IFIF, OIE sign cooperation agreement: The International Feed Industry Federation (IFIF) signed an official cooperation agreement Dec. 14 with the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) that aims to facilitate and strengthen cooperation between the two organizations, in particular with regard to the prevention and management of infectious diseases, including zoonotic diseases, as well as support for developing, updating and implementing OIE standards and guidelines, an announcement said. The cooperation further aims to strengthen links between feed safety and food safety. IFIF executive director Alexandra de Athayde noted that OIE is "a critical organization in the feed and food chain, and IFIF looks forward to working closely with OIE to contribute to improved animal health and productivity, which, in the end, leads to a positive contribution to public health." IFIF is made up of national and regional feed and feed-related organizations and corporate members that represent more than 80% of global feed production.
FAO animal welfare proposal: In its draft "Global Action Agenda," the U.N. Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO) has proposed animal welfare guidelines that are inconsistent with those adopted by the World Organization for Animal Health, which is recognized by the World Trade Organization as the international authority for animal health and welfare and has the support of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. livestock and poultry sectors. FAO's guidelines are "prescriptive and unscientific" and could undermine animal welfare for livestock and poultry production and the sustainability of the meat and poultry supply, according to organizations that have commented on the FAO standards.
EU drops ethanol anti-subsidy tariffs: The European Commission said, although antidumping procedures continue, it will not enforce anti-subsidy tariffs on U.S. ethanol, according to Bloomberg. The European Commission facilitated anti-subsidy proceedings against U.S. ethanol producers, alleging that they received trade-distorting subsidies. The subsidy investigation began at the request of European ethanol group ePURE, which also requested an investigation into ethanol "dumping." In the antidumping case, the European Commission proposed Dec. 6 a 9.6% tariff on ethanol imports. The investigation addresses allegations that U.S. ethanol exporters have dumped ethanol in European Union markets. The antidumping procedure is based on lost competiveness and the "consequent closing down of several EU factories," ePURE said, adding that it expects the case to wrap up in February. The Renewable Fuels Assn. and Growth Energy said they are "troubled" by the proposed antidumping tariff and are convinced that the EU will drop tariff plans. Bloomberg reported that the final ruling on the anti-subsidy case will be published by Dec. 25.
FTC clears Morningstar sale to Saputo: The Federal Trade Commission last week gave the green light for Dean Foods Co., the largest dairy processor in the U.S., to sell its Morningstar Foods division to Saputo Inc., the largest dairy processor in Canada, for $1.45 billion. Morningstar is a leading manufacturer of dairy and non-dairy cultured and extended shelf-life products that are marketed under a broad line of private labels to the foodservice and grocery sectors across the U.S. It reported 2011 sales of $1.3 billion. Morningstar will become a division of Saputo's U.S. business, Saputo Dairy Products USA, the third-largest cheese producer in the U.S. The deal was announced earlier this month (Feedstuffs, Dec. 10).
Allergen thresholds: The Food & Drug Administration last week called for comments on establishing food allergen thresholds and action levels for major food allergens. FDA noted that the Food Allergen Labeling & Consumer Protection Act of 2004 identified eight major food allergens (milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, soybeans and wheat) that account for 90% of food allergies, and the act requires that foods that contain any of these allergens carry a statement declaring them on the label. FDA said if safe thresholds can be set, it could, among other actions, better evaluate petitions for exemptions from allergen labeling and better respond to situations where undeclared allergens are found in foods. The full Federal Register notice is available at www.ofr.gov/OFRUpload/OFRDate/2012-30123_pdf?source=govdelivery, and comments are due by Feb. 7, 2013.
Peru bans GMOs: Peru has passed a law that prohibits the importation, production or use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in the country for the next 10 years to preserve Peru's agricultural diversity, prevent cross-pollination and support local farmers, according to an announcement. Violations carry fines of up to 36.5 million soles ($14 million), and imported products can be seized and destroyed.
Feed solution: Novus International announced a new proprietary feed solution that optimizes broiler performance by acting on the gut environment through the targeted release of compounds that affect the intestinal microbiota balance. Novus said AVIMATRIX has been shown to improve bird production efficiency by targeting the microflora in the lower intestinal tract, and independent research found that the product leads to increased growth rates, heavier liveweights at 42 days, increased feed efficiency and fewer foot lesions in broilers.
Poultry vaccine: Merck Animal Health announced the introduction of Bron-Newcavac-SE, a long-lasting vaccine to control Newcastle disease, infectious bronchitis and Salmonella enteritidis. Merck noted that in addition to controlling S. enteritidis, the vaccine controls the respiratory pathogens that cause Newcastle disease and infectious bronchitis when administered to chickens 10 weeks of age or older, and it also supports strong flock uniformity.
Starch enzyme: DSM Nutritional Products is now offering RONOZYME RumiStar as an effective tool for optimizing starch utilization in the dairy cow. RONOZYME RumiStar, a natural enzyme produced by fermentation, is classified as a mono-component alpha-amylase. It works by catalyzing the hydrolysis of starch to monosaccharides and oligosaccharides. RONOZYME RumiStar is stable and highly active under ruminal conditions.