Sunday, August 28, 2016

Cargill, Dreyfus and P&H export canola to China

Cargill, Louis Dreyfus and Parish and Heimbecker have made sales ranging from about 30,000 to 60,000 tonnes to China for delivery after Sept. 1, according to trade sources who were not authorized to speak publicly.

Louis Dreyfus’s Canadian unit, Cargill and Parrish and Heimbecker declined to comment.

Canada’s biggest canola exporters, Richardson International and Glencore-owned Viterra, however, are balking at China’s new standard.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will probably raise the issue of China’s demand for less dockage in Canada’s canola shipments when he visits this week.

The Canadians say the standards are unnecessarily high, but the Chinese are insisting on them to prevent entry of blackleg disease.

Doug Powell praises London health unit

Dr. Doug Powell, a food safety communications expert, is praising the Middlesex-London Health Unit for speaking up, rather than waiting for more information, about a rash of salmonella cases.

Jennifer O’Brien of the London Free-Press reports that 14 cases of salmonella in a week -- compared to a monthly August average of nine — has mystified health inspectors who couldn’t find a “common thread” among those affected.

Stephen Turner, director of environmental health and infectious diseases said, “We look for relationships — common restaurants, grocery stores, a common workplace . . . whether they’ve purchased a common product.

“We haven’t found that. That is why it’s raised our eyebrows so we are investigating diligently.”

Usually health units wait until they can confirm the source of an outbreak of food poisoning, usually saying they don’t want to alarm the public.

But Powell has consistently argued that they ought to tell the public as soon as possible so people can take precautions.

Raw milk sickens Detroit children

Two children in Detroit have been sickened with E. coli because they drank unpasteurized milk.

Their parents own shares in cows so they can bypass regulations and obtain raw milk. Michael Schmidt of Ontario has pursued the same loophole.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is investigating separate cases in Oakland and Wayne Counties and is reminding residents of the potential risks associated with consuming raw milk.

“The public should be aware that raw milk and other unpasteurized dairy products have not been heat treated and, therefore, pose a potentially serious risk to human health,” said Dr. Eden Wells, chief medical executive for MDHHS.

It's one thing for adults to accept the risks involved, but quite another to expose innocent children to these obvious dangers.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Dr. John Walton dead at 67

Dr. John Walton who organized teams from the University of Guelph to compete at the annual North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge competitions, has died of lymphoma. He was 67.

He earned his doctorate from the University of Reading in England, immigrated in 1979 to join the faculty of animal and poultry science at the University of Guelph, was promoted from assistant to associate professor in 1985 and served as full professor from 1990 to 2009.

He specialized in sheep and animals' reproductive performance, shifting to focus on dairy.

He developed a small flock of Charolais sheep on his farm near Guelph.

He is survived by his wife of 44 years, Valerie, and two children, Tom and Jen, and their spouses and children.

In lieu of a formal service, he asked for a party which will be Sept. 23 at the Puslinch Community Centre. Donations are welcomed for the University of Guelph Dairy Challenge Initiative.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Ray Baynton to retire from CKNX

Farm broadcaster Ray Baynton is retiring from CKNX in Wingham.

He has been a farm reporter there for 43 years and since 1976 has been the station’s news director.

He says over the years, there were a number of changes that kept him focused.

Baynton says he would not change anything because every situation was a learning experience.