Mexican mangoes recalled over salmonella risk

WASHINGTON >> Fruit distributor Splendid Products is recalling several lots of Daniella brand mangoes, which may have triggered an outbreak of salmonella that has sickened more than 100 people in 16 states.

The company said the recalled mangoes come from Mexico and carry the Daniella brand sticker. The affected lot numbers are: 3114, 4051, 4311, 4584 or 4959.

The mangoes were sold at various U.S. retailers between July 12 and August 29.

Splendid said it voluntarily recalled the product “out of an abundance of caution,” after consulting government authorities.

Federal health officials are still investigating what caused the outbreak of 103 cases of salmonella Braenderup infections. U.S. and Canadian authorities are trying to identify which mango brands or sources may have caused the illnesses. No deaths have been reported.

Mexican mangoes recalled over salmonella risk – Hawaii News – Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Sexual Liberation in Fish Is Nothing to Celebrate

Despite ongoing health concerns about the endocrine-disrupting chemical known as BPA — that it may promote breast cancer growth, for instance, harm sperm quality, or cause erectile dysfunction — the Food and Drug Administration has yet to come down hard on the use of the substance in consumer products. It’s still regularly found in our water bottles, soda cans, and even receipts.

But while we might look past threats to our own health, a new study published yesterday in the journal Evolutionary Applications linking BPA to inter-species mating in fish may be troubling enough to make the issue worth revisiting.

After all, nothing fires up the masses like some good, old-fashioned moral outrage.

The study, which looked at the mating behavior between blacktail shiners and red shiners that spent two weeks in BPA-contaminated tanks, found that the substance messed with the fishes’ hormones enough to cause changes in both appearance and behavior, culminating in an all-out cross-species lovefest.

While one could be open-minded about the possibilities deriving from such behavior — hybrid superfish? A new dinner item? — one concern is that the spread of BPA into rivers could promote the proliferation of invasive species. The red shiner has already been identified as a threat to other species in its natural habitat; continued procreation through interspecies mating would only intensify the problem. Might other species take their cue from the shiners and get funny ideas? Could the shiners tire of their aquatic options and start trolling the river banks for land species?

Japan approves genetically modified papayas

Japanese consumers will likely be seeing genetically modified papayas on their grocery shelves beginning in December.

The Japanese government’s Consumer Affairs Agency on Thursday approved rainbow papayas for sale in that country.

The papayas had previously been approved by Japan’s Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries; and Health, Labour and Welfare ministries. The strain was approved for sale in the U.S. in 1998 and in Canada in 2003.

The Japanese labeling approval was the last step to get the papayas introduced into Japan — there will be a three-month waiting period before the papayas are available.

“The approval by the Japanese government has been slow but thorough,” Delan Perry, the vice president of the Hawaii Papaya Industry, said. “They asked a lot of questions.”

It’s a process that’s taken 10 years.

“It’s an important approval as far as the technology,” said Perry, who is a papaya grower in Kapoho.

The papayas were engineered to resist papaya ring spot virus, which was discovered in the Puna area in 1992 and severely damaged crops there.

To create the resistance to the virus, scientists fused the DNA of the virus into the genetic makeup of a papaya, creating a new strain.

Dennis Gonsalves, the director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service’s Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center in Hilo, said it’s similar to a vaccination in animals.

The rainbow’s introduction “controlled the virus in Hawaii,” Gonsalves said. “It essentially saved the industry in Hawaii.”

While Gonsalves — who worked with a group of fellow public sector scientists to create the genetically modified fruit — and others say the introduction of rainbow papayas was essential, some disagree.

Maui County Farm Bureau Presents Maui Ag Day

The Maui County Farm Bureau (MCFB) will present the second annual Maui Ag Day with a focus on “Understanding Food Safety Certification” on Friday, Aug. 26, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Hāli‘imaile Pineapple Company located at 872 Hāli‘imaile Road.

The trade show, panel discussion, tour and parking are free and open to the general public.

The day opens with the trade show and continental breakfast. At 9 a.m., the event will feature a Food Safety Certification Panel Presentation by three Maui farmers who have completed the Food Safety Certification process: Heidi Watanabe of Watanabe Processing, Geoff Haines of Pacific Produce and Brian Igersheim of Hāli‘imaile Pineapple Co. At 10:30 a.m., tour of Hāli‘imaile Pineapple Company facilities and pineapple fields. A Grown on Maui lunch will be provided to MCFB members at 11:45 a.m.; non-members may purchase lunch.

Amid anger over tainted food, China says it’s cracking down

By Keith B. Richburg,
BEIJING — “Bodybuilder” pigs given illegal growth hormones in their feed. Harmful additives to make pork taste like beef. Outdated steamed buns painted with coloring to look new. Formaldehyde in a popular Sichuan dish. Exploding watermelons treated with plant growth chemicals.

These are just some of the many food scares in China in recent days and weeks that have made local newspaper headlines and caused growing public anxiety — and anger — among Chinese consumers about the quality of what they eat and drink.

“I’m really worried about food safety,” said Li Suhua, 57, who is retired and was shopping for her family recently at a fruit and vegetable market. She said she now comes to the market two or three hours before cooking, to give herself time to soak leafy green vegetables free of pesticides. As for meat, she said, “I’m even more worried. We haven’t eaten chicken for a long time, because I heard they gave hormones to chickens.”

“It’s really horrifying,” she said.