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TheMeatSite Newsletter - 5 December 2012

TheMeatSite Weekly Newsletter
Wednesday 5th December 2012
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Welcome to this week's newsletter

Editorial: EU Go-ahead for Lactic Acid Sprays - Consumer Watchdog Finds Resistant Bacteria

The European Union agriculture ministers last week gave the go-ahead for the use of lactic acid in beef processing as a decontamination wash down.

However, the move has been criticised by consumer groups, which say it undermines food safety standards.

Ministers found no majority for or against the European Commission’s bid to approve the treatment, effectively allowing the practice, which is widely used in the US but currently forbidden in the EU.

The lactic acid process has been described as safe by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the latest move follows pressure from the US, who said the ban needed to be lifted so that it could meet its beef export quotas.

The European Consumers’ Organisation BEUC said it is concerned slaughterhouses could use the practice to mask poor hygiene practices and clean meat prior to final inspection by the official vet.

The consumer group said that lactic acid should only be applied after final inspection by the official veterinarian guaranteeing that meat is fit for consumption.

France, Greece, Latvia, Austria and Poland voted against the move.

In the US, pork products have tested positive for residues including some antimicrobial-resistant bacteria and traces of ractopamine.

The Consumers' Union said that samples tested positive for Yersinia enterocolitica, and also some meat harbouring other potentially harmful bacteria, including salmonella.

Some of the bacteria we found in 198 samples proved to be resistant to antibiotics commonly used to treat people, the Consumer Reports study said.

The study showed about one-fifth of the 240 pork products analysed harboured low levels of the drug ractopamine, which the US approved in 1999 to promote growth and leanness in pigs. It is commonly used in pigs raised for food in the US but is banned in the European Union, China and Taiwan. Consumer Reports experts have said that no drugs should be used routinely in healthy animals to promote growth.

However, the Consumers' Union has come under fire from the pig producers.

"Consumers Union resorted to sensationalism because the 'science' it used wouldn't stand up to even elementary scrutiny," said R.C. Hunt, a pork producer from Wilson, North Carolina and president of the NPPC.

"It’s another attempt by that advocacy group to push a social agenda that is not based on science and one that, if successful, would take choice away from consumers."

NPPC and scientists such as Dr Scott Hurd, former US Department of Agriculture deputy undersecretary for food safety, strongly criticized Consumers Union for attempting to link antibiotics use in food animals with antibiotic resistance in humans and for ignoring more than 15 years of data from federal public health agencies, showing significant reductions in bacteria on meat.

Chris Harris

* This Week's Feature Articles

We have 4 new features this week:

Meat Safety: Prevention Better than Cure
'Meat Safety - Prevention is Better than Cure' was the theme of a recent meat safety seminar by the University of Liège in collaboration with the UECBV.
Salmonella in Imported Beef in French Food Poisoning Outbreak
An outbreak of Salmonella at a school in Poitier, France was caused by contaminated imported beef burgers, according to a Eurodurveillance report carried out by the food safety agencies and health offices in France.
AVEC Annual Report 2012: Trade Negotiations 2011-2012
Two events in the EU early in 2012 focussed the attention of the poultry industry on trade: the lifting of the ban on imports of fresh poultry meat from Thailand, and the publication of the decision of the European Council on the agreement between EU and Brazil and Thailand on the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). These and other negotiations are reviewed by the Association of Poultry Processors and Poultry Trade in the EU Countries, AVEC, in its annual report for 2012.
Effect of Cooking Methods of Piedmontese Beef
A study by A. Brugiapaglia and G. Destefanis from the Department of Animal Science, University of Turin carried out to evaluate the effect of two cooking methods on the nutritional value of semitendinosus muscle of Piemontese breed, and reported at the ICoMST meeting in Montreal, Canada, showed little variation in values between roasting and grilling. Online Book Shop
* Market Reports

 » BPEX / AHDB Country Report - Denmark
 » UK Milk Prices and Composition of Milk - Review of October 2012
 » Irish CSO - Livestock Slaughterings October 2012 Review
 » BPEX UK Pig Meat Market Update - December 2012
 » UK Poultry and Poultrymeat Statistics - November 2012
 » National Dairy Products Sales Report - 28 November 2012
 » USDA Outlook for U.S. Agricultural Trade - November 2012
 » Irish CSO: Agricultural Price Indices - 2012 - Preliminary Estimates
 » UK Total Income from Farming 2011 – 2nd Estimate
 » USDA Agricultural Prices: November Farm Prices Received Index Down 6 Points
 » USDA Egg Products: Shell Eggs Broken Up 5 Percent from Last Year
 » Irish CSO Milk Statistics Review October 2012
 » QMS Monthly Market Report - November 2012
 » BPEX / AHDB Country Report - Germany
 » USDA Dairy Products - December 2012
 » BPEX / AHDB Country Report - Netherlands
 » USDA International Egg and Poultry: United Arab Emirates
 » USDA GAIN: Mexico Poultry, Egg Prices, Trade Snapshot - 5 December 2012

* Global Meat Industry News

   United States

 » Investigation Finds Drug Traces, Resistant Bacteria in Pork
 » Vantage Foods Builds Meat Plant in Pennsylvania
 » NPPC Hits Out at Consumers' Union
 » Industry Accused of Using Funds to Lobby Government
 » US Agricultural Trade to Hit Record Levels
 » Sources of E. coli: Not Always What They Seem
 » Secretary Vilsack Responds to Soaring US Exports
 » FDA Widens Irradiation Use for Meat, Poultry
 » CME: Decline in US Beef Exports
 » November Ag Products Index Up
 » CME: Restaurant Index Drops Below 100 Points
 » October Hog Slaughter at Record High
 » Lean Hog Prices Lessen Drought's Blow to Producers
 » CME: Pork Cutout Enjoyed a Rally Last Week
 » Contract Production Added to Industry’s Milestones

   Russian Federation

 » First Case of ASF in Moscow Region
 » Cherkizovo's Revenue Passes US$1-Billion Mark


 » Brazil's Pork Exports Continue Upward Trend
 » Russia Suspends Import Embargo on Brazilian Meat


 » Whole Chain Study on Iberian Ham Labelling
 » Science in the Service of Animal Welfare

   European Union

 » EU Pig Meat Export, Import Volumes Fall
 » EU Gives Go-ahead to Lactic Acid in Meat Processing
 » Ministers Discuss CAP Reform, Lactic Acid for Beef
 » EU Pig Prices: Further Price Decreases Inevitable


 » France Rises as Pork Supplier in 2012

   United Kingdom

 » UK Broiler Slaughtering Rises
 » Steady Increase in UK Pig Meat Prices
 » Egg Processor Receives Government Grant
 » Total Income from Farming Rising
 » Retailers under Pressure over Availability, Price
 » LMC: Liveweight Average Price Up
 » Challenges Force Policy Change for Pig Breeding
 » NFU Launches Turkeys for Troops


 » Irish Cattle Slaughterings Rise
 » Irish Agricultural Production Costs Rise

   New Zealand

 » Raw Pork Imports Threaten New Zealand's Producers
 » TPP Talks Challenge Canadian Pork Subsidies
 » Dairy Export Volumes Show Large Increase
 » TPP: Australia, NZ Ag Bodies Call for Action on Trade


 » AACo Wins Agribusiness Export Award
 » New Specialist Director for Australian Pork
 » Australian Eggs to be Stamped Local


 » Agency Hits Back at TV Meat Inspection Attack
 » Call for New Better E.coli Tests
 » Premises Identification Valued During Health Crises
 » State Encourages Innovation
 » Beef Sales to Strengthen through Ranchers Project


 » Belarus Stops Pork Imports from Moscow, Latvia


 » Danish Pig Numbers Stable


 » First Honduras Tilapia Plant Earns BAP Certification


 » Pole-and-Line Skipjack Tuna Gets MSC Certification


 » First Free School Tuna Certified Dolphin-Safe


 » Rabobank 2013 Outlook: Markets Remain Volatile


 » Nofima Technology Helps Identify the Best Crab Meat


 » Chile's Meat Exports: Beef Down; Poultry, Pork Up


 » Farmers Association, Swedish Dairy Form LFR Milk

That's all for this week!

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