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Food Policy & Law

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Near confirmation, Perdue says no to Brazilian beef embargo

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Former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue thinks it would be an over-reaction for USDA to embargo Brazilian beef because of that country’s federal investigation of meat inspectors being bribed to overlook standards for exported meat. Perdue responded to questioning by Sen. John Thune, R-SD, during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry, which lasted… Continue Reading

Arkansas lawmakers take ‘civil’ approach with new ag-gag law

Gov. Asa Hutchinson

Gov. Asa Hutchinson Thursday signed Arkansas House Bill 1665, adding a civil cause of action to the state’s code that permits individuals to sue over the unauthorized access to non-public areas of commercial property. Although not a criminal statute, Nathan Runkle, president of Mercy for Animals, calls the measure an “ag-gag” law. “By signing this bill… Continue Reading

On the front lines of food safety — farmworkers have your back

More retailers seek produce, peace of mind from growers certified by the Equitable Food Initiative

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Who better than the people in the front lines to recognize and call out the enemy? That’s the underlying strategy of an approach to food safety that relies on farmworkers to spot possible problems in growing fields and packing sheds. Such problems include deer droppings in the field, manure drift from a nearby field, dirty… Continue Reading

Raw milk still looking for wins as legislative season nears end

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Legislatures in almost a dozen states this year are considering whether to permit sales in one form or another of raw milk, which public health officials say is dangerous because it has not been pasteurized to remove harmful pathogens. But as many of those sessions wind down, it doesn’t look like there will be many raw milk… Continue Reading

USDA beefs up scrutiny of Brazilian beef amid bribery scandal

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None of the slaughter or processing facilities targeted by the Federal Police in Brazil have shipped meat products to the United States, according to USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). Nevertheless, FSIS immediately instituted additional pathogen testing of all shipments of raw and ready-to-eat beef products from Brazil once it heard a scandal was brewing…. Continue Reading

Sustainable organics group urges support for soil-free growing

Opinion

logo Coalition for Sustainable Organics

In advance of the National Organics Standards Board meeting in April, the board’s Crops Subcommittee shared a draft proposal calling for the end of organic certification for hydroponic and aquaponic growers. This proposal, if enacted, will have far reaching and damaging effects on hundreds of producers, thousands of retailers and wholesalers and millions of consumers… Continue Reading

Three things to expect during unannounced FDA inspections

Inspectors from FDA collect a sample of seafood for testing.

It’s not a question of if, but when, officials with the Food and Drug Administration will show up at any given food company for an unannounced inspection, with any violations outlined in a Form 483 that is handed off to company representatives as inspectors head out the door. While the Form 483 itself is essentially… Continue Reading

‘Filthy Food Bill’ draws fire from host of food safety advocates

Trump's Regulatory Accountability Act would create 'an unprecedented regulatory gauntlet'

Opinion

Stop the Filthy Food Act

Editor’s note: This opinion column was originally published by the Environmental Working Group under the headline “No Rules? No Food Safety” and reflects the views of Scott Faber, EWG’s vice president of government affairs. Below is a letter on the same topic, sent by several organizations — including EWG, the Consumers Union, the Center for Science in the… Continue Reading

Sonny Perdue set to face Senate ag committee Thursday

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Secretary of Agriculture-designate Sonny Perdue will finally get his hearing tomorrow before the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee. President Trump nominated the former Georgia governor to serve as America’s 31st Secretary of Agriculture nine weeks ago. It is not clear why there’s been such a delay in getting the Committee hearing scheduled. The Senate… Continue Reading

Federal police drop dragnet on Brazilian meat inspectors

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Brazil’s Federal Police last week were out to clean up some corruption in the country’s meatpacking industry in a big, but targeted way. Two major exporting companies, JBS and BRF, are being probed for possible payoffs to meat inspectors who are being accused of waiving food safety requirements. Brazil on March 17 deployed 1,100 police… Continue Reading