Study: PEDv can be spread through feed

Cute pigA recently published study concludes that the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv) can be spread through contaminated animal feed.

The study’s authors state that contaminated animal feed was suspected as the cause of PEDv outbreaks on two farms in Minnesota and one in Iowa. All three farms received an “emergency” shipment of feed in January 2014, and subsequently animals on each of the farms displayed symptoms consistent with a diagnosis of PEDv. On each farm, only animals that consumed feed from the emergency shipment contacted PEDv. [ More ... ]

Severe drought continues in California

CA-Drought_14_BlogSquareRecent heavy thunderstorms have done little to alleviate the severe drought conditions throughout almost all of California.

According the latest report from the U.S. Drought Monitor, “severe” drought covers 99.8% of California. In May, 100% of the state was in “severe” drought.

The LA Times reports that a “series of thunderstorms that have hit California in recent weeks may have delivered devastating torrents of rain in some areas, but on the whole they were ‘inconsequential’ in terms of easing the state’s worsening drought.” [ More ... ]

Tox Tuesday: Bath salts

BathSalts_BlueNot to be confused with products such as Epsom salts—which are sold to help relieve stress, pain and constipation, among other bodily ailments and have no drug-like properties—“bath salts” are a synthetic cathinone product taken for the user to feel good, and to increase sociability and sex drive.

Synthetic cathinones first appeared in markets in the mid-2000s, first being reported in Europe in 2005, and springing up across the world in the years since. Synthetic cathinones are related to cathinone, a central nervous system stimulant that is also an active component in khat. [ More ... ]

Here are your Monday links

Cannabis_wSmoke_blogDon’t have time to scour the internet for the latest food safety, animal safety, life sciences and agriculture news? Relax, we’ve got it covered.

Food safety

Peanut trial shows food safety relies on honor system – Star Tribune

Jurors at the nation’s first federal criminal trial stemming from a deadly outbreak of food-borne illness are learning a disconcerting fact: America’s food safety largely depends on the honor system. [ More ... ]

Monday Mycotoxin Report, August 18

mmrEvery Monday during the growing season, we’re happy to present the Monday Mycotoxin Reports, highlighting the most recent agricultural news from around the United States. This report features information about crop growth and yield, drought information and more.  [ More ... ]

Food safety when the power goes out: Summer edition

refrigerator_interior_temp_blogIt could be a perfectly sunshine-y day or it could be a torrential downpour when the power goes out. The power can go out for a variety of different reasons—and for differing lengths of time depending on the reason—but when it does, you need to be able to spring into action. Knowing where flashlights and candles are is always a good first step, but what do you do with the food that’s stored in your refrigerator and freezer, especially in the summer when it can be sweltering out? [ More ... ]

The fight over natural products

NutritionLabel_WomanReading_blogMarketing ploys almost always work for me. Is Disneyland the happiest place on earth? Of course it is. Is Paris, France really the city of love? I fell in love with crème brulee while I was there, so obviously that’s true as well. Is a food with “natural” written on the label really au natural? Absolutely!

That is exactly the word some food critics are debating.

People are attracted to the word “natural” on food labels—and it is easy to understand why. Nature is good, nature is better than man-made or artificial products, at least in theory. Trends of the natural variety are soaring in popularity, like the Paleo diet. [ More ... ]

What’s in a name: Heirloom, hybrid or GMO tomatoes

Tomatoes2_blogWith a variety of tomatoes available for choosing at grocery stores and markets—plum, cherry, pear, striped, large, small—and in a variety of colors, it can be hard to pick out what tomato is best and, really, what the tomato actually is. The names and the basic definitions of three of the main types of tomatoes (heirloom, hybrid and GMO) are relatively the same: tomatoes that have been altered in some way in order to be its own kind of tomato.

However, the difference between them is great. [ More ... ]

Wait, red meat doesn’t hurt heart health?

Beef_Roast_wGarnishes_blogA heart-healthy diet consists of lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products and red meat. Wait—something doesn’t belong there. Usually it is recommended to limit red meat (and sugary foods and beverages).

But could that recommendation change following research from the University of Cambridge?

International researchers worked together to conduct a meta-analysis of 72 unique studies with more than 600,000 participants from 18 nations. [ More ... ]

Monday Mycotoxin Report, August 11

mmrEach week, we are happy to present to you the weekly Monday Mycotoxin Report, sharing data and statistics from the agriculture industry. To learn more about drought, crop yields and mycotoxin levels, please watch the video below. [ More ... ]