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Drought And Food Insecurity In The Horn Of Africa
Medium | February 6, 2017
The Horn of Africa is facing one of the worst droughts in decades, resulting in food insecurity and high levels of malnutrition.
Two consecutive years of below–average rainfall, combined with the most extreme El Niño in 50 years, have left 5.6 million people in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. Food and water aid are desperately needed throughout the region, and livestock aid is a priority in south and south–east Ethiopia. The Government of Ethiopia is leading the humanitarian response and working with humanitarian actors to rapidly respond to the growing needs.
BREXIT: Welfare Standards Key for Beef Sector
FG Insight | February 6, 2017
With import markets also key to some livestock farmers' inputs, the beef sector is rightly keeping an eye on its margins. Here is what our panel had to say about beef and Brexit. What do you think the Brexit vote means for UK farming?
Tom Cockburn: What the future levels of support will be from the British Government is interesting and there is no easy answer to this. There is uncertainty over whether the Scottish Suckler Beef Support Scheme will remain.
Chris Dodd: If we can secure good trade deals with other countries then it could mean we are not reliant on subsidies, but there is no indication as to how those will pan out. The biggest threat for the beef industry is if they let cheap imports in. We need to make sure this does not happen and if they do allow them, then they are not at a lower standard than what we produce to. We could ruin the beef industry overnight if this happened.
US Meat Industry Groups Urge Trump to Start Trade Talks With Japan After TPP Exit
VietNam.Net | February 9, 2017
Two U.S. meat industry groups sent a joint letter on Tuesday to President Donald Trump, calling on the new leader of the country to launch bilateral free trade talks with Japan at his meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Washington on Friday.
The meat industry is calling for an alternative to the Trans–Pacific Partnership now that the Trump government has decided to withdraw the United States from the multilateral free trade pact, making it impossible for the industry to benefit from tariff reductions agreed under the TPP, which also includes Japan.
"We urge you to initiate free trade agreement negotiations with nations in the Asia–Pacific region beginning with Japan," Craig Uden, president of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, and John Weber, president of the National Pork Producers Council, said in the joint letter.
Weekly Outlook: Cattle Industry Still in Expansion Mode, at Least for Now
James Mintert, Successful Farming | February 6, 2016
Once a year the USDA releases its comprehensive cattle report, which includes survey–based estimates of the all cattle and calves inventory, the 2016 calf crop, beef and dairy cow inventories, in addition to a variety of other inventory estimates that provide clues regarding future cattle and beef supplies.
This year's report, released on January 31, was of particular interest because of the collapse in both fed and feeder cattle prices that took place during 2016. The dramatic price decline, and resulting falloff in profitability by cow–calf producers, led to questions about possible impacts on industry expansion. Last week's report leaves little doubt that the industry is still in expansion mode, at least for now.
In Praise Of Meat, Milk and Eggs
Eat This Podcast | February 1, 2017
For poor people, a little animal source food goes a long way. Excluding animal products from your diet as a vegetarian or vegan is a choice some people have the luxury to make, and if they know what they're doing, and take care, they can be perfectly healthy.
But there are probably far more people who have no choice in the matter. They would eat meat if they could, but they simply can't afford it. For those people, a little bit of animal source food – milk, meat, eggs – can make a great difference to their health and wellbeing. It can be easy to forget that, in the clamour for meatless Mondays and other efforts to respond to climate change. Listen to 24:52 Podcast HERE
In a Post–Truth Media World, Facts About Beef Research Be Damned
By Alison Van Eenennaam. BEEF Magazine | February 8, 2017
How could I create a fake news story? For starters, how about a little sensationalism in the headline to incense and shock the readers and generate some extra "clickability." Perhaps a hook about a teenager getting raped to death. That should get some serious traffic.
That seemed to be the approach taken by New York Times journalist Michael Moss back in January 2015 when he wrote "Research lab lets livestock suffer in quest for profit," skewering the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center (US MARC). There were numerous other horrific claims in the article.
It was the allegations of the death raping of the teenage cow and experimental surgery being undertaken by untrained, unskilled and unsupervised staff that really stuck in my mind. I was therefore glad when the USDA Office of the Inspector General (OIG) announced it was going to investigate and audit the allegations made in the New York Times article. Specifically they stated they were going to investigate "33 statements from the article to evaluate and attempt to determine their veracity".
So imagine my surprise when the OIG final report was released Friday Dec. 16, 2016 and I was none the wiser. The OIG report stated that of the 33 statements made by the New York Times, "we determined that only 7 were materially accurate — 26 were inaccurate, lacked sufficient context or were uncorroborated." New York Times, that is a 21% material accuracy rate – also known as an F in my classes. The OIG report further clarified that "Overall, we did not note evidence indicating a systemic problem with animal welfare at USMARC."