Im­proved cat­fish in­spec­tions at risk

Cherokee County Herald - - VIEWPOINTS -

Af­ter a seven-year bat­tle to im­prove food safety in­spec­tions of im­ported cat­fish, the U.S. Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture ( USDA) of­fi­cially as­sumed in­spec­tion re­spon­si­bil­i­ties from the Food and Drug Ad­min­is­tra­tion ( FDA) in April 2016.

How­ever, some na­tional lead­ers are push­ing to move in­spec­tions back to the FDA, though the USDA has a bet­ter record of find­ing and re­turn­ing tainted fish.

In its first seven months of in­spec­tions, the USDA stopped five ship­ments of Viet­namese fish con­tam­i­nated with banned chem­i­cals.

By con­trast, only two ship­ments with known car­cino­gens were dis­cov­ered in the last two years the FDA con­ducted in­spec­tions.

The U. S. Se­nate ap­proved a res­o­lu­tion to move cat­fish in­spec­tions back to the FDA in May. Alabama Sens. Richard Shelby and Jeff Ses­sions voted against the mea­sure. The U.S. House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives did not take up the res­o­lu­tion in the last Congress, but a new bill could be filed in 2017.

Alfa In­surance agents and ad­justers started work­ing Mon­day, Jan. 2 to re­spond to pol­i­cy­hold­ers af­fected by se­vere weather in Alabama, Ge­or­gia and Mis­sis­sippi. Alfa has more than 100 claims ad­justers ready to serve cus­tomers. To file a claim: Con­tact lo­cal Alfa ser­vice cen­ters

Call the Cus­tomer Re­source Cen­ter at 1-800964-2532, open 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily

Use “Re­port A Claim” on the Alfa home­page at Al­faIn­surance. com

Use the Al­fa2Go app for iPhone and An­droid smart­phones

The Storm Pre­dic­tion Cen­ter (SPC), part of the Na­tional Weather Ser­vice, re­ceived re­ports of pos­si­ble tor­na­does in Bul­lock and Hous­ton coun­ties in Alabama; Baker, Cal­houn, De­catur, Early and Worth coun­ties in Ge­or­gia; and Cov­ing­ton and Simp­son coun­ties in Mis­sis­sippi. NWS will con­duct sur­veys to de­ter­mine the rat­ing of each storm.

The SPC also re­ceived hail re­ports from Sumter County in Alabama. Rain­fall to­tals in cen­tral Alabama ranged from 1.6 inches in Birm­ing­ham to 5.6 inches in Troy. Flood­ing dam­aged roads in some parts of the state.

In Re­ho­beth, a com­mu­nity south of Dothan in Hous­ton County, res­i­dents are mourn­ing the loss of four peo­ple who died when a tree fell on their home. All Re­ho­beth schools are closed to­day.

Alfa pol­i­cy­hold­ers are en­cour­aged to make tem­po­rary re­pairs to prop­erty to pre­vent ad­di­tional dam­age. Re­tain re­ceipts from pur­chases re­lated to tem­po­rary re­pairs to in­clude with any claims.

Dis­as­ter vic­tims are prime tar­gets for crim­i­nals, as in­surance scams na­tion­wide ac­count for $30 bil­lion in losses an­nu­ally. Pol­i­cy­hold­ers should be wary of un­so­licited or un­ex­pected of­fers to per­form re­pairs or con­duct in­spec­tions. Con­tact your state at­tor­ney gen­eral’s of­fice with re­ports of sus­pected fraud, loot­ing or price goug­ing. For tips on avoid­ing frauds or scams and storm prepa­ra­tion, visit Alfa’s Se­vere Storm Cen­ter.

For ad­di­tional up­dates, visit Al­faIn­surance.com, Face­book.com/Al­faIn­surance or Twit­ter.com/Al­fa_ In­surance.

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