USDA Consolidates & Drug Recall

USDA Consolidates & Drug Recall

USDA Consolidates & Drug Recall plus Food Forethought. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Northwest Report.

The new year is a good time for everyone to consider paring back and consolidating...and that goes for the USDA as well. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack explains how proposed consolidation of local USDA offices would help in efforts to modernize and improve efficiencies at the local level.

VILSACK: Many of the office are farm service offices, roughly 131 of the 250 offices are in the farm service area and these are offices that currently don’t have any full-time employees at all or if they do they have no more than 1 or 2 employees at the office. Those folks will be reassigned to offices within 10-15 miles of their current location. This will allow us to preserve funding for an important technology initiative that we are engaged in which will make it easier for farmers to access USDA programs online at their convenience, at their home, at their personal computer.

Novartis is recalling some bottles of Excedrin, NoDoz, Bufferin and Gas-X over concerns that the bottles could contain stray pills from other medicines, or chipped or broken tablets. The recall affects U.S. retailers. This is a voluntary recall. Novartis became aware of the potential problem during an internal review that identified broken and chipped pills, and inconsistent bottle packaging that could cause pills to be mixed up.

Now with today’s Food Forethought, here’s Lacy Gray.

A recent headline reads that the Fish and Wildlife Service is giving a permit to a central Oregon wind energy company to kill Golden Eagles. This has to be a prime example of sensationalistic journalism at it’s best, or worst as the case may be. Reading further one would find out that the West Butte Wind Power company did not receive a carte blanche permit to slay as many Golden Eagles as they care to. In fact, they are only allowed a total number of three accidental eagle deaths due to wind turbines over a five year time period without paying massive fines, but only as long as the company contributes to conservation efforts for golden eagles. Do birds die from collisions with wind turbines? Yes, as well as from planes, trains, and automobiles, and numerous other obstacles, man-made or otherwise. But you won’t find a lot of people ready to do away with any of these things any time soon. Wind energy gets a lot of bad press, but truth is wind farms offer a natural, clean, and affordable form of renewable energy that is deliverable now with very little impact on the environment; meaning no digging, burning, or extracting anything.

Thanks Lacy. That’s today’s Northwest Report. I’m Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network. 

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