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China to lift ban on US beef instituted after 2003 BSE incident

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Chinese officials say they will lift a ban on U.S. beef imports imposed in 2003 after a case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, also known as BSE or mad cow disease, was confirmed in a Washington state cow imported from Canada. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack called Thursday’s announcement “a critical first step” following a recently concluded review of the… Continue Reading

Many get more time to meet FSMA record-keeping challenges

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(Editor’s note: This is Part 2 of a four-part series. Subsequent parts will post on the next two Mondays.) Some say today is why so many in the food industry missed out on summer. Today is the compliance day for two major elements of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), meaning it’s time to begin… Continue Reading

Letter From the Editor: Lessons about trade and food safety

Opinion

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One of my many pleasant memories of Chile is the sunny Sept. 1 lunch served for 350 people in a huge white tent during the “Conference International Berries 2016” held in Talca. Most of the conversation was in Spanish, putting me at a disadvantage. Every few minutes, I was getting some translated summaries from international… Continue Reading

Is there a government conspiracy against Hampton Creek?

Opinion

Just Mayo

Death threats. Paying off journalists. Threatening letters. Are these tactics used by Don Corleone in “The Godfather”? Or is it our own government’s efforts, perhaps with agribusiness lobby interests pushing them along, confronting what they seem to think is a major threat: a food company called Hampton Creek. Let’s review the turn of events. It… Continue Reading

Congressional battle continues over federal catfish regulation

Workers kill pangasius catfish before transfering them to the next processing line in a seafood factory in the Mekong delta of Vietnam. (© Jamesbox | Dreamstime.com)

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-WI, may want to wait until after the Nov. 8 election, when the House of Representatives returns for the lame-duck session, to decide whether there will be a vote on the nation’s new and evolving catfish program. Every week that goes by sees the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s new program for catfish inspection… Continue Reading

In-store meals present more food safety challenges for retailers

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Not too many years ago, you couldn’t walk into a supermarket and expect to buy prepared, ready-to-eat foods. Now, however, it’s common to find sushi, tacos, hot dogs and more complex dishes being served up at delis, in buffet lines, and at sit-down restaurants inside well-known grocery retailers such as Costco, Wegmans, and Whole Foods. Some Whole Foods… Continue Reading

States get $21.8 million from FDA to help farms comply with produce rule

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States looking for financial assistance to help them help farmers comply with FSMA’s Produce Safety Rule recently got some welcome news from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. FDA announced that it was awarding $21.8 million to 42 states to help plan, establish and/or enhance produce safety programs. The 2016-17 grant amounts range from $1.02 million to California… Continue Reading

Part 1: Protecting a diversified food chain

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(Editor’s note: This is Part 1 of a four-part series. Subsequent parts will post on the next three Mondays.) Foodborne illnesses and food recalls seem to dominate the news these days. All across the globe, we hear about people being sickened by contaminated milk, flour, fresh produce, raw seafood, frozen entrées, and myriad other products. Some… Continue Reading

Change is what’s predictable about the future of food safety

Opinion

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The third-annual Food Safety and Analysis Congress, held earlier this week at Cripps Court Auditorium on the beautiful campus of the University of Cambridge in England, brought together leaders from industry and academia to discuss the latest on foodborne illness surveillance and food fraud. I traveled to the event to serve as one of only three… Continue Reading

Oceana going overboard on fish fraud, according to seafood industry group

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The National Fisheries Institute (NFI) is calling into question both the findings and motives of the latest fish fraud study by Oceana, a global environmental group. The action marks a break between the two groups since they previously were largely in sync with one another over the worldwide problem of fish fraud, which is where lesser-value… Continue Reading