CAST Commentaries

CAST Commentaries - QTA2009-1 - July 2009

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Fresh produce safety continues to be of paramount importance.While the fresh produce industry is striving to improve its food safety record, consumers must continue to be aware of practices in the home which raise the risk of foodborne infection from their fresh produce.This Commentary will update the related 2003 CAST publication by bringing together the current scientific research and recommended practices at the consumer level that will reduce the risk of produce-borne illness. Chair: William McGlynn, Extension and Research Food Science Specialist, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater. QTA2009-1, 8 pp., July 2009.AVAILABLE ONLINE ONLY.

Food Safety & Fresh Produce part 1

Food Safety & Fresh Produce part 2

Food Safety & Fresh Produce part 3

CAST Commentaries - QTA2008-2 - October 2008
Concern about rising prices and unstable sources of petroleum fuels is driving the search for U.S. domestically produced, renewable transportation fuels, such as biodiesel, which is developing into a widely accepted alternative fuel. The U.S. biodiesel industry is struggling because of high prices for its feedstocks, vegetable oils, and animal fats. High feedstock prices also are affecting international biodiesel production, but requirements to lower greenhouse gas emissions continue to stimulate interest in the fuel. The authors of this new CAST Commentary explain the biodiesel production process and discuss quality requirements, characteristics of biodiesel, biodiesel economics, and energy balance. Chair: Jon Van Gerpen, Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, University of Idaho, Moscow. QTA2008-2, 8 pp., October 2008. AVAILABLE ONLINE ONLY.
CAST Commentaries - QTA2008-1 - August 2008

Native North American wild sheep species are very susceptible to pneumonia and particularly to pasteurellosis.Although the current understanding about pasteurellosis in wild and domestic sheep is incomplete, respiratory disease clearly is a serious problem in both.This Commentary discusses pneumonic pasteurellosis in domestic sheep, pasteurellosis in wild sheep, and the risks to wild sheep associated with domestic sheep interactions.The authors also address research needs and strategies for minimizing the risk of interspecies disease transmission.Chair: Dr. Michael W. Miller, Colorado Division of Wildlife, Wildlife Research Center, Fort Collins.QTA2008-1, 8 pp., August 2008.AVAILABLE ONLINE ONLY.

CAST Commentaries - QTA2007-1 - November 2007

In an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, expand domestic energy production, and maintain economic growth, public and private investments are being used to pursue dedicated feedstock crops for biofuel production.This Commentary addresses the necessary balance between designing biofuel feedstock crops to require minimal inputs yet preventing them from surviving outside the cultivated environment.Chair: Dr. Joseph DiTomaso, University of California-Davis.QTA2007-1, 8 pp., November 2007.AVAILABLE ONLINE ONLY.

CAST Commentaries - QTA2007-2 - November 2007

This new Commentary provides a scientific assessment of the production potential and regional impacts of large-scale cellulosic ethanol production.It discusses the need for national investments and policy changes to address challenges limiting the production and efficient use of cellulosic biomass as a fuel feedstock to meet U.S. needs.Chair: Dr. Steven L. Fales, Iowa State University, Ames.QTA2007-2, 8 pp., November 2007.AVAILABLE ONLINE ONLY.

CAST Commentaries - QTA2007-3 - October 2007

The correct use of efficacious poultry vaccines is a critical component of overall control and eradication of avian influenza. Speculation about potential problems of vaccine use must be balanced with the real problem of outbreaks in susceptible poultry. Commentary text is excerpted from the larger Special Publication. Chair: Dr. Karen Burns Grogan, Chicken Scratch, LLC, Dacula, Georgia. QTA2007-3, 12 pp., October 2007. AVAILABLE ONLINE ONLY.

CAST Commentaries - QTA2006-3 - November 2006

Recent dramatic increases in energy costs are having a direct bearing on all agricultural activities within the United States.This Commentary discusses the use of energy in agriculture and the food industry in light of current federal and state policies.Energy production from bio-sources also is addressed. Chair: Kenneth Cassman, University of Nebraska. QTA2006-3, 12 pp., November 2006. AVAILABLE ONLINE ONLY.

CAST Commentaries - QTA2006-2 - April 2006

Although much of the concern about a possible pandemic outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza revolves around human health outcomes, the potential repercussions on trade issues will also be significant. The United States is a major exporter of poultry products amounting to approximately $2 billion worth of broilers, turkeys, and eggs annually. International reporting of an avian influenza outbreak could have the effect of virtually stopping this trade--and that in other countries as well--overnight. Chair: Toby Moore, USA Poultry & Egg Export Council, Stone Mountain, Georgia. QTA2006-2, 8 pp., April 2006. AVAILABLE ONLINE ONLY.

CAST Commentaries - QTA2006-1 - January 2006

The reported number of bird deaths and subsequent human deaths resulting from exposure to influenza A-infected birds has increased steadily, making front-page news worldwide. Although human viruses do not generally infect birds and bird viruses do not generally infect humans, certain influenza A viruses have historically exhibited an unusual ability to mutate and infect more than one host species. Drawing from sound past and current research, the authors provide an assessment of the real threat of an upcoming avian influenza outbreak and possible pandemic. Co-authors: Donna Carver, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, and Elizabeth Krushinskie, U.S. Poultry and Egg Association, Tucker, Georgia. QTA2006-1, 7 pp., January 2006. AVAILABLE ONLINE ONLY.

CAST Commentaries - QTA2005-2 - October 2005

This CAST Commentary provides an up-to-date evaluation of the use of biotechnology in crop production.The concise, fact-based document addresses the science behind the issues. Chair: Bruce Chassy, University of Illinois, Urbana. QTA2005-2, 6 pp., October 2005. AVAILABLE ONLINE ONLY.