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Contributing Writers

Dan Flynn

Dan Flynn

Dan Flynn is a Denver-based writer and editor with more than ten years of food safety experience. As a public affairs professional, he worked with government and regulatory agencies at the local, state, and federal levels. His career as a journalist included working for newspapers throughout the West, from the Black Hills to Seattle. His on-scene reporting on the collapse of the Idaho’s Teton Dam and the suicide bombing at Washington State University’s Perham Hall was carried by newspapers around the world and was recognized both times regionally by the Associated Press for Best Reporting on a Deadline. Most of the disasters he attends these days involve food illnesses.

Articles Written by Dan Flynn

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WA Man Gets Prison Term for ‘Miracle’ Supplement Scheme


A “Miracle Mineral Supplement” sold online by a Spokane, WA, man as a cure for cancer, AIDS, hepatitis, Lyme disease, asthma, autism, malaria, and the common cold actually contained an industrial-strength sodium chlorite more appropriately used as a pesticide, or for hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) and wastewater treatment. In a week-long June jury trial, 45-year-old Louis… Continue Reading

Government Prosecutors, Defense Attorneys Battle Over PCA Pre-Trial Motions


When a defendant wants something excluded at trial and the government wants to include it, both will file a “Motion in Limine” with the judge, usually just before the trial. Often referred to as “threshold” motions, these resulting decisions lay down the ground rules all sides will have to follow at trial. It’s Motions in… Continue Reading

Two Felonies, One Misdemeanor Charged in Shell Egg Recall Case


U.S. attorneys in Iowa have charged the company and the man once known as “The Chicken King” and his son with two federal felonies counts each, including bribery of a public official. Austin (Jack) DeCoster and his son, Peter DeCoster, were charged Wednesday in connection with the 2010 recall of more than a half-billion shell… Continue Reading

Letter From the Editor: The NSLP Dropouts



A suburban Chicago school superintendent has obtained permission from his board of directors to withdraw from the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). David Schuler, who runs Township High School District 214 in Arlington Heights, IL, told Boston public radio station WBUR that his district will be better off without the approximately $900,000 from federal taxpayers… Continue Reading

‘Maine’s Cliven Bundy’ Gets His Day in State’s Supreme Judicial Court

Olympus E3

Outside Maine’s Supreme Judicial Court this week, Dan Brown was being celebrated as another raw milk outlaw, but inside, one justice was comparing him to Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy. Bundy is the guy who has refused for years to pay U.S. Bureau of Land Management fees for the right to graze his cattle on federal land…. Continue Reading

Cattlemen Object on Food-Safety Grounds to USDA Allowing More Brazilian Beef Imports


With beef prices in the U.S. reaching stratospheric levels, looking to one of our top-10 trading partners for increased supply would seem to be in the best interest of hard-pressed American consumers. But the Denver-based National Cattlemen’s Beef Association says that action by USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service opening the U.S. to importation… Continue Reading

Agencies Reach Catfish Inspection Agreement Required by Farm Bill


After the 2008 Farm Bill moved the responsibility for catfish inspection from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) over to USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), the two agencies did not play nice with one another. Before long, USDA catfish inspection turned into a poster child for government duplication and wasteful spending. Millions… Continue Reading

Letter From the Editor: Time to Name Next Star as Under Secretary for Food Safety



Brian Ronholm is currently the acting under secretary for food safety at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Before going over to USDA, Ronholm was an appropriations staffer for liberal Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT). DeLauro, who fires critical press releases at food regulators like my fourth-grade class did with spitballs, certainly has not held back on… Continue Reading

Plea Agreement Will Limit Lightsey’s Prison Time to Six Years at Most


Samuel Lightsey, the former processing plant manager for Peanut Corporation of America at Blakely, GA, entered guilty pleas late Wednesday to multiple federal felony counts stemming from the deadly 2008-2009 Salmonella outbreak. Lightsey and the government reached a plea agreement for cooperation against other defendants in exchange for sentencing consideration to keep his prison term… Continue Reading

Peanut Corporation of America Defendant Changing Plea on Criminal Charges


A change-of-plea hearing will be held today at 4 p.m. EDT for Samuel Lightsey, the former Peanut Corporation of America plant manager in Blakely, GA. Notice of the hearing, being held at the C.B. King U.S. Courthouse in Albany, GA, was filed Tuesday by the court. Indicted with three other former PCA executives in February… Continue Reading