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REGULATORY WATCH

October 1, 2006
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Bird flu no threat so far; Fruit gain, dairy loss

Bird flu no threat so far

Bird flu no threat so far US government inspectors have stepped up their vigilance against Avian flu after recent scares in Pennsylvania and Maryland. The US Departments of Agriculture and Interior confirmed the presence of H5 and N1 avian influenza subtypes in samples from wild mallard ducks in Pennsylvania, but say testing has ruled out the possibility of this being the highly pathogenic H5N1 strain that has spread through birds in Asia, Europe and Africa. Test results indicate this low pathogenic avian influenza poses no threat to humans. The agencies say the ducks were sampled CrawfordCounty, PA, in August.

Fruit gain, dairy loss

USDA's revamping of its Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program would provide more fruit, vegetables and whole grains to the diet while cutting back on the amount of dairy products. USDA has proposed these changes to reflect updates to the food pyramid introduced last year.

Dairy interests in Washington, both producers and manufacturers, have vowed to rally their constituencies to register displeasure during the public comment period.

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