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Food Safety News Nice List 2009

After much thought and consideration, here is the Food Safety News Nice list for 2009:



NICE: Sen. Dick Durbin for being the driving force behind food

safety legislation in the Senate and the HELP Committee for passing S.

510 out of committee with bipartisan support. (See “Senate Schedules Markup of S. 510,” Nov 11, 2009)

naughty and nice.pngNICE: Rep. Rosa DeLauro and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand for being consumer champions and persistent advocates of food safety reform. (See “DeLauro Urges Inquiry Into Beef Testing,” Nov 13, 2009, “DeLauro Calls for Beef Plant Closure,” Dec 10, 2009 and “Gillibrand to Introduce ‘E.coli Eradication’ Bill,” Oct 14, 2009)

NICE:  Food & Drug Administration Commissioner Margaret Hamburg for improving public access to information, including “Warning Letters” and 483 Reports.  (See “FDA Expands What’s In ‘Warning Letters,'” Sep 17, 2009)

NICE: Secretary Vilsack and Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan for USDA’s new outreach programs, like “Know your farmer, know your food.”  (See “USDA Promotes Local Food,” Sep 25, 2009)

NICE: New York Times writer Michael Moss for his Pulitzer-worthy

article on the dark origins of ground beef and the terrible impact of

E. coli O157:H7.

NICE: The quick work of the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee, whose members worked quickly and got their hands on incriminating email traffic between the PCA executives, who took the Fifth Amendment when called to testify.  

NICE:  President Obama for setting up the Food Safety Working Group.

NICE: The public, for an outpouring of support for WSU’s Common Reading Program (hat tip, Food Democracy Now).

NICE: Makers of Food, Inc, who introduced the country to the underside of food production, and made a very watchable – if frightening – film about it.

NICE: Michelle Obama, for planting a kitchen garden at the White House, and getting kids involved in (very) local food and for getting a local DC farmer’s market through the red tape.

NICE:  FDA for getting a guilty plea by Mark McAfee of OPDC to criminal charges of misbranding raw milk and selling across state lines as “pet food.”  (See “FDA Attempts to Corral Raw Milk Producer,” Dec 17, 2009)

NICE:  Marion Nestle for, among other things, her persistent and common sense critique of how junk food and soda is marketed to children.  (See “Q&A: Nestle on Food Safety Politics,” Sep 21, 2009)

NICE: Mike Taylor and Don Kraemer at FDA for boldly putting public health ahead of Gulf Coast oyster industry profits.  (See “FDA Acts to Reduce Raw Oyster Poisoning,” Oct 20, 2009)

NICE:  Consumer and public health groups that have joined with produce growers and food processors and retailers to support FDA reform legislation, making its passage possible.  (See “Victims: ‘We Want Bill Before Holidays’,” Oct 08, 2009)

NICE: Dedicated writers whose excellent articles gave insight and context to food safety issues:  Lyndsey Layton of the Washington Post for her piece on Linda Rivera’s struggle with E. coli O157:H7 from cookie dough, Peter Eisler, Elizabeth Weise, and others of USA Today for their reporting on school lunches, and Nick Grube of the Daily Triplicate for his three-part series on Mari Tardiff’s struggle to recover from the Campylobacter infection and ensuing Guillain-Barre Syndrome she got from drinking raw milk.

NICE:  Food Bloggers – Simple, Good and Tasty, Cold Truth, Ag and Food Law, Civil Eats, Grist, Weaversway, Chuck Jolley, Food Politics, Ethicurean, La Vida Locavore, Obamafoodorama, Food Shield, efoodalert, Fanatic Cook, Fresh Talk, Center for a Liveable Future, Food Law, Buy Safe Eat Well and Barf Blog.

NICE: Bill Marler and Marler Clark, LLP for their generous support of all three Food Safety News offices in Seattle, Denver, and Washington, DC to make FSN’s coverage of important food safety issues possible, even as traditional media shrink.

This list is a compilation of submissions from the Food Safety News publisher, staff, readers, and food safety experts.

© Food Safety News
  • hhamil

    How sad that the Food Safety News Nice List for 2009 has NOT one single blue collar person or agriculture oriented organization on its “nice list.” FSN ignores the hundreds of thousands of people who work long hours day after day to grow, process and distribute safe food across America and fight for the right to continue doing so. And many of these people make well below the lowest paid member of the FSN staff. And many of them are also risking their family’s farms and entire wealth to continue farming.
    So, here is the short version of the Harry Hamil Nice List 2009:
    1) Every year, my list starts with the families that continue the family farming tradition of North America that started long before our country was even a dream. Most not only work long, hard hours for very modest incomes but also risk family’s farms and entire wealth to continue farming/ranching. And they do this despite frequent ill-informed criticism.
    2) The unrecognized women & men in all the levels of government who UNIFORMLY enforce the regulations that we have. They don’t continue the all too frequent practice of having a laxer standard for big business than small. Some of them risk their careers frequently by doing so. And some were forced out or gave up in disgust.
    3) The agricultural workers (including illegal immigrants) whose long hours of strain grow our food despite stagnant real wages and increasingly difficult circumstances.
    4) The whistle-blowers who risk more than simply their careers to stand up for the American people.
    5) John Munsell and his ilk who have continued to fight for fair, uniform, effective regulation even after having had their own work destroyed for whistle-blowing.
    6) The Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance (FARFA) for gathering the over 100 local agriculture organizations to sign a single letter opposing the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) which was falsely described as being about food safety.
    7) The Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund, United Stockgrowers of America (R-CALF USA) for leading the fight against the continuing consolidation in the meat processing industry.
    8) The Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund for its careful detailed legal analysis of pending food safety legislation and its willingness to take the time necessary to educate those who desire to truly understand impact of the legislation.
    9) The Cornucopia Institute for its pit bull, ongoing efforts to force the USDA-AMS to properly enforce the National Organic Program so that American consumers will actually receive the products they believe they are buying and honest growers won’t have to compete against cheaters.
    10) The thousands of people who are giving agriculture a chance to become their passion as well as their career. This includes not only the young but also those pursuing second careers and even retirees who have started growing food and raising animals.
    11) The retail food markets (co-ops, local grocery stores and even some supermarkets like Ingles) and restaurants that are featuring locally grown and processed food and moderating their purchasing systems for smaller producers..
    12) Last, but far from least, the millions of people during 2009 who bought the safest food in America–that which is locally grown and processed for local people.

  • Harry Hamil

    How sad that the Food Safety News Nice List for 2009 has NOT one single blue collar person or agriculture oriented organization on its “nice list.” FSN ignores the hundreds of thousands of people who work long hours day after day to grow, process and distribute safe food across America and fight for the right to continue doing so. And many of these people make well below the lowest paid member of the FSN staff. And many of them are also risking their family’s farms and entire wealth to continue farming.
    So, here is the short version of the Harry Hamil Nice List 2009:
    1) Every year, my list starts with the families that continue the family farming tradition of North America that started long before our country was even a dream. Most not only work long, hard hours for very modest incomes but also risk family’s farms and entire wealth to continue farming/ranching. And they do this despite frequent ill-informed criticism.
    2) The unrecognized women & men in all the levels of government who UNIFORMLY enforce the regulations that we have. They don’t continue the all too frequent practice of having a laxer standard for big business than small. Some of them risk their careers frequently by doing so. And some were forced out or gave up in disgust.
    3) The agricultural workers (including illegal immigrants) whose long hours of strain grow our food despite stagnant real wages and increasingly difficult circumstances.
    4) The whistle-blowers who risk more than simply their careers to stand up for the American people.
    5) John Munsell and his ilk who have continued to fight for fair, uniform, effective regulation even after having had their own work destroyed for whistle-blowing.
    6) The Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance (FARFA) for gathering the over 100 local agriculture organizations to sign a single letter opposing the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) which was falsely described as being about food safety.
    7) The Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund, United Stockgrowers of America (R-CALF USA) for leading the fight against the continuing consolidation in the meat processing industry.
    8) The Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund for its careful detailed legal analysis of pending food safety legislation and its willingness to take the time necessary to educate those who desire to truly understand impact of the legislation.
    9) The Cornucopia Institute for its pit bull, ongoing efforts to force the USDA-AMS to properly enforce the National Organic Program so that American consumers will actually receive the products they believe they are buying and honest growers won’t have to compete against cheaters.
    10) The thousands of people who are giving agriculture a chance to become their passion as well as their career. This includes not only the young but also those pursuing second careers and even retirees who have started growing food and raising animals.
    11) The retail food markets (co-ops, local grocery stores and even some supermarkets like Ingles) and restaurants that are featuring locally grown and processed food and moderating their purchasing systems for smaller producers..
    12) Last, but far from least, the millions of people during 2009 who bought the safest food in America–that which is locally grown and processed for local people.