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GE Salmon Company Fined Over Permit Problems in Panama

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The government of Panama has revealed that, in July of this year, it levied a fine on AquaBounty Technologies, the Massachusetts-based company seeking government approval to bring the first genetically modified salmon to market in the U.S. AquaBounty apparently did not have the necessary water use and water discharge permits necessary for running its operations in… Continue Reading

Industry Groups Ask Congress to Rescind Parts of COOL to Avoid Tariffs

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In a letter to Congress on Thursday, numerous U.S. manufacturing and agricultural interests formally began a campaign to remove elements of the country of-origin labeling (COOL) laws which apply to muscle cuts of meat. They say Congress should act now to rescind offending COOL language before final adjudication by the World Trade Organization (WTO) early next… Continue Reading

Hotline Launched for Reporting Cruelty, Neglect of Farm Animals

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The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has launched a hotline that offers a reward for whistleblowers who report cruelty and neglect on factory farms, at livestock auctions, and in slaughter houses. The organization is offering up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those who have committed acts of cruelty… Continue Reading

Consumer Marketing Win: Ending ‘Humanewashing’

Opinion

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Earlier this year, Cassandra White of Clarkston, GA, gathered more than 165,000 signatures for a Change.org petition asking Kroger to stop misleading customers. Kroger’s Simple Truth Natural Chicken bore the words “raised in a humane environment.” White said, “When I go to the grocery store, I read the labels carefully because I want to know… Continue Reading

FSIS: Slightly More Processing Plants Adopt Food Defense Plans

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The number of food processing plants in the U.S. with a food defense plan rose from 83 percent to 84 percent between 2013 and 2014, according to the latest Food Defense Plan Survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). A food defense plan is a system that works… Continue Reading

Consumer Reports Poll Finds Doctors Concerned About Animal Antibiotic Use

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Physicians are concerned about the agricultural practice of giving antibiotics to healthy animals for growth promotion and disease prevention, according to a poll conducted by the Consumer Reports National Research Center poll. The national poll, conducted last month, questioned 500 family practice and internal medicine physicians and found that 93 percent said they are concerned… Continue Reading

Are Recalls an Effective Element of Food Safety?

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Consumers have grown accustomed to the routine of food safety recalls: A food company announces a recall after releasing a product into the market that later turns out to be contaminated with a harmful pathogen, or is otherwise faulty. The company advises customers to check the identifying numbers on the product to see if theirs… Continue Reading

Food Issues Almost Completely Missing From November Ballot

Number of state ballot measures is down this year

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Were it not for the Oregon and Colorado ballot initiatives requiring labeling of some foods made with some genetic engineering, state ballots this year would be pretty much devoid of food, food safety and agricultural measures. The only exception, besides those two, is found in Hawaii, where a double majority is sought for Hawaii Bonds… Continue Reading

WTO Rules Against Country-of-Origin Labeling on Meat in U.S.

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The World Trade Organization (WTO) has ruled in favor of Canada and Mexico in an ongoing dispute with the United States over country-of-origin labeling (COOL) on meat. The latest U.S. labeling rules, put into effect in 2013, require meat sold in grocery stores to indicate the country, or countries, where the animal was born, raised and… Continue Reading

GAO: USDA Needs to Tighten Up Salmonella and Campylobacter Standards for Poultry

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The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is recommending that the Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) take action to reduce pathogen contamination on chicken and turkey products, make sure that agency food-safety standards are being met, and better assess whether on-farm practices are effective in reducing pathogens in live poultry. In a… Continue Reading