Nigeria launches transgenic insect resistant cowpea

NIGERIA – Nigeria has officially launched and released a genetically modified (GM) cowpea variety, which is resistant to the pod borer pest. The pod borer-resistant (PBR) cowpea popularly known as beans in Nigeria is resistant to the insect pest Maruca vitrata, which is accountable for up to 80 percent yield losses. PBR cowpea was first released in Nigeria in December 2019 as the SAMPEA 20-T variety. It is the product of an international partnership under the coordination of the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) that included scientists from the Institute…

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New Zealand, Australia to sign off on importation of irradiated fruits, vegetables

AUSTRALIA/NEW ZEALAND – Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ) is set to amend the country’s historic stance on irradiation permitting the import of irradiation treated fresh fruits and vegetables. The process involves exposing products to ionizing radiation, either gamma rays, a high-energy electron beam, or x-rays.  FSANZ has concluded after a review by the Food Safety NZ, that except for the minimal reduction in nutritional value of products, irradiation is a safe and effective biosecurity tool. Still, the Food safety New Zealand (NZ) has encouraged that irradiation levels in…

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International Office of Epizootics celebrates 100 years since formation

FRANCE – The International Office of Epizootics (OIE), the intergovernmental organization responsible for improving animal health worldwide, is celebrating 100 years of existence since its establishment in Paris in May 1921. Following the outbreak of rinderpest that devastated post-war Europe in 1920, Emmanuel Leclainche, a multilingual and passionate professor about international veterinary activity, urged the coordination of an international conference to study epizootics and their prevention. He became the organization’s first Director General and occupied the seat for 22 years, leaving the position to his successor Gaston Ramon in 1946.…

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Tyson Foods recalls ready-to-eat chicken products citing listeria invasion

U.S. – The US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has announced the recall of nearly 8.5 million pounds of ready-to-eat (RTE) chicken products, produced by Tyson Foods Inc., the U.S. leading producer of poultry, due to possible Listeria contamination. According to FSIS, it had earlier received a notification of listeriosis infection in two people and an investigation identified three listeriosis illnesses, including one death. A collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state public health agencies to determine the cause, linked…

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FDA releases list of draft, final guidance topics for Food Program

U.S. – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) and Office of Food Policy and Response (OFPR) have released a list of draft and final guidance topics that are a priority for the FDA Foods Program to complete during the next 12 months.  FDA guidances are documents that elucidate the agency’s interpretation of, or policy on, a regulatory issue. The FDA formulates guidances primarily for industry, but also for other stakeholders and its own staff. It uses them to address such matters…

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