The Independent reports that people living on the floodplains of Mozambique’s Zambezi Valley have always relied on the rainfall in October and November so they could sow their seeds for a good harvest. Weather patterns have become more erratic with droughts and the rains often coming very late and falling so heavily that everything is washed away. Crops fail, leaving people with nothing. Click on the link to see how people are adapting to change.
"At the open meeting of the Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes (ACNFP) today, the committee considered a hypothetical application under the Novel Foods Regulations for the approval of meat and milk from cloned cattle and their progeny. The committee was asked to consider whether the available evidence on clones and their offspring provides a sufficient basis for the evaluation of meat and milk from such animals under the Novel Foods Regulations.
The committee noted that:
the evidence showed no differences in composition between the meat and milk of conventional animals, clones or their progeny and is therefore unlikely to present any food safety risk
the current evidence on the composition of meat and milk is relatively limited, and further evidence is required on how the rearing of animals in different environments may affect the meat and milk
any potential differences between conventional cattle and the progeny of a clone were unlikely to exist from the second generation onwards
that consumers may want to see effective labelling of products from clones and their offspring
In responding to the committee’s discussion, Food Standards Agency Chief Scientist Andrew Wadge said: ‘In considering this hypothetical application, the ACNFP has confirmed that meat and milk from cloned cattle and their offspring shows no substantial difference to conventionally produced meat and milk and therefore is unlikely to present a food safety risk". Follow the link for further information.
‘The FSA Board will discuss this issue at its December meeting. The Board will consider the opinion of the ACNFP, the recent European Commission proposal to ban meat and milk from clones, and any other developments, before providing further advice to ministers.’
It is impossible to talk about E. Coli 0157 outbreaks without thinking of the devastaing personal consequences for some families. About 160 people became ill in the 2005 E.Col 0157 outbreak. As a result, William John Tudor of John Tudor & Son, Bridgend, was jailed for a year at Cardiff Crown Court after pleading guilty to seven offences relating to the supply of meat contaminated with E.coli O157 to schools.
The Food Standards Agency has issued a press statement welcoming the recommendations made by the coroner at the inquest into the tragic death of Mason Jones, the five-year-old boy who died in the E.coli outbreak in south Wales in 2005. The coroner has recommended stronger enforcement of food hygiene laws.
Follow the link to read more about the recommendations.
The FAO Media Centre has issued a press release on the need for investment in agriculture. It states taht the key to long-term food security lies in boosting investment in agriculture, particularly in low-income food-deficit countries, according to FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf.
"The rapid increase in hunger and malnourishment since the food crisis of 2008 reveals the inadequacy of the present global food system and the urgent need for structural changes, Diouf said, addressing the Gulf Cooporation Council (GCC) Ministerial Forum on Agricultural Investment in Abu Dhabi, attended by representatives ofBahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the host country, the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The food price and economic crises have had a severe impact on millions of people in all parts of the world .... In recent months the international prices of most agricultural commodities have increased, many of them sharply. The global food import bill could pass the one trillion dollar mark in 2010, a level not seen since food prices peaked at record levels in 2008. These trends — Diouf said — can have severe implications for countries like the Gulf countries, which depend on commercial imports for a large share of their food consumption needs. In the Near East and North Africa region, the number of hungry and malnourished people currently is estimated at 37 million, nearly 10 percent of the region's population. Click on the link to read more.
Safeguarding genetic diversity in animals is key for the success of the livestock industry into the future. The FAO Media Centre has produced a press release highlighting that there are signs of progress which come three years after 191 countries adopted the Global Plan of Action for Animal Genetic Resources. This followed an FAO warning that one livestock breed had been lost per month during the 2000-2007 period and that 20 percent of all livestock breeds were at risk of extinction.
The New York Times reports that health authorities "are increasing their checks on poultry coming from mainland China and at farms and markets across the region after government officials confirmed the first case of bird flu in seven years." A woman has been hospitalised after contacting a version of bird flu. The world’s first outbreak of H5N1 avian influenza among humans occurred in Hong Kong in 1997, when six people died. Follow the link to read more.
International food import bills could pass the one trillion dollar mark in 2010 with prices in most commodities up sharply from 2009, FAO Media Centre said today. In the latest edition of its Food Outlook report, the FAO also issued a warning to the international community to prepare for harder times ahead unless production of major food crops increases significantly in 2011. Food import bills for the world’s poorest countries are predicted to rise 11 percent in 2010 and by 20 percent for low-income food-deficit countries. This means, by passing a trillion dollars, the global import food bill will likely rise to a level not seen since food prices peaked at record levels in 2008. Click on the link to read the full story.
BBC News reports that catching the most dangerous strain of E. coli could increase the risk of high blood pressure and heart problems years later, say researchers. A Canadian study of almost 2,000 who fell ill during an outbreak of E. coli O157 found heart attack risk doubled. Follow the link to read the full article.