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DeLauro Introduces Bill to Tax Sugar-Sweetened Beverages

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On Wednesday, Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) introduced the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Tax (SWEET) Act — a tax on drinks such as sodas, energy drinks, sweet teas and sports drinks that she first announced at the National Soda Summit in Washington, D.C., on June 5. The SWEET Act would institute an excise tax of 1 cent per… Continue Reading

Raw Milk Seizure Stirs Debate in Michigan

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Michigan farmers and some of their downstate customers are still talking about an enforcement action taken two weeks ago by the Michigan Department of Agriculture. The incident has prompted hundreds of comments on local newspaper and Facebook pages. A delivery truck from Standish, MI-based My Family Co-Op was making its run south on Interstate 75… Continue Reading

Leaked Trade Deal Chapter Fails to Shed Much Light on Food Safety Concerns

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Last week, the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy leaked a draft chapter of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) currently being negotiated between the United States and the European Union. The chapter proposed by the European Commission in June concerns Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) issues with food safety and animal and plant health. “This leaked… Continue Reading

Meat Industry Loses Appeal on Country-of Origin-Labeling

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The meat industry may still be waiting on the World Trade Organization to make a call on country-of-origin labeling (COOL), but in the meantime they’ve lost another round in their fight against the rule in the D.C. Circuit courts. COOL laws mandate that meat products be labeled to tell where the food animals were born,… Continue Reading

Hawaii Could Follow California by Repealing Glove Law

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Cost concerns and general opposition may prompt Hawaii to try and follow California by repealing new state health rules requiring food service workers to use utensils or gloves when preparing sushi or other ready-to-eat foods. The new rules just went into effect July 21 and have already drawn criticism from restaurant managers who say that… Continue Reading

Senators Want More Antibiotics Information From FDA

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Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) wrote to U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Margaret Hamburg on Monday to ask for more information regarding the agency’s efforts to curb the overuse of antibiotics in food animal production. The senators called Guidance #213 and the proposed rule on Veterinary Feed Directives (VFDs)… Continue Reading

Jury Selection Underway for Precedent-Setting PCA Trial

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Jury selection continues today at the C.B. King U.S. Courthouse in Albany, GA, to pick 12 people (and four alternates) who will decide whether or not a trio of former peanut company executives is guilty as charged. The criminal trial, charging the three with felonies for the roles they allegedly played in a deadly outbreak… Continue Reading

FDA Warning Letters: Three Dairies, Two Seafood Processors

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently published five warning letters it issued to dairies and seafood processors. Dueppengeisser Dairy Company of Perry, NY, and Todd & Patty Meech Dairy Farm of Sebeka, MN, received warning letters after selling a calf and a cow for slaughter that were considered adulterated because of unacceptable levels of… Continue Reading

As More Imported Foods Reach the Dinner Table, Holes Remain in the FDA Safety Net

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(This report by Rick Schmitt was first published June 26, 2014, by FairWarning, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit news organization focused on public health, safety and environmental issues, and related topics of government and business accountability.) In April 2012, a team of inspectors from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) investigated a seafood company in… Continue Reading

Could Funding Cuts to Food Safety Programs Make You Sick?

Opinion

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(This blog post by Michelle Forman was published July 23, 2014, at APHL’s LabLog and is reposted here with permission.) When public health works, no one sees it. That’s a common adage at APHL and is most frequently used when referring to the gross lack of — and ever-plummeting — funding for valuable public health programs…. Continue Reading