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Food Safety News

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Codex

Codex transfer was not held up for lack of talk about it

In most months, industry and consumer representatives, each get one meeting with USDA’s top brass at the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). But in September, acting FSIS Administrator Paul Kiecker and temporary Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety Carmen Rottenberg met twice with each group, once on Sept. 7 and again on Sept. 21…. Continue Reading

Food safety reprieve: Ag secretary pauses plan to move Codex

Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, for the moment, has backed off his controversial plan to transfer the U.S. Codex Office, which works on international food standards, from USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service to a new trade office in the department. In a letter to Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, R-KS, Perdue said there are two… Continue Reading

Opponents say USDA reorganization has multiple problems

Critics are continuing to noodle Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue’s plan to reorganize his large department, finding things they don’t like about it. Perdue’s desire to move U.S. involvement in world food standards to USDA’s trade office, taking it away from food safety, was the first change to stir controversy. Stephen Ostroff, the Food and… Continue Reading

Moving Codex out of FSIS will boost trade, not food safety

Opinion

Editor’s note: This guest opinion column by Dr. Richard Raymond was originally publish on MeatingPlace.com and is republished here with permission.  The U.S. Codex Office is moving from USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) to USDA’s Trade and Foreign Affairs Office and that may not be such a good thing. The Codex Alimentarius, aka… Continue Reading

WGS could be WMD in global battle against foodborne illness

Opinion

Editor’s note: This column by FDA’s Steven Musser and Eric L. Stevens was originally published on the agency’s blog. FDA is laying the foundation for the use of whole genome sequencing (WGS) to protect consumers from foodborne illness in countries all over the world. We recently traveled to Geneva to join a meeting of the Codex… Continue Reading

People’s Republic of China adopts a new 5-year food safety plan

The full text of the 13th Five-year Plan for Food Safety by China’s State Council, issued earlier this month, is available in Chinese. The document examines the status of food safety in China, acknowledging that some problems do exist, according to an English version of a news release from The State Council. The plan specifically… Continue Reading

Smithfield Sale Raises New Questions About the Future of Ractopamine

The sale of Smithfield Foods, the United States’ largest pork producer, to Shuanghui International, China’s largest meat company, raises new questions about the future of ractopamine, a controversial growth-promoting drug that is widely used in U.S. pork production and has long been the subject of trade disputes. As a report by the Food & Environment… Continue Reading

FDA Petitioned to Lower Ractopamine Limits for Meat, Review Health Impacts

Animal rights and food safety groups are petitioning the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to immediately lower the allowed residue limits for ractopamine — a controversial drug used to boost growth and leanness in meat production — and to study the drug’s effects on human health and animal welfare. The petition comes just days after… Continue Reading

U.S. and Russia Spar Over Ractopamine in Pork and Beef

The long-running international dispute over ractopamine, a drug used to boost growth and leanness in pork and beef production, has become even more contentious in recent weeks. Russia, which is an increasingly important export market for U.S. meat products, announced it will no longer accept meat from animals raised on the drug, and it will… Continue Reading

New Zealand Successfully Reduces Campylobacter Rates

After seeing a spike in Campylobacter illnesses, New Zealand has largely been able to sustain lower rates of these infections. But this feat has not been easy for the southern part of the island. One of the most common pathogens in the country, Campylobacter most recently peaked in New Zealand six years ago in 2006,… Continue Reading