friday during a conference call from Osaka. USMEF president and CEO, Phil Seng, and the group’s Chairman, John Bellinger, have been visiting meat markets and conducting press conferences with Japanese media to address concerns and provide information about the safety of U.S. beef.

They’ve also been trying to improve Japanese demand for U.S. beef through the “We Care” campaign. They’ve been traveling the country in a kitchen car, handing out beef samples and information.

Seng says the three things limiting sales most are: a shortage of qualified U.S. cattle; a slow, expensive, and burdensome customs clearance process; and high consumer prices.


Age and Source Info Will Help Boost US Beef Influence in Japan

Age and Source Info Will Help Boost US Beef Influence in Japan

High Plain Journal

OMAHA (DTN) — Expanded efforts are needed by U.S. cattle producers to identify the age and sources of their cattle if the U.S. is going to regain a larger share of the beef market in Japan, leaders of the U.S. Meat Export Federation said Friday.

The shortage of cattle qualifying for export to Japan because of the tight age restrictions is among the biggest challenges the U.S. beef industry faces right now trying to re-establish the market, said Phil Seng, president of the federation. Right now, U.S. beef to Japan is limited to coming from cattle 21 months of age or younger.

“The more we can identify the cattle, the better it’s going to be,” said Seng, who spoke to U.S. reporters in a teleconference from Osaka, Japan. “I just hope that message gets out to the cow-calf producers and the feeders.”

The U.S. Meat Export Federation has been on a promotional tour of Japan this past week as part of the “We Care” campaign the federation launched in early August after Japan began allowing U.S. beef to enter the country again.


Commercial Cattlemen Challenge American Angus Association in Focus Group

Commercial Cattlemen Challenge American Angus Association in Focus Group


“The Angus Association can be a group that equally represents the American beef industry with emphasis on production and development of the food chain.” The challenge was issued to the American Angus Association board of directors by Dr. Doug Parrett, Professor of Animal Science, University of Illinois, on behalf of six panelists representing a broad cross-section of commercial cow-calf production. The group was assembled to form the first ever Commercial Programs Focus Group held Sept. 6, in Saint Joseph, Mo., prior to the fall board of director meetings.


CAB: Want Top Quality Beef? Start With Potential

CAB: Want Top Quality Beef? Start With Potential

Certified Angus Beef

Getting cattle to grade must start at the beginning, if not sooner. Planning comes before conception.

In a Certified Angus Beef LLC (CAB) research review, vice president Larry Corah and supply development director Mark McCully note the effect of genetic selection on carcass quality.

Cattle can only be managed up to their genetic potential, they explain.

“Both breed and selection within that breed affect marbling ability,” Corah says. That puts a premium on planning. “You must focus on your end goal from day one—beginning with genetics,” he says.

Breed may provide a simple starting point. Iowa’s Tri-County Steer Carcass Futurity (TCSCF) data on nearly 10,000 head shows high-percentage Angus cattle return $67.93 more than cattle that are 25% or less Angus.