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Food Safety News

Breaking news for everyone's consumption

Publisher’s Platform

Somehow Dan the editor and the several staff of Food Safety News convinced me while in Las Vegas (they may well have pictures) to write a few lines each week about my thoughts on what was going on at Food Safety News and/or my perspective on food safety over the week–forwards and backwards.
 
It has been a busy week.  An E. coli O145 outbreak that has been linked to no particular product, but it has sickened 50 in Michigan, Ohio and New York.  Since all of the ill seem to be college students, food is being looked at as the source–college parties aren’t the only things that make kids vomit. 

Then there is the E. coli O111 outbreak in Colorado.  Given that the outbreak is at a prison, do not expect much news or sympathy.
 
Salmonella outbreaks have emerged among customers of the Las Dos Amigos restaurant in Oregon and Bullock’s Barbecue in North Carolina–two more different restaurants I could not imagine.
 
There is also the oil slick that is moving on shore in the gulf.  The food safety implications may well be catastrophic, contrary to what was believed a few days ago, when it was believed gulf fish and shellfish would be safe.  Tuna, Shrimp and Oysters, to name a few food items that depend on the unpolluted waters of the Gulf, are being hard pressed to survive.  Long-term, the spill may impact foods that in ways that create both short- and long-term difficulties.  We hope to have Food Safety News “boots on the ground” throughout the Gulf States to assess the damage to our food supply.

Walmart announced that it will require ground beef suppliers to test their products for non-O157:H7 strains of E. coli and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) called on the U.S. Department of Agriculture to declare non-O157:H7 strains of E. coli an adulterant in ground beef.
 
It has been a busy week, as most are in the world of food safety.  I do expect that the next weeks and months and years to be just a busy.  In a world rapidly approaching seven billion consumers of food, how to produce plentiful food safely is a challenge.
 
It is the challenge of producing safe food that led me to the creation of Food Safety News (the url was purchased for $25,000).  The goal of Food Safety News is to provide relevant and timely news on all issues around safe food.  That was my goal when starting it and I hope to continue that without interference or influence from me.  Rupert Murdoch I am not.

© Food Safety News
  • Natalia

    Glad to hear that you intend to keep up the good work.

  • You guys are doing a great job at reaching your goal. Relevant, timely, and when possible scinece based.

  • jmunsell

    Mr. Marler, I respectfully suggest that Americans should consider the short-sighted USDA policy of declaring non-0157:H7 strains of e.coli to be an adulterant in ground beef, as stated above. If we endorse this proposal, we are unwittingly being entrapped by USDA’s ongoing deceptive food safety ruse.
    As you know, USDA/FSIS knowingly allows the large slaughter establishments to ship into commerce intact cuts of meat which are surface-contaminated with E.coli 0157:H7. When 0157:H7 inhabits the exterior of intact cuts (boxed beef), FSIS blithely classifies the pathogens are mere contaminants, but NOT adulterants. As such, FSIS intentionally allows the horses out of the barn, and the agency places its primary focus on attempting to detect the horses in downstream commerce somewhere.
    I submit to you that FSIS must classify E.coli 0157:H7, and other lethal strains of E.coli as adulterants AT EVERY LOCATION AND IN EVERY MEAT PRODUCT AFTER THE KILL FLOOR. Various strains of lethal E.coli proliferate on kill floors because of the presence of intestines and manure-covered hides. Therefore, we must allow kill floor interventions the right to effectively remove all pathogens from carcasses, PRIOR TO the entrance of the carcasses into the chill coolers. Once the carcasses are in the chill cooler, and the subsequent meat cuts are shipped into commerce, E.coli 0157:H7 and other strains must be classified as “Adulterants” in EVERY FORM of beef, not only in ground beef.
    Do you see how intentionally and deceptively misleading the agency is, when it piously proclaims that E.coli is an adulterant only in ground beef, but not when it is on carcasses or in intact cuts? 0157:H7 is 0157:H7, regardless of what cut of meat it inhabits.
    I challenge consumers to reconsider this conundrum, and press the agency to classify pathogens as pathogens, regardless of where and how it is found, after the kill floor.
    John Munsell, Manager
    Foundation for Accountability in Regulatory Enforcement (FARE)
    Miles City, MT

  • John Munsell

    Mr. Marler, I respectfully suggest that Americans should consider the short-sighted USDA policy of declaring non-0157:H7 strains of e.coli to be an adulterant in ground beef, as stated above. If we endorse this proposal, we are unwittingly being entrapped by USDA’s ongoing deceptive food safety ruse.
    As you know, USDA/FSIS knowingly allows the large slaughter establishments to ship into commerce intact cuts of meat which are surface-contaminated with E.coli 0157:H7. When 0157:H7 inhabits the exterior of intact cuts (boxed beef), FSIS blithely classifies the pathogens are mere contaminants, but NOT adulterants. As such, FSIS intentionally allows the horses out of the barn, and the agency places its primary focus on attempting to detect the horses in downstream commerce somewhere.
    I submit to you that FSIS must classify E.coli 0157:H7, and other lethal strains of E.coli as adulterants AT EVERY LOCATION AND IN EVERY MEAT PRODUCT AFTER THE KILL FLOOR. Various strains of lethal E.coli proliferate on kill floors because of the presence of intestines and manure-covered hides. Therefore, we must allow kill floor interventions the right to effectively remove all pathogens from carcasses, PRIOR TO the entrance of the carcasses into the chill coolers. Once the carcasses are in the chill cooler, and the subsequent meat cuts are shipped into commerce, E.coli 0157:H7 and other strains must be classified as “Adulterants” in EVERY FORM of beef, not only in ground beef.
    Do you see how intentionally and deceptively misleading the agency is, when it piously proclaims that E.coli is an adulterant only in ground beef, but not when it is on carcasses or in intact cuts? 0157:H7 is 0157:H7, regardless of what cut of meat it inhabits.
    I challenge consumers to reconsider this conundrum, and press the agency to classify pathogens as pathogens, regardless of where and how it is found, after the kill floor.
    John Munsell, Manager
    Foundation for Accountability in Regulatory Enforcement (FARE)
    Miles City, MT

  • hhamil

    As you state “the goal of Food Safety News is to provide relevant and timely news on all issues around safe food,” then you will need to increase your coverage of the local, healthy food movement’s efforts to transform the misleadingly named FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (S 510) into a true food safety modernization act from the Full Industrialization of Agriculture under the Guise of Food Safety Act that it is.
    Were you to do so, then you would note the coverage of the clearly foreseeable, negative impact of S 510 on small processors reported in the Asheville Citizen-Times (see http://www.citizen-times.com/article/20100413/NEWS/304130028) and its editorial stance in favor of amending S 510 (see http://www.citizen-times.com/article/20100418/OPINION01/304180008). You would also need note that Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) has joined Sen. Tester as a co-sponsor of his “common sense” amendments to protect small growers, packers, processors and distributors from the industrial-size-fits-all, poor track record regulation mandated by S 510 (see http://hagan.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=563).
    In other words, Mr. Marler, my question to you is quite simple. “Is “Food Safety News” going to deserve the name ‘newspaper’ by providing full, unbiased news coverage or simply be a pipe organ for the professional food safety special interests?” You, of course, entirely control what the answer will be.
    “Food Safety News” has gotten off to a pretty good start and I appreciate the coverage you have given those of us calling for changes to S 510. I hope the next 222 days will reflect ever higher standards of journalism. Good luck!

  • Bill, I was and am so pleased to see that you were a part in creating Food Safety News. There is a huge gap in “food safety information and news” for all my colleagues and friends. FSN fills that gap! A wonderful investment for $25,000…and I’m glad to know that from time to time you will keep us in the loop.

  • Harry Hamil

    As you state “the goal of Food Safety News is to provide relevant and timely news on all issues around safe food,” then you will need to increase your coverage of the local, healthy food movement’s efforts to transform the misleadingly named FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (S 510) into a true food safety modernization act from the Full Industrialization of Agriculture under the Guise of Food Safety Act that it is.
    Were you to do so, then you would note the coverage of the clearly foreseeable, negative impact of S 510 on small processors reported in the Asheville Citizen-Times (see http://www.citizen-times.com/article/20100413/NEWS/304130028) and its editorial stance in favor of amending S 510 (see http://www.citizen-times.com/article/20100418/OPINION01/304180008). You would also need note that Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) has joined Sen. Tester as a co-sponsor of his “common sense” amendments to protect small growers, packers, processors and distributors from the industrial-size-fits-all, poor track record regulation mandated by S 510 (see http://hagan.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=563).
    In other words, Mr. Marler, my question to you is quite simple. “Is “Food Safety News” going to deserve the name ‘newspaper’ by providing full, unbiased news coverage or simply be a pipe organ for the professional food safety special interests?” You, of course, entirely control what the answer will be.
    “Food Safety News” has gotten off to a pretty good start and I appreciate the coverage you have given those of us calling for changes to S 510. I hope the next 222 days will reflect ever higher standards of journalism. Good luck!

  • Bill, I was and am so pleased to see that you were a part in creating Food Safety News. There is a huge gap in “food safety information and news” for all my colleagues and friends. FSN fills that gap! A wonderful investment for $25,000…and I’m glad to know that from time to time you will keep us in the loop.

  • Kathy, thanks. The 25K was just for the name http://www.foodsafetynews.com. The site you see was another 50K. The reporters, staff and free-lancers are about another 250K per year. Getting news out there is not cheap.