Meatpacking plants in the spotlight at House covid hearing
Meatpacking, poultry, and agricultural workers have faced “devastating” conditions during the pandemic, in part due to a lax approach to worker safety by employers and federal regulators, advocates said on Tuesday at a House Appropriations Subcommittee hearing.
Farmers expect rapid growth for plant-based meats, but don’t like it
Plant-based meats, an alternative to beef, pork and chicken, have only a toehold in the meat market but U.S. farmers expect their market share will grow rapidly. Half of the farmers surveyed by Purdue University said plant-based proteins could hold up to 10 percent of the meat market in five years and some expected the share to be much larger.
Senate bill would require cash sales of some cattle
To ensure fair prices for cattle producers, the USDA would require meatpackers to buy a specified number of cattle on the spot market and through negotiated “grid” trades under a Senate bill introduced on Tuesday.
Today’s Quick Hits
Vilsack talks climate: Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said on social media that he discussed climate change and food security during online meetings with Agriculture Minister Victor Villalobos of Mexico and Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau of Canada. (Vilsack)
Not in India: U.S. apples are effectively shut out of India due to new regulations that require imports to be certified as non-GMO, because the USDA does not issue such documentation, said the head of the Northwest Horticultural Council. (Fruitnet)
Kelp against warming: Running Tide Technologies has an idea how to slow climate change – bury massive amounts of carbon-containing seaweed at the bottom of the ocean, where it will stay for centuries. (NPR)
High-risk list: The Government Accountability Office called for better federal oversight of food safety in its annual High-Risk List of programs that need improvement; food safety has been on the list since 2007. (GAO)
Fish welfare rules: As momentum grows for better treatment of food-bearing animals, activists are calling for attention to fish, which are farmed in higher numbers than any other animal. (Vice)