The American Humane Association (AHC) has awarded California-based Foster Farms third-party humane certification for its treatment of animals. A formal announcement was made during the dedication of Foster Farms’ Poultry Education and Research Faculty (PERF) at Fresno State’s Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology.
Under the American Humane Certified designation, all Foster Farms chicken growing facilities in California and the Pacific Northwest will be subject to “independent, third-party audits.” The audits consist of 200 points developed by the American Humane Association. Living conditions, diet and animal behavior are some of elements examined by the auditors.
The latest research shows that consumers want to see companies provide a humane environment for livestock, even if that means paying a premium at the grocery store. Ira Brill, Foster Farms’ director of corporate communications, says there is an additional cost involved with providing improved conditions for animals and implementing an internal program, but this cost will not be passed on to the consumer.
US to Levy Antidumping Duties on Vietnamese Catfish
The Commerce Department ruled last month that imports of frozen catfish fillets from Vietnam were unfairly priced and hurting domestic producers in Mississippi and elsewhere in the U.S.
An antidumping order and punitive tariffs will now be levied against Vietnam.?Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) commented that, “This decision to require fairer duties on imports is a step in the right direction, but the Commerce Department must continue to enforce our trade laws in future decisions. Now it’s time for the administration to take responsible actions on an inspection program that will ensure the quality of fish imports, particularly for imports marketed as catfish.”
According to a 2011 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, only about two percent of imported seafood is currently inspected. Even at that minimal level, there were health and safety violations found in 482 shipments of imported cat- fish products between 2002 and August 2010.
New Jersey Lawmakers Getting Tougher on Cargo Theft
It’s estimated that as much as $1 billion worth of cargo is stolen each year in New Jersey, and because the state’s current laws classify truck theft as a property crime it’s rare that thieves end up serving jail time.
That may soon change, though, as the state’s Assembly has sent legislation to Gov. Chris Christie that will make truck theft a criminal offense.
“This is a very serious crime that puts lives at risk and deals a devastating blow to the economy, increasing prices of clothing, food, pharmaceuticals and just about any product delivered by truck,” said Assemblyman David Rible, R-Monmouth.
Food and beverage commodities are one of the top targets for cargo thieves in the U.S.
Spanish Non-Profit Calls For BPA Ban
Vivosano, a Spanish non-profit group, is urging government officials to ban Bisphenol A (BPA) in any materials that comes in contact with food. The chemical is often used in plastics and resins and as a coating on the inside of tin cans.
The European Commission has already banned BPA in baby bottles and other baby food packaging, but France is the only European country that has banned BPA in all food packaging. French lawmakers approved a ban on BPA in December and it is being phased in from 2013 through 2015.
GM Salmon a Sinker for Major Food Chains
According to a report on GreenBiz.com, a number of?food chains say they won’t sell genetically modified (GM) salmon even if the FDA moves to approve it.
Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Marsh Supermarkets, Aldi and others are among those who have already nixed the idea, while the Los Angeles City Council voted on February 13 to ban GM salmon.
The GM salmon is “manufactured” by Massachusetts-based AquaBounty Technologies.
But Food & Water Watch, a consumer safety group, warned that GM salmon is a “dangerous lab experiment [that] is all hype and full of downsides to consumers, salmon growers and the environment.”
For its part, the FDA has stated that genetically engineered fish pose “no significant impact” on the environment and would be as safe to eat as “real” salmon. Meanwhile, the agency is accepting public comments on the issue until April 26.