Chronic Wasting Disease identified in Mississippi deer: A case of Chronic Wasting Disease has been reported in a deer in west-central Mississippi, and Alabama authorities are urging hunters to pay attention in hopes of keeping the disease out of Alabama. Like the so-called “mad cow disease,” CWD is a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy with a long incubation time that is thought to be caused by an infectious prion. CWD, however, affects deer and other cervids rather than domestic cattle, and there is no scientific evidence of  transmission of CWD to either humans or domestic livestock. Infected deer become emaciated, behave erratically and eventually die. The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) and the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries (ADAI) have added Mississippi to the list of states from which the importation of cervid body parts is prohibited unless the meat is deboned and other regulations followed. READ MORE

FOOD SAFETY

Some 400 struck by food poisoning at one event: So many people recently were afflicted by food poisoning that a hospital in South Sudan ran out of space to treat them. One young girl died, and more than 400 people were admitted to the hospital after eating and drinking at a gala building opening in the city of Bor, in Juglei province. Two possible vehicles for the pathogen in question have been identified: A vegetable dish called “kudra” and tap water. The World Health Organization and the U.S. Agency for International Development are among organizations providing aid. Read more HERE and HERE.

On the subject of antibiotic resistance: An investigation into the Indian poultry industry has found the antibiotic colistin, which is critically important to human health, for sale without a prescription. Reporters were able to buy 200 grams of the drug over the counter and say that packaging advertised its efficacy as a growth promotor. Colistin is considered an antibiotic of last resort, to be used only when all other treatment options are exhausted. READ MORE

FOOD SECURITY

Maine paper mill will become salmon farm: After more than six years of research and preparation, Maine native Rob Piasio is leading efforts to launch Whole Oceans, a state-of-the-art recirculating aquaculture system (RAS), that will raise Atlantic salmon on the site of the former Verso paper mill in the heart of Bucksport, Maine. At full production, Whole Oceans will create hundreds of direct jobs and invest more than $250 million in Bucksport. READ MORE

A chicken cartel? A group of poultry growers have sued Sanderson Farms and Koch Foods over “anticompetitive, collusive, predatory, unfair, and bad faith conduct in the domestic market for broiler growing services.” The plaintiffs allege that the companies have had agreements for at least 10 years not to compete with one another for growers’ services, preventing the growers from seeking better contracts with other companies and with the “purpose and effect of fixing, maintaining, and/or stabilizing grower compensation below competitive levels,” according to court documents. READ MORE

Almond shortage a possibility: A cold snap in the heart of California’s agriculture industry could be devastating to the almond crop and ultimately lead to higher prices. Three straight nights of bitter-cold temperatures last week in the San Joaquin Valley — the hub of almond production — saw temperatures sink to the low-20s overnight. Almonds are in full bloom and vulnerable to frost damage, which could wipe out future nuts on the trees. READ MORE

Food waste: Worldwide, the amount of food that’s produced but goes uneaten is nearing a staggering 50 percent. A new study from Karlstad University, in Sweden, measured the country’s supermarket food waste, then extrapolated the environmental impact of that waste. Their findings confirm what we’ve seen in studies for years: the banana is wasted more than just about any item. READ MORE

MISCELLANEOUS

KFC’s chicken shortage: KFC went through a highly publicized, somewhat bizarre crisis in the U.K. last week: The fast food joint known for its fried chicken ran out of chicken. Now, KFC is apologizing with a creative stunt: rearranging its name to spell “FCK.” The shortage stemmed from “operational issues” with new delivery provider DHL, forcing most of its 900 locations to temporarily shut down (some reopening with limited menus and shorter hours). Disappointed fans of the chain were vocal on social media and even started trying to get police involved. READ MORE

Reward for a goat-killer: A popular Maine farm that invites the public to come cuddle or do yoga with its goats says one of the animals was found shot to death. Smiling Hill Farm says it has notified police about the death of Ava, a pregnant five-year-old Toggenburg. The farm says the goat was shot in a fenced pen in the early morning of Feb. 18, during the height of a snowstorm. READ MORE

No truly wild horses, genetic study shows: A new genetic study has found that no truly wild horses still exist and that a population inhabiting Mongolian grasslands actually is a feral descendant of the earliest-known domesticated horses. Przewalski’s horse, now numbering roughly 2,000 in Mongolia, was long thought to be the last wild horse—meaning no history of domestication—unlike other free-roaming horses like the mustangs of the western United States that descended from steeds brought to North America centuries ago by Spaniards. The Mongolian horses, however, are descended from horses domesticated in northern Kazakhstan some 5,500 years ago. READ MORE

Farming’s Indiana Jones: Against a picturesque prairie backdrop, Terry Springer grows corn, soybeans and alfalfa five miles southwest from the banks of the Missouri River. Springer farms in south-central South Dakota, surrounded by a mix of rolling hills and bluffs, a short jump from the Nebraska border. Whether crops, rocks, fossils or Native American artifacts, Springer is a man possessed by his dirt. Springer has amassed a trove of ice age bones, teeth, petrified wood, stone tools and a host of unidentified geological specimens. He takes the most promising specimens to the Black Hills Institute of Geological Research in Hill City for identification. READ MORE

Yogurt wars: The war between established yogurt makers and upstarts intensified when Dannon Co. sued a former senior vice president for allegedly taking confidential information and trade secrets to his new job at Chobani LLC. The suit illustrates how competitive the yogurt business has become and highlights the proliferation in the corporate world of non-compete clauses in workers’ contracts that restrain them from going to work for rival employers. READ MORE