Header graphic for print

Food Safety News

Breaking news for everyone's consumption

Agricultural Marketing Service

USDA’s organic enforcement efforts find fraudulent certificates

The USDA’s National Organic Program completed more complaint reviews and investigations that it received in 2017.  It finished work on 462 reviews and investigations while receiving 379 incoming complaints during the fiscal year 2017 ending last Sept. 30. Under the jurisdiction of USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service, the organic program recently updated reports on enforcement activities and… Continue Reading

Head of USDA’s organic program steps down after 8 years

The USDA’s National Organic Program will have new leadership as of October when Miles McEvoy steps down after eight years at the helm. McEvoy, who has been deputy administrator of the National Organic Program within USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service, announced his departure in a Sept. 10 letter he said he sent to the “organic community.”… Continue Reading

USDA to Expand Group Food Safety Certification for Small Growers

Farmers who want to sell their produce in certain markets, such as big-box stores, have to get certain food safety certifications, but not everyone can afford to scale up. USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is trying to help. An increasing number of retailers require their suppliers to have Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) certification, which verifies… Continue Reading

Scientists Studying Salmonella in Cattle Lymph Nodes

If you eat undercooked beef, it’s not just E. coli you have to worry about. Salmonella may be predominately associated with poultry, but beef can also be contaminated with the pathogen. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 23 percent of the outbreaks attributed to beef between 2009 and 2013 were caused by… Continue Reading

Pesticide Data Program Shows Little Contamination in 2011

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) released its latest summary of the Pesticide Data Program (PDP) last month.  In its 21st annual summary of the program, the AMS stated that for the calendar year 2011 overall pesticide residues found on foods tested were below the maximum legal residue levels set by the… Continue Reading

Ag Research Needs More Funding, Say Experts

The United States currently leads the world in food production; but in order for this to remain true, the government must invest more in agricultural research, says a committee of the nation’s leading scientists and technology experts in a new report to the president. The document, issued Friday by the President’s Council of Advisors on… Continue Reading

Food Safety Wins Thumbs-Up in 2012 Specialty Crop Grants

It’s a green light for food safety from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s 2012 specialty crop grants, with 8.4 percent of the total number of grants going to food safety projects – among them research, education, training and initiatives. The focus of many of these grants is directed toward smaller-scale farms. Specialty crops are defined by… Continue Reading

Letter From The Editor: Produce Testing Saving Lives

Opinion

In May, I wrote a column in this space suggesting that through its successful lobbying to “zero out” funding for the Microbiological Data Program in the fiscal year 2013 budget, that big fruit and vegetable lobby had blood on its hands. At the time, friends thought it was a little bit overboard–even for me. Events… Continue Reading

USDA Budget Cut Could Slash 80 Percent of Produce Testing

The nation's largest pathogen testing program may shut down this month

Public testing for pathogens like E. coli, Salmonella and Listeria on fresh produce will drop by more than 80 percent if a key U.S. Department of Agriculture testing program is eliminated, according to an analysis by Food Safety News. The USDA’s Microbiological Data Program was zeroed out in the Obama administration’s 2013 budget request and… Continue Reading

Lettuce Recall Prompts Call to Fund Microbiological Data Program

On the heels of Dole’s announcement that the company is recalling nearly 800 bags of lettuce after Salmonella was detected by state health officials conducting random sampling in New York state, U.S. PIRG (the federation of State Public Interest Research Groups) is chastising a plan to cut the nation’s largest produce testing program. “The Agriculture… Continue Reading