WASHINGTON and BRUSSELS–(ENEWPSF)–July 2 – If proponents of soy in aquaculture alliance have it their way, soy will be used to feed fish in open ocean pens in federal waters, a move that would negatively impact the marine environment as well as the diets of both fish and consumers.
Food & Water Watch and Food & Water Europe’s new report, “Factory-Fed Fish: How the Soy Industry is Expanding Into the Sea,” shows how a collaboration between two of the most environmentally damaging industries on land and sea —the soy and open ocean aquaculture industries, respectively—could be devastating to ocean life and consumer health. And since much of the soy produced in the United States is genetically engineered (GE), consuming farmed fish would likely mean eating fish that are fed GE soy.
“Our seas are not Roundup ready,” said Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director of Food & Water Watch. “Soy is being promoted as a better alternative to feed made from wild fish, but this model will not help the environment, and it will transfer massive industrial farming models into our oceans and further exacerbate the havoc wreaked by the soy industry on land—including massive amounts of dangerous herbicide use and massive deforestation.”
WASHINGTON — The Department of Agriculture is finalizing new nutrition standards for what can be sold in school vending machines, stores and a la carte cafeteria lines that the cranberry industry fears could eliminate some cranberry drinks.
The guidelines, inspired by first lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move initiative to combat childhood obesity, will likely target sweetened beverages, including cranberry juice cocktail. The USDA already has established new standards establishing what can be sold in school cafeterias as part of the federal school lunch program. If the agency follows its earlier guidelines, only 100% juice beverages would be allowed in vending machines and school stores.
The cranberry industry is hoping to convince the USDA that lumping cranberry drinks in the same category with soda and other sugary drinks is unfair, since the tart red fruit contains many nutrients and health benefits, but must be sweetened in order to be palatable. The proposed rule could exclude cranberry products from school vending machines and curtail marketing, said industry officials; they estimate the size of the school vending market to be $2.3 billion a year.
Representatives from the United Cranberry Growers Cooperative — a collective of 85 growers — voiced their message at the recent inaugural meeting of the Congressional Cranberry Caucus on Capitol Hill. Their goal was to help persuade agriculture officials to make an exception for cranberry products in its nutrition standards for added-sugar products.
Archer Daniels Midland Co. (ADM), Cargill Inc. and other makers of high-fructose corn syrup can’t label the product “corn sugar” in advertisements, U.S. regulators said.
“Use of the term ‘sugar’ to describe HCFS, a product that is a syrup, would not accurately identify or describe the basic nature of the food or its characterizing properties,” Michael Landa, director of the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, said today in a letter denying the industry’s petition. Regulations permit use of the term “sugar” only to describe “solid, dried and crystallized” foods, he said.
U.S. Sugar Corp. and other sugar processors sued corn syrup makers in federal court to stop an advertising campaign claiming “your body can’t tell the difference” between granular sugar, or sucrose, and corn syrup. The Corn Refiners Association, representing syrup producers, asked the FDA in September 2010 to approve “corn sugar” as a term for corn syrup.
The FDA denied the industry’s petition on “narrow, technical grounds,” Audrae Erickson, the president of the Corn Refiners Association, said in a statement.
The reemergence of mad cow disease, discovered in a California dairy cow, could have major implications for the state’s meat industry, even though officials have said that the human food supply is unaffected.
Bovine spongiform encephalopathy hasn’t been found in U.S. since 2006 and was discovered in only three instances before then. But the disease has dealt a crippling blow to the industry in the past, especially when foreign countries refused to import American beef when mad cow was first uncovered in 2003.
The U.S. Department of Agriculturetests about 40,000 cows a year in its effort to catch the disease.
Safeway, SUPERVALU and Food Lion announced today that they will no longer carry what the meat industry calls “lean finely textured beef,” something the public has come to know as “pink slime.”
All three companies site customer concerns as one of the primary reasons for the change.
“While the USDA and food industry experts agree that lean, finely textured beef is safe and wholesome, recent news stories have caused considerable consumer concern about this product. Safeway will no longer purchase ground beef containing lean, finely textured beef,” the company said in a statement.