The other day LeBron James said something to the effect that, before his career is done, he wants to be on the Mt. Rushmore of all-time NBA stars.

Following his comment, plenty of talk radio hosts used that gimmick to start discussions on the “Mt. Rushmore” of the NBA, the NFL, major league baseball, et cetera.

I will stretch the concept, as tired as it quickly becoming, to the produce industry. I’ll ask you directly; who should be on the Mt. Rushmore of the produce industry? I mean, really, who are the other three? By the way, has anyone else noticed that the Perishable Pundit has gone a long time without an update? What’s up with that?

 I’m headed to Washington D.C. later this week for the Agricultural Outlook Conference. Check out the agenda here.

 Cathy Burns of PMA is part of a panel called the “Future of Agriculture” that is worth special notice.

 Right before I head to DC on Jan. 19, we will have a small delegation from PMA visit The Packer offices. Looking forward to it!

 Have you joined The Packer Market yet? The community is growing, slowly but surely, as they say. Join here

 As far the LinkedIn Fresh Produce Industry Group, we added 90 members in the last week. At nearly 9,500 members, the LinkedIn Group also offers five subgroups that are worth exploring. The food safety/traceability subgroup has nearly 1,000 members.

 A nice discussion on the premise that McDonald’s $1 burgers are the best gift to man since white sliced bread is found in the group.

 Checking out the web today, the highest rated fruit and vegetable story was a reader retort to a recent article complaining that fruits and vegetables are too expensive . Find a nice defense of veggies.

 The top retail story of interest is about a new technology by Philips that will allow in-store navigation by supermarket shoppers. 

 On the GPO website, the USDA has rejected a huge number of comments that wanted the agency to reclassify the light brown apple moth from a quarantine pest to a non-actionable, non-quarantine pest. Check out the document here:

 From the summary:

We are notifying the public of our decision to maintain our classification of the light brown apple moth (LBAM, Epiphyas postvittana [Walker]) as a quarantine pest. In making this decision, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) evaluated the possibility of and impact from reclassifying LBAM from an actionable, quarantine-significant pest to a non-actionable, non-quarantine pest. By maintaining a regulatory program for LBAM, APHIS is seeking to minimize the further spread of the moth in the United States and maintain foreign trade markets for our producers. This decision is based on our evaluation of data submitted by the two petitioners seeking the reclassification of LBAM, our analysis of other scientific data, and comments received from the public in response to our previous notice announcing the availability of our revised draft response to those petitions.

Did the USDA get this wrong? How costly will LBAM control be for California?

On the website, check out this comment from the Montana Farmers Union on the FDA’s food safety rules


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