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More money for military defense means less for food defense

Opinion

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Editor’s note: This column includes information from an “Advocacy at a Glance” posting by the Alliance for a Stronger FDA and analysis and commentary by Steven Grossman, deputy executive director of the alliance, both republished here with permission. President Donald Trump is proposing shifting $54 billion from domestic to defense programs in fiscal year 2018,… Continue Reading

Before you cast a ballot, find out how they voted on food safety

Opinion

To view an interactive map that includes how all 535 members of the U.S. Congress have voted on key food issues, please click the above image.

Editor’s note: Food Policy Action (FPA) issued its National Food Policy Scorecard for the 114th Congress on Oct. 17, revealing how members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives voted on key food issues. The organization released this statement with the scorecard, which is presented in the form of an interactive map on its… Continue Reading

Comprehensive verification toolkit is needed domestically, too

Opinion

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Dan Flynn’s June 6 article in Food Safety News, “Third-party auditor certification: Not the only tool in the toolkit,” makes the case that the Food and Drug Administration should not overly rely on third-party audits to oversee the safety of imported foods under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). This is certainly true for imported foods, given that Congress included… Continue Reading

House leaders asked not to vote on Senate resolution to end USDA catfish inspection

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A bipartisan congressional group mostly representing the Gulf states, but also including food safety advocate Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), has asked the House leadership not to take up the recently passed Senate resolution which would end the nation’s only catfish inspection program. “The Senate recently passed S.J. Res. 28, a Congressional Review Act resolution which overturns… Continue Reading

Letter From the Editor: Spending Trickles Down to Food Safety

Opinion

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They say that confession is good for the soul, so here goes. My confession is that I find most all of the peripheral food issues around food safety pretty boring. I was hoping Congress would take more of them off the table in the $1.1-trillion omnibus spending bill it passed on Friday. Just for the… Continue Reading

Spending Bill Includes $104-Million Increase for FSMA, COOL Repeal

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Late Tuesday night, the House of Representatives released a $1.1-trillion spending bill to fund the federal government through the end of the fiscal year, which is Sept. 30, 2016. Lobbyists for full funding of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) were pleased with the numbers. The Food and Drug Administration will receive a total of… Continue Reading

Fresh Produce Responsible for Most Foodborne Illnesses in the U.S.

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Fresh produce is the cause of most foodborne illnesses in the U.S., reports the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). In a study of outbreaks that occurred between 2004 and 2013, the consumer advocacy group found that fresh produce, such as cilantro, cucumbers, cantaloupes and peppers, caused 629 outbreaks and almost 20,000 illnesses. But… Continue Reading

WTO Authorizes $1 Billion in Retaliatory Tariffs Against COOL

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The World Trade Organization (WTO) has authorized Canada and Mexico to charge the U.S. $1 billion in retaliatory tariffs for country-of-origin labeling (COOL) on meat. Last spring, WTO rejected a U.S. appeal of its decision that COOL unfairly discriminates against meat imports and gives the advantage to domestic meat products. COOL, which went into effect for meat… Continue Reading

Food Policy Action Releases Scorecard for 114th Congress’ First Year

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For the fourth year in a row, Food Policy Action has published its National Food Policy Scorecard which reflects the votes of members of Congress and their co-sponsorship on bills related to a range of food issues. “While the average scores have increased by four points, the 2015 report illustrates a Congress that has so… Continue Reading

Food Safety Groups Oppose Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership

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The full text of the Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership (TPP) was released last week, and after initial reviews of the proposed treaty, concerns raised by food safety advocates during the negotiations have not been mollified. Debbie Barker, International Programs Director for the Center for Food Safety, says the predominant issues with TPP are the Rapid Response… Continue Reading