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Moving the U.S. Codex Office to USDA Trade is a big mistake

Opinion

One significant provision in Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue’s most recent realignment announcement would move the U.S. Codex Office from the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) to the newly created Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs (TFAA) office. While the move may seem inconsequential on the surface, this realignment will undermine the United States’ credibility… Continue Reading

Restaurant menus now likely to contain calorie counts by 2018

The Affordable Care Act is intact, Bill de Blasio is on hold, and FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb is on board. That means big restaurants’ menus might yet be required to include calorie counts under federal regulations. Let’s take these developments one at a time. Legal authority for menu labeling rests in that much-maligned but politically durable Affordable… Continue Reading

Country-of-origin labeling has no place in NAFTA 2.0

Opinion

In public policy, as in life, learning from past mistakes is a cardinal rule for success. That is why it was disappointing to see Thomas Gremillion from the Consumer Federation of America advocate for the reinstatement of mandatory country-of-origin labelling (MCOOL) for beef and pork in a recent guest opinion column on the Food Safety News website. Fore… Continue Reading

Former USDA officials say feds critically short of veterinarians

Veterinarians' groups predict shortage of highly educated staff will decrease U.S. food safety

Sometimes when a door swings open, opportunity for change has the chance to enter. That’s what some members of the National Association of Federal Veterinarians are hoping will happen now that two top food safety positions at the U.S, Department of Agriculture are in line for new leadership. On July 31, Al Almanza retired from… Continue Reading

Americans have a right to know: Where’s the beef — from?

Opinion

This week marks the beginning of formal talks to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, an agreement President Donald Trump has called the “worst deal in history.” To make it a better deal, his Administration released a set of negotiating objectives last month, but they ignored the most outrageous example of how American consumers… Continue Reading

FAO urges United Nations to establish World Food Safety Day

The General Assembly of United Nations is scheduled to consider establishing a World Food Safety Day when it meets in September. A recent draft resolution, adopted by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Conference on July 7, was forwarded to the secretary-general of the United Nations “with a view to having the General Assembly of the United Nations… Continue Reading

Appropriation Committees split over ban on equine inspections

With the ban on USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service spending any federal money on equine inspections set to expire Sept. 30, the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate are divided over whether to extend it. The last time a horse was legally slaughtered for human consumption in the U.S. was in 2007. Congress has turned… Continue Reading

Food safety regulation in UK to undergo change during Brexit

What’s going to happen after food safety in the United Kingdom is separated by Brexit from the European Food Safety Authority’s mothership in Parma, Italy? “Along with the EU (European Union) Exit, changing the way food businesses are regulated is one of our two key priorities for the years ahead,” says Heather Hancock, chairman of… Continue Reading

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