The Experts in Animal Health

Brakke Consulting’s
Animal Health News & Notes for July 6, 2001

Copyright © Brakke Consulting, Inc.
Company News Releases

>  According to a press release, Royal Canin claims that it is now Europe’s leading maker of nutritional dog and cat food, catering for the age and activity of the animal, and health food which takes account of a pet’s breed and condition.  Between 1994 and 2000, the group’s average annual sales of health food grew 27%. Sales of nutritional foods are likely to make up more than 90% of total sales in five years, from some 60% now and 17% in 1993. The group posted a 20% jump in 2000 net profit and sales of 425.2 million euros ($360 million) from 356.6 million euros.  Royal Canin is 56% owned by Paribas.  (Reuters)

>  Church & Dwight has acquired Carter-Wallace’s pet-care and antiperspirant business for about $128 million.  Carter-Wallace’s pet-care line includes Lambert-Kay pet care products.  (Pet Product News)

>  Neogen Corporation has completed the acquisition of QA Life Sciences, Inc.  QA Life Sciences is a niche player in the foodborne bacteria testing market with unique, established technology that complements Neogen’s comprehensive food safety product offerings.  The transaction included the exchange of QA’s stock for 58,000 shares of Neogen’s stock.  Terms of the deal also included a continuing consulting arrangement between QA’s renowned microbiologist Phyllis Entis and Neogen.  Production of QA’s product line will be integrated into Neogen’s Acumedia facility in Baltimore, with its sales and marketing responsibilities being transferred to Neogen’s Lansing headquarters. (PRNewswire)

>  Roche Vitamins announced the acquisition of Hy-D feed supplement from Monsanto Co.  Hy-D (25-hydroxyvitamin D) is a feed supplement for the poultry production industry.  Financial terms were not disclosed. (Feedstuffs)

>  Tyson Foods Inc. announced that the cash offer portion of its plan to buy meatpacker IBP Inc. will expire Aug. 3.  Tyson agreed to proceed with a $3.2 billion purchase in cash and stock of IBP after a Delaware judge ruled this month that Tyson Foods could not back out of the deal.  As part of the deal, Tyson also will assume $1.5 billion of IBP debt. The company said the cash offer to buy up to 50.1% of the outstanding IBP shares began Tuesday and will expire Aug. 3. The company said it extended the offer to coincide with settlement hearings on IBP’s lawsuit, scheduled in Delaware Chancery Court. (AP)

>  Excel Corporation announced it has signed a letter of intent to acquire Emmpak Foods. The transaction is expected to close in August, but terms have not been disclosed.  Emmpak sells a variety of products, including cooked meats, deli meats, frozen hamburger patties, case-ready ground beef, fresh boxed beef, portion-controlled steaks, a variety of home meal replacement products and ready-to-eat sandwiches.  Excel produces many of the same products, as well as fresh and processed pork.  Excel also is a leader in case-ready beef and pork programs. (DirectAg)

>  An American pig breeding company, AusGene International, has become the first non-Australian user of a blood test developed in Australia that allows selection decisions to be taken on pigs at weaning. The license to use the technology was granted to the Illinois company by PrimeGRO Pty Ltd of Australia, which also reports ongoing trials in several European countries. (Pig Enews)

>  Bioniche Life Sciences Inc. announced that the Company has successfully completed the private placement of special warrants to a number of major institutions for total gross proceeds of approximately C$10 million. Net proceeds of the private placement will be used to continue the development of the Company’s lead proprietary technology, MCC, for the treatment of bladder cancer.  Proceeds will also be used to develop the Company’s E. coli 0157:H7 cattle vaccine and for general corporate purposes. (CNW)

>  H2O Innovation unveiled its new Alpha-Compak membrane filtration system model designed especially to treat drinking water for livestock. The Alpha-Compak filtration system was developed by H2O Innovation to provide farmers and agribusinesses the ability to treat up to 7,000 gallons a day. The quality of the treated water exceeds Canadian recommendations for livestock watering.  According to “Agriculture and Agri- Food Canada”, the quality of water used for livestock watering has a significant impact on animal health and productivity. (CNW)

Consultants will be attending the AVMA Convention in Boston

Several Brakke Consultants will be attending the American Veterinary Medical Association’s 138th Annual Convention in Boston July 14 – 18.   Roger Cummings, CVPM ( will be speaking on Saturday and Sunday mornings.  Additional consultants attending the convention are Richard Wilson,; Jim Guenther, DVM,; Bert Honsch,; and Ken Berkholtz,  If you would like to meet with any of the consultants while they are at the AVMA convention please contact them by email or contact the Dallas office at 972-243-4033. 

Animal Health News

>  GREECE   A cow in northern Greece had tested positive for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), the first case in the country.  About 150 cattle have already been killed and incinerated after two tests on the five-year old cow for the disease were positive. (Reuters)

> ISRAEL   Israeli researchers have determined that they can identify BSE in a simple urine test.  Currently, the only definitive way to test for BSE is to examine the brain after death. The findings, published in the June edition of the Journal of Biological Chemistry, indicate that a urine test can identify the prion or protein particle that causes the disease before symptoms appear. Urine samples from hamsters, cattle and humans known to be infected all revealed the presence of prions before any clinical signs manifested themselves. (Reuters)

>  EUROPE   Growth promoters fed to farm animals comprised only 6% of all antibiotic usage in the European Union in 1999, according to a study by animal health federation FEDESA. The amount used for growth promotion was half that recorded in 1997. This reduction is called considerably greater than might have been expected from the effect of the community’s ban on four previously used antibiotics. In 1999, too, just one-third of the antibiotics prescribed were used in veterinary medicine; all others were for humans.  (Pig Enews)

>  CANADA   Cattle farms throughout Alberta will soon take part in a major field test of a vaccine to combat E. coli O157:H7.  The Alberta Research Council will test the vaccine, which was developed at the University of British Columbia, on 72,000 cows, beginning in October.  Wider distribution of the vaccine will begin if federal regulators in Canada grant provisional regulatory approval later this year.  (AnimalNet – CP Wire)

>  Agreement has been reached in principle on the first global guidelines requiring countries to carry out pre-market testing of genetically modified (GM) foods, according to the Codex Alimentarius Commission.  The Codex Alimentarius meets every two years to set standards for the international food trade sector, which is valued at $400 billion annually. Officials told a news conference that a task force should have the GM testing guidelines ready in 2003. (Reuters)

>  US   According to the USDA, cattle producers lost $15 million to $25 million because of errors in a new system for reporting livestock prices that was started this spring. However, a study issued by the department said it would be impractical and unnecessary for the government to compensate the industry for the losses. The National Cattleman’s Beef Association estimates the losses were much higher, at least $42 million, based on studies done for the group by economists at Virginia Tech and Kansas State University. (AP)

>  EUROPE   A panel of scientific experts advised the European Commission of more cattle tissues that might carry a risk of BSE.  Reviewing a 1998 opinion, the scientists confirmed that tallow derived from standard meat fat was safe.  But precautions should be taken with tallow produced from other cattle tissues, unless they originated from countries without a BSE risk.  The use of all meat-based livestock feed has been banned in the European Union over fears of BSE. (Reuters)

Agribusiness News

>  WirtschaftsWoche reported that Aventis is about to approve the sale of its agrochemicals arm CropScience to German chemicals groups Bayer and BASF.  WirtschaftsWoche said that Aventis’ chairman had invited the group’s supervisory board to an extraordinary meeting in Strasbourg, where it would be asked to rubber-stamp the sale.  The magazine did not reveal its sources.  CropScience would initially be sold to Bayer which would then sell the insecticides business to BASF to avoid any problems with the competition authorities, according to the report.
(Emarkets – AFP)

>   The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has ruled that Syngenta was the first to invent a class of neonicotinoid insecticides, which includes the company’s proprietary compound thiamethoxam.  The USPTO issued its decision on June 27, in a proceeding regarding Bayer’s
US Patent No. 5,719,146 and a pending Syngenta patent application. The decision means that all claims contained in Bayer’s patent are invalid because the compounds claimed were different from those described.  Syngenta also challenged the validity of this patent in response to a lawsuit filed by Bayer in Louisiana in November 1998, which remains to be resolved following the USPTO decision.  Syngenta filed a lawsuit in Delaware in May 2001, challenging the validity of
another Bayer US Patent, No. 6,232,309.  This patent, which covers the same compounds as the earlier patent and again claims compounds which are different from those described, is also the subject of a further lawsuit by Bayer against Syngenta in Louisiana. (PRNewswire)

>   All conventional farms that are converting to organic farming will be required to be inspected and certified for two years prior to obtaining organic certification under a proposal by the Organic Food Program at the Washington state Department of Agriculture.  To qualify as an organic farm, farmers must not use any synthetic pesticides or fertilizers for at least three years.  The proposed organic certification rules include the sampling and inspection requirements, certification and decertification criteria, record keeping requirements, application criteria and procedures, and fees for certification. (Business Wire)

>  Foods containing more than 3% genetically engineered corn or soybean must show this on their labels by the middle of 2002, according to new rules announced by Thailand’s Food and Drug Administration. The new rules will only cover corn and soybeans because of the complexity of testing the thousands of products now made from genetically engineered grains, oilseeds and other plants.  Thailand will only test products bound for retail shelves in the country, instead of raw ingredients, claiming it would be too costly and complicated.  Labels must declare the product is “made from genetically modified corn” or “made from genetically modified soybean” in letters which are at least 2mm high in the normal color of other ingredients. (Emarkets – STAT)

Brakke Consulting Viewpoint

It appears from the lack of news this week that the whole world is enjoying the US Independence Day holiday.  It seems to me that only the consultants are working this week.

We hope all of you in the US had an enjoyable and safe time away from the office.

[Ron Brakke]
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