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Head of USDA’s organic program steps down after 8 years

The USDA’s National Organic Program will have new leadership as of October when Miles McEvoy steps down after eight years at the helm. McEvoy, who has been deputy administrator of the National Organic Program within USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service, announced his departure in a Sept. 10 letter he said he sent to the “organic community.”… Continue Reading

Publisher’s Platform: She said, he said — we’ve been warned

We must invest now in science, surveillance, systems to minimize threat of foodborne terrorism

Opinion

Islamic State leaders are reportedly asking followers to carry out terror attacks by poisoning food in Western supermarkets. It’s not like poisoning our food has not happened before, and we certainly have been warned. In 2011 Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned of infectious disease outbreaks caused by pathogens falling into the wrong hands and… Continue Reading

FDA warns beef, fruit juice and seafood processors to clean up

A Texas beef cattle operation, a Puerto Rican fruit juice processor, and three seafood processors in New Jersey, New York and Poland are all on notice from the Food and Drug Administration for violations of federal food safety rules. The FDA sent the warning letters to the companies in August and September, and posted them for public view in recent days. Companies are allowed 15 working days to respond to… Continue Reading

Moving the U.S. Codex Office to USDA Trade is a big mistake

Opinion

One significant provision in Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue’s most recent realignment announcement would move the U.S. Codex Office from the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) to the newly created Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs (TFAA) office. While the move may seem inconsequential on the surface, this realignment will undermine the United States’ credibility… Continue Reading

USDA ready to take over meat, poultry inspections in Maine

The Maine Legislature will meet in special session on Nov. 1 to fix the state’s recently adopted food sovereignty law. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is prepared to take over all meat and poultry inspections in the state if the lawmakers fail to enact and amendment. Maine Gov. Paul LePage called the emergency special session in… Continue Reading

FDA faces appeal for failing to reveal retailers in papaya outbreak

The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) wants the Food and Drug Administration to release the names and locations of supermarkets and other retailers who sold papayas now subject to a nationwide recall because of a Salmonella outbreak. But FDA won’t do it, even though another federal food safety agency routinely makes such… Continue Reading

Utah isn’t appealing the demise of its 2012 “Ag-Gag” law

Utah will not appeal a federal court ruling that the state’s 2012 law against agricultural operation interference violates the U.S. Constitution. It is the only one of several state “Ag-Gag” laws which resulted in someone’s arrest and brief jailing. A spokesman for Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes Thursday told Food Safety News there would be… Continue Reading

Quorn agrees to change labels to reveal main ingredient is mold

Described by critics as being made from “vat-grown fungus,” Quorn Foods Inc. products are getting new labels prominently declaring they contain mold. The new label language is part of a class action settlement agreement between the company and a woman who filed a civil lawsuit on behalf of herself and anyone else in the United States… Continue Reading

Auditor says restaurant inspector issues don’t put public at risk

Austin, TX, inspectors admit to napping, going to gym, shopping during their working hours

A new 17-page investigative report by the city auditor “did not find sufficient evidence” to support the allegation of improper inspections of Austin restaurants or that health officers’ misuse of time has put the public at risk. The report did document that the capitol city of Texas wasted money because of “grossly inefficient practices and procedures” inside… Continue Reading

Beach Beat: It’s not rocket science, it’s computer science

FDA investigates why Amazon took 6 months to stop selling recalled soy butter linked to outbreak

Opinion

If Jeff Bezos and the little online book-selling company he founded in a Seattle garage in 1994 can employ more than 314,000 people and buy Whole Foods Markets for $13.7 billion; If he and the company known simply as Amazon can post a 25 percent revenue increase, quarter-to-quarter, taking in $38 billion from April through… Continue Reading