Europe Finds 4.4% of ‘Beef’ Really Horse

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BRUSSELS—Europe-wide tests of “beef” products conducted after the region’s horse-meat scandal found that nearly 5% were contaminated with horse meat, and the percentage was sharply higher in a few countries, especially France and Greece.

The European Union, Switzerland and Norway organized the tests in February after horse-meat DNA was found in products labeled as beef in a number of countries, prompting a public outcry, criminal investigations and pledges from authorities to discover whether the presence of horse meat in Europe’s beef supply is widespread. The authorities found 200 positive samples out of 4,497 tested, or 4.4%.

Nearly a quarter of all positive tests in the 27 EU nations occurred in France, home to a food processor, Spanghero, that shipped large amounts of horse meat found in frozen lasagna, spaghetti Bolognese and other beef dishes in the U.K. and elsewhere. Greek samples accounted for nearly 20% of all EU positive tests. Around 13% of samples were positive in both countries, the highest rate in Europe.

In a separate round of tests, less than 1% of all horse-meat samples tested positive for

A worker handles animal carcasses at an abattoir in northern Romania, in this file photo dated Feb. 12, 2013.

phenylbutazone, known as “bute,” a painkiller used on animals that is a health risk for humans.

“Today’s findings have confirmed that this is a matter of food fraud and not of food safety,” said Tonio Borg, the EU health commissioner. “In the coming months, the commission will propose to strengthen the controls along the food chain in line with lessons learned.”

The commission, the EU’s executive arm, could seek new legal authority that would give it the power to require action from member states to fight fraud in the food chain, commission spokesman Frédéric Vincent said.

The horse-meat scandal offered a window into the complex supply chains that move food ingredients from farms across Europe, through trading firms, processing plants and ultimately to packaged food products on supermarket shelves. The horse meat that found its way to U.K. supermarkets originated from slaughterhouses in Romania; at various points, it moved through a warehouse in the Netherlands owned by a Cypriot firm called Draap Trading, Spanghero’s facility in southwestern France, the French food-processing firm Comigel SAS and finally to the frozen-food company Findus Group.

Comigel and Findus have pointed the finger at their suppliers for mislabeling horse meat as beef, while Draap and Spanghero have said the meat they shipped was labeled as horse meat. Authorities in several countries are conducting criminal investigations. The U.K. has arrested three men in a separate horse-meat investigation who worked at processing plants in Wales and West Yorkshire.

The French government said its positive tests were particularly high because it focused on suppliers and products that were already suspected of mislabeling horse meat.The government said it would propose EU-wide rules that will strengthen penalties for food-chain fraud to a maximum of five years in prison and 10% of a company’s annual revenue.

The animal-protection group Humane Society International said European governments should have also tested for other common medications administered to horses that pose a health risk to humans.

“Testing for just one of the many drugs banned for use in animals that enter the food chain falls short of a precautionary and thorough approach to addressing fraud and ensuring food safety standards are met,” said Joanna Swabe, Humane Society International’s EU director.

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The New Dirty Dozen: 12 Foods to Eat Organic

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The latest list of foods with the highest pesticide residue includes some familiar fruits and vegetables, and some surprises.

Foods With Pesticide Residue

The benefits of eating organic food go straight to the farm, where no pesticides and chemical fertilizers are used to grow the organic produce shipped to grocers. That means workers and farm neighbors aren’t exposed to potentially harmful chemicals, it means less fossil fuel converted into fertilizers and it means healthier soil that should sustain crops for generations to come.

For individuals, organic food also has benefits. Eating organic means avoiding the pesticide residue left on foods, and it may even mean more nutritious varietals, though research into that subject has yielded mixed results. While there are few if any proven health impacts from consuming trace quantities of pesticides on foods, a growing number of people take the precaution of avoiding exposure just in case, particularly in the cases of pregnant women (growing babies are exposed to most of the chemicals that mom consume) and the parents of young children.

But organic food can cost more, meaning many families are loathe to shell out the extra cash for organic produce on every shopping trip. That’s what makes the Environmental Working Group‘s annual list of the dirty dozen foods so useful. The group analyzes Department of Agriculture data about pesticide residue and ranks foods based on how much or little pesticide residue they have. The group estimates that individuals can reduce their exposure by 80% if they switch to organic when buying these 12 foods.

The USDA and farm and food industry representatives are quick to remind consumers that the government sets allowable pesticide residue limits it deems safe, and the produce for sale in your grocery store should meet those standards. Watchdogs like Environmental Working Group see those limits as too liberal, and see the dirty dozen list as a teaching tool to educate consumers about the benefits of organic food.

Even Environmental Working Group says that the benefits of eating fresh fruits and vegetables outweighs the known risks of consuming pesticide residue. At, we always favour educating consumers so that we can make the decision for ourselves.

Note: The 2011 dirty dozen list reflects testing data from the 2010 harvest, and because some pesticide use is dependent on weather conditions that vary by farm, it may not reflect the pesticide residue on produce in your grocery store.

That’s why we include not only those fruits and vegetables on Environmental Working Group’s current list, but produce that has made the list in the past, as well as information about pesticides used to produce meat, dairy and some other favourite foods that aren’t on Environmental Working Group’s latest dirty dozen list.

In general, tree fruits, berries, leafy greens dominate the list. Since the USDA tests produce after a typical household preparation, fruits and vegetables with thick skins that are removed before eating (melons, avocado, corn, etc.) tend to have the lowest amounts of pesticide residue.

If you don’t see a favourite food here, check Whats On My Food, a project of the Pesticide Action Network that makes the same USDA pesticide residue testing data available in an easy-to-use database.

Visit the link below, then click “NEXT” at the bottom of the page. There are 20 pages in full, starting with the worst…Apples, then Celery!!

Click Here

What’s On My Food?:-  This is a brilliant & easy way to find out how many pesticide residues are left on your food. 

Pesticides – A Public Problem
…on our food, even after washing;
…in our bodies, for years;
…& in our environment, travelling many miles on wind, water and dust.

This is a searchable database designed to make the public problem of pesticide exposure visible and more understandable.

How does this tool work? We link pesticide food residue data with the toxicology for each chemical, making this information easily searchable for the first time.

Use the tool, share it with others: we built it to help move the public conversation about pesticides into an arena where you don’t have to be an expert to participate.

At Pesticide Action Network (PAN), we believe that pesticides are a public health problem requiring public engagement to solve. We want you to have the information you need to take action based on a solid understanding of the issues. What’s On My Food? builds on PAN’s 28-year tradition of making pesticide science accessible

Click here to find out what’s on your food:-  Read The Foot Note!

Drought-hit Dasara elephants’ weight loss a worry

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MYSORE: Drought coupled with the neglect offorest department officials seems to have taken a toll on the health of Dasara elephants.

Most elephants in the first batch have lost weight up to 300 to 500 kg. Of the seven elephants arrived in the city, at least four have become weak due to lack of sufficient fodder. Elephants coming from B R Hills and Bandipur areas have fragile health, say wild life experts from the city.

Lack of rains and lantana replacing the bamboo, a major fodder crop, has made the elephants to suffer, say experts.
Another factor hampering the tamed elephants’ grazing habit is unlike wild elephants, they will not venture into deep forests. They are tuned to roam in a fixed territory for grazing.

“Once they return to base camps after Dasara, they are let free and never taken care of. There are no guidelines to feed the elephants after their return to camps from Mysore,” said an official in the forest department.
Though Dasara elephants at some camps are fed with paddy grass and ragi balls occasionally, they are not treated properly in all camps.


DCF S N Devaraju, who is in charge of Dasara elephants, denied the argument that the elephants have starved and are not healthy.

“All elephants, including Balarama, are ready to do their job. Balarama can carry the howdah anytime. We prepare and feed them for the occasion to ensure their good health. In the next 30 to 40 days, all elephants will be fed with nutritious food and this will make them gain weight between 200 and 350 kg,” he said.

Drought might have affected the fodder stocks of elephants in forests, but it does not mean that they are starving, he claimed.

Devaraju said the howdah elephant in the past used to carry more than 1,000 kg, but now it is only between 750 and 800 kg.

In the past, the elephant carried 750 kg of golden howdah along with then maharaja Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar and his maternal uncle or a relative. Now, the idol of goddess Chamundeshwari is only 15 kg, he points out, claiming that carrying howdah is not a big task for any elephant.

Special care

** While adult male elephants normally weigh between 4,000 and 5,000 kg, female elephants weigh between 3,000 and 4,000 kg.

** During Dasara, elephants are fed with highly nutritious food which helps them gain 10 to 15 kg extra on a daily basis. By the time of the grand finale, the elephants will gain weight between 350 and 500 kg.

** Menu of the elephants is prepared by veterinarians attending them. The diet contains jaggery balls, bananas and ragi balls.

** Mahouts are the most pampered lot during Dasara along with the elephants. Officials ensure that mahouts and their assistants are in good health and are counselled not to consume liquor. They are paid ex-gratia amount for their expenditures. This apart, their family members are provided with ration.

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“If you’re wondering what all the above is about, here is a video, in English; at least I’m honest, I didn’t have a clue what it meant…lol”

Uploaded by  on 28 Sep 2009

NDTV brings you Dasara festivities of Mysore.

Celebrate A Victory – California Foie Gras Ban Takes Effect July 1

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July 1 marks the realization of a long-awaited, incredible victory for animals in California. In 2004, IDA helped pass a law that banned foie gras, the enlarged livers of force-fed ducks and geese. Force-feeding is the extremely cruel practice of inserting a long, wide tube down the throat to force in many times the amount of food that a bird would normally eat, until the liver is engorged with disease. Legislators sided with scientists, veterinarians and advocates who exposed this cruelty. The food industry BizarroFoieGras_jpgwas given eight years to comply.

The ban finally takes effect on July 1, after which this cruel dish may no longer be produced or sold in California. Chefs who defy the ban are subject to a $1,000 citation. This is cause for celebration, though some chefs and restaurants are hinting that they will find creative ways to serve foie gras anyway, such as by charging a “corkage fee” to prepare foie gras that customers bring in themselves. There is also speculation that some will sell items such as toast at exhorbitant fees, and then tack on “free” foie gras to go with it. That’s still illegal.

You can help IDA monitor and ensure compliance with the law. If you live in (or visit) California and see any business selling foie gras, please tell us so we can contact the proper enforcement agency. Email with any information about violations.

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Ottawa to allow slaughterhouses to process already dead animals

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OTTAWA—The federal government wants to allow the carcasses of already dead animals to be processed in slaughterhouses for human consumption, a move that is raising concerns about the safety of Canada’s food system.

The Conservative government is pitching the change as a way to cut red tape and provide greater flexibility to slaughterhouse operators.

But the New Democrats are raising a red flag saying the move invites possible “contamination” of the food supply.

“Under the present regulations . . . it has to come in alive, be slaughtered on site,” said NDP MP Malcolm Allen (Welland), the party’s agriculture critic.

“Now you can bring in dead stock. It’s okay to bring in that animal into a slaughterhouse, have it cut, wrapped . . . for human consumption.

“The real fear is how did it die, (and) under what circumstances did it die.”

The proposed changes to Meat Inspection Regulations, outlined in the Canada Gazette, would allow “greater flexibility” to the activities that can be carried out in federally regulated slaughterhouses.

Current federal regulations do not allow meat to be processed from animals slaughtered outside of a registered slaughterhouse.

Now the government is proposing to make exemptions to that rule for animals that cannot be transported to a slaughterhouse alive because they are too aggressive to move or because they are injured.

“It is proposed to amend the (meat inspection regulations) to allow into registered establishments carcasses from food animals slaughtered elsewhere . . . following a detailed ante-mortem examination by a private veterinary practitioner,” the proposed rules state.

“Such an amendment would be extremely useful for industry in a number of situations, such as when injured animals cannot be transported alive for welfare reasons; or when animals are dangerous, aggressive or difficult to handle and cannot be transported.”

A vet would have to inspect an animal prior to slaughter to confirm it could not be safely transported, as well as determine if the animal is fit to serve as food. The vet will also certify the date of the slaughter and method.

Allen said that rule change risks allowing the food supply to be contaminated by “dead stock.

“You wouldn’t know by looking at it and nor would the label tell you it’s dead stock because I’ll guarantee you if the label said dead stock, you would never buy it,” Allen said.

Read the rest of this news:-–ottawa-to-allow-slaughterhouses-to-process-already-dead-animals

The Butcher Next Door – Why the rise of DIY urban animal slaughter is bad for people and animals.

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When Armageddon strikes, it’s a safe bet that Herrick Kimball will be serving chicken. Known asthe Deliberate Agrarian, Kimball grew up “a sissified suburban kid” but decided at the age of 41 to toughen up, drop out of the corporate food system, and seek rural self-sufficiency. Slaughtering and butchering chickens—a multitude of chickens—is central to Kimball’s evangelical quest to liberate himself from the corrupting influence of imported food. Culinarily, he’s unplugged. Plugged in, however, is Kimball’s computer, the pulpit from which he bangs out the gospel of poultry. His tutorial on how to properly butcher a chicken has earned well over a million hits.

Decentralizing the act of animal slaughter in the name of taking back the food chain has an empowering ring to it. In reality, it’s a fad rife with trouble. Advocates are quick to justify urban farming on the grounds that the industrial food system is broken. Compassionate carnivores aim to bypass the abattoir, eliminate the distance between farm and fork, and take full responsibility for the animals they eat.

Do-it-yourself butchery is said to help eliminate food deserts, empower ethnic groups to maintain cultural traditions, and minimize animal suffering. It’s billed as safer than industrial meat processing on both an environmental and a human scale. These arguments may sound convincing, but they obscure a host of problems that result when urban backyards are transformed into slaughterhouses.

The most obvious concern relates to quality of life. Not every urban dweller wants to live next door to a stable of farm animals. In Oakland, Calif., one resident whose home abuts a backyard farm housing dozens of animals was recently kept up all night by the moaning of a dying a goat (who had eaten poison accidentally left out by the “farmer”), which you can listen to here:


Neighbors eventually filed a complaint against this farm, citing (among other issues), “increased noise, flies, [and] odor.” In another incident, the Los Angeles County Animal Control, with the help of a nonprofit called the Gentle Barn, rescued more than 50 animals about to be slaughtered by a “Southern California backyard butcher” who was routinely abusing his animals. Not only were all his creatures emaciated, but they had “infected lungs, parasites, fevers, and hacking coughs.” Last summer, backyard chickens and ducks infected more than 71 people with two separate strains of salmonella. Urban centers already deal with plenty of daunting health and safety issues. Do we really want to add traditionally rural ones to the mix?

Read the rest of this eye-opening post:


Shocking Animal Cruelty at Tyson Foods Supplier – Video

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“OMG…God Dam heartless bastards!  I am sick to death of seeing heinous acts of abuse on these sentient beings. That bitch that sat on the pig with a broken leg…I call that torture, calculated & cold, she needs to be taught a lesson…they all do.

Unfortunately, we are seeing more & more of this type of abuse on farmed animals. No dignity only cruelty, which breaks my bloody heart & I don’t’ mind telling you that I shed a tear for the pig that was crippled, when the investigator laid a gentle hand on her head & relieved her thirst…they were probably the only acts of kindness that pig had ever felt.

And what do the authorities want to do?? Cover it up by using Ag-gag laws, which is really telling the world they know it goes on, but have to protect their investments etc. Stuff the bloody lot of them. It is a crying shame & extremely sad, that in this day & age animals raised for human consumption have no better life than the rats that live among them.

My apologies for my language, but I am a person who cares so deeply for these poor animals…which is the reason I don’t eat them! I also have a heart, that beats with sympathy, empathy, love & kindness…something these workers are void of.  These type of workers enjoy inflicting pain, that’s why they like to work in this industry, so they can abuse all day long & nobody takes a blind bit of notice. Yet if they were doing it a dog on the street, there would be uproar…I don’t see any difference??”

Warning viewer discretion advised…Although I would like this & videos like it to be aired on TV to tell the whole bloody world, how these sentient beings suffer in silence, to end up on human plates!!

Published on 8 May 2012 by 

Warning: Contains Graphic Footage. Undercover video footage at “Wyoming Premium Farms” revealing egregious cruelty and filthy conditions at a Wyoming pig breeding facility owned by a supplier for Tyson Foods.

The Humane Society of the United States released undercover video footage revealing cruel treatment of animals and inhumane conditions at a Wyoming pig breeding facility owned by a supplier to Tyson Foods. The investigation revealed workers kicking piglets like soccer balls, swinging sick piglets in circles, and ruthlessly beating mother pigs. Along with individual acts of animal abuse, this investigation also highlights the suffering pigs endure when locked in metal “gestation crates” where they cannot even turn around for nearly their whole lives — a standard pork industry practice.

These cages, barely larger than the pigs’ own bodies, prevent the animals from even turning around. Mother pigs are caged like this during their four-month-long pregnancy, taken from the gestation crate and put into another crate to give birth, re-impregnated, and put back into a gestation crate so the cycle can repeat. It’s hard to imagine a worse existence.

Burger King, McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Safeway, Compass Group (the world’s largest food service provider), and other major food companies have announced that they’ll remove gestation crates from their supply chains. As several leading pork producers are actively moving in that direction, Tyson lags far behind and still defends this extreme confinement. We need your help to move the company to do the right thing.

Please use the form below to send a message to Tyson Foods and ask the company to end their suppliers’ use of cruel gestation crates.

Sign here:-



Eva is only a few years old but has spent her entire life as a homeless dog. Trying to find enough food and avoiding dangers of the streets is hard for every homeless cat and dog, especially with the shooting and poisoning that is often used to kill large numbers of animals.

The only thing she had to look forward to in her days is waiting until evening when a kind man put food out each night.

Nadim had been looking after Eva ever since she was born and she was very friendly to him.

On 17 April, like almost every night, when Nadim finished work he came with food and Eva was waiting – wanting attention and her daily meal.

The next morning Nadim woke to a terrible sight. Eva was laying in the bushes near Nadims apartment building, her eyes closed tight, head bleeding, and though she was in obvious pain she didn’t make a noise. Eva might have known that Nadim would likely be the only person who would help her. 

All at once we received a phone call, email, and Facebook post about this poor dog. Nadim was desperate for help, quickly explaining that it seems like Eva had been shot and needing assistance to transport her to a vet and help with her treatment.

Eva was  safely moved to the car and brought to vet clinic.

She was still quiet with blood on her face, and she was shaking from pain or fear.

X-rays showed that she had been shot repeatedly with a pellet gun, pellets were still lodged under the skin of her face and head. This can be treated and she can recover, but the pellets also harmed both of her eyes and Eva might never be able to see again. 

She was also heavily pregnant, and about to give birth.

The vet put her on pain killers and antibiotics but had to be careful to protect the unborn puppies. She was resting by herself, scared and stressed out from what she had endured and now being unable to see, but she would be fine.

Later that day when the vet went to check on her one puppy had already been born. Then another, and another, until later that evening six newborn puppies were all nursing and cuddling up against Eva.

Eva and her puppies were taken to a quiet home so she can recuperate from her wounds and the puppies can be safe.

Dogs on the street are often shot or poisoned as an inhumane and ineffective way of controlling the population, but Eva was shot and blinded for no reason at all. She was no harm to anyone and was never aggressive.

Eva and her five puppies will require a couple months of care and treatment, and possibly a surgery to remove any of the remaining pellets. 

Please donate now to help this family of dogs and they will all be ready for adoption soon.


Protect Your Food – ALDF Battles Ag Gag Laws

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The Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) is fighting back against the proposed “Ag-Gaglaws by launching a website to highlight its own “workable proposed law;” the Protect Your Food‘, also known as the “Safeguarding the Public from Food-Borne Illnesses Act.”

ALDF’s proposed legislation attempts to ensure that “your state government and counties will stop purchasing potentially unsafe food products from any jurisdiction with an ag gag law.” For the skeptics out there, ALDF has also created a “microsite” that seeks to “inform legislators that their constituents are watching their actions.”

Whether you’re a journalist or Joe the plumber working with an animal welfare group, these ‘ag gag’ laws could mean jail time for anyone working undercover and taking photos or video without permissions. Not only does the law threaten public health and safety and environmental laws, it also obstructs law enforcement and undermines freedom of the press and freedom of speech.

It seems to us, that if factory farms have nothing to hide, (and we know they do), then there should be no problem with “undercover” video. Here’s a thought, stop abusing factory farm animals, and people will stop trying to film it.

ALDF currently has a petition available and is working to engage others via social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.

To read more visit Protect Your Food, and watch the video below.

Did you know food safety risks, animal abuse, and illegal working conditions are rampant on factory farms? And the corporate agriculture lobby is attempting to pass so-called “ag gag” laws — laws which would make it illegal to photograph or videotape at agricultural facilities, or to possess or distribute such evidence.

Their goal is insidious — to quiet whistleblowers and eliminate access to critical evidence of farmed animal and other abuses. What’s more, restrictions or prohibitions on these records would decrease the opportunities for food safety violations to be discovered, thereby increasing the risk that consumers could be exposed to and contract illnesses from the consumption of unsafe food products and produce from jurisdictions that pass ag gag legislation.

Learn why ag gag is of grave concern to everyone from journalists to whistleblowers to mothers concerned about the safety of their children’s food, then see how the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s proposed Protect Your Food Act can stop the threat of ag gag laws from reaching your state.

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Marshfield police kill aggressive-acting bear

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MARSHFIELD—Marshfield police have shot and killed a bear that they say showed signs of being aggressive.

The police department says a resident first reported Saturday that a bear stood on its rear legs in an attack or defensive posture while it was close to her and her dog.Authorities tried to trap the bear but weren’t able to.

Police then received a call Monday evening from another resident who said a bear was in his yard, standing on its hind legs in a threatening posture. Police notified the state Department of Natural Resources, which instructed officers not to allow the bear to escape.

The bear was killed before the DNR arrived.

Police remind residents to lock up any food sources that might attract bears

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