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Agriculture and Food Sector

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    January 6, Deseret Morning News – (National) USU hopes to boost food safety. Frozen meat lasts longer and is much safer to serve when it can be thawed quickly, according to research being done with a federal grant at Utah State University. “Because meats themselves are most contaminated with potential pathogens,” said a USU extension food safety specialist, who hopes a food safety consortium involving USU and other institutions around the country will be a proper fix for the many organizations that set out to keep food that reaches consumer plates safe. Inspectors, academics, and grocery store managers follow similar protocol, but are not necessarily progressing toward the same goal. Forming a cooperative is one of the main objectives of a $600,000 grant awarded partly to the university earlier this year. The grant is part of $14 million given to researchers and educators at 17 universities for the purpose of improving food safety while reducing the incidence of food-borne illness coming from the million-plus food service establishments across the nation. The consortium will include food safety professionals from five land-grant universities, professional societies, and government agencies that work to put food safely on the table at restaurants or in homes. Source: http://deseretnews.com/article/1,5143,695241769,00.html

  • 14.

    January 5, Farm and Ranch Guide – (National; International) New BSE case in Canada prompts call for USDA to put hold on beef imports. The announcement by the Canadian government on December 18 that a twelfth case of BSE, commonly known as mad cow disease, had been discovered has prompted two U.S. senators to ask the

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      S. Department of Agriculture to suspend a new rule it put into effect less than a month ago which allowed Canadian cattle older than 30 months to be imported into the U.S. The senators requested that such imports be suspended until the USDA fully implements Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL) for meat sold in the U.S. The senators cited the loss of key export markets due to BSE, saying in a letter to the acting Agriculture Secretary: “Japan and South Korea, formerly the two largest purchasers of U.S. beef, continue to restrict imports in response to the BSE-positive cow found in Washington State that originated in Canada. In the year before this discovery, U.S. beef producers exported 2.52 billion pounds of product worth $3.19 billion. In the following year, this dropped to only 460 million pounds worth $605 million - an astonishing decline of 81 percent!”

Source: http://www.farmandranchguide.com/articles/2008/01/05/ag_news/livestock_news/livest ock13.txt

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Water Sector

15. January 7, Los Angeles Times – (California) MWD may cut water to area cities. In Southern California, the Metropolitan Water District is considering a contingency plan to cut water deliveries to its member cities using a new formula that critics contend favors faster-growing areas while penalizing older, poor communities. The district’s

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