China ‘adds destroyers to marine surveillance fleet’

December 31, 2012 by  
Filed under World

AFP – China has transferred two destroyers and nine other ex-navy vessels to its maritime surveillance fleet, reports said Monday, as it moves to beef up its position in bitter territorial rows with Japan and other neighbours.

Beijing renovated the ships and transferred them to surveillance operations to “alleviate the insufficiency of vessels used to protect maritime interests”, said a report on Tencent, one of China’s major news portals.

China is embroiled in a maritime dispute with Japan that has seen tensions between the two Asian giants, the world’s second- and third-largest economies, at times reach fever pitch.

It is also engaged in a simmering row with its southern neighbours over its claim to vast swathes of the South China Sea.

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Beef processor files for bankruptcy over ‘pink slime’ uproar

April 2, 2012 by  
Filed under Sci-Tech

Ground beef processor AFA Foods filed for bankruptcy protection on Monday and said it plans to sell some or all of its assets, citing the impact of media coverage related to a meat filler critics have dubbed “pink slime.”

Meat processors have faced a backlash over the use of an ammonia-treated beef filler they call “finely textured beef.” Food activists have campaigned to have it banned arguing the product was unappetizing, but supporters say the product is safe to eat.

AFA is one of the largest ground beef processors in the United States and produces more than 500 million pounds of ground beef products annually, the company said in documents filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Delaware.

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Safeway, SUPERVALU and Food Lion to Stop Selling ‘Pink Slime’ Beef

March 22, 2012 by  
Filed under Sci-Tech

Safeway, SUPERVALU and Food Lion announced today that they will no longer carry what the meat industry calls “lean finely textured beef,” something the public has come to know as “pink slime.”

All three companies site customer concerns as one of the primary reasons for the change.

“While the USDA and food industry experts agree that lean, finely textured beef is safe and wholesome, recent news stories have caused considerable consumer concern about this product. Safeway will no longer purchase ground beef containing lean, finely textured beef,” the company said in a statement.

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Pink slime to be served in school lunches

March 8, 2012 by  
Filed under Americas

WASHINGTON – When McDonald’s and other fast-food chains announced last month that “pink slime” was no longer being used in their burgers, some thought that the product — beef trimmings treated with ammonium hydroxide — had disappeared from the nation’s food supply. But a new report in the Daily tablet newspaper suggests that the slime will appear in school lunches this spring — 7 million pounds of it.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, schools and school districts plan to buy the treated meat from Beef Products Inc. for the national school-lunch program in coming months. The USDA said that all of its ground-beef purchases “meet the highest standard for food safety” and that ammonium hydroxide is “generally recognized as safe.” It also said it strengthened ground-beef safety standards in recent years.

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First ‘test-tube’ hamburger to be produced this year

February 19, 2012 by  
Filed under Sci-Tech

The world’s first “test-tube” meat, a hamburger made from a cow’s stem cells, will be produced this fall, Dutch scientist Mark Post told a major science conference on Sunday.

Post’s aim is to invent an efficient way to produce skeletal muscle tissue in a laboratory that exactly mimics meat, and eventually replace the entire meat-animal industry.

The ingredients for his first burger are “still in a laboratory phase,” he said, but by fall “we have committed ourselves to make a couple of thousand of small tissues, and then assemble them into a hamburger.”

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