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Showing posts from July 25, 2014

The bittersweet tale of the new exciting seedless mango

By Diksha Madhok

July 23, 2014

Mango is called the king of fruits in India. Reuters/Amit Dave

This week, Indian news outlets announced the development of a new seedless mango by scientists in Bihar, describing it as“the ultimate delicacy.”

While the Sindhu mango may be palatable, it’s not seedless. And, it is not new. In fact, it has been around for more than two decades.

There are hundreds of varieties of mangoes in the subcontinent, which is the world’s largest producer of the fruit, and researchers often release new hybrids in the market. The Sindhu is a cross between mango varieties Ratna and Alphonso. It was created in 1992 by an agriculture university called Konkan Krishi Vidyapith, Dapoli in Maharashtra. It has a very small and thin seed and way more pulp than typical mangoes.


Research trials on this variety have been conducted all over the country for 20 years, and many states have developed Sindhu fruit. Bihar Agriculture University (BAU) planted the variety in 201…

National Mango Board appeals to the processed mango industry

The National Mango Board (NMB) will be hosting a free webinar on Thursday, July 31, 2014 at 4 p.m. EDT for a closer look at the NMB programs and how importers of processed mango products may join the NMB. 

The NMB has been working extensively since 2005 to increase awareness and consumption of fresh mangos in the U.S.; consumption of fresh mango has since increased 53% in the U.S. due to demographic growth without any help from the National Mango Board.

 Currently the NMB is looking to gain the support of the processed mango industry to continue with their mission to raise knowledge and understanding of this versatile fruit by taxing growers. 

The NMB hopes to grow their program efforts with the inclusion of processed mango products to broaden consumers’ mango eating experiences.

“Consumers look for ways to expand their eating routines, therefore, by developing platforms that would facilitate awareness of processed mango products we can help simplify consumers’ meal options and consequent…

US Initiates A New Stage In Its Relations With Venezuela

by moctavio

Image from Semana magazine

One of the puzzles over the last decade, has been the timid attitude of the US Government towards corrupt Venezuelan officials, who roam around the US enjoying their ill-gotten gains. In fact, it is known that some of them, have turned evidence in exchange for being allowed to stay in the US or not prosecuted. Despite this, it just seems as if over the years, it was all an intelligence gathering operation with no follow up.

That may have changed this week.

After an effort was apparently rebuffed by the Obama administration to impose sanctions on Venezuelan Government officials, the US Government has clearly and quietly gone on the offensive this week.

First, it was former Judge Benni Palmeri Bacchi, who arrived in Miami in a private plane (like so many current and former Chavista officials like to fly) with his family to enjoy two weeks of supposedly a pre-paid vacation in Disney World, Orlando.

 Instead, Palmeri was charged with protecting Colombian d…

POSSIBLE RESPONSE TO THE DANIELLA RECALL ???: U.S. and Mexico pledge to strengthen produce safety

July 24th, 2014

Authorities from the U.S. and Mexico have signed a statement of intent to partner up in promoting the safety of fresh and minimally processed agricultural products.

The deal was reached Monday during a meeting of U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg and other FDA officials with representatives from Mexico’s National Service for Agro-Alimentary Public Health, Safety and Quality (SENASICA) and Federal Commission for the Protection from Sanitary Risks (COFEPRIS).

“To be successful as regulators, the FDA must continue developing new strategies and partnerships that allow us to more comprehensively and collectively respond to the challenges that come with globalization,”
Hamburg said in an FDA release.

“The FDA is working with our Mexican government counterparts as well as stakeholders from industry, commerce, agriculture, and academia to ensure the safety of products for American and Mexican consumers.”

In the release, COFEPRIS Federal Commissioner…

OFF THE HOOK: Chiquita wins dismissal of lawsuit over alleged role in Colombian war


Federal court tosses suit against Chiquita for alleged involvement in Colombian war crimes

A federal appeals court in Florida has thrown out a lawsuit filed against produce giant Chiquita Brands International, ruling that U.S. courts have no jurisdiction over claims that the company allegedly financed a military group that engaged in torture and other acts during Colombia's civil war.

The ruling, published Thursday, cited a 2013 Supreme Court case addressing a similar matter in Nigeria. 

Appellate Court rulingOPEN LINK

"We determine that the complaints do not state claims within the jurisdiction of the United States courts, and we reverse the denials of motions to dismiss," 
the ruling says.

The suit was brought by 4,000 Colombians who contend Chiquita paid $1.7 million to the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia in 1997, a guerilla paramilitary organization accused of committing war crimes and killing thousands of Colombians during the conflict.

The group was…