Criminal Charges Filed & Grants Awarded
An outbreak of listeria on cantaloupe has resulted in criminal charges being filed against two brothers who owned and operated the farm in Colorado. The 2011 outbreak sickened 147 and killed 33. Eric and Ryan Jensen, ages 37 and 33, of the now-bankrupt Jensen Farms were arrested Thursday and each charged with six misdemeanor counts of introducing adulterated food into interstate commerce. Felony charges could only be made of the contamination was intentional.
Northwest producers are happy that the USDA has issued its 2013 Specialty Crop Block Grant awards to help fruit, vegetable, and horticultural producers. Charles Parrott of USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service.
PARROTT: We actually don't decide who is a recipient. The states determine that. We've had a number of grants this year with food safety which is of course a huge concern in the fruit and vegetable sector. A lot more commercial buyers are requesting that their growers have good agricultural practice certifications. There is a cost to that and these grant funds have been used by a number of states to offset those costs.
Now with today's Food Forethought, here's Lacy Gray.
The slow moving vehicle emblem is fifty years old this year, which means most drivers recognize it - an orange triangle outlined in red. If they don't, they shouldn't be driving. The SMV emblem was designed by agriculture engineers and students back in 1963 at Ohio State University. As with all things of this type, numerous studies were done first to determine what shape, size, and color would be quickly and easily recognizable, and the orange triangle with red outlining won hands down. Of course the shape and color weren't the only factors to consider in determining safety criteria. Researchers found that the SMV emblem needed to be visible to the rear of the vehicle, the triangle point needed to face upward, it needed to be centered on the vehicle at 2 to 10 feet above the ground, and securely fastened to the vehicle. All now placement requirements of the SMV emblem. The SMV emblem is required when moving "implements of husbandry" and farm machinery on public roadways. Strangely, misuse of the SMV emblem has been becoming more and more common, being found on fence posts, gates, and mailboxes. Just remember, if it's stationary, it doesn't need a slow moving vehicle emblem.
Thanks Lacy. That's today's Northwest Report. I'm Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network.