Poultry groups welcome EPA rule on air release reporting

WASHINGTONU.S. poultry organizations on Friday welcomed the Environmental Protections Agency’s rule exempting poultry farms from having to report fumes from manure.

The ruling means that farms will not have to report naturally occurring air releases of ammonia and hydrogen sulfide as an "emergency release" under the CERCLA and EPCRA emergency reporting framework.

“We have always felt that reporting requirements under the CERCLA and EPCRA programs were never meant to address the release of naturally occurring substances that originate from the breakdown of animal waste,” the poultry groups said in a statement. “We believe EPA heard our concerns and has come to a reasonable compromise that addresses the needs and requirements of the regulated community, emergency responders, and the public at large.”

The statement was sent jointly by the National Chicken Council (NCC), National Turkey Federation (NTF), and U.S. Poultry & Egg Association (US POULTRY).

The rule covers gases just from animal waste, reports said. Large farms with hundreds of dairy cows or thousands of pigs still would be required to report air releases to local and state authorities, media said.


Sources: National Chicken Council, Associated Press

JBS says buyout won't hurt producers

BILLINGS, Mont. – A spokesman for JBS USA told beef producers that they have nothing to fear from the company becoming the largest beef packer in the United States.

Chandler Keyes, head of government and industry relations for Brazilian-owned JBS, told Montana ranchers that the company needed successful cattle operations to succeed.

"We're in the cattle industry and we're going to pay you top dollar to get these cattle in our yards," said Keys.

The federal government and several states are suing JBS to stop its plans to purchase National Beef Packing Co. of Kansas City, Mo. The company has already bought Swift & Co. and the Smithfield Beef Group earlier this year. The purchase of National Beef would create the world’s largest beef processor.

JBS offered $465 million in cash and $95 million in stock for National Beef. The purchase would put more than 80 percent of the domestic beef packing industry into the hands of three companies. JBS has reportedly said it would fight the lawsuit.


Source: Associated Press

FSIS issues notice on melamine testing

WASHINGTON – The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) last week issued Notice 97-08: Melamine Testing of Retail Meat and Poultry Products.

Reports said the notice was issue to inform investigators from the agency’s Compliance and Investigations Division (CID) and the Office of Program Evaluation, Enforcement and Review (OPEER) that they are to collect certain types of products for melamine testing.

The notice reportedly provides investigators with information on how they will receive the sample request, how many samples they are to collect, how they are to determine which products are appropriate to collect and how to package the samples.

The notice also instructs investigators to send laboratory sample results to the Residue Branch in the Office of Public Health and Science (OPHS) Risk Assessment and Residue Division and to the director of CID.

If any of the laboratory results are above the guidance level identified by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), CID is to contact the assistant administrator for. The assistant administrator for OPEER, in consultation with the assistant administrator for OPHS, will convene the Emergency Management Committee if needed.

To view the notice, go to http://www.fsis.usda.gov/OPPDE/rdad/FSISNotices/97-08.pdf.


Source: American Meat Institute