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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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FoodNet Report: Pathogen Infection Rates Still ‘Well Above’ Government Targets

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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released its latest report card on the trends in foodborne illnesses on Thursday, and, in general, not much has changed from previous years. According to the Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet), there were a total of 19,056 infections, 4,200 hospitalizations and 80 deaths reported in 2013…. Continue Reading

Why Brewers Worry About FSMA

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Spent grains have made a lot of headlines in the past couple of weeks. The byproduct of the brewing process that remains after the mashing and lautering stages is commonly sold or given to farmers to feed to their livestock. But brewers have been worried that the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) will impose regulations… Continue Reading

FDA Allows Irradiation in Crustaceans for Foodborne Pathogen Control

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration will allow irradiation on crab, shrimp, lobster, crayfish and prawns to control foodborne pathogens and extend shelf life. After a safety assessment considered potential toxicity, the effect of irradiation on nutrients, and potential microbiological risk, the agency decided to amend current food additive regulations to allow “the safe use… Continue Reading

FSMA Questions Dominate Town Hall Session With Top Food Safety Regulators

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Michael Taylor, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine, told the audience at the Food Safety Summit’s Town Hall on Thursday to expect a document explaining the principles guiding the agency’s internal work for implementing the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). Taylor was joined at the event in Baltimore… Continue Reading

Report Identifies Chemicals ‘Quietly Added’ to Food Under GRAS

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The “generally recognized as safe,” or GRAS, determination for food additives has been getting a lot of attention lately for being a regulatory loophole. The main issue is that GRAS allows companies to decide whether a substance meets the definition of GRAS without mandating a review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration before being… Continue Reading

House Subcommittee Airs Out FSIS Controversies During Budget Hearing

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At Thursday’s hearing with Acting Under Secretary for Food Safety Brian Ronholm, members of the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee addressed many of the controversies currently dogging the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). Most discussed was the proposed modernization of the poultry inspection rule. While several House members, including Chairman Robert Aderholt… Continue Reading

USDA ‘Confident’ About COOL at WTO, Congress May Want a Backup Plan

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Members of Congress are feeling antsy about the World Trade Organization decision on country of origin labeling (COOL) expected this summer. During a House budget hearing on Wednesday, Edward Avalos, the Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, responded to questions about the case. U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-KS)… Continue Reading

Industry Groups Say ‘Massive Overhaul’ of Animal Food Regs Still Needs Work

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The deadline passed Monday for comments to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on the preventive controls for animal food rule issued under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), and the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) submitted more than 100 pages of comments on what it describes as the most massive overhaul of animal food… Continue Reading

Lawmakers Question Proposed FSMA User Fees at Subcommittee Hearing

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During discussion Thursday of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s fiscal 2015 budget requests, the agency’s proposed $260 million in user fees came under attack at the House Appropriations Subcommittee hearing. “In total, FDA is requesting $260 million in new fees but has failed to gain support from the stakeholders most impacted by such fees… Continue Reading

Inter-American Commission on Human Rights Hears Testimony on Poultry Worker Safety

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The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights heard testimony Tuesday that worker safety in the U.S. meatpacking and poultry industries could be compromised by pending rule changes at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), along with the Midwest Coalition for Human Rights and the Nebraska Appleseed Center for Law in the… Continue Reading