Thursday, August 13, 2020

13 August,2020 Daily Global Regional Local Rice E-Newsletter

 

Pride of Pakistan | Ikram Sehgal

* To supplement Independence Day celebrations, the Daily Times will highlight, all of August, the individuals who continue to make Pakistan proud. Our 10th interview is with the highly successful businessman Ikram Sehgal

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Please tell us about your foray into the field of corporate affairs and business. How did it all begin for you?

I was in the army at first. When I got out, I ventured into flying. I had 2,000 hours of flying to my credit. I started working towards acquiring a commercial pilot license. Later, I worked for a couple of years as a flying instructor and then at an aviation firm in Karachi. I discovered that merit is a disqualifier. There is a lot of prejudice present and you can never go up on merit. I decided to never work for the government again. So with Rs 11,000 only, I founded Pathfinders Group Pakistan. I began with trading at first, then chemicals, jute goods, newsprint, rice, jute bags and cotton. So basically, in four to five years, I became an expert in counter trade. I worked in barter and counter trade. In 1983, I ventured in arms purchases for five to six years. I got the arms and equipment which are still used in Pakistan army. The principles that I wanted to work with couldn’t work at that time. Even my friends in uniform were not getting to abide by those rules. I had to give up arms purchases. I gave up working with the government altogether. I decided to never work with them. From 1987 to 2020, I did only two contracts with the government. I sold two sugar mills to be sold to Bangladesh, something which had never been done in the history of the country. I never got properly paid for it. I brought about a television licence free of cost in the country in 1999, the case for which is still subjudiced in court. I never got a penny for it. Once again, I decided to never ever work with the government again. I introduced a private security service in the country called Security & Management Services which became a country wide hit and did very well. Masha Allah today, it is the largest private security company. Seven years ago, I went into the Information Technology (IT) business. I had ventured in the IT business in 1983 as well but I had given it up. So once again, I went into it in 2013. Tomorrow, you’ll be seeing an advertisement in the papers about something which is very close to my heart and is locally developed. It allows 80 percent of adults to open bank accounts on telephone. Going back on my personal affairs, I started writing in 1987. I used to write occasionally at first when Arif Nizami requested me to write for The Nation. I wrote a series of articles on counter trade. He told me my articles were being very well received. Then it came an addiction to me. I released many books from 2010 to 2020. I’m a member of the World Economic Forum and one of the few Pakistani members. From 2003 onwards, I started a Pakistani breakfast service there which eminent personalities like Pervez Musharraf, Shaukat Aziz, Nawaz Sharif, Yousaf Raza Gillani, Imran Khan and Bilawal Bhutto enjoyed and became regulars. Today, I have about 12,000 people working for me. I started from very humble beginnings. I don’t keep money for myself, rather I invest all of it in my business. I’m very proud of what I do for my firm and my people.

Pathfinder Group Pakistan employs several thousand people across Pakistan. In what ways do you think the pandemic has affected your business?

Out of 12,000 employees, I had to lay off 1,500. All my employees got together one day and told me that they were willing to forgo their upcoming increment in these trying times. It was only when the State Bank of Pakistan introduced this payroll scheme that helped me retain all my employees.

You have over 40 years of business experience. People say the pandemic is the worst to have affected businesses. What in your view are some of the other factors that can adversely affect a business?

The government is the worst paymaster, one of the reasons that I had decided not to work with them. They delay everything. The phone banking service was something that is supposed to come out on August 14. We could’ve done this two years ago. This way, 12 million people could’ve have accessed this service and benefited from it. The bureaucracy put every hurdle possible but then you have good bureaucrats too who helped us.

What are you currently working on?

I’m working on a number of IT projects for foreign nationals and then one welfare programme too.

You have authored several books as well. Please tell us a little about that.

Several of my books came out which are a collection of my articles from 1987 to 2010. From the years 2010 to 2020, five more books by me came out printed the Oxford University Press (OUP). I’m the first Pakistani prisoner of war to escape from India. I wrote a book on this called Escape from Oblivion printed by OUP. Another book of mine came out which I had co-authored titled Blood Dividing Over Two Shades of Green.

You have served on the boards of many firms including Bank Alfalah as well. How different and fulfilling is your current work as opposed to a challenging profession like banking?

I was never a banker. I was just on the board. When I went as a director, I never knew about banking. Whatever I learnt about it, I learnt on the way.

You have served as the chairman of K-Electric. Today, many people don’t quit their line of work owing to attachment and long-term association. Has there ever been a time that you found it difficult to leave a company owing to attachment and association?

I was elected as additional director and then chairman of K-Electric. They didn’t require for me to do day to day work. It was a very challenging work because K-Electric already has many problems. After a few months, I discovered that its shareholders did not really care about the national interest of K-Electric. There was a time when a 700 to 900 megawatt plant was required. Instead of putting Rs 1.2 billion in for the plant, I advised them to invest in the distribution system. The cost would be 1/10th as well. Not a penny was invested by the shareholders. After 10 months, I decided to leave. Within seven months of my quitting, they really went downhill from there.

‘You leave a place for two things; if it’s not benefiting you and second, you think you cannot do any good there. Then you can’t stay there like a dummy’

How important is it for a person’s growth to be able to say goodbye to a place if it’s no longer benefiting him?

You leave a place for two things; if it’s not benefiting you and second, you think you cannot do any a good there. Then you can’t stay there like a dummy.

Is there a quota of men and women you keep in your organisation for recruitment?

No. I take people on their performance and loyalty. Alhamdulilah, some of my employees have been serving here for as long as 20 years, especially the women. There are a total of 300 students studying on my company scholarships. If anyone dies in my company, his widow gets his full salary for two years.

What advice would you give to an 18-year-old self?

Every challenge is an opportunity. Never forsake your principles. Sometime you have to adjust them but don’t break them completely. There should be a time that you can look back and say that every penny that you’ve earned is legitimate.

What is your vision for Pakistan and what does it mean to be Pakistani for you?

In the coming years, we will be the biggest and most successful nations in the world. Looking after employees is very important. You need to invest in your people and have to treat your employees like family. The strength of the institution comes first. Welfare and contentment of the people comes second. Welfare and contentment of your own self comes last. Under our Elena Care programme, any member of the organisation can go to any hospital and get free hospitalisation.

We at Daily Times consider you one of our national heroes. Who are some of yours? Lieutenant General Ali Kuli Khan Khattak. I have never seen him do anything wrong in my life. He’s an outstanding man. Colonel SG Mehdi, Sartaj Aziz, Brigadier Muhammad Taj and Lieutenant General Imtiazullah Warraich are also my heroes.

Achievements

MULTI-TALENTED MAN

Ikram Sehgal is a Pakistani defense analyst and security expert. He is a retired Pakistan Army officer. He is a licensed pilot, a businessman and a writer.

PRISONER OF WAR

Ikram Sehgal became a prisoner of war in April 1971, while serving in the former East Pakistan and was sent to the Panagarh POW Camp in India. In July 1971, Sehgal escaped from the prison. He became the first Pakistani Prisoner of War to escape from an Indian POW camp.

A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESSMAN

Sehgal set up a business in 1977, specialising in trading and counter trade. He is currently Chairman, Pathfinder Group Pakistan, which includes two of the country’s largest private security companies.

INTERNATIONAL ICON

Sehgal is also involved in national and international organisations. He is a Member of the World Economic Forum; International Organization for Migration; Director, East West Institute, a US-based think-tank; and Member, WEF Global Agenda Council for counter-terrorism.

AN ACCOMPLISHED WRITER AND ANALYST

Sehgal is a regular contributor of articles in newspapers that include The News, The Nation and the Urdu daily Jang. He appears regularly on current affairs programs on television as a defense and security analyst. He has written many books, some of which are Escape from Oblivion and Blood Dividing Over Two Shades of Green.

https://dailytimes.com.pk/653263/pride-of-pakistan-ikram-sehgal/

 

Modern Technology and Regulatory Framework Are Must For Agri Development, CEO Bayer Pakistan

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Pakistan will have to take advantage of the modern technology to make the most of its agriculture sector, which equally requires its regulatory framework to catch up with these upgrades so they can be exploited efficiently.

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It was stated by Dr Imran Ahmad Khan, CEO & Managing Director, Bayer Pakistan (Pvt) Limited, in an exclusive talk with The News.

Here are some of his thought-provoking insights on Pakistan’s healthcare and food security risks.

Q: Why is Bayer called a life science company?

A: At Bayer, we address some of the world’s most pressing challenges. Our population is constantly growing, while climate change and resource scarcity pose a serious risk to food security. People need quality medicines and nutritious food in sufficient quantities to live a better life. Through our portfolio of science-based solutions for healthcare and agriculture, we work towards addressing these universal challenges and making our vision – Health for All, Hunger for None – a reality.

Q: What food and health security challenges are facing Pakistan currently?

A: There are tremendous challenges in both areas. Pakistan’s population, world’s sixth-largest, is projected to expand by nearly 100 million people by 2050 (UN World Population Prospects 2019). We need to feed more people than ever before in our history; even before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, an estimated 21 million Pakistanis were facing acute food insecurity. But simultaneously, we are facing extreme climate change-related challenges, scarcity of resources including water, and productivity losses. These factors affect the productivity of major crops such as wheat, rice and maize.

The young population of Pakistan is growing exponentially, and needs more in terms of both adequate nutrition and healthcare. Food insecurity puts people at great risk of malnutrition, which can lead to lifelong health conditions.

 

Q: What does Bayer offer to counter the prevailing challenges in healthcare and food security?

A: Bayer’s portfolio is uniquely structured to offer solutions for both healthcare and nutrition. In healthcare, we provide high-quality pharmaceuticals for many therapeutic categories – in Pakistan these include cardiology/thrombosis, women’s healthcare, pulmonology, oncology, anti-infectives, ophthalmology, and radiology. We also have a Consumer Health portfolio that includes nutritional, dermatology, and digestive health products. For the agriculture sector, our Crop Science product portfolio focuses on high-yielding seeds for maize as well as a portfolio of vegetable seeds. We also offer innovative crop protection solutions, including herbicides, fungicides, pesticides, and micronutrient products.

Q: What is the role of research-based drugs in healthcare security?

A: The field of medicine is constantly advancing; as diseases continue to evolve, so must available treatments. Research-based drugs offer patients the newest and most effective therapies to combat existing conditions. They are vital to raising the bar on prevailing standards of treatment, and therefore very important to healthcare security overall.

Q: How can Pakistan leverage agritech to combat food security challenges?

A: Agritech can be leveraged to combat many of the growing challenges to food security and improve the sustainability of the agriculture industry. Farmers can better utilize limited amounts of arable land and grow more with less by planting high-yielding crops made possible through advanced breeding techniques. A good example of this is short stature corn, a variety of corn that is resilient to challenging weather conditions, and also allows for greater planting density. If enabled by policy and regulatory framework, farmers can also utilise digital insights and precision agriculture for improved agronomy and efficient water usage. For example, harvest losses can be decreased if farmers have access to information about rapidly changing climate conditions, and are empowered to make timely decisions to protect their crops.

Q: How does Pakistan’s regulatory framework structure affect introduction of research based, innovative products, and technologies?

A: For innovation to flourish, the prevailing regulatory framework needs to provide adequate protection and support, particularly in the area of intellectual property (IP) protection. This is equally applicable to the pharmaceutical and agriculture sectors.

 

Technological advancement is underpinned by years of scientific research and investment. Therefore, companies seek out markets that provide adequate protection against theft of their proprietary knowledge. However, in Pakistan, despite the existence of requisite laws against intellectual property infringement, enforcement remains weak.

In agriculture, this is evident in the fact that despite being the fourth-largest market for cottonseed, none of the leading cottonseed technology (Bt cotton) providers are willing to enter the market. In the pharmaceutical sector, intellectual property violations have resulted in the widespread production, and distribution of counterfeit and sub-standard drugs.

Q: In terms of regulatory environment, what other improvements can contribute to create a competitive and growing pharmaceutical industry?

A: Contract manufacturing could enable the transfer of technology, expand the local industry, and boost exports. However we need more supportive policies for this to happen. Currently, to fulfill the requirements for contract manufacturing, companies must have a functional manufacturing facility of their own (unlike other countries, such as India). This requirement means that Pakistan will lag in pharmaceutical exports, with local plants remaining underutilised. There are concerns that contract manufacturing would discourage MNCs (multinational companies) from operating in Pakistan. However, the reality is that, due to the strict quality standards of MNCs, contract manufacturing would promote technology transfer by bringing the local industry at par with global technology, processes and quality controls. There is an urgent need to revisit the laws and regulations pertaining to contract manufacturing in order to unlock the potential of the pharmaceutical industry.

Q: What has the impact of COVID on healthcare and agriculture been?

A: As with all industries, the impact of COVID on both has been significant. The government-mandated lockdown at the peak of the pandemic along with travel restrictions, both local and global, put pressure on supply chains. In the agriculture supply chain, the movement of key inputs such as seed, fertilisers and crop protection products was impacted. Similarly, restrictions on movement of people also created a shortage of labour at critical planting and harvest stages across the country. However, the federal and provincial governments were quick to issue necessary exemptions for the relief of farmers. But, with the pandemic drawing out longer, demand compression experienced by certain food commodities is now beginning to drive down agriculture commodity prices; essentially eroding farmer profitability.

 

In the pharmaceutical industry, similar disruption was faced by many in the procurement of key raw materials such as API (Active Product Ingredient) which is not manufactured in the country and must be imported, often from India or China. Local movement restrictions also affected supply to distributors and retailers.

Q: What agri technologies does Bayer plan to introduce into Pakistan and where does the country stand in terms of adoption of modern technology?

A: Globally, Bayer has multiple technology platforms that provide tailored solutions to farmers, including advanced breeding technology, biotechnology, crop protection chemistries and digital/precision farming tools. In Pakistan, Bayer is already marketing elite maize hybrid seed genetics, and a crop protection portfolio enabling improved pest and weed control. Regarding our pipeline, we have completed all field trial and regulatory requirements for our biotech maize hybrids, which allow protection against insect attack and improved weed control. These hybrids have been shown to exhibit 10–45 percent higher yields than conventional varieties, and could save farmers up to 70 percent on crop protection costs. Bayer has also partnered with XAG, a leading drone manufacturer, in efforts towards introducing agriculture drone technology in the country. Drones allow more precise, efficient and safe application of pesticides, enable direct seeding in select crops and provide valuable data insights to aid key farming decisions. Unfortunately, Pakistan has been unable to fully capitalise on the modern technologies that are fueling growth in agriculture productivity globally. Drone technology is a prime example; while the world is fast embracing this innovative tool, our local regulatory framework has not evolved sufficiently to utilise it. In order to realize our true potential in agriculture, we need to embrace and adopt a wide array of modern technologies available to farmers around the world.

The article is originally published by the news.

 

https://www.technologytimes.pk/2020/08/12/modern-technology-and-regulatory-framework-are-must-for-agri-d

Pakistan, China to strengthen cooperation in agricultural sector: Gu Wenliang

                                                                               

Description: Pakistan, China to strengthen cooperation in agricultural sector: Gu Wenliang

 

INP

5:01 PM | August 13, 2020

Pakistan needed to strengthen commercial promotion and marketing for its agricultural products to enhance exports to China.

This was stated by Gu Wenliang, the Agriculture Commissioner, Embassy of China to Pakistan at a webinar held by the Vehari Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Gwadar Pro reported on Thursday.

He said agriculture is one of the key cooperation industries under the second phase of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

According to Gu, both of the Chinese and Pakistani governments are committed to strengthening agricultural industry cooperation and encouraging more Chinese enterprises to invest in Pakistan and set up joint venture with potential local partners.

The agricultural industry cooperation will not only increase Pakistan’s yields of crops and keep its food security, but also improve its agricultural products exports to China and other countries and regions.

Gu pointed out that there is great potential for China-Pak agricultural cooperation in the four areas.

Israel blocks Gaza fuel supply

 

Firstly, the average yield of wheat is only 3 tons per hectare in Pakistan, which can be improved substantially by taking the high-yield, anti-drought variety with resistance to insects and pests.

As for rice cultivation, China’s hybrid rice technology is recommended. The Gmo cotton is also proper to be applied in Pakistan.

For sugar cane and potato, the virus free tissue culture sapling could be a good choice.

Second, China has many technologies suitable for crops in Pakistan, including compound planting, smart agriculture, water-saving irrigation and greenhouse.

Recently, two Pakistani students from China’s Sichuan Agricultural University, use the maize-soybean strip intercropping technology in Punjab, which has achieved satisfactory results by now.

The greenhouse planting can also promote the development of vegetables, edible fungus and flowers in Pakistan.

Thirdly, agricultural machinery and agricultural materials. China’s fertilizer and pesticide industries are developed. Now green pesticides and organic fertilizers are being promoted to reduce pollution from agricultural non-point source.

Pakistan, China to strengthen cooperation in agricultural sector: Gu Wenliang

 

In terms of agricultural machinery, with the 5G and other technologies, smart agricultural machines and implements have been playing an important role in crops’ sowing, harvesting and plant protection in China.

These machines are also suitable for use in Pakistan. Fourthly, agricultural product processing. Pakistan produces a great deal of high-quality fruits and vegetables every year. Due to their short storage period, a lot of them go rotten and cause a great waste.

To solve this problem, they could either be kept by cold chain storage or processed into high value-added products by food processing technology.

On the other hand, enterprises are welcomed to invest in Pakistan to set up meat processing factories and then exports processed meat to China and Middle East countries.

In addition, Gu also gives some suggestions for China-Pak agricultural cooperation.

Both of the two governments should roll out favorable policies in finance and tax to encourage enterprises’ investment and cooperation in agriculture sector.

The second is to strengthen the intellectual property protection for varieties and agriculture-related technologies.

Another one is for China and Pakistan to promote agriculture products trade. To date, China and Pakistan have signed quarantine risk protocols for rice, citrus and mango. The two sides need to accelerate the signing of protocols for onions, potatoes and cherries.

The last one is for Pakistan to make good use of e-commerce, and strengthen commercial promotions and marketing to make more Chinese know more about its high-quality agriculture products, he added.

 

https://nation.com.pk/13-Aug-2020/pakistan-china-to-strengthen-cooperation-in-agricultural-sector-gu-wenliang

 

Illegal rice mills, stone-crushing plants sealed in Balochistan

The Newspaper's Staff CorrespondentUpdated 13 Aug 2020

Description: According to Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan Alyani, 100 rice mills and 41 stone-crushing plants had been shut down in different towns and cities of the province. — AFP/File

According to Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan Alyani, 100 rice mills and 41 stone-crushing plants had been shut down in different towns and cities of the province. — AFP/File

 

 

QUETTA: The Balochistan government on Wednesday sealed all illegally-run rice mills, stone-crushing plants and marble factories across the province for causing environmental hazard.

According to Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan Alyani, 100 rice mills and 41 stone-crushing plants had been shut down in different towns and cities of the province.

In a Twitter message, the chief minister said that the government had withdrawn NOCs (no objection certificates) of 16 crushing plants and five marble factories in Khuzdar. He further said that 21 illegal stone-crushing plants had been sealed in Quetta, nine in Turbat and six in Pishin.

“One-hundred rice mills, which were found being run illegally, have also been sealed,” the chief minister added. He said fines had also been imposed on BTS Towers.

Published in Dawn, August 13th, 2020

 

Thursday, Aug 13th 2020 5PM 40°C 8PM 33°C 

 

Microplastics have been discovered inside every single sample of seafood bought at a market as part of a scientific study. 

Researchers cut open oysters, prawns, crabs, squids and sardines and studied them for any sign of microplastics. 

Sardines were found to be the worst affected and had ingested the largest amount of plastic, up to 30mg per serving - the same weight as a grain of rice.  

Microplastics are tiny particles which are less than five millimetres (0.2 inches) in length. 

The health impact of humans ingesting these particles remains a concerning mystery. 

Scroll down for video  

Researchers  from the universities of Queensland and Exeter cut open oysters, prawns, crabs, squids and sardines purchased at an Australian market and studied them for any sign of microplastics

The study was led by the University of Exeter and the University of Queensland and has been published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology

Academics report plastic levels of 0.04 milligrams (mg) per gram of tissue in squid, 0.07mg in prawns, 0.1mg in oysters, 0.3mg in crabs and 2.9mg in sardines.

'Considering an average serving, a seafood eater could be exposed to approximately 0.7mg of plastic when ingesting an average serving of oysters or squid, and up to 30mg of plastic when eating sardines, respectively,' said lead author Francisca Ribeiro, a PhD student who led the research. 

'For comparison, 30mg is the average weight of a grain of rice. Our findings show that the amount of plastics present varies greatly among species, and differs between individuals of the same species.

'From the seafood species tested, sardines had the highest plastic content, which was a surprising result.'

Sardines were found to be the worst affected of the animals tested and ingested the largest amount of plastic, up to 30mg per serving - the same weight as a grain of rice. Microplastics are tiny particles which are less than five millimet https://urdu.arynews.tv/computer-use-for-eyes/res (0.2 inches) long

Microplastics contaminate fruit and veg, study finds   

Microplastics have been discovered in apples, carrots, pears, broccoli and lettuce, studies have revealed.

Root vegetables including radishes, turnips and parsnips could also be contaminated with the man-made waste, prompting fears over the health impact. 

The tiny pollutants are thought to have been sucked into plants roots with water, and then travelled up the stem into the leaves and, where possible, fruits.

Scientists have argued for decades that this was 'impossible', claiming they were 'too large' to fit through the pores in the roots.

Microplastics have previously been identified in meats including chicken, canned fish and shellfish.

The researchers wanted to see if and how plastic was affecting a wide range of ocean-dwelling creatures so bought five wild blue crabs, ten oysters, ten farmed tiger prawns, ten wild squid and ten wild sardines.

While they were still raw and fresh, the animals were analysed for five different types of known plastic pollution,: polystyrene, polyethylene, polyvinyl chloride, polypropylene and poly(methyl methacrylate).

All of these polymers are commonly used in plastic packaging and textiles and previous studies have found they make up a lot of marine litter. 

Researchers used chemicals to dissolve any plastics in the tissues of the samples and the liquid produced was then put into a machine to determine what type of plastic it was.   

'We found polyvinyl chloride – a widely used synthetic plastic polymer – in all samples we tested, but the most common plastic in use today – polyethylene – was the highest concentrate we found,' Ms Ribeiro said. 

'Another interesting aspect was the diversity of microplastic types found among species, with polyethylene predominant in fish and polyvinyl chloride, the only plastic detected in oysters.' 

Microplastics are being increasingly found around the world, with evidence of them now seen at the bottom of the deepest ocean as well as in the Alps and Antarctica.  

Researchers found the microplastic polyvinyl chloride in every single specimen, and this was the only microplastic spotted in oysters (pictured). However, overall, the most abundant microplastic was polyethylene which is the world's most popular plastic

 

+Microplastics enter the waterways through a variety of means and finish suspended in the liquid. They can be transported long distances both in water and via the air, taking them to the furthest corners of the world

They are created when plastics degrade, are washed or broken up, and are hard to catch and destroy. 

Due to their prevalence, researchers are desperately trying to understand how harmful they are to human and animal health. 

A report commissioned by the United Nations last year found microplastics in drinking water. 

This was the first attempt by the WHO to examine the potential human health impacts of exposure to microplastics. 

Some of the key findings include the revelation that larger microplastic particles, bigger than 150 micrometres, are likely to be passed out of our bodies without harm.

Smaller particles could potentially be absorbed into our organs, however.

It also suggests microplastics have the potential to both carry disease-causing bacteria and help bacteria become resistant to antibiotics.t

WHAT FURTHER RESEARCH IS NEEDED TO ASSESS THE SPREAD AND IMPACT OF MICROPLASTICS?

The World Health Organisation's 2019 report 'Microplastics in Drinking Water' outlined numerous areas for future research that could shed light on how far spread the problem of microplastic pollution is, how it may impact human health and what can be done to stop these particles from entering our water supplies.

How widespread are microplastics?

The following research would clarify the occurrence of microplastics in drinking-water and freshwater sources:

·         More data are needed on the occurrence of microplastics in drinking-water to assess human exposure from drinking-water adequately. 

·         Studies on occurrence of microplastics must use quality-assured methods to determine numbers, shapes, sizes, and composition of the particles found. They should identify whether the microplastics are coming from the freshwater environment or from the abstraction, treatment, distribution or bottling of drinking-water. Initially, this research should focus on drinking-water thought to be most at risk of particulate contamination. 

·         Drinking-water studies would be usefully supplemented by better data on fresh water that enable the freshwater inputs to be quantified and the major sources identified. This may require the development of reliable methods to track origins and identify sources. 

·         A set of standard methods is needed for sampling and analysing microplastics in drinking-water and fresh water. 

·         There is a significant knowledge gap in the understanding of nanoplastics in the aquatic environment. A first step to address this gap is to develop standard methods for sampling and analysing nanoplastics. 

What are the health implications of microplastics?

Although water treatment can be effective in removing particles, there is limited data specific to microplastics. To support human health risk assessment and management options, the following data gaps related to water treatment need to be addressed: 

·         More research is needed to understand the fate of microplastics across different wastewater and drinking-water treatment processes (such as clarification processes and oxidation) under different operational circumstances, including optimal and sub-optimal operation and the influence of particle size, shape and chemical composition on removal efficacy. 

·         There is a need to better understand particle composition pre- and post-water treatment, including in distribution systems. The role of microplastic breakdown and abrasion in water treatment systems, as well as the microplastic contribution from the processes themselves should be considered. 

·         More knowledge is needed to understand the presence and removal of nanoplastic particles in water and wastewater treatment processes once standard methods for nanoplastics are available. 

·         There is a need to better understand the relationships between turbidity (and particle counts) and microplastic concentrations throughout the treatment processes. 

·         Research is needed to understand the significance of the potential return of microplastics to the environment from sludge and other treatment waste streams. 

To better understand microplastic-associated biofilms and their significance, the following research could be carried out:

·         Further studies could be conducted on the factors that influence the composition and potential specificity of microplastic-associated biofilms. 

·         Studies could also consider the factors influencing biofilm formation on plastic surfaces, including microplastics, and how these factors vary for different plastic materials, and what organisms more commonly bind to plastic surfaces in freshwater systems. 

·         Research could be carried out to better understand the capacity of microplastics to transport pathogenic bacteria longer distances downstream, the rate of degradation in freshwater systems and the relative abundance and transport capacity of microplastics compared with other particles.

·         Research could consider the risk of horizontal transfer of antimicrobial resistance genes in plastisphere microorganisms compared to other biofilms, such as those found in WWTPs. 

Can water treatment stop microplastics entering our water supplies?

Although water treatment can be effective in removing particles, there is limited data specific to microplastics. To support human health risk assessment and management options, the following data gaps related to water treatment need to be addressed: 

·         More research is needed to understand the fate of microplastics across different wastewater and drinking-water treatment processes (such as clarification processes and oxidation) under different operational circumstances, including optimal and sub-optimal operation and the influence of particle size, shape and chemical composition on removal efficacy. 

·         There is a need to better understand particle composition pre- and post-water treatment, including in distribution systems. The role of microplastic breakdown and abrasion in water treatment systems, as well as the microplastic contribution from the processes themselves should be considered.

·         More knowledge is needed to understand the presence and removal of nanoplastic particles in water and wastewater treatment processes once standard methods for nanoplastics are available. 

·         There is a need to better understand the relationships between turbidity (and particle counts) and microplastic concentrations throughout the treatment processes. 

·         Research is needed to understand the significance of the potential return of microplastics to the environment from sludge and other treatment waste streams.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-8619413/Microplastics-sample-seafood-purchased-market.html

 

September Reminds Us to Keep Whole Grains at the Top of Our Own Food Pyramids

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By twin, Wednesday at 9:24 pm

Now that life revolves so much more around the kitchen, it’s appropriate that September — designated Whole Grains Month — reminds us of the importance of the underdog of the food pyramid.

What are whole grains anyway?

They’re the healthy alternative to refined grains, credited with keeping weight gain at bay, and providing fiber, iron, potassium, magnesium and other nutrients. A whole grain contains the three key parts of a seed — the bran, germ and endosperm.

Whole grains can be regular foods, such as rice, bulgur, farro, quinoa, oatmeal, brown rice, or ingredients such as buckwheat in pancakes.

Even more important, research has shown whole grains are an important part of the kind of diet that can keep weight gain at bay as we age. A Harvard University study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, identified whole grains as one of five foods that helped participants stay healthy and trim. The others were vegetables, fruits, nuts and yogurt.

The foods that contributed to weight gain included what might be considered whole grains’ evil twin — refined grains.

Refined grains are milled, stripping away the bran and the germ, as well as fiber and other nutrients.

They’re among the foods that the researchers found contributed to age-related weight gain — crackers, pastries, desserts, white rice, white bread, potato chips and many kinds of cereals. Other foods on the weight-gain list were potatoes, processed meats, red meats and sugar-sweetened beverages.

Most refined grains are enriched, but they still lack fiber and important vitamins and nutrients.

So keep boosting your immune system, and feel great about your self-discipline, as you keep whole grains top of mind.

http://www.chicagonow.com/all-is-well/2020/08/september-reminds-us-to-keep-whole-grains-at-the-top-of-our-own-food-pyramids/

Thursday, Aug 13th 2020 2PM 40°C 5PM 40°C 5-Day Forecast

Microplastics are discovered in every sample of seafood purchased at a food market – with the equivalent of a grain of rice found in sardine flesh

·         Scientists from universities of Queensland and Exeter bought seafood at market 

·         They dissolved microplastics in the edible tissue of each sample and studied it 

·         Discovered the microplastic polyvinyl chloride in every single specimen

·         Most abundant was polyethylene which is the world's most popular plastic  

·         Sardines were the worst affected delicacy, with up to 30mg of plastic per serving, approximately the same weight as a grain of rice  

Microplastics have been discovered inside every single sample of seafood bought at a market as part of a scientific study. 

Researchers cut open oysters, prawns, crabs, squids and sardines and studied them for any sign of microplastics. 

Sardines were found to be the worst affected and had ingested the largest amount of plastic, up to 30mg per serving - the same weight as a grain of rice.  

Microplastics are tiny particles which are less than five millimetres (0.2 inches) in length. 

The health impact of humans ingesting these particles remains a concerning mystery. 

Scroll down for video  

 

Researchers  from the universities of Queensland and Exeter cut open oysters, prawns, crabs, squids and sardines purchased at an Australian market and studied them for any sign of microplastics

The study was led by the University of Exeter and the University of Queensland and has been published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology

Academics report plastic levels of 0.04 milligrams (mg) per gram of tissue in squid, 0.07mg in prawns, 0.1mg in oysters, 0.3mg in crabs and 2.9mg in sardines.

'Considering an average serving, a seafood eater could be exposed to approximately 0.7mg of plastic when ingesting an average serving of oysters or squid, and up to 30mg of plastic when eating sardines, respectively,' said lead author Francisca Ribeiro, a PhD student who led the research. 

'For comparison, 30mg is the average weight of a grain of rice. Our findings show that the amount of plastics present varies greatly among species, and differs between individuals of the same species.

'From the seafood species tested, sardines had the highest plastic content, which was a surprising

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-8619413/Microplastics-sample-seafood-purchased-market.html

Wearing a neck gaiter may spread COVID-19 more than wearing no mask at all, study finds

Knitted masks, bandanas also not as effective

Neck fleece, or gaiter-type neck coverings, could be as ineffective as not wearing a mask at all, or even worse. (KSAT)

SAN ANTONIO – As face coverings become an essential part of everyday life during the coronavirus pandemic, researchers are saying that some options may be counterproductive.

Researchers from Duke University published a study on Friday that focused on commonly available face masks and coverings, and how efficient they are in protecting people from infection.

They found cotton masks have a strong effect, but bandanas, not so much. With neck fleece, or gaiter-type neck coverings, those could be as ineffective as not wearing a mask at all, or even worse.

“We noticed that speaking through some masks (particularly the neck fleece) seemed to disperse the largest droplets into a multitude of smaller droplets, which explains the apparent increase in droplet count relative to no mask in that case,” the study published in Science Advances magazine states.

“Considering that smaller particles are airborne longer than large droplets (larger droplets sink faster), the use of such a mask might be counterproductive.”

Researchers tested 14 different coverings, including bandanas and surgical, knitted, valved N95, fitted N95, cotton, and fleece masks. Each option was tested 10 times.

Duke researchers tested 14 masks in a study that focuses on droplet transmission. (Photo Credit: Emma Fischer, Duke University.)

Mask wearers spoke into the direction of a laser beam in a dark enclosure. Any droplets that propagated through the laser beam scattered light, which was recorded by a cell phone camera, the study says. Droplets were counted in a computer algorithm.

The droplet transmission ranged from below 0.1% with a fitted N95 mask to 110% with a fleece mask, the study says.

Surgical, cotton-polypropylene-cotton and 2-layer polypropylene apron masks followed fitted N95s as the most effective.

A figure shows droplet transmission through a variety of face masks. (Science Advances)

The experts say while the experiment is straightforward, there are limitations.

“Inter-subject variations are to be expected, for example due to difference in physiology, mask fit, head position, speech pattern, and such,” the study states.

The co-founder of one gaiter manufacturer, Vapor Apparel, told The Washington Post that the face-covering option shouldn’t be dismissed entirely.

“All gaiters are not created equal,” Chris Bernat of Vapor Apparel said. “There’s a segment of this category that’s of a much higher quality that’s engineered to be layered.”

The study found bandanas and knitted masks were among the least effective.

https://www.ksat.com/news/local/2020/08/12/wearing-a-neck-gaiter-may-spread-covid-19-more-than-wearing-no-mask-at-all-study-finds/

N95 masks used against coronavirus can be decontaminated with rice cooker: study

Masks maintained their filtration capability and fit and were cleaned inside and out, per the study

 

By Amy McGorry | Fox News

Description: Amy McGorryN95 respirator masks, used to protect against the novel coronavirus, among other diseases, can be decontaminated by placing them in a rice cooker or Instant Pot for 50 minutes, according to a study out of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

The N95 respirators are considered the gold standard of personal protective equipment when it comes to protection from airborne particles and droplets, according to health experts.  

The masks, when placed in dry heat in an electric cooker, maintained their filtration capability and fit and were cleaned inside and out, according to the study published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology Letters. The findings suggest this may allow wearers to safely reuse the respirators, which are typically intended for one-time use.

“A pandemic such as COVID-19 can cause a sudden depletion of the worldwide supply of respirators, forcing health care providers to reuse them," the researchers stated in the study.

The researchers found that when the masks were placed through one cycle in a rice cooker maintained at about 212°F for 50 minutes, the N95 respirators were decontaminated inside and out, from four different classes of the virus, including a coronavirus. The researchers stated in a news release that it was more effective than ultraviolet light against the virus, and noted that the masks' filtration and fit remained intact.

Description: Rick cookers may help to decontaminate N95 respirators, according to a recent study.

Rick cookers may help to decontaminate N95 respirators, according to a recent study. (iStock)

“We built a chamber in my aerosol-testing lab specifically to look at the filtration of the N95 respirators, and measured particles going through it,” stated Vishal Verma, a civil and environmental engineering professor and co-author of the study, in a news release. “The respirators maintained their filtration capacity of more than 95% and kept their fit, still properly seated on the wearer’s face, even after 20 cycles of decontamination in the electric cooker.”

The researchers warned that no water should be added to the cooker, and the heat must be a dry heat. They instructed placing a small towel to cover the bottom of the cooker to avoid the N95 mask coming into contact with the heating element and noted that multiple masks can be stacked to fit inside the cooker at the same time.

 “On the basis of these results, dry heat decontamination generated by an electric cooker (e.g., rice cookers, Instant Pots and ovens) could be an effective and accessible decontamination method for the safe reuse of N95 respirators. We recommend users measure the temperature during decontamination to ensure the respirator temperature can be maintained at 100°C [212°F] for 50 minutes," the study authors wrote.

The electric-cooker method can be useful for health care workers and first responders, especially those in smaller clinics or hospitals that do not have access to large-scale heat sanitization equipment, the researchers stated in the release.  For a video of the method, click here.

https://www.foxnews.com/health/n95-masks-coronavirus-rice-cooker-decontamination-study

 

Rwanda: Why Consumer Price Index Rose By 11.5%

11 AUGUST 2020

The New Times (Kigali)

 

By Emmanuel Ntirenganya

The Consumer Price Index in Rwanda increased by 11.5 per cent between July 2019 and July 2020, according to latest figures from the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda (NISR) on August 10, 2020.

This, according to NISR, means that for an item which was costing Rwf500 in July 2019, the price rose to Rwf557.5 in July 2020.

The statistics are contained in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) JULY 2020 released by NISR.

CPI is a measure of the average change in prices, over time, of goods and services purchased by households, such as food and transportation.

According to the figures, Urban CPI increased by 9.2 percent in July 2020 compared to the same month of 2019, while Rural CPI increased by 13.2 percent on annual basis and increased by 1.6 percent on monthly basis.

The annual average inflation rate between July 2020 and July 2019 was 7 percent.

In urban arears, prices for food and non-alcoholic beverages increased by 11.9 percent; while alcoholic beverages, tobacco and narcotics increased by 25.1 percent in July 2020 compared to July 2019.

Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels' increased by 4.3 percent and transport increased by 22.6 percent.

On an annual basis, the local goods index increased by 10.1 percent, the imported goods index grew by 6.3 percent, while the fresh products index increased by 19.6 percent. Fresh products are food products which have seasonal fluctuations. The energy index increased by 5 percent.

Prices of some food items have gone up significantly. This is the case for beans which went up from Rwf450 a kilogramme in 2019 to Rwf650 a kilogramme in parts of the country such as Burera District in Northern Province even during bean harvest season (in July 2020).

At Kimironko Market in Gasabo District, the price of mangoes more than doubled from Rwf1,000 to Rwf2,500 a kilogramme, according to fruit dealers.

Still at the same market, mandarin (citrus fruit), a kilogramme saw its cost jump from Rwf1,500 to Rwf2,500, a more than half rise.

Factors that drove up such price include the shortage of supply compounded with disrupted trade with Burundi which constrained import of such fruits into Rwanda, according to information from the Rwanda Agriculture Board (RAB).

Dr Canisius Bihira, a socio-economist told The New Times that inflation and insufficient domestic food production are to blame for the rising prices that push up the cost of living.

"Agricultures is still lacking in technologies, which affects farm productivity and the production of food, hence leaving a gap to be filled by imports," he said citing sugar and rice imports.

"The country should do its best to increase agricultural production among others, so that prices go down. It should also protect its currency in order to protect its purchasing power from decline," he said indicating that the Rwandan franc has depreciated almost by half against the dollar in less than a decade.

Some causes of CPI increase

NISR explains that there was a low production for commodities such as bean in the first agriculture season (Season A) of 2020 due to heavy rain, and flooding of some marshlands for rice plantations.

This situation, it said, caused the shortage of such commodity on the market as shown by the increase of 17 percent in prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages.

Close

 

In the transport sector, NISR indicated that in the framework of stopping the spread of Covid-19, the number of passengers in buses was reduced.

The statistics institute said that for the sustainability of this important service, the bus transport fare was increased and resulted in the overall rise of 22.6 percent in transport tariffs.

On the implications of such CPI increase, NISR says that in the short term, this is the normal behaviour of the price trend when there are shocks like those that are highlighted above, adding that when shock disappears prices tend to become normal.

However, the institute says that if an upward trend in prices continues in the long term, it means the purchasing power of household keeps reducing.

https://allafrica.com/stories/202008120400.html

Rice Conservation Program Renewed for $7M  

 

By Emily Woodall

 

 

LITTLE ROCK, AR -- It's been a rough 2020 so far, but area rice farmers finally got some good news with the recent announcement that the Mid-South Graduated Water Stewardship Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP), led by USA Rice, has been renewed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) with a $7 million award from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).
 
"The 2018 Farm Bill allows USDA to renew worthy RCPP projects and the Rice Stewardship Partnership's Mid-South project was an obvious candidate," said Josh Hankins, the USA Rice field director who manages the Rice Stewardship Partnership.  "This new funding will allow the Partnership to implement working lands conservation practices for rice producers in Missouri, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana."  

To date, Partnership program opportunities have focused on three core areas:  water management, nutrient management, and winter habitat for wildlife.  The renewed Graduated Water Stewardship RCPP will continue that focus.  

"This Mid-South RCPP is one of two renewals landed by the Partnership," said Scott Manley, director of conservation programs with Ducks Unlimited.  "The other is "Improving Water Quality with Nutrient Management Conservation Practice 590" in south Louisiana."  Description: C:\Users\abc\Downloads\unnamed.jpg

The sign-up timelines for these renewal projects have not been finalized but will likely take place in early 2021.  That critical information will be shared as soon as it is available.

"The Graduated Water Stewardship RCPP project has been a model of successful collaboration between partners to maximize the delivery of conservation on the ground in the Mid-South," said Mike Sullivan, Arkansas state conservationist with NRCS.

The rice industry's working partnership with NRCS is supported by the following financial sponsors:   National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Walmart Foundation, the Mosaic Company Foundation, Nestlé Purina PetCare, Chevron U.S.A., RiceTec, Entergy, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Freeport-McMoRan Foundation, the Irene W. and C.B. Pennington Foundation, BASF, American Rice, Inc. - Riviana Foods, Inc., the Joe W. and Dorothy Dorsett Brown Foundation, Delta Plastics, Corteva Agriscience, Cargill, Wells Fargo, Farmers Rice Milling Company, Horizon Ag, Turner's Creek & Bombay Hook Farms, MacDon Industries, Riceland Foods, and Ducks Unlimited.

 

 

WASDE Report Released  

 

 
WASHINGTON, DC -- The outlook for U.S. rice in 2020/21 this month is for lower supplies, unchanged domestic and residual use, reduced exports, and higher ending stocks.  Supplies are reduced as lower production is only partially offset by increased beginning stocks and imports.  The initial survey-based production forecast for the 2020/21 crop year reduced production from the previous forecast by 2.6 million cwt to 218.1 million, all on lower yields.  The average all rice yield is forecast at 7,600 pounds per acre, down 89 pounds from the prior forecast but up from last year's 7,471 pounds.  Long grain production is forecast at 159.1 million cwt and combined medium and short grain production is forecast at 59 million.  Projected all rice imports are raised 1.4 million cwt to 36 million as the robust import pace seen in 2019/20 marketing year is expected to moderate only slightly in 2020/21.  Imports for 2019/20 are forecast at a record 36.7 million cwt as they are also raised this month on continued large Asian shipments.  All rice exports for 2020/21 are lowered 1 million cwt to 97 million with all of the reduction for long grain on continued South American competition in Western Hemisphere markets.  Projected ending stocks are raised to 44.3 million cwt, up 500,000 from last month and 44 percent higher than last year.  The 2020/21 all rice season-average farm price is unchanged at $12.70 per cwt, compared to last year's $13.10.

The 2020/21 global outlook is for smaller supplies, lower consumption and trade, and reduced stocks.  Rice supplies are lowered 2.6 million tons to 681.7 million, primarily on reduced production forecasts for China, Thailand, and Viet Nam.  China's production is lowered 2 million tons to 147 million on record rainfall in the Yangtze River Valley during June and July causing severe flooding and reducing harvested area.  Production for Thailand and Viet Nam is reduced on decreased irrigation availability with low reservoir and river levels.  Despite these reductions, 2020/21 world production remains record-high at 500 million tons.  Global consumption is reduced by 1.9 million tons to 496.5 million, still a record, primarily on reductions for China, Brazil, and Nigeria.  World trade is decreased 600,000 tons to 44.3 million tons, mainly on export reductions for Thailand and China but remains well above last year's 41.5 million.  Projected 2020/21 world ending stocks are lowered 600,000 tons to 185.2 million, still a record, with China and India accounting for 63 and 21 percent of the total, respectively.

Go here to read the full report. 

 

Description: https://ci6.googleusercontent.com/proxy/hGrq11JG9KecB2nG0ztsJdIJsShd70PcMwlY7vDILI7Fc7SBVfbbc4wG_OUVaE6DKHnxEZLrHYsrLGiKl23tFIyxiTHqbeDSTQkpSvG9=s0-d-e1-ft#https://imgssl.constantcontact.com/letters/images/sys/S.gif

 

 

 

 

 

Sainsbury's, Iceland and Waitrose issue urgent product recalls on cheese, milk and rice

The Food Standards Agency says if you have any of the following products, you should return them to your local supermarket for a full refund as soon as possible

Supermarkets across the UK have issued product recalls on meat, rice and even milk over fears they could lead to food poisoning.

Sainsbury's and Iceland have issued recalls on pre-packed rice and chicken - and customers are being urged to return them to stores for a full refund.

The Food Standards Agency said Iceland's chip shop curry chicken breast toppers are being recalled as they could contain salmonella bacteria.

Waitrose is recalling its own-brand chicken satay with sweet chilli sauce because it contains peanuts - which is not mentioned on the label.

When a food product is recalled, for any reason, the Food Standards Agency provides details on what customers should do if they have bought the items, as well as detailed information on why the product is being pulled from shelves.

It said anyone with any of the items below should visit their nearest supermarket for a full refund.

Iceland

Description: Iceland shopping bag

Iceland has recalled two of its own brand chicken products after testing found the presence of salmonella in them (Image: Getty)

Iceland has recalled two of its own brand chicken products after testing found the presence of salmonella in them.

Customers have been asked to return its Chip Shop Curry Chicken Breast Toppers and Southern Fried Chicken Popsters to stores.

Salmonella can result in symptoms including fever, diarrhoea and abdominal cramps if consumed.

The affected Curry Chicken Breast Toppers were the 400g packs with best before dates of 27 February 2021, 17 March 2021 and 8 April 2021.

The Southern Fried Chicken Popsters affected were sold in 220g packs with a best before date of 4 April, 2021.

Chip Shop Curry Chicken Breast Toppers:

Pack size:  400g

Best before

·         February 27, 2021

·         March 17, 2021

·         April 8, 2021

Southern Fried Chicken Popsters:

Pack size:  220g

Best before:  April 4, 2021

Waitrose

Waitrose is recalling its own-brand chicken satay with sweet chilli sauce (Image: Getty Images)

Waitrose is recalling its own-brand chicken satay with sweet chilli sauce.

This is because an incorrect dip has been packed in the product resulting in fish and peanuts not being mentioned on the label.

The presence of fish and peanuts poses a possible health risk to anyone with these allergies.

Pack size:  85g

Best before:  August 17, 2020

Sainsbury's

You can return these items to your local store for a full refund (Image: Universal Images Group Editorial)

READ MORE

·         Why you might see Tesco, Sainsbury's and more shoppers wearing a sunflower badge

Sainsbury's is recalling its semi-skimmed UHT milk because of possible microbiological contamination.

The supermarket has taken the precautionary step of recalling the UHT milk as the contamination could lead to it being unsafe to consume.

Pack size:  1 litre

Best before

·         December 28, 2020

·         December 29, 2020

Beef and Ale pie

Waitrose & Partners Slow Cooked Beef and Ale Pie is being recalled because it contains hazelnuts and milk which are not mentioned on the label.

This means the product is a possible health risk for anyone with an allergy to nuts (hazelnuts) and/or an allergy or intolerance to milk or milk constituents.

Product details

Pack size:  400g

Batch code:  L0125

Best before:  November 2021

Uncle Ben's Brown Basmati

Mars Food UK is recalling Uncle Ben’s Brown Basmati ready to heat rice pouches as some packs may contain pieces of glass.

The possible presence of glass makes this product unsafe to eat.

Pack size : 250g

Best before

·         November 17, 2020

·         December 8, 2020

·         December 9, 2020

·         January 8, 2021

·         January 18, 2021

·         January 19, 2021

·         March 2, 2021

·         March 16, 2021

·         March 20, 2021

·         May 24, 2021

·         June 14, 2021

·         June 15, 2021

·         July 3, 2021

·         July 19, 2021

Baked Whole King Scallops

Highland Bay Seafoods is recalling its Baked Whole King Scallops with a creamy leek and kale sauce topped with mash potato because it contains fish which is not mentioned on the label.

This means the product is a possible health risk for anyone with an allergy to fish.

Pack size:  200g (2 scallops in a pack)

Batch code:  R006, R007, R008, and 20106

Best before:

·         September 2020

·         December 2020

·         April 2021

Benyfit Natural Pet Food

Benyfit Natural Pet Food Ltd has taken the precautionary step of recalling several types of frozen raw dog food products containing beef because the products might contain salmonella.

These products have been sold by various independent pet food stores and online.

Product details:

·         Benyfit Natural 80-10-10 Beef Meat Feast (1kg).

·         Benyfit Natural 80-10-10 Beef Meat Feast (500g).

·         Benyfit Natural Beef & Tripe (1kg)

·         Benyfit Natural Beef & Tripe (500g)

·         Benyfit Natural Succulent Beef (1kg)

·         Benyfit Natural Succulent Beef (500g)

·         Embark on Raw Natural Working Dog Food Beef Complete (454g)

·         Neew Dog Premium Beef (1kg)

·         Neew Dog Premium Beef (500g)

·         Unique Raw Chicken, Beef & Ox Recipe (1kg).

For individual batch codes visit  food.gov.uk/news-alerts.

Golden Curry Medium Hot Sauce

JFC (UK) Ltd is recalling S&B Golden Curry Medium Hot Sauce Mix because it contains celery and mustard which are not mentioned on the label.

This means the product is a possible health risk for anyone with an allergy to celery and/or mustard.

Pack size:  1kg

Best before:

·         December 22, 2020;

·         March 16, 2022

·         May 7, 2022

·         May 23, 2022

·         June 12, 2022

·         July 10, 2022

Primula Cheese tubes

Primula Ltd is recalling all Primula Cheese tubes, (chilled and ambient) because the products might be contaminated with Clostridium botulinum due to a production fault.

A statement from the FSA says: "Manufacturing controls that could potentially affect the safety of the products listed above could not be demonstrated satisfactorily by the company.

"The issue relates to controlling factors to prevent the growth and toxin production of Clostridium botulinum.

"Botulinum toxin may cause a serious form of food poisoning called botulism and can be fatal.

"A recall from customers is being carried out as a precautionary measure."

Products Include:

·         Product code: Primula Plain Original Cheese Spread

Pack size: 150g

Best before: From 25 December 2020 up to and including 28 January 2021

·         Product code: Primula Cheese Spread with Smoked Paprika

Pack size: 150g

Best before: From 25 December 2020 up to and including 28 January 2021

·         Product code: Primula Cheese Spread with Jalapenos

Pack size: 150g

Best before: From 25 December 2020 up to and including 28 January 2021

·         Product code: Primula Light Cheese Spread

Pack size: 150g

Best before: From 25 December 2020 up to and including 28 January 2021

·         Product code: Primula Cheese Spread with Ham

Pack size: 150g

Best before: From 25 December 2020 up to and including 28 January 2021

·         Product code: Primula Cheese Spread with Chives

Pack size: 150g

Best before: From 25 December 2020 up to and including 28 January 2021

·         Product code: Primula Cheese Spread with Prawns

Pack size: 150g

Best before: From 25 December 2020 up to and including 28 January 2021

·         Product code: Primula Original Cheese Spread (ambient)

Pack size: 100g

Best before: From 30 October 2020 up to and including 10 December 2020

·         Product code: Primula Cheese Spread with Ham (ambient)

Pack size: 100g

Best before: From 30 October 2020 up to and including 10 December 2020

·         Product code: Primula Cheese spread with Chives (ambient)

Pack size: 100g

Best before: From 30 October 2020 up to and including 10 December 2020

https://www.mirror.co.uk/money/sainsburys-iceland-waitrose-issue-urgent-22508657

 

 

Some of the UK's biggest supermarkets have warned shoppers not to consume any of the affected items

Rachel PughMoney-Saving & Shopping Editor

Will Rider & Brittany Tijou-Smith

·         15:58, 11 AUG 2020Bottom of Form

Description: Tesco, Sainsbury's, Iceland and Waitrose urgently recall food productsTesco, Sainsbury's, Iceland and Waitrose urgently recall food products (Image: 2008 Getty Images)

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Several of the UK's major supermarkets including Tesco, Sainsbury's, Iceland and Waitrose have recalled a series of products over health and safety fears.

The affected products have been listed by the Food Standards Agency (FSA), and shoppers have been advised not to consume any items on the list.

·         Description: Aldi shopper reveals how she feeds her family for £12.50 a weekAldi shopper feeds her family for £12.50 per person a week - this is how

These are all of the latest supermarket product recalls, according to Kent Live :

Sainsbury's is recalling its semi-skimmed UHT milk because of possible microbiological contamination.

The supermarket has taken the precautionary step of recalling the less than 2 per cent fat, UHT milk as the contamination could lead to it being spoiled and being unsafe to consume.

Pack size: 1 litre

Best before

·         December 28, 2020

·         December 29, 2020

Iceland

Iceland is recalling two chicken products after the presence of salmonella in both products caused it to be deemed unsafe to eat.

Iceland's chip shop curry chicken breast toppers are affected by this recall.

Pack size: 400g

Best before

·         February 27, 2021

·         March 17, 2021

·         April 8, 2021

Iceland's southern fried chicken popsters are also to be avoided as they have been affected.

Pack size: 220g

Best before: April 4, 2021

Waitrose

Waitrose is recalling Waitrose and Partners chicken satay with sweet chilli sauce.

This is because an incorrect dip has been packed in the product resulting in fish and peanuts not being mentioned on the label.

The presence of fish and peanuts has posed a possible health risk of anyone with these allergies.

Pack size: 85g

Best before: August 17, 2020

Beef and Ale pie

Waitrose & Partners Slow Cooked Beef and Ale Pie is being recalled because it contains hazelnuts and milk which are not mentioned on the label.

This means the product is a possible health risk for anyone with an allergy to nuts (hazelnuts) and/or an allergy or intolerance to milk or milk constituents.

Product details

Pack size: 400g

Batch code: L0125

Best before: November 2021

Uncle Ben's Brown Basmati

Mars Food UK is recalling Uncle Ben’s Brown Basmati ready to heat rice pouches as some packs may contain pieces of glass.

The possible presence of glass makes this product unsafe to eat

Pack size : 250g

Best before

·         November 17, 2020

·         December 8, 2020

·         December 9, 2020

·         January 8, 2021

·         January 18, 2021

·         January 19, 2021

·         March 2, 2021

·         March 16, 2021

·         March 20, 2021

·         May 24, 2021

·         June 14, 2021

·         June 15, 2021

·         July 3, 2021

·         July 19, 2021

Baked Whole King Scallops

Highland Bay Seafoods is recalling their Baked Whole King Scallops with a creamy leek and kale sauce topped with mash potato because it contains fish which is not mentioned on the label.

This means the product is a possible health risk for anyone with an allergy to fish.

Pack size: 200g (2 scallops in a pack)

Batch code: R006, R007, R008, and 20106

Best before:

·         September 2020

·         December 2020

·         April 2021

Benyfit Natural Pet Food

Benyfit Natural Pet Food Ltd has taken the precautionary step of recalling several types of frozen raw dog food products containing beef because the products might contain salmonella.

These products have been sold by various independent pet food stores and online.

Product details:

·         Benyfit Natural 80-10-10 Beef Meat Feast (1kg).

·         Benyfit Natural 80-10-10 Beef Meat Feast (500g).

·         Benyfit Natural Beef & Tripe (1kg)

·         Benyfit Natural Beef & Tripe (500g)

·         Benyfit Natural Succulent Beef (1kg)

·         Benyfit Natural Succulent Beef (500g)

·         Embark on Raw Natural Working Dog Food Beef Complete (454g)

·         Neew Dog Premium Beef (1kg)

·         Neew Dog Premium Beef (500g)

·         Unique Raw Chicken, Beef & Ox Recipe (1kg).

For individual batch codes visit food.gov.uk/news-alerts.

Golden Curry Medium Hot Sauce

JFC (UK) Ltd is recalling S&B Golden Curry Medium Hot Sauce Mix because it contains celery and mustard which are not mentioned on the label.

This means the product is a possible health risk for anyone with an allergy to celery and/or mustard.

Pack size: 1kg

Best before:

·         December 22, 2020;

·         March 16, 2022

·         May 7, 2022

·         May 23, 2022

·         June 12, 2022

https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/uk-news/tesco-sainsburys-rice-milk-recall-18750390

 

Rice exports jump 52% in Apr-May

Vishwanath Kulkarni  Bengaluru | Updated on August 11, 2020  Published on August 11, 2020

Description: https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/economy/agri-business/ci7748/article31537325.ece/alternates/WIDE_615/bl09Rice

Panic buying to secure food supplies aiding shipments, say exporters

Non-basmati rice exports are seen rebounding this year as the shipments have begun on a strong note registering over 52 per cent growth in the first two months of the current financial year.

Strong demand from traditional buyers in Africa and likely panic buying by some countries even as the Covid-19 pandemic tightened its grip across the world during this period fuelled the rice shipments, exporters said.

 

Shipments during April-May this year stood at 11.13 lakh tonnes as against 7.3 lakh in the same period last year, according to DGCIS’ latest figures. In value terms, the exports were up 63 per cent at 3,429 crore as compared to 2,097 crore. In dollar value, the shipments were up 56 per cent at $452 million as compared to $289 million recorded in the same period last year.

“There is a rebound in exports of non-basmati rice,” said BV Krishna Rao, President, The Rice Exporters Association. Rao attributed the spurt in shipments to the rebound in demand from traditional buyers in the African region and also to the factors such as favourable currency, the availability stocks and competitive pricing of the Indian cereal.

Growth in shipment

“Countries could have bought more rice during this period to secure their food supplies as the Covid-19 pandemic was tightening its gripped around the world. Such panic buying could be attributed to around 10 per cent growth in shipments during this period,” Rao said.

Apart from African nations and Nepal, the non-basmati rice shipments has picked up in Malaysia, Philippines and Russia, among other countries.

India, the second-largest producer of rice, has been the largest exporter of the cereal after shipments of non-basmati were allowed from 2011. However, the non-basmati rice shipments had witnessed a decline in the past two years after the Indian cereal had turned expensive. However, with Asian players such as Thailand and Vietnam facing supply issues, Indian rice has turned competitive in recent months. “We are at least 10 per cent lower than Thai parboiled rice,” Rao said, adding that if demand from Bangladesh picks up, the shipments could rise to 2017-18 levels.

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The steady growth in rice production has been aiding the exports. From around 96 million tonnes in 2010-11, rice production is seen touching an all-time high of 117.94 million tonnes in 2019-20. In the ongoing kharif season, rice planting has been higher by 17 per cent at 321 lakh ha till August 7.

The basmati shipments during April-May were marginally up in volumes at 8.74 lakh tonnes (8.64 lakh tonnes in the same period last year). However, in value terms, the shipments registered a decline at 5,970 crore (6,488 crore) due to weak pricing.

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