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Judge strikes down USDA compost guidance, orders a do-over

Applying industrial compost

An industry trade group representing California and Arizona produce growers isn’t happy with a recent federal court decision striking down government guidance for using composted municipal green waste on organic farms. In a statement released June 21, Western Growers of Irvine, CA, expressed disappointment in the June 20 ruling by U.S. District Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley of the Northern… Continue Reading

Figi’s recalls snacks because of sunflower seed Listeria concerns

recalled Figis snacks

More snack products are under recall because of potential Listeria monocytogenes contamination of sunflower kernels from Ontario-based SunOpta Inc. Figi’s Companies Inc. of Marshfield, WI, is recalling two of its products in a total of three package styles: 16-ounce Snack Shoppe Hot & Spicy Cajun Snack Mix in a foil bag that is contained in… Continue Reading

UPDATED: Foreign catfish discover the U.S. really does have borders

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Editor’s note on update: A list of specific retail locations that received the recalled product is now available on the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service website. Click here for the list  which may be updated as additional information becomes available. The U.S. border has suddenly become meaningful to importers of Siluriformes, including foreign catfish. It’s all… Continue Reading

Catfish debate brings partisans together to oppose one another

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If and when they allow it to come to a vote, leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives are apparently allowing individual members to vote their conscience when it comes to USDA catfish inspections. They can either support the Senate-approved resolution doing away with USDA catfish inspection and claim they are fiscal hawks, or they… Continue Reading

Oregon delays seeking federal funds for on-farm FSMA compliance checks

Apple orchard in Oregon

State agriculture officials will not be inspecting Oregon farms for compliance with the Food Safety Modernization Act anytime soon under a resolution unanimously approved last week by the Oregon State Board of Agriculture. The resolution, adopted June 8 at the board’s meeting in John Day, OR, states that since the Act’s produce safety rule will have “tremendous impacts” on Oregon… Continue Reading

Comprehensive verification toolkit is needed domestically, too

Opinion

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Dan Flynn’s June 6 article in Food Safety News, “Third-party auditor certification: Not the only tool in the toolkit,” makes the case that the Food and Drug Administration should not overly rely on third-party audits to oversee the safety of imported foods under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). This is certainly true for imported foods, given that Congress included… Continue Reading

FDA, FSIS slow the info flow; only one 2016 meeting reported

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It looks like top officials at both the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have fallen behind in the transparency department. Both FSIS and FDA have routinely published, after-the-fact, the calendars of their top officials, showing who they’ve been meeting with outside the federal government  This… Continue Reading

House leaders asked not to vote on Senate resolution to end USDA catfish inspection

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A bipartisan congressional group mostly representing the Gulf states, but also including food safety advocate Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), has asked the House leadership not to take up the recently passed Senate resolution which would end the nation’s only catfish inspection program. “The Senate recently passed S.J. Res. 28, a Congressional Review Act resolution which overturns… Continue Reading

Health Canada may allow the sale of irradiated raw ground beef

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Health Canada plans to suggest amendments to the country’s Food and Drug Regulations in June which would add ground beef to the list of foods permitted to undergo radiation treatment before being sold in Canada. The rationale behind changing the regulations is that irradiation of raw ground beef will prevent the spread of E. coli and other… Continue Reading

FDA’s Foreign Supplier rule has an especially ambitious agenda

FDA inspectors checking fish

Of the seven rules the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued under the 2011 Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), the one regarding Foreign Supplier Verification Programs (FSVP) is particularly ambitious. It attempts a number of things never done before with respect to the U.S. food safety system. As FDA describes it, FSVP requires importers… Continue Reading