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Top food safety job and others remain to be filled at USDA

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With the somewhat tardy appointment of former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue as secretary of agriculture combined with Senate Democrats taking their time with the confirmation process, there’s going to be a backup of some other important appointments at USDA and across the federal government. And the backup is occurring even though one man came close to… Continue Reading

When food safety crisis hit, Perdue had to prepare for next one

Former Gov. Sonny Purdue is president-elect Donald Trump's pick for secretary of agriculture.

This century’s most deadly outbreak of foodborne illness came out of the state of Georgia while secretary of agriculture nominee Sonny Perdue was governor, and there was not much he could do about it. After King Nut peanut butter made by Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) was implicated in the deadly nationwide outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium, investigators from… Continue Reading

EWG founder supports organic fee for marketing, research

Opinion

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Editor’s note: The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced this week that it is seeking public comments on a proposal for a nationwide research and promotion fee program to be paid by producers and handlers in the organic industry. Ken Cook of the Environmental Working Group wrote this opinion piece, which was originally posted on FoodTank.com on… Continue Reading

Trump to name Georgia’s Sonny Perdue to run the USDA

Ag secretary responsibilities include food safety efforts for meat, poultry, catfish and eggs

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The next secretary of agriculture is expected to be former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue. President-elect Donald J. Trump plans to announce the Perdue appointment Thursday, according to multiple media reports. As head of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Perdue’s responsibilities would include overseeing the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), which is the food safety agency for meat,… Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court asked to review DeCoster v. U.S.

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A writ of certiorari has been filed with the U.S. Supreme Court, requesting the high court review DeCoster v. United States. The government has until Feb. 15 to respond the writ. Appellate attorney Peter D. Keisler asks in the writ that the Supreme Court consider the case because a ruling by the 8th U.S. District Circuit… Continue Reading

Dairy industry seeks Trump’s help with Canada under NAFTA

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U.S. dairy organizations and the state departments of agriculture across the country turned to President-elect Donald Trump Wednesday to combat Canada’s existing and soon-to-be-expanded protectionist policies designed to block imports from the United States. They say the policies are in direct violation of Canada’s trade commitments under the North American Free Trade Act (NAFTA) and the… Continue Reading

USDA investment in research pays off with E. coli defenses

In the Nebraska laboratory of Rodney A. Moxley, intern Kenda Jackson examines blood agar plates while researching the effect of certain antibiotics on the detection of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli bacteria in cattle. Jackson, a recent graduated from Tuskegee University in Alabama, was part of a team supported by a USDA Coordinated Agricultural Project grant. Photo by Craig Chandler/University Communications

A $25 million research project that has already produced improved detection and eradication techniques for toxic E. coli is beginning its seventh year with the continued goal of reducing public health risks. Scientists and educators at 18 institutions have been working on the project, funded with a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture that… Continue Reading

Michigan governor nixes bill to kill mushroom certification

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An anti-regulation bill that would have eliminated a training requirement for people selling wild mushrooms to food establishments in Michigan has been vetoed by Gov. Rick Snyder. The measure, HB 5532, was approved along party lines by the Republican-controlled Michigan House of Representatives and Senate — 57-52 in the House and 26-11 with one not voting… Continue Reading

Secretary of Agriculture choice not as difficult as farm policy

NEWS ANALYSIS

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When the bitter cold began spreading over rural America last month, the parlor guessing game around many a wood stove was guessing who President-elect Donald J. Trump would name as secretary of agriculture. But the time for that game has passed. The past three presidents all named their ag bosses by the end of the… Continue Reading

Storms and stability ahead for food safety efforts in 2017

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Food safety in 2017 will be dependent on our “complicated bureaucracies” that exist to get through transitions and times of change. Both USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)  are sure to be  taking many “business as usual” actions in January. Confucius taught the Ancient Chinese bureaucracies… Continue Reading