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IAFP 2015: Debating Three Food Safety Perspectives

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Routine epidemiological work still has an important role to play in this modern age of whole-genome sequencing, sustainability practices in the food industry aren’t hampering safety procedures, and the jury is still out on whether reducing sodium in processed foods is a food safety risk. Those were some general sentiments expressed Sunday during a roundtable debate at… Continue Reading

Senators Introduce Bill for Voluntary COOL Label

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Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and John Hoeven (R-ND) introduced a bill Thursday that would remove certain meats from the mandatory country-of-origin (COOL) labeling program and institute a voluntary label instead. In May, the World Trade Organization rejected a U.S. appeal of its decision that COOL on meat unfairly discriminates against meat imports and give the… Continue Reading

More Food Safety Issues Popping Up on WTO Committee Agenda

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China, Costa Rica, and the European Union earlier this month put new food safety-related issues on the agenda at the World Trade Organization’s Committee on Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Measures. China told the SPS Committee that it plans to amend its safety assessment of agricultural genetically modified food and feed, sometimes referred to as biotech… Continue Reading

Pennsylvania Health Officials Seek Higher Restaurant Fines After Letter Grades Fail

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The second-most populous county in Pennsylvania is planning to hike fines on restaurants that violate food safety regulations after local lawmakers refused to adopt the posting of letter grades. Officials with the Allegheny County Health Department in Pittsburgh are reportedly at work drafting the new plan and hope to start instituting higher fines and posting more public alerts… Continue Reading

Technology Gaps Outlined in CFSAN’s Science & Research Plan

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Some say technology is the driving force behind the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), and they may be right. One thing for certain is that food safety technologies are hitting the market at a quick pace since FSMA went on the books. And it’s far from over. The fact is the Center for Food Safety and… Continue Reading

Current UK Controls on Raw Milk Found Sufficient

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The Food Standards Agency (FSA) in the United Kingdom has decided to keep current restrictions on the sale of raw milk in place. It is legal in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland to supply raw or unpasteurized milk directly to consumers, but it may not be sold at retail or through supermarkets. FSA decided against… Continue Reading

Amendment to Increase FSMA Funding Fails in Committee

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The Senate Appropriations Committee approved the agriculture appropriations bill for fiscal year 2016 on Thursday after discussing a handful of amendments. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) proposed an amendment to increase the funding allocated for implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), but it was ultimately voted down. This came after referencing the case of Blue Bell… Continue Reading

Bill Banning State GMO-Labeling Laws Moves to House Floor

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The U.S. House Agriculture Committee has approved a bill that would put an end to state-level laws regulating the labeling of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in food. The bill, H.R. 1599, or the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015, would require a national standard for labeling laws related to GMOs — one that did… Continue Reading

Senate Ag Appropriations Bill Heads to Full Committee

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The Senate’s FY 2016 agriculture appropriations bill has received subcommittee approval and will be considered by the full appropriations committee on Thursday. The bill includes a $45-million increase for the Food and Drug Administration’s food safety activities. Although $3.5 million more than the House allocation, the increase is still less than half of the $109.5-million increase… Continue Reading

FDA Warning Letters: Undeclared Allergens, Seafood HACCP Problems

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Seven food companies received official notices about problems with their products in the latest round of warning letters from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The weekly warning letters covered everything from misbranded products, to illegal drug residues in beef, and violations of acidified food regulations. Four companies were notified to correct issues related to labeling. Chlodnia… Continue Reading