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Farm Toy

walmart_livestock_truck_toyIf you are thinking of buying this toy livestock trailer from Walmart to put under the Christmas tree this year, we would suggest grabbing it now instead of later.

Why?

It appears that even these toys are not safe from the likes of animal rights extremists.

Yes, you read that right – even toys meant for children are targets of these activists.

Over the weekend, a Change.org petition was initiated by a vegan activist based in Canada. The petition urges fellow activists to ask C. Douglas McMillon, CEO of Walmart, to stop selling the livestock trucks.

“Normalizing the enslavement and murder of animals to kids is not ok,” the petition stresses.

And people have responded. More than 10,000 people signed the petition in just four days.

Not everyone is persuaded by the petition.

“Why don’t you all grow up? It’s a toy. Not all cow wagons are slaughter rigs, just like not all trains are slave trains, not all ships are pirate ships,” The petition’s top commenter, based in California, wrote.  “And not all of you goody two shoes are all that perfect if you really think about it.”

More of the petition’s critics also pointed out that these trucks are used for more than just transporting animals to slaughter.

It’s unclear how Walmart will respond to the petition, if at all. However, similar efforts in other retail sectors have succeeded in other instances. For example, in 2013, the children’s clothing store Children’s Place removed a t-shirt after the customers complained it sent the wrong message to young girls.

By Angela Bowman, Associate Editor, PORK Network November 18, 2015 | 1:14 pm EST

Natural Food Label

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is seeking public comments on whether the agency should set a definition for the term “natural” on food labels. The comment period opened Nov. 12 and runs through Feb. 10, 2016.

FDA received three citizen petitions asking the agency define the term “natural” for use in food labeling, and one petition asking the agency prohibit the term “natural” on food labels.

The absence of a federal regulation for “natural” or “all natural” claims has resulted in a large number of class-action lawsuits against food companies, according to the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA). Those lawsuits allege consumers are misled by “all-natural claims” on products containing specific ingredients derived synthetically or from biotechnology.

Currently, there is no FDA regulation that defines “natural” for labeling purposes. FDA has a longstanding policy prohibiting products from being labeled as “natural” if they contain synthetic ingredients, artificial flavors or added color that a consumer would not normally expect in a product.

That policy was not intended to address food production methods, such as the use of pesticides, nor does it explicitly address food processing or manufacturing methods, such as thermal technologies, pasteurization or irradiation, according to the FDA announcement. The FDA also did not consider whether the term “natural” should describe any nutritional or other health benefit.

The policy also does not address the use of the term “natural” to address statements regarding natural cheese, IDFA noted.

Specifically, the FDA is seeking information and public comment on questions such as:

  • Whether it is appropriate to define the term “natural,”
  • If so, how the agency should define “natural,” and
  • How the agency should determine appropriate use of the term on food labels.

How to comment

To comment electronically, go to docket folder FDA-2014-N-1207 on Regulations.gov.

For submissions by mail, use the following address.

Division of Dockets Management
HFA-305
Food and Drug Administration
5630 Fishers Lane, Room 1061
Rockville, MD 20852

Be sure to include docket number FDA-2014-N-1207 on each page of your written comments.

By Dave Natzke November 16, 2015

Small Ruminant Workshop

Small Ruminant Health Workshop

November 5, 2015
Paradee Center
Dover, Delaware
6:30-9:00 pm

Learn to assess vital signs and recognize signs and symptoms of common diseases in sheep and goats

Featured Speaker:
Dr. Wendy Freeman, VMD

Workshop Schedule:

6:30-6:45- Welcome and Overview of the Small Ruminant Health Grant Project
6:45-7:15- Assessing Vital Signs in Small Ruminants

7:15-7:30- Break

7:30-8:45- Signs and Symptoms of Common Diseases in Small Ruminants

8:45- Questions, Evaluation, Adjourn