ANALYSIS - Environmental issues have been in the news in the last week, writes senior editor, Jackie Linden. Global standards are to be set up to assess the impacts of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from farm livestock and in the EU, farm ministers are supporting efforts to facilitate a green transition of the modern economy. In the US, a federal court has ordered the FDA to take action to protect public health from the overuse of antibiotics in animal feed.
The International Meat Secretariat is to join forces with the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations to establish global standards to assess the impacts of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions caused by livestock production.
The new partnership, announced at the World Meat Congress in Paris this week, will be a three-way arrangement between the private sector, the governmental delegates to the FAO and non-governmental organisations and consumer groups.
The partnership will work on an international level to draw together research and studies to establish new standards for greenhouse gas emissions and sustainable livestock farming.
Also on the subject of the environment, at an informal meeting of EU Farm Ministers, which focused on enabling the EU agri-food sector to contribute to a green transition of our modern economy, Copa-Cogeca outlined measures to ensure ‘green’ growth in the future under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). Copa-Cogeca stressed that with food demand on the rise, there is a need to ensure a more efficient, productive agriculture in a sustainable way. This has also been called for by many Ministers.
For the second time in three months, a federal court in the US has ordered the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to take action to protect public health from the overuse of antibiotics in animal feed by instructing FDA to reconsider two citizen petitions which urge the agency to revoke approvals for all nontherapeutic uses of antibiotics in livestock production.
A week ago, Europe's top producer of poultry and processed chicken – Doux group of France – was put into administration after it failed to reach a deal with creditors.
Finally, turning to bird flu news, Cambodia’s veterinary authority has reported an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza in local chicken and ducks and in Bangladesh, the virus has been detected in 21 out of 85 large poultry farms so far this year; more than 46,000 chicks have been culled there as a result. In the EU, the H5N1 virus has been found in wild swans in Greece, Italy and Bulgaria. A young boy in Hong Kong has been confirmed with H5N1 influenza A.