Health/Nutrition/Food Safety

US Potato Board launches ‘Potatoes Raise The Bar’ program

The beginning of the 2015/2016 school year is the rallying point for some of the U.S. potato industry’s newest marketing plans and campaigns. The United States Potato Board (USPB) School Nutrition Program has officially launched to reach the 55.5 million strong, and growing, school students who are part of the “Salad Generation.” This youngest generation, a cohort stretching from newborns[Read More…]

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Canada: Potato tampering tips $500K award deadline Saturday

The potato tampering half-million-dollar award deadline for tips leading to the arrest and conviction of those involved is Saturday. The first cases of potato tampering were discovered last fall, with needles and other metal objects found in a number of potatoes in the Atlantic region. Major frozen potato producer Cavendish Farms also reported needles showing up on its production line. In November, the[Read More…]

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Canada: Prince Edward Island potato farmers ‘more vigilant’ about fields after tampering

Although the Prince Edward Island Potato Board says this year’s crop looks good ahead of next month’s harvesting, concerns remain about the ongoing potato tampering investigation. Last fall, needles and other metal objects were first detected in Island potatoes from the 2014 season that were sold throughout the Atlantic region. A number of metal objects were again found in potatoes sold in[Read More…]

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Spain: Decreasing trend in the acrylamide content in potato crisps

According to the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA), processed potatoes together with coffee and cereal based food (cookies, crackers, breakfast cereals and toasted bread) are the main sources of exposure to acrylamide in the diet. Due to the natural presence of large concentration of acrylamide precursors in the potato, when this product is subjected to high temperatures, as during frying,[Read More…]

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Greater understanding of potatoes’ nutrient value leading to growth in popularity

On this week’s Ag Report on Greening of the Great Lakes, Adam Novello, business program manager for the Michigan Potato Industry Commission, says potatoes continue to grow in popularity, with the expansion of healthy potato-based dishes and a better understanding of the nutritional value of potatoes. “Research shows that potatoes are a good nutritional choice for families, and we’re working[Read More…]

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India: McCain products on food safety watchdog’s reject list

McCain Foods are reportedly on a list of companies that have seen some of their products rejected for approval by India’s food safety watchdog. According to local news publication India Info, minister of state for health Shripad Naik said the products were rejected due to lack of supporting documents for safety assessment. A spokesperson for McCain confirmed it has “ceased[Read More…]

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Canada: Federal agriculture minister calls potato tampering a despicable act

Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz says food and farm tampering is a despicable and deplorable act and anyone found responsible will feel the full force of the law. Ritz made the comment Friday as a meeting of federal and provincial agriculture ministers wrapped up in Charlottetown. Last month, Prince Edward Island’s potato industry increased the reward it is offering to $500,000 for[Read More…]

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Canada: Prince Edward Island potato farmers worry about cost of installing metal detectors

A group of Prince Edward Island farmers who sell potatoes to the same buyer says it doesn’t makes sense for each to install metal detectors to screen for metal objects. They want government funds dedicated for the screening to go toward metal detectors at the central location where their potatoes are unloaded. But because that is in Nova Scotia, the funding may not[Read More…]

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Canada: Prince Edward Island potato tampering tips award raised to $500K

The Prince Edward Island potato industry has raised the stakes for information leading to the conviction of anyone who has been inserting metal objects into Island potatoes. The industry had put up a $100,000 reward for information leading to a conviction, and Monday morning announced a $500,000 reward. The first cases of potato tampering were last fall, with needles found in[Read More…]

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Canada: Potato tampering prevention gets $2M investment

The federal and Prince Edward Island governments are investing another $2 million to assist the Prince Edward Island potato industry in its efforts to prevent tampered potatoes from making it to market. Gail Shea, P.E.I.’s representative in the federal cabinet, announced Ottawa’s $1.5-million Monday morning at the P.E.I. Potato Board office in Charlottetown. The money will go to metal detection technology, both on farms and[Read More…]

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US: Wisconsin potato growers support “Feed My Starving Children” event

Hundreds of volunteers joined together Saturday in Stevens Point with the hope of feeding infants around the world. Representatives of local churches and the Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association sponsored the 5th annual “Feed My Starving Children” potato packing event. For three two-hour shifts, the volunteers packed 100,000 servings of potato meals that the group says are essential to[Read More…]

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Canada: Pesticides not leading cause of cancer on Prince Edward Island: professor

Dr. Len Ritter, professor of toxicology, says non-Hodgkin lymphoma rates, the cancer most often associated with pesticides, are lower in Prince Edward Island than anywhere else in Canada. There is no evidence that the safe application of agricultural pesticides causes cancer, says a toxicology professor from Ontario. Dr. Len Ritter, a professor emeritus at the University of Guelph, was in[Read More…]

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Cutting-edge science proves chips are addictive

There are certain foods that we really, really like. In fact, they are clinically addictive. The U.S. National Institute on Drug Addiction has produced a report detailing some groundbreaking discovery of the scientific variety that reveals something we never could have imagined. Potato chips are addictive.Sure, the scientist Mark Messier hypothesized this years ago when he appeared on television with[Read More…]

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New research confirms that French fried potatoes are not a source of trans fat

Two new studies published in Preventing Chronic Disease confirmed the dramatic reduction in the trans fat content of French fried potatoes, noticed the Northern Plains Potato Growers Association. More than any other segment of the food industry, the potato industry has made the greatest improvements in the fatty acid profile of its products, including French fried potatoes. Researchers at the Jean Mayer[Read More…]

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Canada: Potato tampering ‘crisis’ debated in Prince Edward Island legislature

Ongoing cases of Prince Edward Island potatoes being found with metal objects inserted into them became the focus of heated debate in the P.E.I. legislature. In the first question period since the May 4 election, Opposition Leader Steven Myers pressed government on why there was no mention of P.E.I.’s potato tampering cases in yesterday’s speech from the throne. Agriculture Minister Alan McIsaac[Read More…]

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EU food safety watchdog issues cancer warning on acrylamide

Experts from the European Food Safey Authority (EFSA) have confirmed previous conclusions that acrylamide, a chemical substance formed when heating foods like potato chips, barbecued meat, and bread, potentially increases the risk of developing cancer. EFSA’s Panel on Contaminants in the Food Chain (CONTAM) said it stood by a draft opinion, published in July last year, which concluded on an[Read More…]

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Canada: More nails found in Russet potatoes

In another instance of food tampering, a couple in Halifax’s supper was spoiled over the weekend when a woman spotted a 2-inch nail embedded inside one of their potatoes. Ray Clarke says he couldn’t believe it. “It makes me shiver to think of anyone who would do the likes of this, and that could cause grave damage to anybody. If you sunk[Read More…]

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Canada: Potatoes recalled after nails and needles found in some products

Someone might be sabotaging spuds in Atlantic Canada again. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has announced a recall on some potatoes sold in Atlantic Canada after police received complaints of nails found in some products. The agency says Loblaw Companies Ltd. and Strang’s Produce Inc. are recalling several products that have been sold at stores in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, P.E.I.[Read More…]

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US: Minnesotans protesting potato pesticides turned away from McDonald’s meeting

A group of rural Minnesotans hoping to present their concerns about McDonald’s use of potato pesticides were denied entrance to the company’s shareholder meeting Thursday, they said. Kathy Connell, Larry Heitkamp and Amy Mondloch of the Toxic Taters Coalition said in a news release that they had worked with a McDonald’s shareholder to enter the meeting, but McDonald’s security turned them[Read More…]

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Canada: Prince Edward Island tampered potato case reward deadline extended

The P.E.I. Potato Board has extended the deadline for the reward money being offered in the potato tampering investigation to Oct. 31. The board said there still have been no arrests in connection with the tampering, which involved the deliberate insertion of sewing needles into potatoes. This despite a $100,000 reward being offered for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of[Read More…]

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J.R. Simplot, McDonald’s joint venture in China given ‘record fine’ for water pollution

A McDonald’s joint venture in China supplying its outlets with French fries has been slapped with a record 3.9 million yuan (HK$4.9 million) fine for water pollution, state media reported. The fine levied against Beijing Simplot Food Processing was the largest ever meted out by the city of Beijing for pollution, the state-run Xinhua news agency said, citing the municipal environmental[Read More…]

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Canada: No news in potato tampering case

Prince Edward Island Potato Board general manager Greg Donald says it’s frustrating that the offer of a $100,000 reward in the case involving needles found in Prince Edward Island spuds last fall has resulted in no leads. The discovery of sewing needles, both in potatoes shipped out of province and in french fries at a potato processing plant has resulted in[Read More…]

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