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Letter From the Editor: Week Seven of the PCA Trial

Opinion

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Anyone involved in a big trial, even as a casual observer, probably feels a little unsettled when the case goes to the jury as we are all just left sitting around and waiting. We don’t wait well. But now, in the federal criminal trial in Albany, GA, we wait. The case involving those three former… Continue Reading

Publisher’s Platform: And Now, We Wait

Opinion

Peanut Corporation of America in Plainview, Texas, February 3, 2009.

It is now in the hands of the jury. In 2009, the Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) peanut plant was found to be the source of a Salmonella outbreak blamed for the deaths of nine Americans and the sicknesses of 714 more — many of them my clients. Former PCA owner Stewart Parnell and his… Continue Reading

Food & Water Watch Sues USDA Over New Poultry Inspection Rule

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Food & Water Watch (FWW) filed a lawsuit against the Department of Agriculture on Thursday that would stop the implementation of the agency’s New Poultry Inspection System (NPIS). The new poultry inspection rule, announced July 31, requires additional microbiological testing at all poultry processing facilities and introduces a fifth inspection system available for U.S. plants to voluntarily… Continue Reading

Closing Arguments Today in Peanut Corporation of America Criminal Trial

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The jury today will hear closing arguments in the Peanut Corporation of America criminal case in Albany, GA. One of the final acts in a drama six years in the making, the closings will get underway on the 32nd day of the twice-delayed trial that began July 28 in U.S. District Court for the Middle… Continue Reading

Taylor: Reproposed FSMA Rules Are ‘Close’

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Don’t expect comment period extensions for the reproposed rules regarding the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). That’s what Michael Taylor, the Food and Drug Administration’s deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine, told attendees Wednesday at the United Fresh Produce Association Washington Conference. He said he had hoped to be discussing details of the reissued produce… Continue Reading

New Food Police Unit Coming Soon to the UK

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An independent report suggesting that the United Kingdom needs a special food police unit uses the Danes and the Dutch as examples and not the United States, where more than a dozen food industry executives this year have been subjected to investigations resulting in felony criminal charges. Professor Chris Elliott from Queen’s University Belfast is… Continue Reading

FDA Warning Letters: Food Manufacturers, Seafood Processors, Farms

FDA Warning

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) posted several recent warning letters about alleged regulation violations, including those sent to food manufacturers in Nebraska and Washington, seafood processors in Massachusetts, Maine and Michigan, and farms in New York and Kentucky. IPSI Specialty Foods Inc. of La Vista, NE, which pickles chicken eggs, was told by FDA… Continue Reading

California May Soon Require Paid Sick Time for Restaurant Workers and Others

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California is poised to become the second state in the country to require paid sick leave for workers, an issue that has serious food safety implications for the restaurant industry. Under the just-passed legislation, which is awaiting Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature (and he has already expressed support), California workers as of July 1, 2015, would… Continue Reading

Main Concerns About Idaho’s ‘Ag-Gag’ Law Survive State’s Dismissal Motion

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Animal activists cannot sue Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter, and one part of the Gem State’s agricultural protection law stands without review. But U.S. District Court Judge B. Lynn Winmill is allowing a challenge to four other sections of Idaho’s “ag-gag” law to go forward on the basis of three legal concerns. In his ruling issued… Continue Reading

Colorado’s ‘Blue Book’: GMO Labeling Will Raise Grocery Prices

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This year’s “Blue Book,” the state-produced voter’s guide written by Colorado’s Legislative Research Council, will tell general election voters that requiring labeling of genetically engineered ingredients will raise food prices and cost consumers. It is a major setback for Proposition 105, which only last month was approved for the ballot after a last-minute paid signature-gathering… Continue Reading