Calif. poultry plant
focus of outbreak
The Agriculture Department is threatening to shut down three California poultry processing facilities linked to a salmonella outbreak that has sickened 278 people across the country.
USDA said Wednesday that Foster Farms, owner of the three facilities, has until tomorrow to tell the department how it will fix the problem. The company was notified Monday.
Sampling by USDA in September showed that raw chicken processed by those facilities included strains of salmonella that were linked to the outbreak. But the company has not recalled any of its products.
In a letter to Foster Farms, USDA said those samples coupled with illnesses suggest that the sanitary conditions at the facility “could pose a serious ongoing threat to public health.”
The first illnesses in the outbreak were reported in March and the outbreak has had a high rate of hospitalizations. The CDC said 42 percent of victims were hospitalized, about double the normal rate, and it is resistant to many antibiotics, making it a more severe outbreak.
Plans for Wal-Mart
in India on hold
Wal-Mart Stores said Wednesday that it is splitting from its Indian business partner and cannot move forward with plans for its own retail stores in India because strict government regulations on sourcing from local small businesses make it impossible.
The move by the world’s largest retailer is a blow to Wal-Mart’s expansion plans in India as well as the country’s attempts to attract foreign investment in the huge but underdeveloped retail sector. Wal-Mart already runs a wholesaling joint venture in India and will continue that business, buying out partner Bharti Enterprises.
Wal-Mart did not name any other Indian partner — which would be necessary to open its own retail outlets — and comments from its top Asia executive indicated that plans to open its consumer superstores are indefinitely on hold because of government regulations.
US, China vie
for Southeast Asia
The United States and China wrestled for influence in Southeast Asia on Wednesday as regional leaders opened an annual summit where the Chinese looked to take advantage of the absence of U.S. President Barack Obama to showcase their rising global clout.
Gathering in tiny, oil-rich Brunei, the leaders of the 10-country Association of Southeast Asian Nations met first together before holding group discussions with their non-member partners, including the U.S., China, Japan, South Korea and India. All are seeking a greater presence in the region, but the United States and China are the two heavyweights and have long been jostling for position, even as they publicly deny rivalry and competition.