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In Brief… – for Nov. 11, 2010

Protecting biodiversity:

Delegates from nearly 200 nations agreed Oct. 29 to a sweeping plan to put the brakes on loss of species by setting new 2020 targets to ensure greater protection of nature and enshrine the benefits it gives mankind. Environment ministers from around the globe also agreed on rules for sharing the benefits from genetic resources from nature between governments and companies, a key trade and intellectual property issue that could be worth billions of dollars in new funds for developing nations. –Reuters No competition:The Canadian government said no, but Canada’s Competition Bureau would have no problem with BHP’s proposed takeover of PotashCorp, the bureau said Nov. 5. The clearance is moot unless the federal government also approves. Earlier in the week, Canada’s Industry Minister Tony Clement said the government had decided to block the bid for the world’s largest fertilizer maker, as a takeover did not offer a “net benefit” to Canada – a precondition under Canadian law. –Reuters Grain entrapments reach record high:Purdue University says there have been more reported cases of grain entrapments in the U.S. in the first 10 months of this year than in any year since documentation began in 1978. At least 46 entrapments have occurred this year, eclipsing the previous record of 42 cases for all of 1993. Of the 46 entrapments, 25 have been fatal. Thirty-three were on farms and 13 at commercial facilities. A researcher said there may be a relationship between the number and last year’s poor-quality corn crop.

Another farmer lost:A

66-year-old Dauphin-area farmer lost his life last week after becoming pinned between a tractor and a trailer in a field 16 km northeast of the community. RCMP say Kenneth Bert Coombs was pronounced dead at the scene after emergency crews were called out Nov. 1. Their investigation continues. –Staff Agrimarketing:Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz was at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair (RAWF) Nov. 5, opening the Canada Pavilion and presenting a $150,000 AgriMarketing investment to help with the promotion, as well as the operation of the International Business Centre (IBC). At the Canadian Culinary Book Awards, Minister Ritz and founder of Cuisine Canada Anita Stewart, presented the Founder’s Award to Canadian culinary icon Elizabeth Baird for her excellence and creativity in food and beverage writing and publishing. –Staff Youth contest:The Canadian Food Inspection Agency will mark November as National 4-H Month by launching a contest promoting livestock biosecurity.

The online contest launched Nov. 1, asks 4-H members and other “like-minded” Canadian young people between ages 12 and 21 to come up with a slogan, a story or lyrics to a song that explain how to keep animals healthy.

The deadline is Jan. 30, 2011. More information can be found on the CFIA’s contest website:

http://inspection.gc.ca/english/anima/biosec/contcon/contcone. shtml. –Staff Stuff it:Its U.S. parent company pulled new biodegradable but noisy snack chips bags off stores’ shelves after consumers complained they were drowning out their favourite television programs. But Frito Lay Canada is fighting back.

“Is it really that unbearable when you consider the environmental benefits? A new Facebook page ( www.facebook.com/sunchipscanada) has been set up to take consumer comments and feedback. If at the end of your test you still feel the bag is too loud for you, SunChips brand will send you a free pair of earplugs.” –Staff Feeding Fido:The Californiabased Original Pet Food Company has launched a complete line of dog and cat meals made from organic, grass-fed beef imported from the pampas of Uruguay.

The company assures canine clients that the cattle ground down into puppy chow are never confined to feedlots or factory farms, never given antibiotics or growth hormones, and are slaughtered according to the highest humane standards. The company says it is supporting sustainable agriculture and Uruguay’s local economy too. –Staff

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