During Korean war, ‘fake news’ likely increased intensity of conflict: Yersinia pestis is the causative agent of plague. This important article provides an interesting historical review of the pathogen being used as a biological weapon. Perhaps most pertinent to the current issues of food defense and the growing rhetoric with North Korea, the article discloses the truth behind Soviet claims that Y. pestis was weaponized by the U.S. and used during the Korean War. The claims were false, but it was only recently that the general public learned the truth. Weaponized words are an increasing problem in a world linked by the internet. False claims can now travel at the speed of electrons. Increasingly, “False News” is shifting public opinion. During the Korean War, false news, some of it mistaken as to the facts, some of it unadulterated propaganda, most likely increased the rhetoric and the actual intensity of the conflict. Today the stakes are even higher. Truth will eventually be outed, but cyber access can both speed up and hinder its discovery. READ MORE

TERRORISM

Another hotel attack, this time in Mali: Hotels and restaurants appear to be emerging as a popular target for terrorists internationally. This weekend, gunmen killed four guests at a Mali luxury resort popular with Western expatriates just outside the capital Bamako, authorities said on Monday, and one other guest is still missing.  The assailants stormed the hotel on Sunday afternoon, opening fire on guests and exchanging fire with security forces deployed to try to free those trapped inside. Al Qaeda in the Islamic Magreb and other Islamist groups have claimed increasingly frequent attacks on Western targets in Mali and the wider West Africa region, including a raid on a Bamako hotel in late 2015 which killed 20 people. READ MORE

FOOD SAFETY

Yet another recall: Montgomery City, Mo.-based Supreme Cuisine has recalled some 325,000 pounds of meat and poultry fat and lard products because of a “processing deviation” that could result in the growth and survival of bacterial pathogens in the products, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). READ MORE

ANIMAL FEED SAFETY

More woes for Evanger’s: Party Animal Inc. has filed suit in federal court against Evanger’s Dog and Cat Food Co. Inc. because dog food that Evanger’s produced for Party Animal was found to be contaminated with the animal euthanasia drug pentobarbital. The Food and Drug Administration confirmed the presence of the drug during testing after a consumer complaint. Two varieties of Party Animal’s Cocolicious dog food tested positive for the drug, which was found earlier this year in Evanger’s branded dog food after several dogs became ill. READ MORE

FOOD SECURITY

Milk imports destroying Pakistani dairy industry: The increasing importation of milk and whey powders is slowly destroying the Pakistani dairies while contributing to rural poverty and playing havoc with people’s health, says the Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI). The local dairy sector has become unattractive for investors, which has resulted in falling milk production because of the closure of hundreds of farms, an FPCCI spokesman said. The government should take immediate steps to reverse the situation otherwise Pakistan will become a milk-deficient country, he said. READ MORE

Food import bill soaring for less-developed countries: Global food commodity markets are well-balanced, buoyed by ample supplies of wheat and maize and rebounding production of oilseed products. Rising shipping costs and larger import volumes, however  are set to lift the global food import bill to more than $1.3 trillion this year, a 10.6 per cent increase from 2016, FAO said last week in its biannual Food Outlook. The food import bills of least-developed countries, low-income food deficit countries, and countries in sub-Saharan Africa are on course to rise even faster because of higher import volumes of meat, sugar, dairy and oilseed products. READ MORE

Dairy workers march for fair wages, working conditions: Scores of dairy farm workers and activists marched Saturday on a Ben & Jerry’s factory to push for better pay and living conditions on farms that provide milk for the ice cream maker that takes pride in its social activism. Protesters said Ben & Jerry’s agreed two years ago to participate in the so-called Milk with Dignity program, but the company and worker representatives have yet to reach an agreement. The Milk with Dignity program was developed in 2014 by farm workers and the Vermont group Migrant Justice to ensure that farms provide them fair wages and working conditions and decent housing. READ MORE

Dicamba may be banned in Arkansas because of ‘drift’: The broad-spectrum herbicide Dicamba is facing the serious prospect of an emergency ban after reports that tens of thousands of acres have been affected by off-target spraying (“drift”) in 2016. After that disastrous year, 2017 was supposed to be the year of labels and precision application. Early reports of dicamba drift pouring in across Arkansas and Mississippi make the echoes of 2016 difficult to ignore, and the state will consider an emergency ban when the full board meets tomorrow. READ MORE

Why are fewer eggs hatching? Over the first five months of the year, the percentage of eggs hatching broiler chickens fell to its lowest level in over a decade. That is a problem for companies in an industry that requires about 750 million new chickens each month to raise, slaughter, and process into wings, breasts and drumsticks. READ MORE

PUBLIC HEALTH

A medical mystery: Becky Krall hurried through the sliding-glass doors of the hospital emergency room expecting to see her feverish husband, David, sitting among the patients waiting to see a doctor. Instead Krall was met by a nurse who said her 50-year-old husband had suddenly become unresponsive. The night before, Krall had driven him to the same ER  but left before seeing a doctor because the ER was so swamped and David’s condition seemed unchanged. That decision, Becky Krall says, was among a cascade of serious missteps that left David battling a rare but catastrophic illness that kills between 60 and 80 percent of its victims. READ MORE

MISCELLANEOUS

Food delivery market too lucrative for Amazon to ignore: Amazon has been trying to crack the food delivery business for a decade. Last week, the company finally figured out how: Buy the Whole Foods supermarket chain for $13.7 billion.  Although the deal surprised a lot of people, the e-commerce giant has long wanted to figure out the online groceries game, starting to test delivery concepts in 2007, when it unveiled Amazon Fresh—delivering produce and pantry staples through its fulfillment centers. The market is just too lucrative—and too primed for disruption—for Amazon to simply give up. READ MORE

A nightmare inferno: Trapped in his car by the raging wildfires that killed around 60 people in Portugal, Luis Prior managed to save his life by rushing head-on through the flames. But many others were less fortunate, losing their lives on the country’s national route 236 which was transformed into a road of hell as the blaze ripped through the wooded countryside. The initial deadly blaze started on Saturday, and the flames spread along four fronts with “great violence,” said Jorge Gomes, the secretary of state for internal administration. By Sunday afternoon, five infernos were raging in central Portugal, he said. Read more HERE and HERE.