Food Costs Push China Inflation To 3.1 Percent

Higher food prices push China inflation to 3.1 percent in September

EDT, October 14, 2013 A new federal law intended to keep the food supply safe could cost some Lehigh Valley farmers tens of thousands of dollars. The Food Safety Modernization Act represents the first major overhaul of U.S. food-handling practices in more than 70 years. Passed by Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2011, the legislation was created, some say hastily, after a spate of food-borne illness cases, which have been increasing in number and severity since the mid-1990s. Now it’s up to the federal Food and Drug Administration to implement the legislation that has many farmers, family-farm advocates and even officials of state departments of agriculture concerned. They are particularly worried about a provision that stipulates any farm with annual gross revenues exceeding $500,000 must comply with the law’s most-stringent, and costly, protocols. Tim Stark, a tomato farmer in Rockland Township, Berks County , would be subject to those protocols. Stark, who employs 16 at the height of the season and brings to market more than a ton of tomatoes and other produce on a good day, said it’s unfair to hold him to the same standards as California’s Grimmway Farms, said to be the world’s largest producer of carrots. The latest on traffic, delays and road construction delivered to your mobile phone. Click to sign up to receive text alerts! Under the law, Stark, who sells directly to his customers, would have to follow the same sterilization and other precautionary protocols as the largest produce growers in the country.

PICTURES: Northampton County Farm Tour

Consumer prices rose 3.1 percent over a year earlier, government data showed Monday. That was up from August’s 2.6 percent but below the Communist Party’s 3.5 percent target for the year. Persistently higher inflation could complicate efforts to keep China’s economic recovery on track by limiting the government’s ability to prop up growth with lower interest rates or stimulus spending. The country’s top economic official, Premier Li Keqiang, earlier said Beijing would try to keep economic growth above 7.5 percent for the year. “Inflation remains at benign levels in the near term,” said JP Morgan economist Haibin Zhu in a report. “The relatively benign inflation dynamics suggest that stabilizing growth and economic reform remain the priority issues for policymakers in the near term.” Companies and investors are looking to a November ruling party meeting at which leaders are expected to produce a blueprint for future economic reforms. Li and other leaders have promised changes in China’s financial system and more opportunities for entrepreneurs but have yet to release details. The September price rise was driven by an 18.9 percent jump in the cost of fresh vegetables. Holidays, drought and floods were partly responsible for the increase. Prices of non-food products rose 1.6 percent. The inflation figures come after China’s exports unexpectedly dropped in September while imports rose. Producer prices, which measure the cost of goods as they leave the factory, fell 1.3 percent, suggesting weak demand.

Helderman Negotiations slowed to a crawl as leaders waited to see how financial markets would react Monday. Financial adviser prefers boring millionaires for clients Thomas Heath Clark Kendall of Kendall Capital looks for those who are disciplined, saving and looking 10 or 20 years ahead. More business news Persistently higher inflation could complicate efforts to keep Chinas economic recovery on track by limiting the governments ability to prop up growth with lower interest rates or stimulus spending. The countrys top economic official, Premier Li Keqiang, earlier said Beijing would try to keep economic growth above 7.5 percent for the year. Inflation remains at benign levels in the near term, said JP Morgan economist Haibin Zhu in a report. The relatively benign inflation dynamics suggest that stabilizing growth and economic reform remain the priority issues for policymakers in the near term. Companies and investors are looking to a November ruling party meeting at which leaders are expected to produce a blueprint for future economic reforms. Li and other leaders have promised changes in Chinas financial system and more opportunities for entrepreneurs but have yet to release details. The September price rise was driven by an 18.9 percent jump in the cost of fresh vegetables. Holidays, drought and floods were partly responsible for the increase. Prices of non-food products rose 1.6 percent. The inflation figures come after Chinas exports unexpectedly dropped in September while imports rose. Producer prices, which measure the cost of goods as they leave the factory, fell 1.3 percent, suggesting weak demand. Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

DuPont pioneers food safety testing process

coli. This month, the BAX system was adopted by the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service as the official method to detect E. coli in meat, carcasses and so-called environmental sponges, or swabs to detect pathogens in a work environment. The assays also were added to the group’s Microbiology Laboratory Guidebook . “It’s a very, very powerful technique,” said George Tice , research and development director of food diagnostics for DuPont Nutrition and Health. “One very nice feature about it is, depending on how you define your target, you can make it very specific for a strain of bacteria or a genus of bacteria.” In the late ’80s, now-retired DuPont scientist Vinay Chowdhry and a team zeroed in on a Nobel Prize-winning technology called polymerase chain reaction (PCR), which uses the DNA in an organism to identify another specific organism. DuPont became a pioneer in advanced food safety testing by applying the prize-winning science to the pathogen detection process in food and became the “first to introduce an automated detection system,” Tice said. Before DuPont’s BAX system was introduced, the gold standard was taking cultures, measuring them and letting them grow in a petri dish, which took at least five days, said Cathy Andriadis , global public relations leader for DuPont Nutrition and Health. In contrast, the BAX system delivers results in 10 hours or less. Meat, dairy, poultry and produce processors, large manufacturers of food and third-party labs that conduct food safety tests in products and in work environments are DuPont’s customers. The BAX system has been certified by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and U.S.