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Senate confirms 31st Secretary of Agriculture: Sonny Perdue

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

Sonny Perdue today is the 31st Secretary of Agriculture, having won confirmation by the U.S. Senate in an 87-to-11 vote on Monday. The former governor of Georgia succeeds Tom Vilsack, who led the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the past eight years and who endorsed Perdue as his successor once the former Georgia governor was… Continue Reading

Senate fiddles as rural America burns waiting for ag secretary

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

Sonny Perdue will be confirmed as the nation’s 31st Secretary of Agriculture. It’s just a matter of whether it will occur before or after the U.S. Senate goes on vacation. Ahead of their recess, the Senate is obsessed with Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch’s fate and time seems to be slipping away for also getting… Continue Reading

States need $100M more for Food Safety Modernization Act

ANALYSIS

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President Trump may have proposed a “skinny budget” for most domestic spending, including food and agricultural program for the next fiscal year, but nobody is taking it seriously. Congress always reacts to presidential budgets with the same three words: “Dead on Arrival.” For more serious guide posts, it’s always better to look at what the serious… Continue Reading

Near confirmation, Perdue says no to Brazilian beef embargo

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Former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue thinks it would be an over-reaction for USDA to embargo Brazilian beef because of that country’s federal investigation of meat inspectors being bribed to overlook standards for exported meat. Perdue responded to questioning by Sen. John Thune, R-SD, during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry, which lasted… Continue Reading

Sonny Perdue set to face Senate ag committee Thursday

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Secretary of Agriculture-designate Sonny Perdue will finally get his hearing tomorrow before the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee. President Trump nominated the former Georgia governor to serve as America’s 31st Secretary of Agriculture nine weeks ago. It is not clear why there’s been such a delay in getting the Committee hearing scheduled. The Senate… Continue Reading

More money for military defense means less for food defense

Opinion

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Editor’s note: This column includes information from an “Advocacy at a Glance” posting by the Alliance for a Stronger FDA and analysis and commentary by Steven Grossman, deputy executive director of the alliance, both republished here with permission. President Donald Trump is proposing shifting $54 billion from domestic to defense programs in fiscal year 2018,… Continue Reading

Trump’s well-done habits could bode well for food safety

Opinion

On the campaign trail, then-candidate Donald Trump chowed down on a wide variety of foods for photo opportunities.

While it may appear safe to assume that President Trump will have no interest in these issues, determining his impact on the food safety agenda actually will require a nuanced effort. Notwithstanding the tweet complaining about the so-called “food police” and a leaked phone conversation about imposing stricter food safety standards for trade purposes, President… Continue Reading

Trump sheds little light on food safety plans; names advisers

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Even though President Donald Trump did not mention food safety in his first speech before a joint session of Congress on Tuesday night, one observer with a finely tuned food safety focus says the new commander-in-chief might be heading in a good direction. With the announcement Monday that Ray Starling will be part of the… Continue Reading

Raw milk producer appeals cease and desist order today

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Today, Ottawa area farmer Michael IIgert is scheduled to ask for removal of a cease and desist order that prevents him from selling or distributing milk that has not been pasteurized. A hearing is set for this morning in Ontario before the Health Services Appeal and Review Board. The cease and desist order, issued in December 2016, came… Continue Reading

The intersection of science and safety: NY testing pays off

Dairy microbiology is just one of the specialty areas covered by staff at the New York Food Laboratory.

The work of 43 people in New York led to more than 300 recalls and the removal of contaminated food from countless store shelves across the country in 2016, preventing illnesses and protecting the public. Those 43 people — microbiologists, chemists and support staff at the New York State Food Laboratory — were crucial to the… Continue Reading