Baby boy drinking milk from bottle

This isn’t the first time: French health authorities on Saturday ordered the recall of infant formula products that were possibly contaminated by Salmonella, while 20 babies aged under six months have been infected by Salmonella in eight different regions of France. During the last 20 years, multiple reports have associated bacterial colonization of dried formula with infection among infants who have been fed with these products. READ MORE

And baby water, too? The Kroger Co. is recalling almost six months worth of its Comforts For Baby brand purified water with fluoride because samples have tested positive for mold contamination. Various grocery chains in 14 states are recalling the implicated infant water. Kroger testing identified Talaromyces penicillium mold in the water after consumers complained about mold in the product. READ MORE

ANIMAL HEALTH

CWD confirmed for first time in Europe: Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) was confirmed for the first time in Europe in 2016, in Norway, where out of a total of 10,139 tested cervids five cases were reported: three in wild reindeer and two in moose, according to a European Union summary report on the monitoring of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) published by the European Food Safety Authority. TSEs are a group of diseases that affect the brain and nervous system of humans and animals. These include scrapie, bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE or “mad cow disease”), and chronic wasting disease (CWD). Five cases of BSE were reported in cattle out of 1.35 million animals tested in the EU – none of which entered the food chain, along with 685 cases of scrapie in sheep out of 286,351 animals tested; and 634 in goats out of 110,832 tested. READ MORE

PUBLIC HEALTH

What does ‘organic’ mean? The USDA’s National Organic Program recently updated reports on enforcement activities and fraudulent organic certificates for 2017, with weak controls over organic imports again coming under scrutiny from USDA’s Office of Inspector General— putting the integrity of the USDA organic label at risk. The OIG found produce shipments of all kinds are fumigated at the border with pesticides to prevent pests from entering the U.S. And, a weak import certificate system imposed by NOP in 2012 has not prevented organics for getting the same treatment. What’s more, USDA is currently highlighting seven organic companies it claims are using fraudulent organic documents. READ MORE

Indian farmers dying from pesticide poisoning: The government of the western Indian state of Maharashtra, already grappling with an ongoing spate of farmer suicides, has woken up to a fresh crisis of pesticide poisoning. Debt-ridden farmers are sometimes so desperate after crop failure that they end their lives.  The deaths of farmers after accidentally inhaling pesticide, however, is a new challenge for the government to tackle. Farmers are falling ill and dying while spraying pesticide on their fields. According to local media reports, more than 50 farmers have died in Maharashtra state in the last six months, after they sprayed unsafe pesticide to protect their crops from disease. READ MORE

FOOD SECURITY

Disgruntled citizens seek to share opinions about Nebraska poultry plant: A group of local citizens is currently petitioning to place a measure on next year’s primary election ballot that would allow local voters an opportunity to share their opinion on the Costco-Lincoln Premium Poultry chicken plant currently under construction near Fremont, Neb. The controversial facility will process two million chickens per week  for sale at Costco Wholesale stores. READ MORE

 

TERRORISM

Terrorist groups expand use of internet: Terrorist groups are expanding their use of the internet beyond mere messaging and disseminating operational know-how, slowly adding a cyber-hacking toolset that could one day rival that of criminal or state-sponsored hacking. To date attacks have included website defacement, doxing of personally identifiable information, and distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. But this could grow to more disruptive attacks, not only with the potential to spread fear, but also raise revenue across the far reaches of the globe. READ MORE