Free-Range Does Not Mean Wholesome


EGG-NEWS is indebted to the Food Safety newsletter distributed by attorney William Marler for a reference to an outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium attributed to consumption of free-range eggs that were washed on the farm.  The outbreak was limited to the Australian Capital Territory and involved three confirmed cases in May 2018.  Molecular biological evaluation of the common isolate revealed a rare MLVA (Multiple Locus Variable-number Tandem Repeat Analysis) confirming the single source.


According to the article, fecally soiled eggs were soaked in a chlorine solution of variable concentration and were washed and sanitized in an obsolete bucket-type washer.  Inspection confirmed that the grader, the environment of the packing shed and personal hygiene were all deficient.

Hens that are colonized with intestinal Salmonella will deposit bacteria on the shell during oviposition.  Improper washing subsequently facilitates penetration of the pores of the shell and the absence of refrigeration will contribute to proliferation of the pathogen within the egg.  Cooking at a temperature exceeding 165F through to the center of the yolk for at least 30 seconds is necessary to inactivate Salmonella.


Approximately 50 percent of eggs marketed in Australia are derived from small to medium-sized flocks allowed access to pasture.  A number of packers collect eggs from contractors and independent farmers and subject these eggs to appropriate shell decontamination using equipment similar to those in use in the U.S.  From personal observation, eggs are not refrigerated from the time of packing through purchase even in large chain supermarkets.


A number of cases of Salmonella Enteritidis infection in consumers have been reported from  various states in Australia.  Elimination of SE in pasture-maintained flocks is impossible and modalities including vaccination and post-pack refrigeration can only suppress vertical transmission.  Accordingly, a number of producers in Australia are considering in-shell pasteurization using microwave treatment that has been successfully employed in the Republic of South Africa.  Thermal immersion has a higher capital cost and is associated with significant shell damage in addition to deterioration in internal quality.  This is reflected in the fact that less than one percent of shell eggs in the U.S. are subject to thermal-immersion pasteurization.


*Sloan-Gardner, T. S. et al  Free range eggs does not mean safety eggs: an outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium linked to free range eggs. Commun.Dis.Intl. 43: doi.org/10.33321/cdi.2019.43.52


Egg Industry News



Corn and soybean trading was subdued this past week attributed to:-

  • Declining optimism over the as yet non-documented outcome of the October 10/11th Ministerial-level trade negotiations between the U.S. and China. No specific date or venue has been set for signing and the parties have not concluded and agreement on tariff rescission.
  • Prospects of exports of soybeans to China are dampened by the absence of specific details on quantities and prices or an expressed commitment from state-controlled brokers in China.


Uncertainties still exist:-

  • Traders are waiting to see the rate of harvesting of both corn and soybeans and the effect of recent bouts of severe weather in the upper Midwest.
  • Quality and yield of 2019 corn and soybeans planted late this season
  • Brexit and the U.S. relationship with the U.K and the E.U.
  • Unpredictable political situation delaying ratification of the USMCA .

Compared with close of trading on November 1st the quotation posted for November 8th trading for December corn was down 3.1 percent or 12 cents per bushel. The November soybean quotation, vulnerable to trade conflicts with China was down 0.5 percent or 5 cents per bushel despite orders in September amounting to 4 percent of projected 2019 exports. The October 11th negotiations apparently elicited an intention by China to import an unspecified quantity of "U.S. agricultural commodities" over a non-disclosed time period but no deliveries have been made. December soybean meal was unchanged from the November 1st quotation.

The promise of successful negotiations to resolve the trade dispute with China is barely glowing, despite alternating White House spin and expressions of intransigence. There is no confirmation from China of their intentions following Ministerial-level talks on October 10th and 11th in Washington. No date or venue has been set to sign a predicted Phase 1 agreement after cancellation of the Asia-Pacific Meeting in Chile this month. Beijing has indicated that a prerequisite for an agreement must be a rescission of tariffs announced in September. Orders will only be placed in accordance with the nation's needs and at prevailing prices. Current consensus is that there will not be a comprehensive resolution of the trade dispute before the 2020 U.S. election. The mid-October portion of additional tariffs announced in August was deferred before the October negotiations. No further decision on when and if the proposed second round of escalations scheduled for mid-December will occur. If the U.S. imposes additional tariffs at this time any consideration of a settlement can be abandoned.

The continuous stream of statements by the White House and to a lesser extent, the Government of China is intensifying. Spokespersons have issued conflicted verbal reports over the months since the dispute began. This is disconcerting to the commodities market and has contributed to price fluctuation. The absence of a post-negotiation written communiqué after the October negotiations was characterized by Michael Pillsbury, interviewed on CNBC on Monday October 14th as, "It is hard to say what was agreed".

The following quotations were posted by the CME at close of trading on November 8th compared with values for November 1st (in parentheses).



Corn (cents per bushel)

Dec. 376 (388)

March '20 385 (397)

Soybeans (cents per bushel)

Nov. 919 (924)

Jan. '20 930 (937)

Soybean meal ($ per ton)

Dec. 305 (305)

Jan. '20 307 (307)

Changes in the price of corn, soybeans and soybean meal over five trading days were:-


Corn: Dec. quotation down 12 cents per bushel (-3.1 percent)

Soybeans: Nov. quotation down 5 cents per Bu   (-0.5 percent)

Soybean Meal: Dec. quotation unchanged           ( 0 )

  • For each 10 cent per bushel change in corn:-

The cost of egg production would change by 0.45 cent per dozen

The cost of broiler production would change by 0.25 cent per pound live weight

· For each $10 per ton change in the price of soybean meal:-

The cost of egg production would change by 0.44 cent per dozen

The cost of broiler production would change by 0.25 cent per pound live weight


Subscribers are referred to the comments on the weekly USDACrop Progress Report in this edition and the October 10 th WASDE #593 posted under the Statistics tab .

Prices of commodities will be determined by estimates of ending stocks as influenced by the 2019 harvest, exports and domestic use.

The corn price was influenced by the October 4th decision by the EPA to establish a level of 15 billion gallons of ethanol to be blended into the gasoline consumed in 2020. Existing restraints to sale of E15 will be lifted. Future waivers to "small" refineries will be restrained and the RIN process will be streamlined. Ethanol price trades in a narrow range reflecting declining domestic and export demand and was set at $1.41 per gallon on November 8th. ($1.34 per gallon on August 30 th; $1.41 on November 1st)

Unless shipments of corn and especially soybeans to China resume in volume, which is highly unlikely in 2019, the financial future for row-crop farmers for the upcoming harvest appears bleak despite the release of two tranches of support funding in 2018 amounting to $12 billion as "short-term" compensation for disruption in trade.

On July 25th the USDA announced an additional $16 million package to support agriculture with Market Facilitation Payment (MFP) funds to be distributed in three tranches. The first payment of $2.5 billion was made with the remainder for the third quarter disbursed through the Farm Services Agency under authority of the Commodity Credit Corporation. A total of $9.6 billion was distributed in September Payments will be based on a value corresponding to the higher of 50 percent of the producer's calculated payment or $15 per acre, provided a cover crop is planted.

The second MFP payment (November 2019) will be $3.6 billion. The third (January 2020) payment, presumed to be $3.6 billion, will be decided according to prevailing conditions. Regulations framed in terms of the Additional Supplementation Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act of 2019 enacted in June will determine eligibility. One million applications were received for the initial round in 2018 with 420,000 applications since July 2019 to date.


Egg Week


USDA Weekly Egg Price and Inventory Report, November 14th 2019.

  • Hen numbers in production up 1.0 million to 330.9 million .
  • Shell inventory up 3.3 percent after rise of 0.5 percent in previous week
  • USDA Midwest benchmark generic prices for Extra large and Large up 34.6 and 35.4 percent respectively to 120.5 and 118.5 cents per dozen. Mediums were 17.4 percent higher at 94.5 cents per dozen. An increase in USDA benchmark price for the second consecutive week confirms that prices are moving up from a prolonged market bottom. Midwest Extra Large and Large prices are now above nest-run production cost.
  • Price of breaking stock up 29.7 percent to 76.5 cents per dozen. Checks up 31.9 percent to 60.2 cents per dozen reflecting shell-egg prices. Both categories are now above the cost of production



According to the USDA Egg Market News Reports posted on November 11th the Midwest wholesale prices for Extra Large and Large as delivered to DCs were 34.6 and 35.7 percent higher at 120.5 and 118.5 cents per dozen respectively. Mediums were 17.4 percent higher at 94.5 cents per dozen. Prices were at or above the USDA average 5-Region blended nest-run benchmark of 60.2 cents per dozen in October, excluding provisions for packing and transport. The progression of prices during 2019 is depicted in the USDA chart reflecting three years of data, updated weekly.


Harvest Report for Past Week


The November 12th USDA Crop Progress Report documents continued advances in harvesting the 2019 report delayed by late planting due to flooding and inclement weather over the harvest period.


As of November 10th in 18 major corn-producing states responsible for 94 percent of the 2018 crop, 66 percent of the corn had been harvested. This compares to a five-year average of 85 percent. During the past week 14 percent was reaped.


Farmers harvested an additional 10 percent of the crop this past week to bring the total in the bin to 85 percent compared to a five-year average of 92 percent.





Hope for “Phase-1” Agreement Fading

Despite optimism following the October 11th negotiations in Washington that ended in a meeting between President Donald J. Trump and Vice Premier Liu He, the U.S. appear to be no closer to resolving the 20-month cycle of mutually destructive and escalating tariffs with a profound interruption in trade.

No date has been set for signing the initial agreement mainly because the two parties are at a standoff. The U.S. will not agree to lift tariffs including the round announced in August, due to come into effect in mid-October (but deferred) and the second tranche in mid-December. From the perspective of China there have been no concessions on structural issues, conflict resolution or enforcement of agreements.

In statements made at the Economic Club in New York on Tuesday November 12th

President Trump indicated “a significant Phase-1 trade deal could happen soon”. This was qualified with “if we don’t make a deal we’re going to substantially raise those tariffs” In contrast a spokesperson for the Commerce Ministry of China stated on Monday November 11th that the U.S. and China had agreed to rescind tariffs as a component of Phase-1. This contention was subsequently contradicted by the White House.

It appears that there is more than simply “papering up” the tentative October agreement as previously announced. Farmers with corn and soy in their bins from the 2018 and now the 2019 harvests are not going to receive any short-term benefit from the October promise of agricultural purchases by China valued at “$50 billion” as announced by the White House.


Alltech Opens Booking for the 2020 ONE Ideas Conference


The annual ONE Ideas event will take place May 17th-19th in Lexington, KY.  Registration details are available at one@alltech.com

Dr. Mark Lyons


Moba Offers Productivity Assessment


Based on over half century of experience in the egg industry, Moba now offers users and potential clients the Productivity Assessment program.


Moba will undertake visits to assess operational performance, equipment function, the quality inherent to the supply chain, logistics and compliance.


For additional information concerning the Productivity Assessment access www.moba.net



Northern Tier Farmers Hustling to Harvest Corn


Tyne Morgan writing in Ag Web posted on October 25th described the intense efforts to harvest corn in Nebraska and the Dakotas. As documented in the USDA Weekly Crop Progress Report on Monday, November 4th, 60 percent of the state’s corn crop was harvested. This compares with a five-year average of 89 percent. During the past week, Nebraska farmers harvested 16 percent of the corn crop. Illinois has harvested 58 percent, Iowa 43 percent and the Dakotas on average 13 percent. Nationally the 18 corn-producing states recorded a 52 percent harvest compared to a five-year average of 75 percent.

Soy harvest in the Northern tier states has fared better than corn. With Iowa at 80 percent, Missouri 54 percent and the Dakotas averaging 66 percent. Nationally 75 percent of soybeans are in the bin in 18 states compared to a five-year average of 87 percent. 

The Ag Web article includes observations by Dr. Brad Lubben, Extension Associate Professor in Agricultural Economics at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. He emphasized the extreme variability in yield according to region as influenced by time of planting, fertilization and climatic conditions.

The extent of flooding during Spring of this year resulted in extensive disruption of the transport infrastructure and Dr. Lubben considers that some of the affected acreage will never come back into production.


M.I.T. OpenAg Project Discontinued


The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has closed the Open Agricultural Initiative. The project has received considerable publicity including a feature on the CBS 60 Minutes program. Following an internal evaluation, it was disclosed that managers of the project had falsified results and had deceived investors and donors. The M.I.T. micro-greenhouses were not as productive as claimed.

In publicity, the OpenAg Project, was described as an “ecosystem of food technologies to create healthier, more engaged and more inventive food systems”. The project was intended to apply computer technology to grow and harvest food and to develop intensive plant production. The Personal Food Computer was devised to control robots displacing manual workers. The system was designed to regulate the microclimate within growing chambers for plants controlling carbon dioxide, temperature, humidity and root-zone temperature. It was claimed that the system could  modify the genetic expression of plants to enhance yield.


USDA to Purchase Eggs Under Section 32 Program


Jennifer Porter, Deputy Administrator of the Agricultural Marketing Service announced that the USDA would purchase eggs to the value of $20 million under the Section 32 program. This is part of the Administration initiative to compensate farmers for losses as a result of the trade dispute with China. The purchases would comprise $7.5 million in shell eggs and $12.5 million frozen whole eggs. Products will be distributed to food banks under the Emergency Food Assistance Program. USDA purchases will be in addition to eggs and egg products destined for school feeding.


Egg Nutrition Center Participates in the Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo


The AEB Egg Nutrition Center participated in the Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo, (FNCE), an annual meeting for registered dieticians.


The ENC booth featured the benefits of lutein for ocular function and the importance of choline in fetal neonatal brain development.  Concurrently with the technical and scientific programs, the AEB hosted a culinary event featuring new egg recipes.


Presentations and education sessions delivered by executive director of the ENC Dr. Micky Rubin and the Director of Nutrition Research Dr. Jen Houchins.


Dr. Mickey Rubin


AEB Offering Christmas Tool Kit


AEB is offering Christmas promotional items including social media posts, and recipes.  Details for the tool kit can be accessed on www.aeb.org/holiday-toolkit








STEC Outbreak from Romaine Lettuce-- Yet Again


An outbreak involving 23 confirmed cases of E.coli O157:H7 attributed to consuming romaine lettuce occurred from mid-July through early September.


The outbreak was not publically disclosed but there have been no incident cases since September 8th.  The FDA justified the non-release of information to the fact that federal agencies were unable to identify actionable information, such as a source, in order to advise consumers.  Specimens from farms located in the central coast region of California were sampled but did not reveal the presence of the implicated E.coli.  Subsequently it was disclosed that the product was derived from the Yuma Valley.  Since the use-by date for the implicated romaine lettuce had expired, it was considered unnecessary to report findings.


It must be remembered that two E.coli outbreaks occurred in 2018 involving 270 confirmed cases with five fatalities.  Subsequent to the outbreaks, changes were made to the irrigation system supplying farms in the Yuma Valley. Buffer zones were established between concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) and fields on which lettuce was cultivated.  Improvements were made in handling and packing lettuce and other green produce. 


Notwithstanding these improvements, it is evident that romaine lettuce remains a potential vehicle of infection.  Some process is urgently required that will effectively decontaminate green produce without affecting organoleptic qualities.  This may involve a physical process such as electron beam treatment or application of an effective bactericide.  It is obvious that consumers will continue to demand lettuce. Accordingly producers, food scientists and regulatory authorities must find ways of inactivating pathogens to preserve public health.  The action taken by producers and packers in the Yuma Valley has probably reduced the probability of infection but obviously not eliminated contamination with STEC. It may well be a reality that close proximity between CAFOs and fields growing green produce is incompatible with food safety. This is especially the case since there is currently no critical control point that would absolutely inactivate aerobic bacterial pathogens.



Dean Foods Files For Chapter 11 Reorganization


According to a November release, Dean Foods Co. and all its subsidiaries have filed for Chapter 11 reorganization in the Southern District of Texas. Dairy Farmers of America  and Dean foods obviously will explore a sale of the various businesses in the Group. Dean Foods was impacted by the decision by Walmart Stores to establish their own dairy and bottling plant.

Eric Beringause CEO commented “The actions we are announcing today are designed to enable us to continue serving our customers and operating as normal as we work toward the sale of our business,” He added “We have a strong operational footprint and distribution network, a robust portfolio of leading national brands and extensive private label capabilities, all supported by approximately 15,000 dedicated employees around the country”

Beringause ascribed the problems facing Dean Foods to declining consumption of dairy products that has impacted the entire chain from farmer through dairies to retailers. The USDA estimates a 40 percent per capita decline in domestic consumption of fluid milk from 24 gallons in 1975 to 17 gallons in 2018. Within the present decade extending over eight years per capita consumption of all dairy products including fluid milk, cheese and yoghurts has declined 5.3 percent from 284 lbs. to 276 lbs. In egg terms this would represent the equivalent output of 17.5 million hens.


Hamlet Protein Appoints Grady Fain as VP Sales and Marketing for U.S. and Canada


Hamlet Protein, a multinational processor and supplier of soy protein specialties for piglets, chicks and poults is intent on achieving continuous growth in the U.S. The company has made significant investments in production capacity in its Findlay, OH. Plant since 2017 and is now ready to increase market penetration in the U.S. and Canada. To help drive that growth, Hamlet Protein announced the appointment of Grady Fain as Vice President Sales & Marketing for the NCA region.

Grady Fain has a distinguished record of achievement in the animal feed industry. He has held positions of responsibility with the Wayne Feed Division of Continental Grain Company, and major suppliers of feed additives to the livestock industry.

In commenting on his appointment Fain observed, “over the course of my career I have always focused on working with companies that bring true value to customers. Hamlet Protein has a high quality product portfolio with a proven track record in markets across the world. I am particularly excited about the value proposition into young animals and the approach into AGP free diets.”


Hamlet Protein initiated U.S. production in 2012, in Findlay, OH. and recently completed a major investment to increase capacity applying patented enzyme and heat technology.


Hamlet Protein CEO Erik Visser commented: “The US animal feed market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 2.4 percent from $75 Billion in 2018 to $85 Billion in 2024. Not only will the total feed volume grow, but the need to produce more efficiently will take center stage. Consumers will drive the reduction of antibiotics in feed, which is where Hamlet Protein can play a role. We are optimistic about our potential in the North American market, considering our track record in other markets around the world.”


Hamlet Protein produces soy-based protein ingredients for young piglets, poultry and calves at two production plants in Denmark and the U.S.  Hamlet Protein services customers around the world through a network of sales offices and distributors. For additional information click on to the Hamlet Protein logo on the right side of the WELCOME page.



Inventory of Natural Gas


According to the Department of Energy, U.S. natural gas production exceeded domestic consumption during 2019, resulting in an increase in inventory. Natural gas started the heating season on November 1st with slightly higher inventories than the previous five- year average, and 16% more than last year. The EIA currently expects the nation’s inventories will exceed the previous five-year average by 9% at the end of the heating season in late March.

The EIA November outlook expects gross exports of liquefied natural gas, (LNG), to increase to 5.8 billion cubic feet per day by the end of 2019 and 7.9 billion by December 2020. In January 2017, exports of LNG averaged nearly 1.7 billion cubic feet per day. Several new U.S. LNG export facilities, along with growing domestic natural gas production, are responsible for the rapid rise of the United States as a leading LNG energy exporter.

Cold weather forecast for much of the country over the next few weeks has caused short-term natural gas prices to rise, despite relatively low prices for much of the year. EIA expects U.S. benchmark Henry Hub spot prices to average more than $2.70 per million British Thermal Units in November and December, about 25 cents higher than expected in October.


Outlook for the Economy and Agricultural Markets by CoBank


The CoBank Knowledge Exchange Division will present a webinar on the near-term outlook for the global, U.S. and agricultural economies. Featured presenters from the Knowledge Exchange will provide their outlook on trade and the economy, grain markets, and the animal protein and dairy industries.


Dan Kowalski

Vice President,

Knowledge Exchange

Tanner Ehmke


Knowledge Exchange

Will Sawyer

Lead Economist, Animal Protein

Knowledge Exchange

To register for Outlook for the Economy and Agricultural Markets ?on Wednesday, November 20th at 9:00 AM MST access www.cobank.com


Walmart Stores Reports on Q3 FY 2019


In a press release dated November 14th 2019 Walmart Stores Inc. (WMT) announced results for the 3rd Quarter of Fiscal 2019 ending October 31st.


The following table summarizes the results for the period compared with the values for the corresponding quarter of the previous fiscal year (Values expressed as $ x 1,000 except EPS)


3rd Quarter Ending October 31st.



Difference (%)





Gross profit:




Operating income:             




Pre-tax Income

Net Income







Diluted earnings per share:




Gross Margin (%)




Operating Margin (%)




Profit Margin (%)




Long-term Debt:




12 Months Trailing:




           Return on Assets    (%)




           Return on Equity    (%)




           Operating Margin   (%)




           Profit Margin          (%)




Total Assets




Market Capitalization




52-Week Range in Share Price:  $85.78 to $125.38    

50-day moving average $118.72

Market 14th 15H55 $120.52 (-0.4)

Forward P/E 23.3                  Beta 0.4

Q3 results include a $290 million charge for Jabong.com a subsidiary of Flipkart of India purchased for $16 billion in 2018 with proceeds from the sale of ADSA in the U.K.

Q3 2019 includes ‘Other” revenue of $244 million compared to an expense of $1.876 billion in Q3 2018.




Walmart beat on EPS by 7 cents and U.S. same store sales were 0.1 percent above consensus.

Walmart U.S attained same store sales growth of 3.2 percent compared with an estimate of 3.1 percent but down from 3.5 percent in Q3 FY 2018. Operating income was $4.2 billion on sales of $83.2 Billion (operating margin of 5.0 percent)

Walmart International attained same store sales growth of 1.3 percent (3.7 percent in China). Operating income was $0.7 billion on sales of $29.2 Billion (operating margin of 2.4 percent)

Sam’s Clubs attained same store sales growth of 0.6 percent. Operating income was $0.3 billion on sales of $14.6 Billion (operating margin of 2.1 percent)

E-Commerce advanced by 41 percent over Q3 2018. Walmart U.S now has 3,000 pick-up locations and 1,400 stores offering same-day delivery of groceries.


Position Openings with Hendrix-Genetics


Hendrix-Genetics has openings for Key Accounts Sales Managers for the West Coast and the Southeast Regions of the U.S.

The positions involve technical and sales support to the U.S. egg producers.

Job descriptions can be accessed at <careers.Hendrix-Genetics.com>

For additional information contact madeline.musselman@hendrix-genetics.com


Steve Easterbrook Resigns as CEO of McDonald’s Corp.


In a surprise move Steve Easterbrook tendered his resignation as president and CEO of McDonalds Corporation after admitting to a consensual relationship with an employee, in conflict with Company policy. This was surely a case where a 6-month suspension would have been appropriate given the contribution of Easterbrook to modernization and progress in advancing profitability during his tenure and taking into account his future contributions to the Company.

The Board in their sense of righteousness should remember that their revered founder Ray Kroc wooed and then married the spouse of a franchisee before she became his second wife.


It is ironic that Easterbrook was terminated for his indiscretion but the president of a U.S. airplane manufacturer retains his position. He presided over a culture of profit- before-safety and was indirectly responsible for the death of over 300 passengers and crewmembers in two crashes. His dereliction of responsibility represents a profound ongoing financial burden to his company, shareholders and customers. Where is our sense of corporate proportion?


FDA to Delay Enforcement of Nutrition Labeling Requirements


January 1st 2020 is the compliance date for businesses with more than $10 million in annual food sales to comply with the new FDA nutrition-labeling requirements. The FDA on a recent webpage posting announced that it would delay enforcement action until June 1st 2020.

This action is in response to representations made by manufacturers’ associations that additional time will be required to comply.


Choline Lacking in Human Diets


According to an article in the U.K. online, peer-reviewed journal PNJ Nutrition Prevention and Health, diets consumed by a range of ages may be deficient in choline. The underlying deficiency may be exacerbated by adopting vegan and non-meat diets. Dietary choline is derived from beef, eggs, fish, chicken and some dairy products. Nuts, beans and cruciferous vegetables are low in choline content.

The U.S. Institute of Medicine recommends a minimum daily intake ranging from 425 mg/day for women to 550 mg/day for men and 500 mg/day for pregnant and breastfeeding women. Choline is critical in the formation of neural tissue and for fetal development. The U.S. recommendations conform to the suggested daily intake adopted by the E.U. Food Safety Authority.

Currently the Scientific Advisory Commission on Nutrition for the U.K. Government is evaluating inclusion of choline in dietary guidelines. Dr. Emma Derbyshire indicated “More needs to be done to educate healthcare professionals and consumers about the importance of a choline-rich diet and how to achieve this”. She added “if choline is not obtained at the levels needed from dietary sources, then supplementation strategies will be required especially in relation to key stages of the lifecycle such as pregnancy when choline intake is critical to infant development”. A large egg contains 125 mg choline representing approximately 1/3 of the suggested daily requirement for a pregnant woman.


Opposition to Northwest Ohio Complex


Golden Heritage Egg Farm is proposed for Allen Township in Darke County, Ohio. This area of high density of egg production and turkeys has generated concern in the township with a population of approximately 1,000. As with most large projects, residents are worried over extraction of water with an adverse effect on wells, in addition to pollution, odor and traffic.

Golden Heritage Egg Farm if approved will comprise four million hens in six barns plus pullet rearing and manure storage.

Comments have been submitted to the Ohio Department of Agriculture responsible for ruling on the permit.


Hendrix Genetics Issues Corporate Social Responsibility Report


The first of a series of reports on social responsibility was recently issued by Hendrix Genetics. The document was released on World Food Day sponsored by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations on October 16th.

The corporate social responsibility report (EN 2019) can be accessed on the Hendrix Genetics website www.hendrix-genetics.com.


Food Safety Net Services Opens Laboratory in Dodge City KS.


Food Safety Net Services (FSNS) has announced the opening of an analytical testing laboratory dedicated to the food and consumables industries in Dodge City, KS. The Laboratory will serve producers in the central region. Trained and experienced staff with state-of-the–art equipment will conduct a comprehensive range of assays for pathogens and allergens and conduct wet chemistry procedures for the food industry. 


For information on the new Dodge City laboratory, located at 1519 S. 2nd Avenue, Dodge City, KS 67801 or to take a tour of the facility access info@fsns.com.


Food Safety Net Services (FSNS), headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, is a national network of ISO 17025 accredited testing laboratories open 24/7, 365 days a year. The Company applies expert technical resources to assist clients with food safety and quality programs. Additional services include GFSI, SQF and PAACO, approved auditing and certification. For more information, access <www.FSNS.com>



China Experiences Declining Rate of Economic Growth-The U.S Response?


Michael Beckley writing in the October edition of Foreign Affairs in an article entitled United States Fear of Faltering China predicts a more aggressive “mercantilist expansion” by that Nation. Beckley notes that China’s economy is growing at a progressively lower annual rate down from 20 percent in 1970 to 6.1 percent in 2019.  Along with many Western economists, Beckly warns that statistics released by China are always suspect. He cites approximately $6 trillion in non-productive investments in real estate and in government-owned or managed enterprises.

Based on the response of the U.S. to declining growth in the late 1800s, and in turn-of-the-19th century Tzarist Russia, Beckley anticipates that China will continue to manipulate international rules, exert pressure where it is capable and use conflict with the U.S. to divert distrust and disillusionment among the middle class at home. Viewed from this perspective, it is evident that China will not respond to short-term trade pressure exerted by the current Administration although some concessions might be made in the interest of expediency.

China is playing a long game even beyond their 2025 “Made in China Initiative” that will be characterized by assertiveness and international expansion. President Xi has warned of a potential Soviet-style collapse. As a counter measure Beijing has enhanced security, intensified propaganda and has employed xenophobia to generate patriotism.

Beckley advocates cooperation with potential allies including those in the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership that could, subject to appropriate conditions, be expanded to include China. The U.S. must not only dominate in the military sphere but technological dominance should prevail allowing some Chinese investment in U.S. companies and immigration to our shores. Beckley anticipates that Chinese power will mellow in response to a sense of security. The U.S. must “contain China with a balance of deterrents, reassurance and limitation of damage”. Confrontation is unlikely to achieve any degree of resolution of the structural issues that are the source of conflict in U.S.-China relations.


Sponsored Announcements



On November 6th Food Safety Net Services (FSNS) announced their course schedule for food safety training for 2002. FSNS offers certified training programs to assist the food industry meet safety and quality standards and required accreditation for personnel. The courses will provide participants with unique access to leading technical authorities.

FSNS training sessions are taught by industry experts. The following courses will be offered on dates as indicated throughout 2020 at FSNS facilities across America.



HACCP Training Course:

January 28-29 | Fresno, CA

February 20-21 | Grand Prairie, TX

March 26-27 | Logan/Salt Lake, UT

April 15-16 | Greeley, CO

May 14-15 | Columbus, OH

June 10-11 | Boise, ID

July 28-29 | Allentown, PA

August 13-14 | San Antonio, TX

September 15-16 | Los Angeles, CA

October 15-16 | Omaha, NE

October 20-21 | Green Bay, WI

November 11-12 | Atlanta, GA

December 10-11 | Phoenix, AZ


February 27-28 | Fresno, CA

July 14-15 | Atlanta, GA

Microbiology and Food Safety 101 Course:

February 4 | Greeley, CO

February 25 | San Antonio, TX

March 10 | Los Angeles, CA

April 14 | Amarillo, TX

May 12 | Atlanta, GA

June 16 | Columbus, OH

July 21 | Boise, ID

August 11 | Omaha, NE

September 22 | Allentown, PA

October 6 | Phoenix, AZ

October 27 | Fresno, CA

November 3 | Green Bay, WI

December 1 | Springdale, AR

Microbiology and Food Safety 202 Course:

April 22 | San Antonio, TX

May 20 | Allentown, PA

July 15 | Greeley, CO

August 26 | Columbus, OH

November 11 | Atlanta, GA

FSPCA Preventive Controls for Human Food:

January 8-10 | Atlanta, GA

February 18-20 | San Antonio, TX

March 11-13 | Fresno, CA

November 16-18 | Greeley, CO

FSPCA Preventive Controls for Animal Food:

March 17-19 | Dodge City/Wichita, KS

August 18-20 | Amarillo, TX

December 16-18 | Fresno, CA

BRCGS Food - Issue 8 Sites Training and Internal Auditing:

March 24-26 | Green Bay, WI

June 23-25 | Atlanta, GA

October 6-8 | Fresno, CA

Advanced HACCP / Preventive Controls:

April 22-23 | Boise, ID

September 10-11 | Amarillo, TX

Preventive Maintenance:

TBD | Atlanta, GA

TBD | Greeley, CO

Foreign Supplier Verification Program ?November 19-20 | Greeley, CO

FSSC 22000 ?August 13-14 | Greeley, CO

Intentional Adulteration ?June 4-5 | Phoenix, AZ

SQF and Internal Auditing Training Course:

January 21-23 | San Antonio, TX

November 11-13 | Fresno, CA

Advanced SQF:

April 7-8 | Columbus, OH

October 21-22 | Grand Prairie, TX

Detailed course descriptions are available at http://fsns.com/services/education .

About Food Safety Net Services

Food Safety Net Services (FSNS), headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, is a national network of ISO 17025 accredited testing laboratories open 24/7, 365 days a year. FSNS provides expert technical resources that assist companies with implementing food safety and quality programs that deliver critical information needed to continually improve process controls. Additional services include GFSI, SQF and PAACO, approved auditing and certification capabilities. For more information, visit <www. FSNS.com> or click on to the FSNS logo on the right side of the WELCOME page

(SMS 2,007-19 November 12th 2019)


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Dr. Simon M. Shane
Simon M. Shane
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