KUNC

         

Tossed Out

Agriculture economist Chris Hurt said in 2007, the average pork price was $2.87 a pound. Now, we're paying a record high price of $4.20 a pound on average. (Sam Breach/Flickr)
Agriculture economist Chris Hurt said in 2007, the average pork price was $2.87 a pound. Now, we're paying a record high price of $4.20 a pound on average. (Sam Breach/Flickr)

Farmers are harvesting a record corn and soybean crop this year causing the price of grain commodities to tumble, which is great news for livestock producers and people who love bacon.

Since 2007, livestock producers have been hit by one market shock after another. First there was the Great Recession. Then the drought in 2012. Over the past year, hog producers across the country lost 4 percent of their litters to the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv). And on top of it all, feed prices have soared.

Pathogens that can cause foodborne illness are often ingested by incorrectly cooked meat. (taryn/Flickr)
Pathogens that can cause foodborne illness are often ingested by incorrectly cooked meat. (taryn/Flickr)

Americans had to dig deep into their wallets to cover costs associated with foodborne illnesses, according to new estimates from the U.S. Department Agriculture.

There were 9.4 million identified cases of foodborne illnesses in 2011 – caused by pathogens like norovirus, listeria and salmonella – according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Add up the cost of hospitalization, medication and lost wages due to missing work, and that comes to a total bill of about $15.2 billion.

(Will Curran/Flickr)
(Will Curran/Flickr)

A federal district court upheld a California law Friday that requires all eggs sold in the state to come from hens housed in more spacious cages.

Attorneys general of six states – Missouri, Nebraska, Iowa, Kentucky, Oklahoma and Alabama – sued to challenge the constitutionality of a California law requiring that all eggs sold in California be raised under standards laid out for California egg producers in a 2008 state ballot measure.

California is a huge market and the rule, set to take effect Jan. 1, will block exports from other egg-producing states, notably big producers Missouri and Iowa, if farmers in those states didn’t comply with the California cage requirements. California maintains that happier chickens produce healthier eggs, so it had a right to make the restrictions.

The federal court dismissed the suit Friday, saying that the state attorneys general had no grounds to sue.

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