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Congress Members Ask USDA to Drop COOL if WTO Disapproves

WTO said to have finished report

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If the World Trade Organization (WTO) sides with Canada and Mexico in their complaint that country-of-origin labeling (COOL) laws in the U.S. put their meat exports at an unfair disadvantage, the U.S. Department of Agriculture should rescind those laws and allow Congress to resolve the issue, said 112 members of Congress in a letter to… Continue Reading

FSIS Denies CSPI Petition to Declare Antibiotic-Resistant Salmonella an Adulterant

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Thursday was a busy day for the Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service. In addition to publishing its new poultry inspection rule, the agency also released its response to the Center for Science in the Public Interest’s petition, denying the organization’s request to have antibiotic-resistant Salmonella declared an adulterant. CSPI’s petition, originally filed… Continue Reading

DeLauro Introduces Bill to Tax Sugar-Sweetened Beverages

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On Wednesday, Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) introduced the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Tax (SWEET) Act — a tax on drinks such as sodas, energy drinks, sweet teas and sports drinks that she first announced at the National Soda Summit in Washington, D.C., on June 5. The SWEET Act would institute an excise tax of 1 cent per… Continue Reading

As More Imported Foods Reach the Dinner Table, Holes Remain in the FDA Safety Net

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(This report by Rick Schmitt was first published June 26, 2014, by FairWarning, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit news organization focused on public health, safety and environmental issues, and related topics of government and business accountability.) In April 2012, a team of inspectors from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) investigated a seafood company in… Continue Reading

Auditor Gave Positive Food Safety Reviews to Farms Later Linked to Outbreaks

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The third-party food safety auditor that gave a passing review to Jensen Farms just weeks before its cantaloupe caused a deadly Listeria outbreak in 2011 also gave a positive audit to the farm that shipped romaine lettuce implicated in a more recent E. coli outbreak tied to Trader Joe’s branded salads, according to documents obtained… Continue Reading

Could Funding Cuts to Food Safety Programs Make You Sick?

Opinion

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(This blog post by Michelle Forman was published July 23, 2014, at APHL’s LabLog and is reposted here with permission.) When public health works, no one sees it. That’s a common adage at APHL and is most frequently used when referring to the gross lack of — and ever-plummeting — funding for valuable public health programs…. Continue Reading

Groups Oppose Herbicide Approval, Citing Harm to Human Health and the Environment

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Although the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said in April that it plans to permit a new weed killer called Enlist Duo onto the market, consumer advocates are attempting to dissuade the agency from doing so before a final decision is made. The herbicide is a combination of 2,4-D and glyphosate and is made by… Continue Reading

Chinese TV Report Prompts McDonald’s and KFC to Drop U.S.-Owned Supplier

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China’s Dragon TV has thrust a Chicago-area meat supplier into the arms of its crisis communications team with public apologies and promises for quick corrective action. But Aurora, IL-based OSI Group could not act fast enough to stop McDonald’s and Yum! Brands Inc.’s KFC from cutting business ties with its Shanghai Husi Food Co. Ltd…. Continue Reading

Wisconsin Appeals Court Upholds Dairy Farmer’s Misdemeanor Guilty Verdict

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Wisconsin dairy farmer Vernon D. Hershberger has lost his appeal of the misdemeanor guilty verdict imposed last year by a jury and Sauk County Circuit Court Judge Guy D. Reynolds. In a 25-page opinion issued Thursday, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals upheld Hershberger’s conviction for violating a Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection… Continue Reading

Low-Budget Poultry Inspection – Ready or Not

Opinion

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Now that FSIS is moving forward with the Modernization of Poultry Slaughter Inspection rule, it’s time that all stakeholders face the issues identified in recent months. Standardizing industry training and methods of carcass sorting, worker safety, changing the carcass-by-carcass law, and classifying Salmonella as an adulterant are issues that have not been properly addressed by… Continue Reading