Category: Food Safety

The Consumer is Dead. Long Live the Consumer!

“It’s what the consumer demands.” Whether it be new products on store shelves, changes to government regulation, or new on-farm protocols, this has become the trumping selling point for whatever it is that needs selling. “The Consumer” is demanding oversight. “The Consumer” wants a more sustainable product. “The customer (read: consumer)” is always right. But… Read more »

Trimble Buys Food Traceability Software Company

Trimble has bought HarvestMark, a food traceability and quality inspection company. HarvestMark collects information on food movement and sales, with an eye to food safety tracking and supply chain management. The acquisition of HarvestMark “further enhances” Trimble’s position in agriculture and transportation and logistics within the food supply chain, the company says. The addition of… Read more »

Union Undermining Confidence in Food Safety System, Warns CFIA President

The head of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is accusing the union that represents food inspectors of “unnecessarily undermining Canadians’ confidence in their food safety system.” The Agriculture Union issued a news release this week saying cost-cutting within the CFIA is creating an inspector shortage that is putting Canadians’ health at risk. As an example, the union says… Read more »

Beef Market Update: Tight Supply Support, Consumer Buying Power and Rational Responses to BSE

While many ranchers and producers visibly cringed at the announced positive BSE case found in northern Alberta earlier this month, the cattle markets barely seemed to bat an eye. Why was that? A rather under the weather Anne Wasko, of Gateway Livestock, joins Real Agriculture’s Shaun Haney on this latest Beef Market Update to talk… Read more »

It’s Time to Bury the Shoot, Shovel and Shut Up Mentality

Last week’s announcement of a new BSE case in Canada involving a cow born in 2009 has many in the beef industry nervously watching cattle prices and fearing border closures. This is a very natural reaction based on what transpired in May 2003 —the American border closure bankrupted many and financially crippled still more ranchers… Read more »

Farmers Cautioned About Risk of Mycotoxins and Allergens Showing Up in Food

A spokesperson for Canada’s baking industry suggests grain farmers will face increased scrutiny unless further mitigation practices to prevent the presence of mycotoxins and allergens in grain are implemented. “There are issues about mycotoxins and adventious presence (of allergens) that producers need to become engaged on,” said Paul Hetherington, CEO of the Baking Association of Canada,… Read more »

The Seduction of Organic Production & the Mystery of Science: A CropSphere Preview

Have you met someone with a degree from the University of Google? Perhaps you’ve even boasted those credentials when arguing your case over a contentious issue about food or agriculture. But if you’re frustrated that everyone is suddenly an expert on science without actually understanding it, this isn’t a new phenomenon. Dr. Joe Schwarcz, director… Read more »

British Columbians Still Enjoying Eggs, Chicken and Turkey Through Avian Flu Outbreak

The number of people in British Columbia enjoying chicken or turkey for a Christmas dinner this week likely won’t be impacted by the outbreak of avian influenza in the province, according to survey results released by Chicken Farmers of Canada on behalf of the poultry and egg industries today. The results show that British Columbians realize the… Read more »

Open, Honest Conversations Can Sway the “Moveable Middle”

I remember reading an interesting quote that, paraphrased, said society was losing touch with where food came from and that the increase in urbanization was a death knell for rural life. The quote was from the 1920s. Shocking? A little, but it’s also an excellent bit of perspective for where we sit now, nearly 100… Read more »

Get Your Learning On — Workshops Help You Move the Farm Business Forward

Your farm is your business and your career, and just like any other line of work, professional development is important. How do you make sure your farm is running at its most profitable? How do you get up-to-speed on rules and regulations? How to do you keep track of where your farm is at? The… Read more »

Julie Borlaug Kicks Off International Biotechnology Conference in Saskatoon

On the heels of Canada’s National Biotechnology Week, the Agricultural Biotechnology International Conference (ABIC) is taking place in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan this week. ABIC, hosted this year by Ag-West Bio, was initiated in 1996 in Saskatoon, and has grown to include delegates from over 60 countries, promoting and discussing the benefits of agricultural biotechnology. The conference started on… Read more »

The Dangers of Working with Mycotoxin-Contaminated Feed

The hazards to feeding livestock mycotoxin-contaminated feed seem to be on everyone’s radar, with some very recent issues of ergot poisoning occurring across the prairies. But perhaps some of the lesser communicated risks are those that endanger the health of the very people who work with these feeds. Related: The Feed Industry’s Challenge with Mycotoxins… Read more »

Don’t Ship Treated Seed!

There’s a right way and a wrong way to get rid of treated seed. Using up most of what you have is a logical first step, but even the few kernels left in bins, trucks or augers could cause you major headaches down the line. Canada’s grain handling system has a zero tolerance level for… Read more »

Does “Gluten Sensitivity” Even Exist? Perhaps not

For people with celiac disease, avoiding gluten — a protein complex found in wheat, barley, rye and triticale — is a medical necessity. Even small amounts of the protein can trigger bloating, gas and diarrhea, and can lead to eventual weight-loss and fatigue. Yet diagnosed celiac disease accounts for only roughly 1% of the population. Another… Read more »

Real Talk, Real Action: Raw Milk is Not Worth the Risk

Some of you reading this have likely either consumed unpasteurized milk, or know someone who has, and been perfectly fine for the experience. Ditto for University of Guelph food scientist Prof. Art Hill, a leading authority on milk safety. Some 50 years ago on the family dairy farm on Manitoulin Island, he drank unpasteurized milk… Read more »