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Food Policy & Law

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Vilsack: No Regulatory Fix for COOL

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Last weekend, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack told the 2014 National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB) convention that there is no regulatory fix for country-of-origin labeling (COOL). After the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) ruling in favor of Canada and Mexico in an ongoing dispute with the U.S. over COOL, a team at the Department of… Continue Reading

More “Ag-Gag” Bills Could Be Decided Before Courts Rule on Challenge

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It’s unlikely that the constitutionality of the new “ag-gag” laws of Idaho and Utah will be known until after those states hold legislative sessions in 2015, and maybe even until after another round of lawmaking in 2016. The controversial “ag-gag” statutes, which prevent undercover investigations at animal agriculture facilities, were adopted in Utah in 2013… Continue Reading

FSIS Considers Expanding Non-O157 STEC Testing

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture is considering whether or not to expand its non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) testing to include ground beef and ground beef components beyond beef manufacturing trimmings. This week, USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) posted its analysis of estimated costs and benefits associated with implementing the additional testing…. Continue Reading

USDA: Food Safety at Hog HIMP Plants ‘On Par’ With Other Inspection Systems

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The Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Pont (HACCP) Inspection Models Project (HIMP) project in hog slaughter establishments will continue, announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture is its latest evaluation of the project. The report’s objective was to determine whether the HIMP inspection system is performing as well as the existing swine processing inspection system “in… Continue Reading

Will Mechanically Tenderized Beef Labeling Be Pushed Back to 2018?

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Long-planned efforts to place a label on mechanically tenderized beef may be delayed another two years — until 2018 — if they are not finalized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) by the end of this year. For more than a decade, consumer groups and the… Continue Reading

Revised FSMA Provisions Need More Tweaks

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The public is generally pleased with the revised provisions of four rules under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), but the public comments at the Food and Drug Administration’s public meeting Thursday suggest that the agency may have more tweaking to do. Certain aspects of the rules for produce safety, preventive controls for human food, preventive… Continue Reading

Senators Want FDA to Collect More Animal Antibiotics Data

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Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Tom Harkin (D-IA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) are calling on the Food and Drug Administration to step up animal antibiotic tracking. Specifically, they want the agency to propose a rule to improve collection of data on antibiotic use and resistance. “We applaud your agency’s recent step to issue… Continue Reading

FDA’s Taylor Visits China to Strengthen Food Safety Ties

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Today, 15 percent of America’s food supply is imported from other countries, including 80 percent of seafood and 50 percent of fresh fruit. An increasing amount of that food is coming from China, a country with a food safety track record that leaves many American consumers uneasy. Part of the 2011 Food Safety Modernization Act… Continue Reading

Foodborne Illness Victims Request Additional FSMA Funding

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Victims of foodborne illness and their families are urging Congress to appropriate additional funding for implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). Several Congress members and plenty of food safety advocates have written to the leaders of the House and Senate appropriations committees this year asking that they increase FSMA funding in the next… Continue Reading

FDA Warning Letters: Food Made Under Unsanitary Conditions

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In its latest round of warning letters to food processors, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sent letters to three food processors who were found to be producing without proper food safety plans and therefore producing under insanitary conditions. Los Angeles-based International Marine Products, Inc. was found to not have hazard analysis and critical control… Continue Reading