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Lawsuits & Litigation

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Rancho Co-Owner Will Go To Trial Alone, Three Others Make Plea Deals

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Jury selection will begin July 16, 2015, in the federal criminal conspiracy case involving former Rancho Feeding Corp. co-owner Jesse J. Amaral Jr. The 76-year-old cattle company executive will be tried alone as three others, implicated in the alleged conspiracy to sell for human consumption cattle known to have cancerous eyeballs, have all made deals… Continue Reading

Parents of E. Coli Victim Sue Whole Foods

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The parents of Joshua Kaye are suing Whole Foods Market over their son’s death. Eight-year-old Joshua from Braintree, MA, died last summer from an E. coli 0157:H7 infection that turned into hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). Multiple people were sickened, and epidemiological evidence traced the source to grass-fed ground beef back to Whole Foods. “Federal agents were… Continue Reading

All Defendants Plead Not Guilty in Halal Case

Jury trial set for February

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The federal courts often move too slowly for some, but that was not the case Monday in the U.S. District Court for Northern Iowa. in just 18 minutes, officers of the Cedar Rapids, IA-based Midamar Corporation and the related Islamic Services of America were arraigned on federal felony charges, pleaded not guilty to all charges,… Continue Reading

Family Pizza Night Leads to Emergency Surgery for WA Man

Wire brush bristles can present a food-safety hazard

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For the Michael and Diane Norman family of Auburn, WA, a weekly tradition has been Pizza Friday. Diane, 48, would alternate picking up pizzas from different restaurants near their home south of Seattle, and she and her husband, their three sons, and their daughter and son-in-law would share them. “On this particular Friday (Sept. 19,… Continue Reading

Federal Prosecutors Add Four Defendants to Alleged Halal Mislabeling Case

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The government’s prosecution over alleged mislabeling of Halal beef for export to Southeast Asia just got bigger. Brothers Jalel and William “Yahya” Aossey, along with the Midamar Corporation and Islamic Services of America, will be arraigned in federal court on multiple felony charges next Monday, Dec. 15. Both businesses are based in Cedar Rapids, IA…. Continue Reading

Former Top U.S. Organic Peanut Butter Plant Now Stands Idle

Salmonella outbreak still being felt in New Mexico

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Before the foodborne disease outbreak two years ago that spread Salmonella Bredeney infections to 20 states, Portales, NM, could brag about Sunland Inc. being the nation’s largest producer of organic peanut butter. Now in bankruptcy, Sunland was forced in April to sell the plant responsible for those bragging rights for $26 million to help pay… Continue Reading

Court Orders LA Fish Processor Closed Until It Complies With FDA Regs

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Until it can safely produce food as required under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, Neptune Manufacturing Inc. in Los Angeles has been ordered to stop processing and distributing its smoked and pickled seafood products. According to a Dec. 4 news release from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), U.S. District Court Judge… Continue Reading

Trial of Halal Businessman in Iowa Postponed to March

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The October indictment of the founder of a Halal business based in Iowa will not be followed by a December trial. Citing the “complex nature of this case” and the “need for extended pretrial preparations,” the chief magistrate judge for the Northern District of Iowa has ordered the trial of 73-year-old William B. Aossey Jr…. Continue Reading

Judge Signs Forfeiture Order Against DeCoster’s Quality Egg, LLC

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His company’s guilty plea for bribing a USDA egg inspector is costing Austin (Jack) DeCoster’s Quality Egg,LLC an extra $10,000. U.S. District Court Judge Mark W. Bennett has signed a preliminary order of forfeiture ordering Quality Egg, LLC to pay $10,000 “representing proceeds derived from the illegal activity committed by the defendant.” Quality Egg, LLC… Continue Reading

More ‘Ag-Gag’ Bills Could be Decided Before Courts Rule on Challenge

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It’s unlikely that the constitutionality of the new “ag-gag” laws of Idaho and Utah will be known until after those states hold legislative sessions in 2015, and maybe even until after another round of lawmaking in 2016. The controversial “ag-gag” statutes, which prevent undercover investigations at animal agriculture facilities, were adopted in Utah in 2013… Continue Reading