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Food Safety News

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Dan Flynn

Articles Written by Dan Flynn

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Naughty and Nice thoughts about 2017

Opinion

Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue would make a great Jolly Old Elf. In fact, he’s looked upon as Santa Claus in about 300 congressional districts where a visit from the Secretary of Agriculture is an event much like Christmas morning. The range and depth of the USDA bag of goodies now carried by the Secretary… Continue Reading

Top food safety stories include regs, recalls, respects this year

Editor’s Note:  The Food Safety News list of the year’s most significant news is compiled annually by our writers and editors. The list for 2017 is not led by any one or two blockbuster food safety stories, but it also won’t be quickly forgotten. It was a year when there was finally a climax to… Continue Reading

Trump releases former Agriprocessors executive from prison

The medium-security federal prison at Otisville, NY freed 58-year old Sholom Rubashkin Wednesday because President Donald J. Trump commuted the remaining 20 years of his sentence. Rubashkin won his freedom because of an impressive campaign dating back to 2012 after an appellate court decided to let a 27-year sentence stand on the first-time, non-violent offender…. Continue Reading

Consumer and industry representatives meeting with FSIS

The USDA’s top food safety officials are for the first time making public the names of consumer and industry representatives they meet with during separate monthly meetings. The meetings on Nov. 14 included Carmen Rottenberg, acting deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety, and Paul Kiecker, acting administrator of the Food Safety and Inspection Service. Disclosure… Continue Reading

Letter from The Editor: The shameful vacancy at USDA

Opinion

For those marking time, waiting for a new USDA Under Secretary for Food Safety, today is something of an anniversary. It was four years ago today that Dr. Elisabeth Hagen stepped down from the post. The top food safety job in the federal government remains vacant. Neither President Barack Obama nor President Donald Trump has… Continue Reading

Do FDA ‘guidance’ documents skirt the regulatory process?

The Food and Drug Administration’s penchant for “guidance” documents as opposed to formal rulemaking needs to end, according to a business-oriented public interest legal foundation. “FDA’s turn away from notice-and-comment rulemaking has an obvious motive: Formal rulemaking can be quite cumbersome, and FDA would prefer where possible to avoid the time and expense involved,” says… Continue Reading

Arsenic in infant rice cereals compared with lead exposure

Infant rice cereals are popular with parents because they are affordable, easy to digest, and unlikely to cause allergic reactions. Infants typically begin eating cereals when they are between 4 and 6 months old. But, rice absorbs more arsenic from soil and water than other grains used for infant cereals; about 10 times more. Consequently, the level… Continue Reading

Gate Gourmet works to get airline customers back at LAX

Gate Gourmet is reporting its kitchen at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is again operating without restrictions, but it’s not clear if it has won back all of its airline customers at America’s second busiest airport. Last month, after Gate Gourmet found Listeria in its kitchen at LAX, several airlines including American, Delta and Virgin Australia suspended… Continue Reading

USDA’s organic enforcement efforts find fraudulent certificates

The USDA’s National Organic Program completed more complaint reviews and investigations that it received in 2017.  It finished work on 462 reviews and investigations while receiving 379 incoming complaints during the fiscal year 2017 ending last Sept. 30. Under the jurisdiction of USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service, the organic program recently updated reports on enforcement activities and… Continue Reading

Letter From The Editor: A voice for Food Freedom

Opinion

On only a half dozen occasions, has Food Safety News published articles resembling “book reviews.” For various reasons, we are not really in that business.  Sometimes, however, books merit mentions in the news. That’s what happened recently when author Baylen J. Linnekin’s comments made news stories about the Maine Food Freedom law. Before those stories,… Continue Reading