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Food Safety News

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European Union

Confusion Greets New EU Food-Labeling Rules

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New rules went into effect Dec. 13 throughout the European Union to help people avoid 14 allergens in food by requiring labels, providing information on food allergies and intolerance, and offering voluntary best practices on cross-contamination controls for pre-packed and loose food items. The new rules impact restaurants, bakeries, delis and grocery stores, among others…. Continue Reading

Analysis: 30 Percent of NZ Baby Food Contained Pesticide Residues

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According to a recent analysis of a government study, New Zealand baby food contained nearly 800 times more pesticides than baby food in Europe. The analysis results and the perceived risks to New Zealand babies were presented Thursday to the parliament in Wellington by Dr. Meriel Watts of the Pesticide Action Network Aotearoa and Alison… Continue Reading

Europe’s Three Hepatitis A Outbreaks in 2013: What Can We Learn?

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In the first half of 2013, Europe dealt with three simultaneous outbreaks from the hepatitis A virus. Knowing that at least two of those outbreaks were connected to frozen berries, Europe’s Centre for Disease Prevention and Control set out to describe what could be learned from those outbreaks in an article published in Eurosurveillance. Those… Continue Reading

Leaked Trade Deal Chapter Fails to Shed Much Light on Food Safety Concerns

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Last week, the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy leaked a draft chapter of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) currently being negotiated between the United States and the European Union. The chapter proposed by the European Commission in June concerns Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) issues with food safety and animal and plant health. “This leaked… Continue Reading

Spokane Council Votes to Quit Using Neonicotinoids on City Property

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The city council of Spokane, WA, voted Monday to discontinue government use of neonicotinoids, a controversial class of insecticides that have taken the brunt of the blame for colony collapse disorder, the phenomenon causing significant declines in honeybee populations. The vote comes on the heels of last week’s Presidential Memorandum establishing a federal task force… Continue Reading

Critics Say Food Safety Standards Could Be Threatened by U.S./EU Trade Agreement

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Some call it the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) agreement. Others call it the Trans-Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA). Either way, it’s the trade deal currently under negotiation between the U.S. and the European Union (EU) for which the fifth round of talks start next week in Arlington, VA. While proponents of the agreement… Continue Reading

EPA Asked to Halt Pesticide Use on Apples Until New Safety Studies are Done

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The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is calling on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to halt use of a pesticide commonly applied to conventionally grown apples to limit storage damage until EPA has done further safety studies. EWG’s president, Ken Cook, wrote EPA on Thursday asking that the agency launch a new investigation to determine… Continue Reading

UK Pig Inspection Rule Changes Open For Public Comment

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In June of this year, the European Union will introduce new rules for pig meat inspections designed to minimize the risk of bacterial contamination on pork. The United Kingdom’s Food Standards Agency announced last week that it is requesting comments on the practical application of changes required by the rules. These comments are being solicited… Continue Reading

The View From Kiev: Ukraine’s Food Safety Improvements Will Eventually Align With the EU

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Food is a big part of the current political upheaval in Ukraine. As the world’s third-largest wheat exporter, the news from Kiev has already roiled the Chicago Board of Trade, and Russian threats to block imports from Ukraine are ratcheting up tensions. Much more in the background, but every bit as important to Ukraine’s future,… Continue Reading

Campylobacter, Salmonella Down; Listeria Up in EU

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In 2012, the European Union saw infections from Campylobacter and Salmonella fall, while those from Listeria rose, according to a yearly report on foodborne illness outbreaks published Wednesday by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). Campylobacter is still the most commonly reported foodborne disease in the E.U., though rates of infection fell slightly in 2012… Continue Reading