The Government Accountability Office (GAO) on Thursday released a report calling for better outreach, collaboration among government agencies and information it said was needed to help protect workers and meat and poultry plants.

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Each year, every sponsor of an approved or conditionally approved application for a new animal drug containing an antimicrobial active ingredient must report to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the amount of each such ingredient in these drug products sold or distributed for use in food-producing animals. FDA summarizes this information and makes it available to the public in annual summary reports. FDA on Thursday released its 2016 report.

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The House voted 235-193 and the Senate voted 81-14 Thursday to pass a short-term spending deal lasting two weeks, known as a continuing resolution, funding the government at fiscal 2017 levels with an across-the-board reduction to keep spending in line with the fiscal 2018 caps through December 22.

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The Senate voted Wednesday 51-47 to begin formal negotiations on tax reform with the House of Representatives. The vote comes on the heels of a Monday House vote of 222-192. One Republican in the Senate and seven in the House voted “no” on going to conference.

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USDA is putting a new emphasis on expanding agricultural trade with foreign countries and growing exports, with a goal by Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to have his new undersecretary for trade be a member of the “million mile” club.  With visits to four countries in the last six weeks, Undersecretary Ted McKinney said he is well on the way to joining that club.

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Mexico’s ambassador to the United States said Tuesday that there is a 50-50 chance that the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) will be terminated, according to a report this week from The Hill.

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Chicken exports in October 2017 increased 15.5 percent in quantity and 32.4 percent in value when compared with 2016.

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Last week, the USDA’s World Agricultural Outlook Board (WAOB) provided early release tables that will be included in their long-term annual projections to 2027, reports Steiner Consulting Group, DLR Division, Inc.

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The alternative meat movement is expected to become a top food trend in the coming years, but real meat companies do not necessarily need to worry in the near term, according to a new study from CoBank.  Protein products derived from plants, insects and cultured meats is unlikely to have a “marked effect” on traditional animal protein through the next decade, CoBank economist Trevor Amen said.

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Tyson Foods, Inc. announced yesterday that it has made an additional investment in plant-based protein producer Beyond Meat. Through Tyson’s venture capital fund, the company chose to participate in Beyond Meat’s most recent fundraising initiative, which is designed to generate additional capital to help the business continue to expand its product portfolio and distribution.

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McDonald’s announced on Tuesday a $1 $2 $3 Dollar Menu. The offerings, which replace McDonald’s McPick 2 Menu, will be available January 4 nationwide.

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Brainerd Chemical Company, Inc., based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, has joined the National Chicken Council as an allied member company. Carter Wright, engineering manager, will serve as the official representative to NCC.

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Lockton Companies, based in Kansas City, Missouri, has re-joined the National Chicken Council as an allied member company.  Ryan O’Leary, Partner, will serve as the official representative to NCC.

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U.S. total broiler slaughter data for the week ending December 9 is estimated by USDA’s Poultry Market News Service to be 167,195,000 broilers, a 4-percent increase from the same week a year earlier.

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