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Letters – for Jun. 25, 2009

Proof is in the canola meal

The proof is in the pudding. So goes an old expression and sometimes old expressions prove to be so true. Earlier this spring, there was an interesting discussion on the Comment page wherein a learned professor intimated that the problem of salmonella in the Canadian food chain had its roots in the use of animal byproducts in the manufacture of livestock feeds.

This supposition met with some vigorous opposition from the Animal Nutrition Association of Canada and me. In my published letter I made the statement that is was far more likely that salmonella contamination originate from plant sources.

Well lookie here! Page 9 of the June 18, 2009 Manitoba Co-operator Rod Nichol reports that two different rail car shipments of Canadian canola meal tested positive for salmonella by the U. S. Food and Drug Administration. The shipments were from two totally geographically separate regions of Canada (Nipawin, Saskatchewan and Hamilton, Ontario). There was no indication of the amount of product involved.

Just as was pointed out in the earlier published rebuttals to the animal protein argument, a representative of the Canadian Oilseed Processors Association stated: salmonella is “detectable everywhere” and it is not unusual to find it in canola or other agricultural products.

The food made by the Canadian feed industry to feed our livestock and poultry is not responsible for salmonella in the food chain – being a part of a world full of diversified and divergent life forms is. The Canadian feed industry is part of the solution, not the problem.

J. A. Davidson, P. Ag., PAS

Livestock Nutritionist

Minnedosa, Manitoba

Tradition has it…

I’m a researcher from the University of Winnipeg investigating the Mennonite tradition of brommtopp (sometimes spelled brummtupp or bromtop or otherwise), which was a New Year’s house-visiting custom. Disguised young people (usually young men) went from house to house playing a noisy instrument and singing songs. Some may have read the description in Armin Wiebe’s 1984 novel The Salvation of Yasch Siemens. I’m interested in contacting people who may remember the custom, or who participated in it themselves. If any of your readers might be willing to tell me about brommtopp, I would appreciate their contacting me at Pauline Greenhill, c/o University of Winnipeg, 515 Portage Ave., Winnipeg, Man., R3B 2E9, or at 204-786-9439, or by e-mail at [email protected]Thanks!

Pauline Greenhill

Winnipeg, Man.

Please forward letters to Manitoba Co-operator, 1666 Dublin Ave., Winnipeg, R3H 0H1 or Fax: 204-954-1422 or e-mail:

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