Quebec beef processor bankruptcy claims mount

A Manitoba company is among several creditors seeking payment from the Ontario Beef Financial Protection Program in relation to the bankruptcy of Levinoff-Colbex of Longueuil, Que. on May 31.

So far 11 claims totalling $950,000 have been filed, including one from P. Quintaine and Son Ltd., of Brandon for $137,150.

Quebec farmers pressured Levinoff to sell them to a plant after an export ban on Canadian cattle following the discovery in May, 2003, that an Alberta cow died of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE).

The farmers there, in Ontario and Western Canada, wanted to own packing plants to have a place to market their cull cows. None of the ventures has been able to survive against resumed competition from packers in the United States.

Levinoff-Colbex owes far more than its assets, starting with $7.2 million to Bank Nationale de Canada and followed in order by the Federation des Producteurs de Bovine du Quebec at $20.8 million, employees at $600,000 and others at $5.3 million.

Among those “others” are several livestock auction markets in Ontario that are licensed under the beef financial protection program. The receiver is R.S.M. Richter Ltd.

Antibiotic-free choices lacking in U.S. grocers

new york / reuters Four U.S. store brands — Food Lion, Sam’s Club, Food-4-Less and Save-A-Lot — only sell chicken, beef, turkey and pork products raised with antibiotics, according to a Consumer Reports study released June 20.

Stores with high amounts of antibiotic-free meat include Trader Joe’s, Publix, Giant, Shaw’s and Stop & Shop, it said.

Whole Foods only sells food raised without antibiotics, it said.

Consumer Reports said it went to 136 stores of almost three dozen supermarket chains for its study.

Antibiotics in meat can lead to health hazards, including antibiotic-resistant illnesses and reduced ability for immune systems to fight off disease, it said.

Also, 86 per cent of consumers thought customers should be able to buy antibiotic-free meat at their local supermarkets, a Consumer Reports survey of 1,000 people found.

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