Poultry workers say they are routinely denied bathroom breaks, according to a report by Oxfam America, based on interviews with workers at some of the nation's biggest poultry companies, including Tyson Foods, Perdue and Pilgrim's over the last three years.
Trade groups speaking for U.S. chicken and hog farmers asked the government to withdraw, or at a minimum restrict, trade benefits for South Africa until it provides more access for U.S. meat imports, reports Feedstuffs.
A WTO appellate panel ruled that India violated fair-trade rules by barring imports of U.S. poultry, eggs and hogs as a way to prevent entry of avian influenza. The poultry industry estimated sales of poultry to India could rise quickly to $300 million a year once India's restrictions are removed. The case began eight years ago and the United States won a first-round WTO ruling in 2014. The United States said India excluded U.S. products in order to give a leg up to its own farmers.
Groups representing U.S. cattle, hog and poultry producers urged lawmakers to approve rules that assure trade agreements will get a yes-or-no vote with no amendments.
The government proposed tougher standards on disease-causing bacteria in chicken and turkey meat, saying the result would be 50,000 fewer cases a year of food-borne illnesses.
The Urban School Food Alliance, composed of six of the largest U.S. school districts, announced its members want antibiotic-free chicken to serve in their cafeterias.
With time running out to set the ethanol mandate for this year, EPA said it "is not in a position to finalize the 2014 RFS standards rule before the end of the year. Accordingly, we intend to take action on the 2014 standards rule in 2015 prior to or in conjunction with action on the 2015 standards rule." EPA proposed a relaxation in the 2014 mandate nearly a year ago, saying the gasoline market was nearly saturated with biofuels at the traditional blend rate of 10 percent, partly because fuel usage is lower than expected.
The World Trade Organization agreed with U.S. complaints and ruled that India's restrictions on imports of hogs, poultry meat and chicken eggs violate world trade rules.
President Vladimir Putin issued a decree that bans or reduces for one year imports of food and agricultural products from countries that have imposed sanctions on Russia in the crisis over Ukraine. "The Kremlin decree doesn't specify which items will be affected," said the BBC.
The government revamped its poultry inspection system so USDA inspectors devote more time to preventing pathogen contamination of meat while processors have more responsibliity for finding quality defects.