BEEF bits

Dec 30, 2011
by WLJ

FDA withdraws notices

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is withdrawing two 1977 notices of opportunity for a hearing (NOOH) which proposed to withdraw certain approved uses of penicillin and tetracyclines intended for use in feeds for food-producing animals based in part on microbial food safety concerns. FDA is taking this action, and closing the corresponding dockets, because: FDA is engaging in other ongoing regulatory strategies developed since the publication of the 1977 NOOHs with respect to addressing microbial food safety issues; FDA would update the NOOHs to reflect current data, information, and policies if, in the future, it decides to move forward with withdrawal of the approved uses of the new animal drugs described in the NOOHs; and FDA would need to prioritize any withdrawal proceedings (for example, take into account which withdrawal(s) would likely have the most significant impact on the public health) if, in the future, it decides to seek withdrawal of the approved uses of any new animal drug or class of drugs. FDA is also withdrawing the companion proposed rules to these NOOHs.

Fast food giants drop BPI

Beef Products Inc. (BPI) has lost about 25 percent of its business and has had to cut production to four days a week from five as McDonald’s, Taco Bell and Burger King have all stopped buying its lean ground beef product treated with ammonium hydroxide to kill pathogens, according to the Argus Leader. The newspaper quoted CEO Eldon Roth as saying hours have been reduced, but no workers have been laid off, and that sales have started to stabilize for BPI, which has never had an illness traced to its products. Wendy’s to open in Japan Wendy’s opened its first restaurant in Tokyo with a new joint venture partner, two years after pulling out of Japan, and said it planned to open 100 stores within the next five years. The new restaurant in the upscale Omotesando area will have menu items developed exclusively for the Japanese market, including an Avocado Wasabi hamburger and a Truffle and Porcini Grilled Chicken sandwich, the company said. Traditional Wendy’s products such as made-to-order square beef patties, chicken sandwiches, entrée salads, chili and Frosty desserts will also be sold. Wendy’s, based in Dublin, OH, estimated the long-term market potential to be about 700 restaurants in Japan.

Raines memorial fund

The American Meat Science Association (AMSA) has set up a memorial to Chris Raines, 29, an assistant professor of meat science and technology in the Department of Dairy and Animal Science at The Pennsylvania State University (PSU), who was killed in an automobile accident Dec. 18. The AMSA Foundation established the memorial fund to support projects that are “in line with one of Chris’ many passions,” according to AMSA Executive Director Thomas Powell. Raines’ contributions to meat science in his short career at PSU will have long term effects on the discipline, according to the AMSA website. He was a pioneer in the application of social networking technologies for communication within the meat science community and with consumers. His passion for agriculture and his willingness to confront misperceptions while listening to other positions made him an uncommon advocate for animal agriculture. Proceeds for this fund will be used to support programs of the American Meat Science Association. Donations can be made at

Russia producing more meat

Russia’s meat and poultry production rose by 4.4 percent (460,000 metric tons) in 2011 compared to 2010, according to the Russian news agency TASS. Russian Agriculture Minister Yelena Skrynnik told a news conference that Russia’s meat production is expected to reach 11 million metric tons by the end of the year. The country’s poultry production went up by 11.5 percent, while pork output increased by 4.8 percent during the year, Skrynnik said. The minster said over the past five years, poultry production has increased by 100 percent, and pork output grew by 50 percent, according to TASS. During this period, Skrynnik said more than 3,000 animal and chicken farming facilities were commissioned and reconstructed. Make plans for genomic testing With spring bull sale season around the corner, producers should plan ahead to submit DNA samples in order to receive test results in a timely manner. “If you are considering genomic tests for this spring, now is the time to place your orders,” says Bill Bowman, American Angus Association (AAA) chief operating officer and president of Angus Genetics Inc. (AGI). “Members are encouraged to order their tests well in advance of spring bull sales to ensure that they have the results when needed.” Once breeders submit DNA samples, there is a three- to four-week processing time for most tests, and there are sale catalog deadlines to consider. Angus breeders may submit genomic orders online through AAA login and mail samples to AGI, which then processes the order for testing at the appropriate genomic labs. To learn more about genomic testing or how to submit samples, visit or call 816-383-5100.