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FDA: Marketing, labeling of animal antibiotics to change in 2017

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is tightening up regulations on the marketing and labeling of so-called “medically important antimicrobials” used on food animals. Such a move has long been sought by those concerned about how overuse of such drugs can lead to antibiotic resistance and threaten public health. In recent weeks, the antibiotic-resistant “superbug” known as mcr-1… Continue Reading

Letter From the Editor: You cannot make this stuff up

Opinion

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As I’ve said before when writing about Chipotle Mexican Grill, you cannot make this stuff up. Just as Chipotle was running out its summer rewards programs for its most loyal and frequent customers, the company’s marketing man, Mark Crumpacker, was indicted in the Big Apple for allegedly being a repeat customer of a cocaine delivery service…. Continue Reading

USDA introduces ‘fix’ in testing for Salmonella in poultry

ARS agricultural engineer Yud-Ren Chen is developing a computer-directed scanning system that could help speed inspection of the nearly 8 billion chickens processed annually through federally inspected U.S. plants.  Photograph taken by Keith Weller (ARS).

Instructions for testing personnel to use a new “neutralizing buffer” solution to reduce the effect of antimicrobial sanitizers take effect today at USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). The “fix,” explained in a two-page FSIS Notice, is intended to address a problem turned up in research by USDA’s Agriculture Research Service (ARS). ARS researchers… Continue Reading

Judge strikes down USDA compost guidance, orders a do-over

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An industry trade group representing California and Arizona produce growers isn’t happy with a recent federal court decision striking down government guidance for using composted municipal green waste on organic farms. In a statement released June 21, Western Growers of Irvine, CA, expressed disappointment in the June 20 ruling by U.S. District Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley of the Northern… Continue Reading

Figi’s recalls snacks because of sunflower seed Listeria concerns

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More snack products are under recall because of potential Listeria monocytogenes contamination of sunflower kernels from Ontario-based SunOpta Inc. Figi’s Companies Inc. of Marshfield, WI, is recalling two of its products in a total of three package styles: 16-ounce Snack Shoppe Hot & Spicy Cajun Snack Mix in a foil bag that is contained in… Continue Reading

UPDATED: Foreign catfish discover the U.S. really does have borders

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Editor’s note on update: A list of specific retail locations that received the recalled product is now available on the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service website. Click here for the list  which may be updated as additional information becomes available. The U.S. border has suddenly become meaningful to importers of Siluriformes, including foreign catfish. It’s all… Continue Reading

Catfish debate brings partisans together to oppose one another

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If and when they allow it to come to a vote, leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives are apparently allowing individual members to vote their conscience when it comes to USDA catfish inspections. They can either support the Senate-approved resolution doing away with USDA catfish inspection and claim they are fiscal hawks, or they… Continue Reading

Oregon delays seeking federal funds for on-farm FSMA compliance checks

Apple orchard in Oregon

State agriculture officials will not be inspecting Oregon farms for compliance with the Food Safety Modernization Act anytime soon under a resolution unanimously approved last week by the Oregon State Board of Agriculture. The resolution, adopted June 8 at the board’s meeting in John Day, OR, states that since the Act’s produce safety rule will have “tremendous impacts” on Oregon… Continue Reading

Comprehensive verification toolkit is needed domestically, too

Opinion

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Dan Flynn’s June 6 article in Food Safety News, “Third-party auditor certification: Not the only tool in the toolkit,” makes the case that the Food and Drug Administration should not overly rely on third-party audits to oversee the safety of imported foods under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). This is certainly true for imported foods, given that Congress included… Continue Reading

FDA, FSIS slow the info flow; only one 2016 meeting reported

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It looks like top officials at both the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have fallen behind in the transparency department. Both FSIS and FDA have routinely published, after-the-fact, the calendars of their top officials, showing who they’ve been meeting with outside the federal government  This… Continue Reading