beef

USDA study shows cooking kills bird flu virus in meat

In tests conducted by USDA scientists, the H5N1 bird flu virus did not survive in hamburgers cooked to internal temperatures of 145 and 160 degrees Fahrenheit, said the Agriculture Department on Thursday. “These results validate that [Food Safety and Inspection Service] recommended cooking temperatures are sufficient to kill H5N1 in meat,” it said.

USDA is testing ground beef for bird flu virus

Agriculture Department scientists are conducting three beef safety studies following the first-ever discovery of bird flu in dairy cows a month ago, said a USDA spokesperson on Monday. The studies include tests of ground beef purchased at grocery stores in states with infected herds.

Senate resolution would block import of Paraguayan beef

Two senators from the Plains filed a resolution on Monday to overturn USDA approval of imports of chilled or frozen deboned beef from Paraguay. Sens. Jon Tester, Montana Democrat, and Mike Rounds, South Dakota Republican, said they were worried about the possible transmission of foot and mouth disease.

Fewer cattle and lower U.S. beef production in the near term

Despite market prices that could reach record highs, the cattle industry is unlikely to expand herd numbers for the next year or two, said analysts, pointing to high feed costs, lingering drought, and a limited labor supply. As a result, Americans are forecast to consume nearly 3 percent less beef per person this year than in 2023.

Whatever you call it, cultivated meat trails beef in consumers’ estimation

Americans declare beef is better than its plant-based or lab-grown alternatives from almost any standpoint, from taste to nutrition and environmental impact, said a Purdue University report on Wednesday. Consumers gave slightly higher scores to "lab-grown meat" as opposed to "cell-cultured meat," although it is the same thing.

Vilsack urges Brazil ‘in the strongest terms’ to speed up mad-cow testing

In stern terms, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack told his Brazilian counterpart that beef trade between the nations hinges on prompt reporting of cattle diseases, especially mad cow disease. Earlier this year, Brazil reported two cases of atypical mad cow disease two months after they occurred, while most nations report the findings within days.

Wealthy nations are losing their taste for meat, says report

For decades, the rule of thumb has been that as a country’s income rises, so does its meat consumption. Now a turning point may be at hand among high-income nations, especially in Western Europe and North America, where per capita consumption of meat is projected to decline in the coming decade, said a report on the world agricultural outlook on Thursday.

USDA asks, is it really antibiotic-free, raised humanely?

Two USDA agencies will begin a sampling project to see if there are antibiotic residues in beef marketed as “raised without antibiotics,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Wednesday. The USDA’s food safety agency will also issue a guideline recommending that companies produce more proof when they want to use a label that says animals were raised under specific conditions.

COP27: Food industry plan to end deforestation ‘falls short’

A plan to end deforestation in soy, palm oil, beef and cacao production by 2025 — released by 14 major agricultural commodity companies including Cargill, Archer Daniels Midland, and JBS — falls far short of what would be needed to meet global climate goals, environmental groups say. No paywall

Study: Cut beef, boost whole grains to make school lunches more sustainable

Reducing the amount of meat served in school lunches and increasing servings of whole grains could help reduce the National School Lunch Program’s environmental impact while expanding the market for foods produced in more ecologically friendly ways, according to a paper published Thursday in the journal Communications Earth and Environment.

Cattle market reformers see resistance from big ag groups

A band of senators from the Midwest and northern Plains, with the best chance in years to inject transparency into the consolidated cattle market, pressed on Tuesday for a federal mandate for meatpackers to buy more cattle for cash, rather than through obscure formulas. "We need some sunlight," said Montana Sen. Jon Tester.

Brazil’s Amazon beef plan will ‘legalize deforestation’

For many, the overriding image of agriculture in the Amazon is one of environmental destruction. About 80 percent of deforestation in the region has been attributed to cattle ranching, tainting beef exports. But Brazil’s beef industry hopes to tempt buyers back to the Amazon region, which …

Cattle reformers in Senate unite on price discovery bill

In order to increase market transparency, four senators said on Tuesday they would file legislation to require meatpackers to buy a portion of their slaughter cattle on the cash market. The bill also would create a contract library that discloses the purchase terms that packers offer for cattle, so producers might know if a fair price is being offered.

Food prices rise, outpaced by U.S. inflation rate

Pulled by strong meat prices, September food prices were 4.6 percent higher than a year ago, said the Labor Department on Wednesday. The monthly Consumer Price Index report said the annual U.S. inflation rate was 5.4 percent in September, compared with 5.3 percent in the preceding month.

More competition in meatpacking or ‘bust them up,’ senators are told

With four companies dominating the meat industry, Congress and federal regulators must intervene to assure that livestock farmers get a fair price from processors or “if need be, bust them up,” the president of the National Farmers Union said at a Senate hearing on Wednesday. It was the …

White House slams Russia over ransomware attack on JBS

President Biden will meet President Vladimir Putin as planned on June 16 "as a vital part of defending America's interests," said a White House spokeswoman on Tuesday after holding Russia culpable for the ransomware attack on meatpacker JBS. "The White House is engaging directly with the Russian government on this matter and delivering the message that responsible states do not harbor ransomware criminals."

Beef slumps while pork exports surge

For the first six months of the year, exports of American beef tumbled by 15 percent, probably due to Covid-19 turmoil, while pork exports soared by 28 percent compared to 2019 levels, said the USDA on Tuesday. Large shipments to China were the primary factor in the surge in pork shipments, …

Beef fuels biggest increase in grocery prices in nearly a decade

Grocery prices climbed by 5.6 percent, their largest 12-month increase since December 2011, although the U.S. inflation rate is a mild 0.6 percent, said the Labor Department on Tuesday. Beef prices skyrocketed by 25 percent, with most of the increase in the past three months when coronavirus …

Coronavirus slowed U.S. exports of beef and pork in May

Beef exports were the smallest in 10 years during May and pork exports were the lowest in seven months, "due in part to interruptions in slaughter and processing," said the U.S. Meat Export Federation. Chief executive Dan Halstrom said the global economic slowdown and stay-at-home orders in some Western Hemisphere nations also were factors. (No paywall)

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