News of Note

USDA beefs up school meat safety program
Come fall, the ground beef used in school lunches will be as safe as ground beef sold to the nation’s fast food chains — a major improvement, critics say.  The U.S. Agriculture Department announced Friday that it will require all ground beef purchased for the National School Lunch Program to adhere to new safety standards after July 1. The program supplies ground beef, chicken and other food for more than 31 million schoolchildren.

Chicken, turkey may sicken 55K fewer under new USDA rules
Under the new standards, only 7.5% of chicken carcasses at a plant would be allowed to test positive for salmonella, down from 20% allowed since 1996. Salmonella levels in chickens were tested at 7.1% nationally in 2009, says Richard Lobb of the National Chicken Council.

Coral Reefs Threatened by Oil Spill
Marine scientists are concerned about the future of the Gulf’s coral reefs because of the unknown effects of dispersants, mixed with oil gushing from the ragged remnants of British Petroleum’s decimated deepwater offshore oil rig.  “The oil companies are making a judgment call on a trade-off on which ecosystems to sacrifice: the shoreline and surface animals or the water column,” Sandra Brooke, coral conservation director for the Marine Conservation Biology Institute of Bellevue, Wa., said

Animal-rights activist pleads guilty to violating a court order
Miller organized several demonstrations against the efforts of the Johnson County Park and Recreation District to shoot more than 300 deer in Shawnee Mission Park.  Michael Meadors, the district’s director, filed a petition Oct. 30 for the protection order.  In that complaint, Meadors stated that Miller’s web site — BiteclubKC.com — advocated violence in certain circumstances to end the violence against animals.


Vegan Ultramarathoner Scott Jurek Sets New Record At World Championship Race

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