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Errington cheese back on sale despite Scottish warning, death

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One of Scotland’s Errington Cheese Ltd.  products returned to the market earlier this week against the wishes of the country’s top food safety agency. Sales of the Errington cheeses were banned in September because of an outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 that sickened 26 people and caused the death of a three-year-old child. After getting the… Continue Reading

Raw milk bill part of package to boost farm and ranch income

Montana Capitol Building

The bill to make the direct sale of raw milk legal in Montana is part of a package to boost farm and ranch incomes in the Big Sky State. The package includes cottage food legislation along with an agri-tourism section in addition to allowing milk to be sold without the benefit of pasteurization. All three topics are… Continue Reading

Virginia Senate prefers state, not FDA, to inspect produce farms

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If your business was subject to an unannounced, warrantless inspection, would you rather it be state or federal officials knocking on your door? That very question is being raised in Virginia for about 400 farms that produce more than $25,000 in annual income from fresh fruits and vegetables. Those farms are subject to the rules and regulations of the… Continue Reading

Letter to the Editor: Another option for USDA food safety post

Opinion

Gen. John Poppe

From Michael J. Gilsdorf Dear Editor, This is in reference to your article, “Raymond to Perdue: Top food safety candidate is in your backyard” published Jan. 27. I am the executive vice president of the National Association of Federal Veterinarians. NAFV has members who are Public Health Veterinarians working within the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) supervising… Continue Reading

Ranchers look for some traction on country-of-origin labeling

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As individual actions, they might not mean much. Collectively, they say Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL) is not going away anytime soon. Two states known for their cowboys, Wyoming and South Dakota, have seen early introduction of COOL bills in their legislatures, respectively, in Cheyenne and Pierre. Cattlemen headquartered in neighboring Montana have not given up on… Continue Reading

State ag leaders put food safety on priority list for 2018 farm bill

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Before it wrapped up its meetings this week in Washington D.C., the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) agreed to priorities for the 2018 farm bill. If that seems a little pre-mature, it’s not. Congressional leaders plan to get to work on the 2018 farm bill later this year. And food safety, specifically… Continue Reading

Candidates for FDA top job focus on drugs, not food, so far

Joseph Gulfo

Just ahead of the anticipated appointment of an FDA commissioner by President Donald J. Trump, there’s a bit of a buzz about a new candidate who is the fourth to be seriously considered for the job of regulating more than $1 trillion of annual economic activity. All the candidates for FDA commissioner are focused on the processes… Continue Reading

Montana lawmaker again pushing for unpasteurized milk sales

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Against the recommendations of the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, a state representative is trying for a third time to muster support for legalizing the sale of unpasteurized raw milk in the state. Introduced by Rep. Nancy Ballance, a Republican, House Bill 325 would allow herd- and animal-share programs to distribute raw… Continue Reading

Raw milk measure buried in Massachusetts legislation

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Tucked into a rambling bill “promoting agriculture in the Commonwealth” of Massachusetts that includes provisions on joy-riding all-terrain vehicle operators, rain sensors on residential landscape sprinkler systems, and sundry sections on land assessments, re-valuation and taxation, is language to legalize the sale of unpasteurized raw milk. The Massachusetts bill, SD 1796, includes more than 7,300… Continue Reading

States want ‘robust partnership’ with Washington D.C. on ag

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Policy goals for 2017 are being set this week by one of the nation’s smallest, but most powerful agricultural groups. The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) is meeting for its Winter Policy Conference, which is expected to bring together about 200 state, federal and private sector ag leaders. The gathering is occurring during… Continue Reading