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Food Safety News

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Cookson Beecher

Cookson Beecher

A journalist by trade, Cookson Beecher spent the past 12 years working as an agricultural & environmental reporter for Capital Press, a four-state newspaper that covers agricultural and forestry issues in the Pacific Northwest. Before working at Capital Press, she was the editor of a small-town newspaper, the Courier Times, in Skagit County, Wash. She received her B.A. in political science from Hunter College in New York City, and before moving West, she worked for publishing companies in mid-town Manhattan. In the 1970s and 80s, she and her family lived in North Idaho, where they built a log home and lived a “pioneer life” without running water and electricity for almost ten years. She currently lives in rural Skagit County of Washington State.

Articles Written by Cookson Beecher

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Researchers find nanoparticles in 6 of 6 U.S. baby formulas tested

Looking more like an overhead view of garden stones and shrubs, this highly magnified photo shows nano titanium dioxide and silicon dioxide found in baby formula in the U.S.

Recent research has detected potentially harmful nanoparticles in six out of six popular infant formulas tested. Not surprisingly, this has triggered yet more concern about the safety of these engineered particles, which are added to some of the foods we eat. The products tested were Gerber Good Start Gentle, Gerber Good Start Soothe, Enfamil, Similac… Continue Reading

Food safety initiative puts farmworkers front and center

This green label can only be used on produce from suppliers who are certified by the Equitable Food Initiative, which works to improve the safety of fresh product while ensuring farmworkers' are in the loop as well as on the front lines in the war against pathogens.

When the topic is food safety, the first things that might come to mind for many are the farmers growing the food, the stores selling the food, and even the public health scientists who are testing the food to make sure it doesn’t contain any pathogens that could make us sick — or even kill… Continue Reading

Is that the answer blowin’ in the wind, or pathogen drift?

Free-manure

“The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind.” — Bob Dylan The question in the case of food safety is: “What’s blowing in the wind?” Turns out it can be dangerous pathogens such as E. coli, Campylobacter and Salmonella when manure is spread on the land, which is a common agricultural practice. At least that’s… Continue Reading

Small plus local doesn’t equal a free pass on food safety

FamilyFarmed-workshop-graphic

There’s a revolution going on in a grocery store near you. Fueled by consumer demand, it has been dubbed the “fresh revolution” by industry heavyweights such as the United Fresh Produce Association. It’s all about fresh produce — fruits and vegetables that nutritionists are praising as “healthy foods” and that shoppers are increasingly seeking out…. Continue Reading

Oyster research could lead to food safety strategies

Tiny bacteriophages attack larger microscopic organisms such as viruses.

Microbes battling microbes. This type of warfare is happening all around us — and even inside of us — every day. And as in every battle, there are good microbes and bad microbes, depending on what you want the outcome to be. In this case, the bad guys are pathogens that are infecting large numbers… Continue Reading

Food safety scientist unravels questions about food safety act

Skagit-Ag-Summit

Are you in or are you out? That was one of the first questions Don Stoeckel, a food-safety scientist with Cornell University, posed to the farmers and processors attending his presentation on the federal Food Safety Modernization Act  during the Ag Summit in Skagit County, WA, on March 3 and 4. It was a question… Continue Reading

Patchwork of state regs on raw milk blankets the country

raw milk for sale sign

There’s more than one way to skin a cat. That’s especially true when looking at how states are tangling with the dilemma of how to regulate the sale of raw milk. Even though federal law requires any milk that’s sold across state lines to be pasteurized and prohibits the sale of raw milk across state… Continue Reading

Raw milk’s ‘explosive growth’ comes with costs to the state

406x250Raw-Milk1

“Explosive growth.” That’s how Washington state’s Agriculture Department describes what’s been happening in the raw-milk industry in the past 10 years. The numbers say it all. There were only six raw-milk dairies in the state in 2006. There are now 39 — more than double the number in 2013 when there were 18. All are… Continue Reading

New dietary guidelines show potential conflict between safe and healthy

dietary-guidelines-2015-2020

Time was that food and medicine were two different things. Food was for eating and medicine was for curing diseases. It was as simple as that. Take a look at the recently released 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and you’ll see that things have changed. Food is now viewed as a form of preventive medicine… Continue Reading