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GAO

GAO Finds Fault With Government Tests for Pesticide Residues

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Government agencies in charge of monitoring food for pesticide residues must step up their testing programs, said the Government Accountability Office in a new report. While data collected by these agencies has shown low levels of pesticide residue violations in the past few years, shortcomings in sampling methods mean some residue violations may be going… Continue Reading

GAO: USDA Needs to Tighten Up Salmonella and Campylobacter Standards for Poultry

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The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is recommending that the Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) take action to reduce pathogen contamination on chicken and turkey products, make sure that agency food-safety standards are being met, and better assess whether on-farm practices are effective in reducing pathogens in live poultry. In a… Continue Reading

Full Disclosure: Changes to Poultry Inspections Needed to Protect Public Health

Opinion

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For the past 15 years, USDA conducted a pilot project to inform how we modernize our inspection process – all to ensure that meat and poultry is safe to eat. Today, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), released a report on the project, known as the HACCP-Based Inspection Models Project (HIMP), and how FSIS has… Continue Reading

GAO Report Questions USDA Plans to Change Poultry Inspection Program

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A Government Accountability Office report being released Wednesday questions whether the U.S. Department of Agriculture used bad information to justify plans for nearly nationwide expansion of its poultry-inspection pilot program. According to Tuesday’s Washington Post, the GAO report was requested by U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), who has criticized USDA’s pilot program for allowing plants… Continue Reading

Rep. Markey Introduces SAFE Seafood Act to Combat Fish Fraud

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U.S. Rep.  Ed Markey (D-MA.) on Wednesday re-introduced a new, bipartisan version of a previously-introduced bill to combat widespread seafood fraud “that cheats fishermen and consumers, while posing health risks to pregnant mothers and others,” according to Markey. The bill comes on the heels of recent studies that found, on average, 33 percent of the… Continue Reading

Food Safety Remains on GAO’s ‘High-Risk’ List

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Food safety remains on the Government Accountability Office’s “high-risk” list, according to an update put out by the agency Thursday. As GAO noted in its report, the U.S. government is the “world’s largest and most complex entity” that runs an incredibly diverse range of programs, so the agency uses its high-risk list to draw attention… Continue Reading

Third-Party Audits – Their Crucial Role in Moving Forward With FSMA and Food Safety

Opinion

I recently had the honor of speaking at the 2012 Safe Quality Food International Conference in Cincinnati on the topic of the crucial role of third-party audits in moving forward with FSMA and food safety. In the talk, I spent time looking at what is working well with third-party audit systems, and where some of… Continue Reading

House Majority Leader Commits to Vote on Stalled Farm Bill

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While in Boise, Idaho on Thursday, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) publicly committed to holding a vote on the 2012 farm bill after the election. The commitment comes nearly a month after Congress let the last farm bill expire. “I’m committed to bring the issue to the floor and then to see a way… Continue Reading

GAO: FDA Should Improve Food Recall Communication

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The Government Accountability Office issued a report this week recommending that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration clarify its food recall process and do a better job communicating recalls and foodborne illness outbreaks to the public. The report is the latest in a series of GAO reports calling for reforms. The government watchdog agency has… Continue Reading

McCain Takes Aim at ‘Senseless’ Catfish Inspection Program

Senator and former presidential contender John McCain (R-AZ) is at war against “senseless” measures in the farm bill and the pending catfish inspection program is on his list of top targets. On the floor Thursday, Sen. McCain mocked a variety of farm bill programs, including a $15 million grant program to improve the sheep industry,… Continue Reading