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Food Safety News

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Contributing Writers

Lydia Zuraw

Lydia Zuraw

Lydia Zuraw is a graduate of Northwestern University with a bachelor’s from the Medill School of Journalism.  She was born and raised in the suburbs of Baltimore and lived in Illinois, Scotland and Washington state before returning to the East Coast.  In the past, she worked for NPR’s Science Desk, the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory and The Pacific Northwest Inlander.

Articles Written by Lydia Zuraw

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Coalition of Consumer Groups Suggests Ways to Fix GRAS

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Last year, the Food and Drug Administration agreed to finalized its rule for the process of determining food substances as “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS). Now, a coalition of consumer advocacy groups has submitted an 80-page regulatory comment to the agency requesting that FDA make changes to the rule before it becomes final. FDA’s 1997 proposed… Continue Reading

New Database of Food Safety Inspections Includes About Half of All U.S. Counties

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If you’ve ever tried to find a recent inspection report for a particular restaurant, you’ll know that the ease of accessing and understanding that information can depend on what city or county you live in. University of Maryland Economics Professor Ginger Jin and UCLA Associate Professor of Business Management Philip Leslie have been doing research… Continue Reading

Petition Launched to Remove Propyl Paraben from Food

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Propyl paraben is the latest focus in the debate concerning additives that are “generally recognized as safe,” or GRAS. The overall concern of the Environmental Working Group (EWG) and other food safety advocates is that ingredients get defined as GRAS without pre-market review and approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). When it… Continue Reading

WHO Uses World Health Day to Shine Light on Food Safety

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Food safety is so important to everyone around the world that the World Health Organization (WHO) dedicated this year’s World Health Day — celebrated each year on April 7 — to spreading awareness of it. As readers of Food Safety News know, food contaminated with harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites or chemical substances can lead to long-lasting… Continue Reading

Critics Call White House Antibiotics Action Plan a ‘Missed Opportunity’ on Farms

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The White House released its National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria on Friday, but some critics say it doesn’t do enough to tackle antibiotic use on farms. “Antibiotic resistance is one of the most pressing public health issues facing the world today. It causes tens of thousands of deaths and millions of illnesses every year —… Continue Reading

Rep. Slaughter Reintroduces Preservation of Antibiotics Legislation

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On Tuesday, Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) reintroduced the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act (PAMTA), which would ban non-therapeutic uses of medically important antibiotics in food animal production. “My legislation would save eight critical classes of antibiotics from being routinely fed to healthy animals and would reserve them only for sick humans and sick animals,” Slaughter… Continue Reading

Witnesses Tell House Agriculture Committee GE Foods are Safe, Don’t Need Labels

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All six witnesses at Tuesday’s House Committee on Agriculture hearing argued against mandatory biotechnology labeling laws. Most of their testimony praised the efficiency they believe GE crops provide to farmers and enumerated the costs they say labeling would inflict on farmers, manufacturers and consumers. But they also brought up the safety concerns surrounding GE food…. Continue Reading

Scientists Model Global Trends in Animal Antibiotic Use

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Last spring, the World Health Organization stated that there are “major gaps” in surveillance and data sharing related to the emergence of antibiotic-resistant foodborne pathogens and their impact on both animals and humans. One gap to fill is the amount of antibiotics consumed by food-producing animals worldwide each year. Estimates so far have been simply… Continue Reading

Consumer Reports Guides Shoppers Through Produce Pesticide Residues

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Each year, the Environmental Working Group releases guides to help shoppers pick fruits and vegetables with the fewest pesticide residues. Consumer Reports’ Food Safety and Sustainability Center has now released similar guidelines. According to the organization’s survey conducted in November 2014, pesticide exposure in food is a concern for 85 percent of Americans. For its… Continue Reading

Culture-Independent Diagnostics Most Common for Campylobacter, STEC

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According to Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network’s report on foodborne illness in 2013, clinical laboratories used culture-independent diagnostic tests (CIDTs) to detect more than 20,000 infections. Now, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has delved deeper into the data collected about these tests. CIDTs are attractive to clinicians because they can be faster… Continue Reading