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The following topical items will be considered in greater detail in subsequent editions of EGG-NEWS and CHICK-NEWS:-

  • Progress on NAFTA: With the Sixth Round of negotiations due to start in Montreal in late January conflicting signals are emerging from the Administration. The President failed to address specifics at the AFBF Convention on Monday 8th but expressed the hope that a “better deal” will be concluded. Subsequently there were threats about a unilateral withdrawal. The Secretary of the Treasury commented Thursday 11th that a deal will emerge from the talks. Canada is talking up the benefits of NAFTA but avoiding the issue of Controlled (read ‘restricted production’) Marketing agreements on dairy, poultry and eggs which favor producers and limits trade opportunities for the U.S.

  • Dissolution of the Grocery Manufacturers’ Association: Prominent companies continue to disassociate themselves from the GMA. The latest includes Cargill, following luminaries such as Campbell Soup. At issue is the desire to claim non-GMO status on labelling to attract a millennial demographic.

  • AI Continues to Spread: Incident cases have been recorded in the UK, Japan and South Korea attributed to H5N6. Studies are in progress to establish epidemiologic relationships among isolates from Asia and the E.U. and specifically whether the same reassortant strain is involved. Cases of H5N8 continue in the Middle East with Saudi Arabia impacted.

  • USDA FSIS Proposes Comprehensive Revision of EGG Packing and Processing Regulations: A 250-page document proposing changes in procedures and emphasizing HACCP and Standard Sanitation protocols has been circulated for public comment.

  • Human Influenza Affecting the U.S. Population: The annual influenza season has commenced and appears to be severe given the low level of immunity in the population based on a mismatch between vaccine antigens and prevailing strains. Notwithstanding the lack of efficacy estimated at 30 percent protection for 2018, persons coming into contact with poultry should receive a seasonal vaccine to prevent the rare possibility of reassortant event.

  • The ‘Amazonization’ of Whole Foods Market: In a concerted drive to enhance earnings Amazon is introducing changes to the disadvantage of local and family suppliers in favor of centralized sourcing, the 365 Brand and paid merchandizing.

(SMS 075-18 January 11th 2018)