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Lawsuits & Litigation

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WA Dairies in Violation of Environmental Protection Laws, Court Rules

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A summary judgment has been awarded to the plaintiffs in lawsuits against four industrial dairies in the Lower Yakima Valley of Washington state for violations of environmental protection laws. The Community Association for Restoration of the Environment (CARE) and Center for Food Safety (CFS) argued that the dairies’ leaking lagoons and over-applied manure cause nitrates… Continue Reading

Utah Prosecutor Drops ‘Ag-Gag’ Charges Against Vegan Activists

Simple trespass charge remains

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For the second time, Utah prosecutors have dropped charges of “agricultural operation interference” that police had filed under the state’s new law for cloaking agricultural facilities with special legal protection. Prosecutors backed away from pursuing the so-called “ag-gag” part of their criminal case against four vegan activists from the Bethesda, MD-based Farm Animal Rights Movement. While… Continue Reading

Ex-Midamar Operations Manager Will Testify Against Former Employers

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The U.S. District Court for Northern Iowa has accepted the government’s plea bargain with a former Midamar Corp. operations manager, clearing the way for 50-year-old Philip Payne to become a witness against his former employers. Under the agreement, Payne pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to make and deliver false certificates and writings in exchange… Continue Reading

California’s Foie Gras Ban Overturned

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A judge in California has overturned the state’s ban on foie gras. The delicacy is made from fattened duck liver and is produced using “gavage” — a method of force-feeding a bird through a tube inserted in its mouth. The ban was passed in 2004 and went into effect in 2012. Its supporters argued that… Continue Reading

Attorneys Spar Over Vermont’s GMO-Labeling Law

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Attorneys presenting oral arguments before a federal judge in Burlington, VT, on Wednesday were depicted as giving that state’s first-in-the-nation law requiring labeling of food containing genetically modified ingredients (GMOs) its day in court. Actually, the Vermont law challenged by the Grocery Manufacturers Association has already had 210 days in court, and it’s sure to… Continue Reading

Defense Wants Indefinite Continuance for PCA Pre-Sentence Report Objections

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The Pre-Sentence Investigative Report (PSIR) for Stewart Parnell has been submitted to the court — ordinarily a sign that sentencing in a federal criminal case is drawing near — but apparently not in this case. Before PSIRs for Michael Parnell and Mary Wilkerson were readied, attorneys for all three defendants in the Peanut Corporation of… Continue Reading

DOJ Food-Safety Enforcement Role to Continue in 2015

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When producers of such staple foods as beef, eggs, and peanut butter found they were the targets of federal criminal prosecution, it became a top food-safety story of 2014. But is it likely that food-safety enforcement will continue to rely on these U.S. Department of Justice-led (DOJ) criminal cases in 2015? You can bet on… Continue Reading

CA Court Decision Will Place BPA Back on Harmful Chemicals List

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A California court recently upheld findings that the plastic chemical bisphenol A (BPA) is known to cause reproductive health problems. In 2013, the state’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) announced that it intended to add BPA to California’s Proposition 65 list of harmful chemicals and require companies to warn consumers when their products can expose… Continue Reading

First Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed in Listeria Outbreak Linked to Caramel Apples

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The first wrongful death lawsuit has been filed in California against Safeway Inc. over those commercially produced and prepackaged caramel apples now the subject of a 10-state Listeria outbreak responsible for five deaths so far. The wrongful death action naming Safeway Inc. as the defendant was filed by James Raymond Frey on behalf of his… Continue Reading

2014 in Review: Animal Antibiotics

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Food Safety News wrote a lot about antibiotic resistance this year — particularly the debate surrounding the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) plan to phase out the use of certain antibiotics in food animals, introduced in December 2013, and conversations sparked by the 16-month outbreak of multi-drug-resistant Salmonella Heidelberg linked to Foster Farms-brand chicken that… Continue Reading