Thursday, October 8, 2015

FDA urged to stop wasting eggs amid shortage

The 2015 outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in the United States and resulting egg price increases have caused the food industry to closely examine a current policy that forces broiler chicken producers to destroy perfectly acceptable and safe shell eggs. The National Chicken Council, Grocery Manufacturers Association and the Association for Dressings and Sauces have sent a petition to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), urging the agency to reverse or modify this policy.
"In light of the strain the HPAI outbreak is putting on the nation's egg supply, FDA should revisit the use of the surplus of affordable, quality eggs available in the United States for use by egg breakers and their customers, rather than seeking costly imports of foreign eggs," the groups wrote.
"Already faced with egg shortages, food producers and consumers might be hit even harder in their wallets as we head into the annual holiday baking season, unless FDA allows us to stop throwing away these eggs," noted Ashley Peterson, Ph.D., NCC senior vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs.
When eggs are delivered from a breeding farm to a broiler hatchery, they are stored in a room kept at 65° F before they are placed in incubators to be hatched.  Research has shown this is the most ideal temperature to store these eggs prior to incubation – warmer temperatures would induce the incubation process too soon and colder temperatures comprise the viability of an eventual hatch.  As a general rule, eggs maintained below 60° F will not be hatched.
Due to fluctuating market conditions, hatcheries in some instances have more eggs on hand than what they want to set in incubators to hatch and become chicks.  These are known as "surplus" hatching eggs.  Prior to 2010 when FDA implemented new rules, broiler producers (those raising chickens for meat) would be able to sell these surplus eggs to egg processors, known as "breakers," to be pasteurized and used in egg products.
Egg products are defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) as "eggs that are removed from their shells for processing."  The processing of egg products includes breaking eggs, filtering, mixing, stabilizing, blending, pasteurizing, cooling, freezing or drying, and packaging. This is done at USDA-inspected plants.  Liquid, frozen, and dried egg products are widely used by food manufacturers and the foodservice industry and as ingredients in other foods, such as salad dressings, bread, cake mix, pasta, pancake mix, mayonnaise, ice cream, pie crusts, sauces, and many other everyday food products.
Because egg products are pasteurized, they are ensured a high level of food safety.
In 2010, however, FDA issued a Final Rule saying that all eggs intended to be sent to breaking facilities for eventual pasteurization must be kept at 45° F within 36 hours after being laid.  FDA never suggested these products are safer or explained what further health benefit is achieved from refrigeration prior to treatment.  NCC fought the rule in 2010 on related grounds.
"Thus, the rule is contradictory in requiring refrigeration of eggs slated for pasteurization, despite the fact that these eggs are destined to undergo treatment that will render them safe for human consumption," the groups noted in the petition.
Broiler hatcheries are unable to determine those eggs that are surplus prior to setting eggs for incubation and as noted above cannot reasonably refrigerate eggs at 45° F prior to setting. As a direct result, broiler producers have stopped selling surplus hatching eggs to egg processors and instead are forced to render or throw these eggs away, often at an additional cost.  NCC estimates that the Final Rule resulted in the industry disposing of roughly 356 million eggs last year.

Current egg supply situation

More than 33 million chickens have been culled since HPAI was first detected in December 2014, the overwhelming majority of them in the egg-laying industry.  The nationwide layer hen population has consequently decreased by more than 25 percent, and it will take many months before these flocks can be repopulated.
Industry experts estimate that the price of a dozen breaker eggs rose dramatically from $.63 in late April to $2.15 in early June – an increase of 241 percent.  
These price spikes and supply disruptions are putting tremendous strain on the shell and egg products industries, and the impact has already begun to trickle down and impose hardships on restaurants, food manufacturers and consumers.  Companies reliant upon breaker eggs have begun stockpiling supplies before prices escalate further, and the U.S is currently importing pasteurized eggs from the Netherlands and Canada to meet demands.
"Basically what is happening is that food manufacturers and consumers are facing higher costs, we're importing costly eggs from other countries, and we're throwing away more than 350 million eggs right here on our doorstep," Peterson said.  "That's about 1.7 billion grams of protein, or a roughly year's supply of protein for about 94,000 people."

Petition seeks changes to refrigeration requirement

"By lifting or modifying the 36-hour refrigeration requirement for broiler hatcheries, FDA can increase the supply of breaker eggs, which will put downward pressure on prices and provide industries reliant upon breaker eggs with the relief they so desperately need," the petition requests.
"Broiler producers thus have the potential to provide hundreds of millions of eggs to egg breakers during this period where eggs are in short supply due to the avian flu outbreak."

USDA forecasts 4 percent drop in turkeys raised in 2015

The USDA is forecasting the number of turkeys raised in the United States to be 228 million, down 4 percent from the 237.5 million raised in 2014.
According to the agency’s Turkeys Raised Report, released on September 30, Minnesota, the largest turkey producing state, saw its production drop 12 percent from 45.5 million turkeys to 40 million. Other key turkey producing states expected to face losses are Arkansas, dropping 10 percent from 30 million to 27 million; Iowa, which could see production drop from 10.5 million to 8.4 million turkeys; and South Dakota, which has an anticipated production decline from 4.5 million turkeys to 4 million turkeys.
These numbers are impacted somewhat by the avian influenza outbreak of 2015. Not only was there a direct loss of birds to the disease, but also a number of breeders were lost in the outbreak. The impact of the breeder losses will continue to be seen in reduced slaughter numbers into the first half of 2016.
Despite the losses to avian influenza, several states, including North Carolina saw gains. According to the report, North Carolina is expected to surpass Arkansas as the second-largest turkey producing state in 2015. Its production is forecast to increase two percent from 28.5 million turkeys to 29 million. Other states projected to see gains include California, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

China's broiler industry to continue destocking in 2016

In 2015, the number of grandparent breeding broilers imported into China has decreased to 800,000 and in 2016 the China Broiler Association (CBA) plans to keep the import of the breeding stock within 800,000, according to Jisheng Cao, president of Shandong Yisheng Livestock & Poultry breeding Co. Ltd., who spoke at the press conference of "The Nutrition of the Broilers and the Human Health" held on September 24 in Yantai, China.
According to the report of China Securities Journal, since 2009, the import of grandparent breeding broilers had been on the increase, imported stock once hitting 1.54 million in 2013. The contracting for the import of breeder broilers will lower the overall capacity to the benefit of the broiler industry. The performance of destocking is expected to look up next year when the number of the commercial chickens will decrease.
Starting in June 2015, the pig industry pulled through the cyclical downturn with the hog prices jumping from CNY14 (US$2.20) per kilo to the current CNY17.2 (US$2.70) per kilo. However, the usual knock-on effect of pork prices has not yet worked on the prices of broilers.
The consumer market for broilers in China has been struggling for a long period, largely because of food safety incidents and H7N9 avian influenza outbreaks in recent years.
The press conference was co-hosted by Shandong Yisheng, Sunner Dvelopment, Shandong Minhe Co., Ltd. and Shandong Xiantan Co., Ltd. To encourage the consumption of chicken and rebuild up consumers' confidence, national experts in food safety, poultry farming also attended the conferences and made speeches on broiler farming, processing and other pertinent topics.

10 charged in China in connection to Husi Food scandal

Ten people who have been tied to a 2014 Chinese food safety scandal have been charged in court for their alleged involvement in the case.
According to an Industry Week report, the suspects have been charged by a Chinese court “on suspicions of producing, selling inferior products.”
The charges stem from an incident brought to light in July 2014, where employees of Husi Food Co., owned by the U.S.-based OSI Group, allegedly repackaged outdated chicken and beef, then allegedly sold the expired products with false labels to restaurant chains in China and Japan, including McDonald’s, KFC, Pizza Hut and Dico’s.
In a statement on its website, OSI Group said it would address the charges according to legal procedures, and “We have confidence in China’s legal system and believe that the judicial authority will come to a fair and reasonable judgment with full respect to the facts and laws.”
OSI Group has publicly apologized for the scandal. Sheldon Lavin, chairman, CEO and owner of OSI Group stated in 2014: “On behalf of Husi and OSI, I sincerely apologize to all of our customers in China. We will bear the responsibility of these missteps and will make sure that they never happen again. That is my personal commitment and that of our organization.”
Since the scandal took place, OSI Group made substantial changes to the organizational and management structures for its China operations. The company also closed the plant under investigation and removed Husi products from the marketplace.

Program for Aquafeed Horizons Asia 2016 announced

The program for the next conference, Aquafeed Horizons Asia 2016, has been announced. The 9th edition of the technical conference for aquafeed professionals will take place at the BITEC, Bangkok, on March 29, 2016. It will be in English with simultaneous interpretation into Thai.
The conference, which draws the aquafeed industry together from throughout Asia Pacific and beyond, focuses on advances in feed processing and formulation that bring practical solutions to the commercial aquaculture feed sector.
Early bird registration is now open and offers a discounted registration fee in addition to group and other discounts. Special rates are also available for students and Thai speakers.
"We are grateful to Buhler, Nutriad, Olmix and Wenger for stepping forward to support this year's conference as sponsors," said Suzi Dominy,'s publisher and the conference organizer. "We applaud their commitment to helping us bring information and knowledge to this specialized and vital sector of the aquaculture industry; they help us reach more people who can benefit from the expertise our presenters bring."


  • Welcome: Dr. Juadee Pongmaneerat, Thai Department of Fisheries and Suzi Dominy, Publisher,  
  • Interactions Of Extrusion And Ingredients For Aquatic Feeds: Joseph P. Kearns, Vice President Aqua-Feed Div., Wenger Manufacturing, Inc., USA 
  • Extrusion Technology: Urs Wuest, Director Market Segment Aquafeed, Bühler AG, Switzerland
  • Pre-Processing Of Feedstuffs To Improve Their Feeding Value For Aquaculture Feeds: Dr. Dominique P. Bureau, Professor, University of Guelph, Canada
  • Gart As A Platform To Investigate Disease Control Strategies Against AHPND/EMS In Shrimp: Dr. ir. Margriet Drouillon, Business Developer Aqua UGent, Belgium
  • Advances In Amino Acid Nutrition Of Shrimp: Dr. Alexandros Samartzis, Regional Technical Sales Manager, Evonik (SEA), Singapore
  • Experimental Evidence For The Role Of Feed Additives In Aquaculture: Clément Soulet, Product manager – Palatants & Aquaculture, PANCOSMA SA, Switzerland
  • Effect Of An Algae-Clay Based Biocatalyst On The Digestive And Growth Performance Of Juvenile Shrimp (Litopenaeus Vannamei): Marie Gallissot, Technical Supervisor, Olmix, France
  • Feed For The Future: The Challenges And Opportunities For A Better And Sustainable Aquaculture Industry: Dr. M A Kabir Chowdhury, Global Product Manager - Aquaculture, Jefo Nutrition Inc., Canada
  • Functional Feeds – Bad Bug Busters To Reduce The Impact From Disease In Farmed Fish And Shrimp: Dr. Peter Coutteau, Business Unit Manager – Aquaculture, Nutriad International NV, Belgium
  • Aquafeed Horizons Asia 2016 will take place in cooperation with FIAAP/VICTAM/GRAPAS 2016 feed and grain industry trade shows at the BITEC, Bangkok.

6 ways the global economy will affect agriculture markets

Erik Norland, executive director and senior economist at the CME Group, presented his “Global Economy and Oilseeds Outlook 2015-20” during the Oilseed and Grain Trade Summit in Minneapolis on Wednesday. Key takeaways from his presentation include:
  1. There have been 11 El Ninos and 8 La Ninas since 1959. On average, El Ninos, like the one we are experiencing this year, have boosted prices for agriculture commodities while La Ninas have depressed them.
  2. Africa’s population is projected to increase 70 percent, which could represent the biggest opportunity for food producers worldwide. India and Bangladesh also will see large increases; Brazil and the U.S. will continue to grow, but below the world average; and China’s population will stagnate and decline.
  3. The potential increases in consumption are the greatest where people consume the least calories and where population growth is the highest, such as India and Africa.
  4. Africa has the greatest potential for population growth. The continent has a very small population of older residents, while it has a very large population of very young residents.
  5. Africa has been encouraged to grow in the past decade because of high commodity prices.
  6. Behind Africa, India is expected to see large population growth.

Turkey’s poultry meat exports take a tumble

Turkish poultry meat exports have dropped by 50 percent so far in 2015. The drop in trade was due to speculation about possible avian influenza cases and escalating terror attacks, poultry industry representatives in Turkey told Hurriyat Daily News.  Whereas exports were around US$1 billion in 2014, this year’s optimistic figure from Poultry Products Promotion Group head, Müjdat Sezer, was $700 million.
Exports to Iraq decreased by 80 percent in the short term after a number of avian influenza cases were seen in Turkey and Iraq temporarily imposed a new tax on imported poultry meat earlier in 2015, but Ahmet Ergün , secretary general of the Poultry Meat Producers and Breeders Association (BESD-BIR), said that the trade resumed once the outbreaks ceased and the tax hike was revoked.
According to Abdurrahman Çakar from the Sakarya Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Turkey produces around 2 million metric tons of poultry meat a year, of which it exports around 20 percent.
After 8 years without an outbreak of avian influenza, Turkey was hit by the H5N1 highly pathogenic variant of the virus in 3 poultry flocks in the northern province of Kastamonu as well as Balikesir and Manisa in the west of the country in April and May 2015, according to reports sent to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).
In 2013, the most recent year for which the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Statistics Division has published figures, Turkey’s chicken meat production was just under 1.76 million metric tons.