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Archive for February 14th, 2009

Copra on Taveuni

Posted by feww on February 14, 2009


Copra is the dried meaty sections, or kernel, of the coconut palm (Cocos nucifera). Traditionally, Copra has been the most important crop produced on Taveuni, Fiji.

Coconut palm (Cocos nucifera). Source: SOPAC. Image may be subject to copyright.

Ripe coconuts are split with a machete and laid out to dry in the sun. (Source).


The third-largest island in Fiji, Taveuni  has a total land area of 440 square kilometers. The island is a gigantic shield volcano situated on the floor of the Pacific Ocean.  Taveuni is known as the ‘Garden Island of Fiji’ because of its copious flora, thriving on rich volcanic soil.

The massive shield volcano rises to 1241 m and is dotted by about 150 volcanic cones along a NE-SW rift extending the length of the island; some of the SW-flank vents are visible on this Space Shuttle image (with north to the upper right). Taveuni has been frequently active during the Holocene, and eruptions impacted island settlements in prehistorical time. At least 58 eruptions have occurred on Taveuni since the first known human settlements of the Fiji Islands about 950-750 BC; all of these eruptions affected the southern two-thirds of the island. A period of voluminous eruptions between about 300 and 500 AD caused abandonment of the southern part the island of Taveuni until about 1100 AD. The latest known eruption produced a lava flow at the southern tip of the island sometime between about 1450-1650 AD. NASA Space Shuttle image STS111-719-74, 2002 ( Caption: GVP

Posted in Coconut oil, Fiji Island, Holocene, Pacific Ocean, volcanic eruptions | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Peanut Corporation of America Bites the Dust

Posted by feww on February 14, 2009

The Peanuts of the Year Title for 2001 – 2009 Go to FDA!

The FDA had not inspected PCA’s Blakely plant since 2001

Peanut Corporation of America’s (PCA), the company responsible for the salmonella outbreak in the U.S., which has sickened at least 600 people and may have led to the deaths of 8 others, declared bankruptcy Friday.

The building of the now-closed Peanut Corporation of America plant is pictured in Blakely, Georgia on January 29, 2009. REUTERS/Matthew Bigg. Image may be subject to copyright.

Salmonella bacterial infection traced to PCA’s plant in Blakely, Ga., led to one of the biggest product recalls in U.S. history, involving up to 2,000 products that were suspected to contain tainted peanut butter or peanut paste.

According to a  survey conducted at the Harvard School of Public Health about 28 percent of Americans no longer eat  foods that were included in the recall, while 15 percent stopped eating any foods that contains peanuts, Reuters reported.

Texas state health officials ordered PCA to recall all products made at its Plainview, Texas, plant after finding “contamination and filthy conditions there,” on Thursday.

“The FDA had not inspected the Blakely plant since 2001, delegating the responsibility to the Georgia Department of Agriculture beginning in 2006.

“It was during this time that internal tests conducted by Peanut Corporation found salmonella 12 times, first starting in 2007, at the Blakely facility. The company sold the product anyway.”

“An FDA plant inspection report has since revealed cracks in the floor, live cockroaches, mold and water dripping from the ceiling in an area where finished products were stored.

“There appeared to be a problem with the oversight of this particular contract because of the failure of these inspections to uncover glaring unsanitary conditions that were discovered later after the salmonella outbreak,” DeLauro said in a letter to Daniel Levinson, the inspector general at HHS.

“Given the varying standards of inspection programs across the country, it is probable that there are other states with similar situations,” she said.

“The inspector general’s office first identified the weakness at the FDA in June 2000, DeLauro said.”

PCA filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court [Western District of Virginia,] claiming  the mass recall had an “extremely devastating” impact on its finances, Reuters reported. In contrast to Chapter 11 bankruptcy law, which permits companies to reorganize under the bankruptcy laws of the United States,  Chapter 7 works to liquidate their assets to repay creditors.

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This post: 470 words, 1 image with caption, 8 links.

Posted in Blakely, Harvard School of Public Health, peanut paste, Plainview, Texas state health | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »