House panel asks meatpackers how many Covid-19 infections and deaths they had at their plants – September 16, 2021

House panel asks meatpackers how many Covid-19 infections and deaths they had at their plants

The toll the coronavirus has taken on the meatpacking industry may be greater than currently thought, said a House panel on Wednesday in asking Cargill and National Beef, two of the largest U.S. meat processors, to disclose how many of their workers had contracted Covid-19 and how many had died.

Boozman on Democrats: ‘Shattering the farm bill process’

The polarized debate over President Biden’s $3.5 trillion “build back better” bill may imperil the drafting of the 2023 farm policy law, said the senior Republican on the Senate Agriculture Committee on Wednesday. Arkansas Sen. John Boozman blamed Democrats for a breakdown in bipartisanship, saying they were “shattering the farm bill process and putting our farmers’ futures in jeopardy.”

Today’s Quick Hits

Sweltering August: The global surface temperature during the month was 1.62 degrees F (0.9 degrees C) above the 20th century average, making it the sixth-hottest August in 142 years of record-keeping. It was also the 440th consecutive month with temperatures above the 20th century average. (NOAA)

Supply chain disruptions: Although food prices are on the rise this year as producers struggle with shortages, bottlenecks, adverse weather, and a labor crunch, food price inflation is expected to moderate in the new year. (Washington Post)

Foundation Food fines: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration proposed fines of $154,674 against the Foundation Food Group for exposing workers to an ammonia leak at the same Georgia poultry plant where six workers died six weeks earlier in a nitrogen leak. (U.S. Department of Labor)

Beard Awards diversify: When the James Beard Awards return in 2022, there will be an ethics committee to investigative complaints of abusive behavior by chefs, far more of the judges will be people of color, and there will be a determined effort to represent more corners of the food world. (Eater)

Carbon neutral by 2050: The world’s largest producer of biofuels set a goal for its ethanol to produce 70 percent fewer greenhouse gases than gasoline by 2030 and for the company to achieve net-zero carbon emissions at its processing plants by 2050. (POET)

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