Raymond acknowledged deep concern about the recent spate of foodborne disease outbreaks but said he had expanded the USDA’s inspection and testing program to combat it, according to the story. “The measures are a reflection of our concern about the Canadian inspection system based on the audit findings of May 1June 6, 2007, and the circumstances related to the unsafe practices employed by Rancher’s Beef, Ltd.,” the Balzac, Alta., packing plant whose products were linked to the contaminated Topps ground beef, James wrote. The increased inspections, ground beef testing for E coli, and testing of ready-to-eat products “will be at the rate of approximately double that of the past year for Canada,” James’s letter states. Nov 8, 2007 (CIDRAP News) Starting tomorrow, US inspection and testing of imported Canadian meat and poultry products will roughly double and will include a category of beef products that has not previously been subject to testing, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) said today. Begin E coli testing of raw beef trim, boxed beef, and “subprimals” (smaller cuts of meat from the major carcass components, such as loin, chuck, and round) normally sent for grinding See also: The expanded program will continue while two USDA teams finishing inspecting the Rancher’s Beef facility, seven other Canadian facilities that were flagged for problems in the last USDA audit, and some slaughter plants that are similar to the Alberta facility in their “start-up and operations,” James wrote. Raymond said the FSIS has adequate tools to ensure food safety and does not need legislation granting mandatory product recall authority, according to a CongressDaily report today. (In contrast, this week the Bush administration, in a new food protection plan prepared by the Food and Drug Administration, said the FDA needs the authority to compel food recalls.) The USDA announced Nov 3 it would increase inspections and testing of Canadian products this week, after beef trim from an Alberta meat producer was implicated in an E coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to ground beef sold by Topps Meat Co. of Elizabeth, N.J. But in the initial announcement the agency gave few details about the testing plan. The USDA released more information today in a letter from Dr. William James of the agency’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). The letter, published online by the FSIS, said the agency would: Testifying before the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy and Poultry, Raymond said, “We think our present system works well,” and added that meat processors have always cooperated with the USDA on recalls, the report said. “In two recent cases FSIS acted upon epidemiological evidence that linked illness to opened, FSIS-inspected product found in consumers’ freezers, where previously, we believed the agency needed a test result from an intact or unopened package because of the possibility of cross-contamination [from other foods],” he was quoted as saying. He said that product lots will be held at import houses until samples test negative for pathogens. If a sample tests positive, the lot it came from will be rejected. However, FSIS “will consider submitted alternatives to holding product at import houses pending test results,” the letter says. Policy change revealedRaymond said the E coli outbreak traced to Topps Meat has prompted one particular change in the FSIS’s policies, according to a report today by Meatingplace.com. James also said the new precaution of testing beef trim, boxed beef, and subprimals normally destined for grinding will be permanent and will be extended to all exporting countries starting at the beginning of 2008. Oct 29 CIDRAP News story “E coli in Topps beef traced to Canadian firm”http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidrap/content/fs/food-disease/news/oct2907beef.html Increase testing of raw ground beef for E coli O157:H7 Increase testing of ready-to-eat products for Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella Raymond also said he didn’t believe “risk-based inspection” would have prevented the Topps outbreak, according to Meatingplace.com. Risk-based inspection is the name for a USDA proposal to focus more of its attention on meat and poultry plants that have weak safety records. FSIS letter about increased testing of Canadian productshttp://www.fsis.usda.gov/PDF/Canada_O157_Testing_Letter.pdf “I believe that we need to take additional time to strengthen our system and our data collection capabilities before moving forward” with risk-based inspection, Raymond was quoted as saying. Increase inspections of Canadian meat, poultry, and pasteurized egg products Nov 5 CIDRAP News story “USDA to increase testing of Canadian meat”http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidrap/content/fs/food-disease/news/nov0507beef.html Official defends FSIS recordIn related news, the FSIS’s handling of meat recalls was defended by USDA Under Secretary for Food Safety Dr. Richard Raymond in testimony before a congressional committee yesterday. E coli contamination has prompted 19 meat recalls so far this year, compared with eight for all of last year. The Topps recall involved more than 21 million pounds of ground beef and forced the company out of business.
The Dutch civil service scheme ABP, at €356bn, accounted for nearly 5.8% of assets, while third-ranking Dutch healthcare scheme PFZW accounted for 2.7%.Both Dutch funds, among the largest asset owners worldwide, saw their overall share of the €6.16trn in pension assets decline compared with 2014.Denmark’s ATP accounted for more than 1.7% of assets, Sweden’s Alecta 1.2%.Alecta was followed in sixth place by PMT, the Dutch metal-workers fund, which was followed by the first German entrant in the shape of Bayerische Versorgungskammer.Denmark’s PFA Pension came eighth, followed by two UK entries, the BT Pension Scheme and the Universities Superannuation Scheme, rounding out the Top 10. European pension assets increased to €6.16trn last year, up by €660bn, according to IPE’s annual Top 1000 Pension Funds survey.The data, compiled by S&P Capital IQ MMD, showed a 10.8% increase in European assets under management.Over the course of 2014, assets among the Top 1000 global institutional investors increased by €4.2trn to €25.3trn, up by 19.9% year on year.The Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global remains Europe’s largest institutional investor, accounting for 13.2% of European pension assets.
Gustin passed long-time race leader Cayden Carter following a restart with six laps left en route to his record-extending fifth tour win of the season. Carter was a lapped car ahead of Gustin before that yellow and still had the lead when the 20th circuit was scored. Gustin had a half car length advantage at the stripe the next two times around, however, then pulled ahead. VINTON, Iowa (Sept. 28) – Richie Gustin clinched the Arnold Motor Supply Dirt Knights Tour championship by taking the green flag Saturday night. Richie Gustin capped his run to the Arnold Motor Supply Dirt Knights Tour crown with the $1,500 IMCA Modified checkers Saturday at Benton County Speedway. (Photo by Jim Morrison) He became the 10th different driver to win the championship in as many years the tour has been held. The rest of Saturday’s IMCA program was rained out. Carter, early leader Tim Ward, Joel Rust and Jeff Larson completed the top five. Hard charger Al Hejna advanced a dozen spots from his original starting position. The all-time leader with 13 tour victories, Gustin had also won at the Vinton Bullring in 2014. Already on the Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational ballot, he’ll receive the lion’s share of the tour point fund, along with a Traeger Lil’ Tex Elite Pellet Grill valued at $700 courtesy of title sponsor Arnold Motor Supply. He earned $1,500 by taking the IMCA Modified checkers 25 laps later at Benton County Speedway. Feature results – 1. Richie Gustin, Gilman; 2. Cayden Carter, Oskaloosa; 3. Tim Ward, Harcourt; 4. Joel Rust, Grundy Center; 5. Jeff Larson, Freeport, Ill.; 6. Kollin Hibdon, Pahrump, Nev.; 7. Jeff Aikey, Cedar Falls; 8. Todd Shute, Norwalk; 9. Brock Bauman, Eureka, Ill.; 10. Troy Cordes, Dunkerton; 11. Al Hejna, Clear Lake; 12. Scott Hogan, Vinton; 13. Matt Werner, Colona, Ill.; 14. Ronn Lauritzen, LaPorte City; 15. Eric Barnes, Colona, Ill.; 16. Taylor Musselman, Urbandale; 17. Jason Snyder, Dunkerton; 18. Cody Bauman, Eureka, Ill.; 19. Scott Simatovich, State Center; 20. Bill Roberts Jr., Burlington; 21. John Emerson, Waterloo; 22. Jerry Dedrick, Vinton; 23. Rod McDonald, Manchester; 24. Tommy Belmer, Evansdale; 25. Patrick Flannagan, Cedar Rapids; 26. Brennen Chipp, Dunkerton; 27. Jordan Bacon, Luana.
Stories are posted on the APRN news page. You can subscribe to APRN’s newsfeeds via email, podcast and RSS. Follow us on Facebook at alaskapublic.org and on Twitter @aprnListen nowWalker seeks compromise from Legislature on capital budgetAndrew Kitchenman, KTOO – JuneauGovernor Bill Walker says he won’t call lawmakers back to Juneau to work on a fiscal plan, unless he knows they’re making progress.Special session ends with compromise on oil and gas tax creditsAndrew Kitchenman, KTOO – JuneauState government would no longer provide tax credits that can be traded for cash to oil and gas companies under a bill the Legislature passed Saturday.Dunleavy announces plans to run for governor in AlaskaAssociated PressA Republican state senator has announced plans to run for governor in Alaska.BP leak investigation led to shutdown of 5 more wellsElizabeth Harball, Alaska’s Energy Desk – AnchorageBP was forced to plug five at-risk wells on the North Slope after investigating an oil leak that happened this April.Levelock stabbing under investigation as a homicideAllison Mollenkamp, KDLG – DillinghamAlaska State troopers responded Friday to a stabbing in Levelock.North Star Borough to close North Pole transfer site for cleanup, reopen with monitorTim Ellis, KUAC – FairbanksFairbanks North Star Borough officials plan to clean up a North Pole transfer site the same way they cleaned up the Farmer’s Loop East Transfer Site last month. They plan close the North Pole facility Wednesday and reopen it Thursday with Solid Waste staff on-site to survey users and prevent unsafe or illegal activity.Kotzebue commercial fishers have two buyers in town this seasonDavis Hovey, KNOM – NomeFor the first time in three years, Kotzebue commercial fishermen will have two buyers to sell their fish to.Ecosystem study unlocks the mystery of black cod survivalRobert Woolsey, KCAW – SitkaAlthough stocks are strong, biologists don’t fully grasp black cod population ecology. A research partnership in Sitka hopes to change that.Hold your nets! Chilkat Inlet subsistence fishery delayed another weekAbbey Collins, KHNS – HainesSubsistence fishermen near Haines will have to wait another week to throw their nets into Chilkat Inlet. A need to conserve king salmon has prompted the second delay this season.Troopers shoot bear after it kills, eats a dog in a Sitka neighborhoodRobert Woolsey, KCAW – SitkaWildlife troopers in Sitka shot and killed a brown bear Friday afternoon after it killed and partially consumed a resident’s dog.Anchorage pilot dies in plane crash near Yentna RiverAssociated PressAn Anchorage man died in a weekend plane crash near the Yentna River.Healthy housing market shows Ketchikan’s resilienceEmma Atkinson, KRBD – KetchikanThe real estate market in Ketchikan today is strong. But as in most cities, it hasn’t always been that way.‘Nones’ in Juneau changing religious landscapeCarter Barrett, KTOO – JuneauToday, Alaskans are on average less religious than the rest of the country, and a subset who don’t identify with any particular religion is growing, according to data from the Pew Research Center.