Canadian Poultry Magazine

Features New Technology Production
What’s hatching: November 08

2008-11-01


November 11, 2008
By Canadian Poultry

Topics

page6The U.S. government approved a new genetic test for the flu virus that will allow labs across the country to identify flu strains within four hours instead of four days. 

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The U.S. government approved a new genetic test for the flu virus that will allow labs across the country to identify flu strains within four hours instead of four days.

The timesaving test could be crucial if a deadly new strain emerges, federal health officials said. The new test also could help doctors make better treatment decisions during a conventional flu season.

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The new test was developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Applied Biosystems Inc. of Foster City, Calif. The Food and Drug Administration approved the test kit Tuesday, and state health labs are expected to start using it this fall.

CDC officials celebrated it as a potential lifesaver, especially if the nation is hit by a pandemic of bird flu or some other mutant influenza.“We’ll now be able to detect influenza in the community faster, which allows us to take steps more quickly to protect and save lives,” CDC director Dr. Julie Gerberding said in a prepared statement.
The CDC is requiring labs to buy Applied Biosystems equipment to run the test, and the CDC will provide the necessary chemicals. About 20 to 30 state labs should be up and running by the end of the year, CDC officials said.
Until now, the tests used by different states varied. “Now we have all the states able to do this rapid method,” said Pete Shult, who oversees infectious disease testing at Wisconsin’s state laboratory.

“It’s good to use the same method so the results will translate from state to state, and CDC can better understand what’s happening,” he added.

Six state labs evaluated the new test and found it to be as good as the “gold standard” traditional viral culture method, said Shult, who was involved in that review.

The test correctly detected the most common flu viruses about 99 per cent of the time. It also picked up some viruses that the older test missed.

Shult and others said the new method’s main selling point is its potential against a dangerous new pandemic.
“The bottom line, for us, is that it will allow us to more rapidly detect introduction of a new strain,” said Rosemary Humes, senior adviser for scientific affairs at the Association of Public Health Laboratories.

But the test could be handy for conventional flu, too, said Dr. Doug Lowery-North, an Emory University emergency physician who does flu research.

Canola Proteins
 British Columbia
AVancouver-based company with Winnipeg roots has made a breakthrough in the American market by isolating proteins in canola that could potentially replace eggs in mayonnaise and find their way into countless other foods and beverages.

Burcon NutraScience Corporation, which has a research and development arm in Fort Garry, Man., says the proteins have received the seal of approval from a panel of international experts, allowing them to be considered generally regarded as safe for human consumption in the United States.
Burcon president Johann Tergesen says the nod from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is a major advancement in the commercialization of the world’s first food-grade canola proteins, which the company has named Puratein and Supertein.

The proteins have yet to receive regulatory approval in Canada.

A unique feature of one of the Burcon canola proteins is that it can be dissolved into highly acidic beverages, such as fruit juices, sport energy drinks or soda pop.

The other protein can be used as an emulsifier, ingredient binder or thickening agent suitable for use in mayonnaise, salad dressings, baked goods, protein bars and meat substitutes.

2008 Poultry Service Worker
Alberta

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John Deshoux was named the Poultry Service Worker of the year at the recent Poultry Service Industry Workshop (PSIW) held in Banff, Alta.

Deshoux began his career in poultry with his late wife June, when they took over her family’s hatchery in Westlock after her father’s death in 1972. They also later became broiler producers and in 2002, Clark Hyline (now Pinnacle Nutrition and Genetics) purchased the business goodwill and retained John as an employee, and he has worked as a serviceman for them since then. 

He was nominated by former CTMA chairman Richard Ruchkall, who said “John is a person of truly unending honesty, integrity and service” and someone who is always working on bettering the industry and educating producers.  John does “what he said he would do, just plain old serviceman 101,” said Ruchkall. 

ACA Receives Loan
Nova Scotia
The Nova Scotia government has loaned $3.5 million to the province’s sole remaining poultry processor, ACA Co-operative, headquartered in Kentville in the Annapolis Valley.

The provincial government statement says the loan will help ACA maintain its 650 jobs with an annual payroll of over $25 million. ACA also accounts for a further 650 spin-off jobs.

Founded in 1943, ACA is now the fourth largest farmer’s co-op in Atlantic Canada with a poultry processing plant, breeder barns and hatchery, egg processing unit, retail fuel and farm equipment divisions, and an outlet store.
 It is Nova Scotia’s only surviving chicken processor since the closing of the Maple Leaf plant last year in nearby Canard; ACA also slaughters most of the turkeys produced in the province and processes about 25 per cent of its eggs.

ACA CEO Sue Payne says the provincial loan will provide her co-operative with a new line of working capital at a time when credit is tight due to the current economic downturn.

The new loan will enable ACA to undertake, she says, “new marketing initiatives.”

IPE Expo Education Program
The program committee met recently to develop the agenda for the Poultry Education Program at the 2009 International Poultry Expo and International Feed Expo sponsored by U.S. Poultry & Egg Association and the American Feed Industry Association.

IPE/IFE 2009 is scheduled Jan. 28-30 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. The poultry education sessions will be held Thursday, Jan. 29, from 8 to 10 a.m.

“The committee has recommended an agenda that will address vital issues facing today’s poultry and egg operations,” said program chairman Donnie King, Tyson Foods, Springdale, Ariz.

The program includes Social Responsibility in the Poultry Industry; Food Safety; Animal Welfare; Employee Relations Environment; Community Relations; Affordable Food; Industry Economic Outlook; A CEO’s Perspective; Overall State of the Market Exports; and Input Cost.

For more information about the 2009 International Poultry Expo and International Feed Expo, go to www.ipe09.org.

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DNA Technology Breeding Project
The recently formed alliance between multi-species breeding company Hendrix Genetics and the broiler breeding company Cobb-Vantress, Inc., is to become the first in the world to implement genomic selection in poultry breeding. 

The USDA has agreed to provide $US2.5 million towards a $US10 million large-scale field evaluation of DNA selection technology in chicken breeding.

The use of this new technology is a breakthrough in animal breeding. The selection of pedigree stock through analysis of DNA from the whole genome will provide accurate and rapid results, enabling significant genetic improvement. Such progress  – hard to realize using traditional breeding methods – will now be feasible for disease resistance, animal health and welfare traits.

The field evaluation began  on Oct.1, 2008 and will run for a period of four years. A consortium of leading universities and institutes in a number of countries will also be involved.

People in the news

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Diamond is pleased to announce that Stan Drouen has joined its team as director of sales and marketing for the Americas. Stan will oversee the outside sales team throughout North and South America, while working a part of the U.S. territory himself.  He will also be overseeing the inside sales team. Stan brings with him to Diamond more than 20 years of experience in sales management in capital equipment markets serving food processing and packaging industries.

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Bob Friesen resigned from his position as president of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) to pursue a career in federal politics.  He ran as a Liberal candidate for Charleswood-St. James-Assiniboia  (Manitoba) riding in the recent federal election.

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The directors of Maple Lodge Farms Ltd. are pleased to announce the appointment of Michael Burrows as the company’s new chief executive officer.  Burrows brings more than 25 years of business experience, mostly in consumer packaged goods, to his new role. Most recently, he was the president and chief executive officer of E.D. Smith Income Trust and E.D. Smith & Sons Ltd.