Ractopamine Ban & Valentine's Flower Check

Ractopamine Ban & Valentine's Flower Check

Ractopamine Ban & Valentine’s Flower Check plus Food Forethought. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Northwest Report.

Russia’s new ban on beef and pork imports treated with meat-leanness additive ractopamine is about to kick in and it could cost the U.S. meat industry a bundle. Russia’s new requirements that U.S. beef and pork imports be tested and certified free of ractopamine kick in next week. U.S. Meat Export Federation Spokesman Joe Schuele.

SCHUELE: As of February 4th, Russia had stated that it would no longer take any chilled product that constitutes a pretty small amount of the trade we do with Russia but we’re looking at a similar deadline February 11th for all products.

Guys...Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. That’s your 2-minute warning. A lot of flowers will be purchased this year for the occasion and each year, U.S. Customs and Border Protection ag specialists inspect millions of cut flower imports during the Valentine season because some of these flowers may carry hitchhiking pests and diseases that could harm the U.S. flower industry. During the 2012 Valentine’s season from Jan. 1 to Feb. 14, CBP processed 842.2 million cut flower stems. Most of the cut flower shipments are imported from South America, primarily Colombia, with 536.1 million stems or 67 percent, followed by Ecuador with 194 million stems or 23 percent.

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

Okay parents, now’s your chance to put your two cents worth in on what snacks are served at your child’s school. Through the Healthy and Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010, the USDA is proposing new requirements for snacks served to students at public schools through school stores, snack bars, or vending machines. Modeled after the new lunch and breakfast requirements, snack suggestions focus on more whole grains, fruits, low fat dairy, vegetables, and protein, and less sugar, fat, and sodium. In other words, not your typical candy bars, chips and sodas. The USDA has stated that school fund raising bake sales, items brought in for classroom parties or celebrations, bagged lunches, and after school hours sporting events will not be subject to new snack requirements. Public comments will be taken by the USDA for sixty days after the rule is published in the Federal Register, which should be this week. The USDA has also stressed that the new snack rules will establish minimum requirements, and schools and states can impose stricter snack standards as they see fit. Pretty soon the only person parents will be able to point the finger of blame at for their child’s weight problems is the one looking back at them in the mirror.

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

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