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Food Safety News

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Farm Bill

Senate votes to end USDA catfish inspections, which just got underway


The U.S. Senate has voted to shut down the nation’s only catfish inspection program, a move that would put more Americans at risk of exposure to carcinogens and antibiotics from Asian white fish, such as Vietnamese pangasius. Senators approved the Joint Resolution by a vote of 55-43 on Wednesday. It now goes to the House… Continue Reading

USDA Awards Food Safety Research Grants


Earlier this week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced the recipients of its latest round of food safety research grants. The nearly $19 million awarded to 36 institutions through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative, which is authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill, will help in understanding antimicrobial… Continue Reading

Agencies Reach Catfish Inspection Agreement Required by Farm Bill


After the 2008 Farm Bill moved the responsibility for catfish inspection from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) over to USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), the two agencies did not play nice with one another. Before long, USDA catfish inspection turned into a poster child for government duplication and wasteful spending. Millions… Continue Reading

‘Historic Wins’ for Organic Industry in New Farm Bill


“Like being thrown under the bus” was how organic farmers and others in the industry described their fate a little more than a year ago when Congress failed to agree on a new farm bill and instead extended the 2008 version. Gone were some previously funded programs — among them research, marketing, certification cost-share and data-collection… Continue Reading

Farm Bill 2014: FSIS Inspection Must Satisfy FDA Requirements?



I am betting your response to the headline was the same as when I read the news: HUH? The proposed Farm Bill has finally gathered the bicameral and bipartisan support of a conference committee. Food Safety News recently reported that the Farm Bill would require that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection… Continue Reading

U.S. Catfish Farmers Emerge As Big Winners in 2014 Farm Bill

They Get USDA Inspection and Crop Insurance Coverage


The USDA catfish inspection program, first authorized in 2008, is continued in the 2014 farm bill, which also includes a first-of-its-kind “crop insurance” program for catfish farmers. Most of the so-called political experts were predicting it would go the other way. One paid prognosticator went so far as to suggest that “Southern catfish farmers” were… Continue Reading

Farm Bill: No Repeal of Country-of-Origin Labeling

Man looking at meat package label

Livestock groups are expressing disappointment that “a fix” to country-of-origin labeling (COOL) was not included in the final farm bill and warning that they plan to actively oppose its passage through Congress. “COOL is a broken program that has only added costs to our industries without any measurable benefit for America’s livestock producers,” read a… Continue Reading

Finally, a Farm Bill


Congressional negotiators finally reached agreement on a new farm bill on Monday evening. A press release issued by the office of U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, hailed the agreement as a bipartisan, bicameral agreement. Stabenow said the five-year farm bill would reduce the deficit and help farmers and business… Continue Reading

Congress Might Vote Next Week on Much-Delayed Farm Bill


A U.S. House of Representatives vote on what was once going to be the 2012 Farm Bill might occur as early as Wednesday. The much-delayed bill may finally get to the floor as a conference report, according to the schedule for next week produced by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA). Conference committee members have… Continue Reading