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Out with the old, in with the new-ish in USDA’s No. 2 post

Al Almanza puts in his retirement papers; confirmation process begins for Stephen Censky

The Al Almanza decade as USDA’s most important figure in food safety is ending, and Stephen Censky is coming in as deputy secretary to help Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue run the department. Almanza, deputy under secretary for food safety and administrator of USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), is retiring from government effective July… Continue Reading

IAFP debate: Is the pizza or the box actually causing obesity?

TAMPA, FL  — There are no “snowflakes” or demands for “safe spaces” from any of the attendees of the International Association for Food Protection. Instead there is a willingness to take sides and debate any issue relating to food safety. Take Stephen Base of Texas A&M University who was willing to step in late and argue the… Continue Reading

Coastal lawmakers call for ‘bait-to-table’ labeling for ocean fish

Representative Blake Farenthold, R-TX, has reintroduced a bill intended to cut down on seafood fraud and protect American fishermen. He says his Protecting Honest Fishermen Act would level the playing field for Americans who play by the rules and have to compete with foreign fishing operations that mislabel products. Farenthold was joined in the introduction by Rep…. Continue Reading

President Trump likely to sign popular agro-terrorism bill

President Donald J. Trump is shortly expected to sign H.R. 1238, also called the “Securing our Agriculture and Food Act,” to coordinate efforts to defend U.S. food, agriculture and veterinary systems against terrorism. Congress sent the bill to the White House for the President’s consideration on June 27. The bill amends the Homeland Security Act of… Continue Reading

County won’t name food vendor behind Rifle Rodeo outbreak

Health officials say they’re sure food from a specific vendor at the Rifle Rodeo in Garfield County, CO, caused an outbreak that sickened 40 percent of attendees, but they won’t name the rodeo organizer or the food vendor — neither of whom obtained required permits and neither of whom will be fined. About 80 of… Continue Reading

Watchdog group sues USDA for names of poultry companies

Food & Water Watch says new poultry inspection system gives companies too much autonomy

Food & Water Watch has filed suit against the USDA because the agency will not release the names of companies that have applied to switch to a voluntary program that allows for non-government poultry inspections. In its complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in Washington D.C., the watchdog group refers to the U.S. Department of… Continue Reading

Health advocates say FDA ignored law, science on perchlorate

Agency won't ban chemical from food packaging despite evidence it causes infant brain damage

Using the same mechanism that resulted in the banning of cyclamates in 1970, a group of public health watchdog organizations is challenging the FDA’s decision not to ban perchlorate in food packaging. The consumer advocates say the Food and Drug Administration ignored scientific evidence that shows the chemical disrupts fetal and infant brain development, causing… Continue Reading

Batistas agree to pay largest ‘leniency fine’ in Brazil’s history

Beef bribery scandal reached highest elected officials in Brazilian government

Beef brothers Joesley and Wesley Batista appear to be surviving the scandal that may bring down Brazilian President Michel Temer.  Shareholder challenges and reviews by U.S. regulators could still be ahead for the meatpackers in the near future. However, their J&F Investments, the largest shareholder of worldwide meatpacker JBS SA, has agreed to pay a $3.2 billion… Continue Reading

Death by a thousand cuts

Budget blade emerges as Trump's weapon of mass destruction of choice against food safety

Opinion

Editor’s note: This opinion piece by Phyllis Entis was originally published on eFoodAlert.com and is reposted here with permission. Donald Trump has declared war. Not on North Korea; not on ISIS or Iran. Certainly not on Russia. Donald Trump has declared war on the Food Safety Modernization Act. Trump has not asked Congress to repeal the… Continue Reading

Trump’s budget — Does FDA get a 9% increase or 31% cut?

Opinion

Editor’s note: This was originally published May 26, 2017, on the website of the Alliance for a Stronger FDA. The alliance is committed to an ongoing, multi-year effort with two specific goals — to assure that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has sufficient resources to protect patients and consumers, and to maintain public confidence and trust in… Continue Reading