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Food Safety News

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Why USDA Needs a New Program to Export Sandwiches to Canada

Which foods the U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulates and which foods the U.S. Department of Agriculture regulates are not easy questions to answer. One oft-repeated example used to demonstrate the complexities is that cheese pizza falls under the jurisdiction of FDA, but a pizza topped with pepperoni is under USDA’s jurisdiction. Another example is that USDA… Continue Reading

China Joins List of Countries Restricting U.S. Poultry Imports Due to Avian Flu

On Tuesday, China joined a growing list of countries barring U.S. poultry imports after avian influenza was found in backyard chicken and guinea fowl flocks in Oregon and Washington. More than 30 countries have banned or restricted the import of poultry originating in one or both of those states. China and the 28 members of… Continue Reading

China Bans Shellfish From U.S. West Coast for Arsenic and Toxin Levels

China has suspended imports of shellfish from the West Coast of the United States after finding  high levels of arsenic and a toxin that causes paralytic shellfish poisoning in recent shipments of geoduck clams from Northwest waters. The indefinite ban affects clams, oysters and all other two-shelled bivalves harvested off the coast of Washington, Oregon, Alaska… Continue Reading

Imports and Exports: The Global Beef Trade

Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture updated the nation’s stance on beef imports with regard to bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), the fatal affliction in cattle commonly known as “Mad Cow Disease.” The U.S. is moving to adopt international standards set forth by the World Organization for Animal Health, which bases trade policies on… Continue Reading

Publisher’s Platform: Food Safety – It’s a Global Issue

Food products now come to the United States from over 250,000 foreign establishments in 200 countries.  Indeed, 15 percent of fruits, 20 percent of vegetables, and 80 percent of seafood come from overseas. And, with the consumption of imported foods growing, we have seen an increase in recalls and foodborne illness outbreaks linked to them…. Continue Reading

Vilsack: Trade Barriers Against U.S. Food on the Rise

The number of food safety and plant health trade barriers plaguing U.S. agricultural exports is way up, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack told a congressional committee recently. “In the last 10 years, the number of sanitary and phytosanitary barriers we have had to deal with has increased from roughly 650 to close to 1,500 last year,”… Continue Reading

Animal Drug Widely Used in US Meat the Focus of Trade Dispute

A controversial animal drug, fed to a majority of pigs raised in the United States, has become the focus of a long-running trade dispute centered on meat exports. Ractopamine hydrochloride – used to keep swine lean and boost their growth in the last weeks before slaughter – is administered to an estimated 60 to 80… Continue Reading

USDA to Hold Import-Export Public Meeting

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is holding a public meeting to provide information and receive comments on agenda items, as well as to draft U.S. positions to be discussed at the 19th Session of the Codex Alimentarius Committee on Food Import and Export Inspection and Certification Systems (CCFICS). The… Continue Reading