USDA plans risk-based meat inspection system

first_imgMar 7, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – Federal officials recently proposed a timetable to begin implementing a new meat and poultry inspection system designed to reduce foodborne illnesses by focusing more attention on high-risk facilities and those with poor safety records.The US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has been exploring “risk-based inspection” since 2000. On Feb 22, Richard Raymond, USDA undersecretary for food safety, proposed to implement the new inspection system in April at 30 locations, and possibly to expand it to 150 locations by the end of 2007, according to an FSIS press release.The proposed system is seen as the biggest change in the USDA’s food inspection program since 1996, when the Hazard Analysis and Critical Point Systems (HACCP) rule made food processors responsible for systematically assessing, preventing, and controlling food safety hazards.Assessing each facility’s food safety record and the relative risk of what is produced will allow the FSIS to better allocate its inspection resources to the processors that need them most, while continuing daily inspections at all facilities, the FSIS said in the press release. A processor’s food safety performance will be based on information federal inspectors regularly collect at the plants, such as health infractions and microbiologic test results.”To continue to prevent foodborne illness, we have to improve our prevention capabilities, not just respond quickly after an outbreak occurs,” Raymond said in the press release. “What will change is we will no longer be treating every plant like every other plant in terms of its adverse public health potential.”In a separate statement, Raymond asserted that risk-based inspection “will not reduce the number of inspectors nor will it save any money.”He said the FSIS is rolling out the new inspection program gradually so that it can be evaluated and revised as needed before it is expanded nationwide.Industry and consumer groups have expressed concerns about the new approach. The American Meat Institute (AMI) in a Feb 22 statement said it supports the concept of risk-based inspections, but maintained that the USDA is launching the plan prematurely.J. Patrick Boyle, AMI’s president and chief executive officer, said the USDA should slow the process down, seek additional input, and make participation voluntary. “This rush to launch a potentially worthwhile prototype may become a needless public relations and political distraction,” he said.According to documents posted on the FSIS Web site, the agency held a 2-day stakeholder meeting in October 2006 to solicit input on the proposed risk-based inspection policy.The Consumer Federation of America (CFA) sharply criticized the USDA plan in a Feb 22 statement. Although risk-based system for meat inspection is a worthy goal, the USDA has neither “meaningful scientific data” to rank product risk nor an unbiased system for determining facility risk, the group said. The CFA accused the Bush administration of laying the groundwork for cutting meat inspection costs and thereby increasing Americans’ risk of illness and death from foodborne pathogens.Foodborne disease expert Craig Hedberg, PhD, noted that some groups, including the Government Accountability Office (GAO), have advocated a single federal agency to oversee food safety. He told CIDRAP News that the USDA’s move toward a more periodic, risk-based inspection system that puts the food safety burden on producers is similar to the model used by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which oversees produce.”This is probably a necessary condition to change the culture of the USDA toward that of the FDA,” said Hedberg, an associate professor of environmental and occupational health at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. “This is one more attempt to make that happen.”Ideally, meat inspectors at processing plants determine if products are handled properly and then intervene if they need to, Hedberg said. “But it doesn’t actually work out that way,” because, while the physical presence of an inspector should give a certain measure of assurance, foodborne pathogens can’t be seen, touched, or smelled, he said. “You have to have different strategies to deal with that.””Industries need more authority to police their own, and I think that’s a good thing,” Hedberg said.See also:Feb 22 FSIS press releasehttp://www.fsis.usda.gov/News_&_Events/NR_022207_01/index.aspFSIS statement on the background of risk-based inspectionhttp://www.fsis.usda.gov/PDF/Evolution_of_RBI_022007.pdfConsumer Federation of America statementlast_img read more

Hong Kong marks Tiananmen crackdown despite virus vigil ban

first_imgThis year’s service was banned on public health grounds because of the coronavirus pandemic, with authorities not allowing people to gather in groups of more than eight.Barricades surrounded the park on Thursday that has traditionally hosted the annual ceremony. Organizers have urged residents to skirt the ban by instead lighting candles at 8:00 pm (1200 GMT) wherever they happen to be.With Beijing planning to impose a new national security law on the finance hub that many believe will end the city’s unique freedoms, some residents on Thursday said they feared future memorials would also be blocked. Hong Kong marked China’s deadly Tiananmen crackdown on Thursday, with candle-light ceremonies set for the evening across the city after authorities banned a mass vigil at a time of seething anger over a planned new security law.Open discussion of the brutal suppression is forbidden in mainland China, where hundreds — by some estimates more than a thousand — died when the Communist Party sent tanks on June 4, 1989 to crush a student-led demonstration in Beijing calling for democratic reforms.But the people of semi-autonomous Hong Kong have kept memories alive for the past three decades by holding a huge annual vigil, the only part of China where such mass displays of remembrance are possible. “I don’t believe it’s because of the pandemic. I think it’s political suppression,” said a man surnamed Wong, 53, who kneeled by the barricades outside Victoria Park to pay his respects to the dead before travelling to work. “I do worry that we may lose this vigil forever.”Crowds have swelled at Hong Kong’s Tiananmen vigils whenever fears have spiked that Beijing is prematurely stamping out the city’s own cherished freedoms, an issue that has dominated the finance hub for the past 12 months.The city was engulfed by seven straight months of huge and often violent pro-democracy protests last year — rallies that kicked off five days after the last annual vigil. Topics : Security and anthem lawsIn response to those protests last month Beijing announced plans to impose the security law, which would cover secession, subversion of state power, terrorism and foreign interference.China says the law — which will bypass Hong Kong’s legislature — is needed to tackle “terrorism” and “separatism” in a restless city it now regards as a direct national security threat.But opponents, including many Western nations, fear it will bring mainland-style political oppression to a business hub that was supposedly guaranteed freedoms and autonomy for 50 years after its 1997 handover to China from Britain.Further inflaming tensions, China has been pushing for another law that would punish insults towards China’s national anthem with up t three years in jail.Hong Kong’s lawmakers are expected to vote on the anthem bill on Thursday.With the Victoria Park vigil banned, Hong Kongers are organizing locally and getting creative, chiefly with the scattered candle-light ceremonies.Online groups have sent out maps and lists of more than a dozen districts calling for people to gather for small vigils.Seven Catholic churches have also announced plans to host a commemorative mass on Thursday evening.Riot police have moved swiftly against protests forming in recent weeks, citing the coronavirus measures and arresting hundreds of people.Vigils are also planned in neighboring Taiwan and among the Chinese diaspora in many western countries. But in mainland China, the crackdown is greeted by an information blackout, with censors scrubbing mentions of protests and dissidents often visited by police in the days leading up to June 4.Police in Beijing prevented an AFP photographer from entering Tiananmen Square to record the regular pre-dawn flag-raising ceremony on Thursday. The candle emoji has been unavailable in recent days on China’s Twitter-like Weibo platform. On Wednesday, China’s foreign ministry described calls by Taiwan for Beijing to apologize for the crackdown as “complete nonsense”. “The great achievements since the founding of new China over the past 70 or so years fully demonstrates that the developmental path China has chosen is completely correct,” spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters. last_img read more

Former Sparks head coach Julie Rousseau to chair USC Athletics Black Lives Matter Action Team

first_imgJulie Rousseau, former head coach of the Los Angeles Sparks and a current adjunct professor in USC’s Gender and Sexuality Studies department, will serve as the chair of the USC Athletics Black Lives Matter Action Team, Athletic Director Mike Bohn announced in a press release Tuesday.  Joining Rousseau will be a steering committee to help carry out specific actions identified by the USCABLM Action Team. Bohn also announced that the Action Team will include an advisory committee made up of seven student-athletes, eight coaches and 10 Athletic Department staff members.  Rousseau was an assistant head coach with the Sparks for the WNBA’s inaugural season in 1997, becoming head coach for the final 17 games of the 1997 season and the first 20 of the 1998 season. She then went on to coach at the collegiate level from 2001 to 2013, returning to the WNBA as an assistant and culture coach of the Seattle Storm in 2015 after spending the 2015 season as an assistant at the University of Nevada.  The Action Team will collaborate with the recently formed United Black Student-Athletes Association as well as the Trojan Athletic Senate, alumni, former players and campus and community leaders. “The time begs for us to continue the work and legacy of our ancestors,” Rousseau said in the release. “For such a time as this, I hope to be a bridge builder for creating an environment that exemplifies regard and respect for the lives of Black student athletes at USC. All Lives Can’t Matter, Until Black Lives Matter.”center_img “This will be a supportive team effort aimed at eliminating social injustice and racism within Trojan Athletics, the University and its surrounding communities,” Rousseau said in the release. “Like the late, great civil rights activist and Congressman John R. Lewis once said, ‘We may not have chosen the time, but the time has chosen us.’” Rousseau also assisted with Arizona State’s marketing, community relations and student-athlete welfare strategies from 2016-19 while she completed her doctoral degree.  “Raised in Los Angeles with experiences as a student-athlete, college and professional coach, and educator, Julie is uniquely qualified to lead our USC Athletics Black Lives Matter Action Team,” Bohn wrote. “Julie’s passion and vision, strong leadership skills and outstanding reputation, as well as her innovative academic background, make her a wonderful fit to guide this critically important initiative.”last_img read more

Rangers ban fan who made racist remarks, obscene gestures at Latino family

first_imgThe Rangers have banned indefinitely the unidentified male fan who directed racist comments and derogatory gestures at a Latino family during a game Saturday at Globe Life Park.The Rangers “are notifying the individual that he violated the club’s fan code of conduct and is indefinitely prohibited from attending Rangers home games,” the team said in a statement Friday (via ESPN.com). The move came after the team reviewed information about the incident, and the Rangers said they would have no further comment.In a post on Facebook, Jessica Romero said she, husband Ramon Romero and their son Nomar, 6, were sitting in the upper deck of the stadium in Arlington, Texas, when she overheard a man sitting in the row behind them make racist comments about Latinos and the man intentionally made profane gestures in the background of photos her family was taking. Related News The incident came only hours after the deadly shooting in El Paso, Texas, in which a Dallas-area man is accused of targeting Latinos.In their initial response, the Rangers offered the Romeros tickets to any home game in 2019, saying they would “make their next trip to Globe Life Park a memorable and enjoyable experience.” Raiders owner stands by gist of harsh A’s remarks, but sorry for coarse languagecenter_img The team also released a statement condemning the fan’s conduct: “The Rangers are committed to providing all of our guests with a safe and enjoyable experience and we are truly sorry that this family was subjected to this offensive behavior at Saturday’s game. There is no place at Globe Life Park in Arlington for this type of conduct to occur.”Rangers infielder Elvis Andrus, a Venezuela native who last month became a naturalized U.S. citizen, expressed to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram his dismay at the man’s behavior: “It’s 2019, man.  I don’t understand why people nowadays are still thinking about that. Your race or your color, what’s the difference? We’re all human beings in the end.”The incident, the Romeros told the Star-Telegram, won’t deter them from returning to Globe Life Park. In fact, they still have six games remaining on their 10-game package. Nelson Cruz injury update: Red-hot Twins DH (wrist strain) lands on IL at worst timelast_img read more

MILLER’S CHALON & DESORMEAUX’S MISS SOUTHERN MISS HEAD SATURDAY’S $125,000 LANDALUCE STAKES GOING 5 ½ FURLONGS AT SANTA ANITA

first_imgTHE $125,000 LANDALUCE STAKES IN POST POSITION ORDER WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTSRace 5 (of 9)                                                                                                       Approximate post time 3:30 p.m. PDTLove a Honeybadger–Victor Espinoza–122Tap It All–Santiago Gonzalez–118Miss Southern Miss–Flavien Prat–122Demigoddess–Brandon Boulanger–118Cioppino Pasadino–Edwin Maldonado–122Theonewewaitedfor–Rafael Bejarano–122Chalon–Tyler Baze–122First post time on Saturday is at 1:30 p.m. For scratches, changes and morning line information, please visit santaanita.com. ARCADIA, Calif. (July 6, 2016)–Rockingham Ranch’s Chalon and Peter Cantrell’s Miss Southern Miss head a field of six 2-year-old fillies, five of which are recent maiden winner’s, in Saturday’s $125,000 Landaluce Stakes going 5 ½ furlongs at Santa Anita.Originally titled the Hollywood Lassie and named for the ill-fated daughter of Terlingua, who was trained by D. Wayne Lukas, Landaluce, with Laffit Pincay Jr., aboard, won the 1982 Hollywood Lassie by 21 lengths while stopping the clock for six furlongs in 1:08 flat, but never ran again as she succumbed to the effects of a fever several months later. MISS SOUTHERN MISS: Trained by Keith Desormeaux, this Kentucky-bred daughter of More Than Ready was bred by her owner and rallied strongly through the lane to win at first asking by 3 ¼ lengths going five furlongs here on June 9. Off at 7-1 in a field of eight, she split horses turning for home and galloped out many lengths clear of odds-on favorite Tap It All, who she will again face on Saturday. With Flavien Prat scheduled to ride her back, Miss Southern Miss would appear to have plenty of upside as she readies for her second career assignment. CHALON: Trained by Peter Miller, this Kentucky-bred filly by the Mineshaft stallion Dialed In fetched $110,000 at the Barretts March 2-year-old in training sale and she responded solid 2 ¼ length first-out maiden score going five furlongs here on June 23. Dismissed at 9-1, she showed good speed out of the gate and won in virtual gate to wire fashion while well within herself under Tyler Baze, who rides her back on Saturday.center_img THEONEWEWAITEDFOR: Owned and bred in California by Heinz Steinmann, this daughter of Creative Cause was a gutty first-out maiden winner in open company going 4 ½ furlongs here on May 26. Trained by Mike Harrington, she pressed the early pace and prevailed by a half length while getting the distance in a rapid 51.80. Based at Los Alamitos, she’s out of Steinmann’s productive Eastern Echo mare, Yolo Lady, and looms a big threat stretching out a furlong. MILLER’S CHALON & DESORMEAUX’S MISS SOUTHERN MISS HEAD SATURDAY’S $125,000 LANDALUCE STAKES GOING 5 ½ FURLONGS AT SANTA ANITAlast_img read more

Spain draw 1-1 with Italy in Euro 2016 warm-up

first_imgFOOTBALL: UDINE, Italy (AP): Two-time defending champions Spain began their preparations for this summer’s European Championship with a 1-1 draw against Italy in a friendly yesterday. Substitute Lorenzo Insigne fired Italy in front in the 68th minute, sliding in to meet Emanuele Giaccherini’s cross. It was the first goal Spain had conceded in nearly 700 minutes. Italy’s lead lasted just two minutes before Aritz Aduriz levelled with his first international goal, tapping in the rebound after Gianluigi Buffon parried a header by Alvaro Morata — who appeared to be offside. Italy were the more dangerous side and Spain — who beat the Azzurri 4-0 in the Euro 2012 final to successfully defend their title — did not have a shot on goal in the first half. Spain goalkeeper David de Gea pulled off several saves, including two to deny Insigne, who was a real threat after coming on for Eder in the 51st minute. Buffon was rarely challenged. There was a minute’s silence before the match to honour the victims of the Brussels attacks as well as the 13 exchange students — seven of them Italian — killed in a bus crash in Spain. Wales also drew 1-1 against Northern Ireland, thanks to a last-minute penalty from Simon Church, while the Czech Republic began their preparations with a 1-0 home defeat to Scotland. Iceland also lost to a team which failed to qualify for the tournament as two goals in four minutes from Nicolai Jorgensen helped Denmark win 2-1. Cenk Tosun scored twice to help Turkey to a 2-1 victory over Sweden, which rested Zlatan Ibrahimovic, while Ukraine beat Cyprus 1-0. Elsewhere, Malta’s match against Moldova and Estonia’s against Norway ended goalless. Greece beat Montenegro 2-1.last_img read more