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Food Policy & Law

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FDA Finalizes Menu Labeling for Restaurants, Vending Machines

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Calorie counts are coming to menus and vending machines near you. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced today that it has finalized its two rules requiring that calorie information be listed on menus and menu boards in chain restaurants, similar retail food establishments and vending machines with 20 or more locations. “Strikingly, Americans eat and… Continue Reading

UK Retailer Introduces ‘Campylobacter Challenge’

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Major British retailer Marks & Spencer has introduced a plan to take on the poultry industry’s longstanding problems with illnesses related to Campylobacter, a foodborne bacterium that causes diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain and fever. In August, the U.K. Food Standards Agency reported that it found Campylobacter on 59 percent of fresh, whole store-bought chicken. Campylobacter… Continue Reading

DeLauro Urges OMB to Finalize Two Food Rules

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Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) is urging the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to finalize two pending food safety rules. DeLauro wrote to OMB director Shaun Donovan Monday, expressing her concern that if the mechanically tenderized beef rule and a rule regarding added solutions in meat and poultry products are not completed before the end… Continue Reading

FDA Warning Letters: Drug Residues Top List of Problems at Food Firms

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Illegal drug residues in dairy cows slaughtered for meat were the main problem cited in recent warning letters from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to firms found in violation of regulations stipulated by the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. Letters to four dairy producers warned that illegal levels of antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs… Continue Reading

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