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Food Safety News

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National Cattlemen’s Beef Association

Is Country-of-Origin Labeling a Food Safety Issue?

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Country-of-origin labeling (COOL) is not a food safety issue. Except when it is. The law requires that much of our food be labeled with its source country, but the requirement that meat be labeled with the specific country where the animal was born, raised and slaughtered is currently an issue at the World Trade Organization… Continue Reading

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

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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

Beef Research Money Tied to Record Low Cattle Population

America's cattle numbers are lower than ever, but safety research hangs on

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Beef lovers, you might want to make sure you’re sitting down. In 2013, the population of cattle in the U.S. hit its lowest point since the 1950s. It might not look like it from the line at the fast-food drive-through, but America’s herd size has actually been in decline since its peak in 1975, when… Continue Reading

Reagan Reflects on Food-Safety Record at Cattlemen’s Beef Association

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Looking back on his time at the the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, James “Bo” Reagan tends to focus on his work within the beef industry to help beat back the threat of E. coli. In the unending war between an entire industry and a single bacterium, he has likely led more battles than anyone else…. Continue Reading

Vilsack: With Sequester, USDA Would Have “No Choice” But to Furlough Food Safety Inspectors

Cattlemen accuse administration for playing politics with meat inspection

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Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and the White House have caused quite a stir in food and agriculture circles by warning that budget sequestration could lead to a two-week furlough of federal meat inspectors, which would effectively halt American meat and poultry processing. The meat industry has responded by arguing that the U.S. Department of Agriculture… Continue Reading

Jack in the Box and the Decline of E. coli

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In 1993, 623 people in the western U.S. fell ill with a little-known bacteria called E. coli O157:H7. Ultimately, four children would die from their infections; many others suffered long-term medical complications. The bug was later traced to undercooked hamburger served at Jack in the Box restaurants. This outbreak thrust foodborne illness onto the national stage… Continue Reading

R-CALF Says Checkoff Diverted to Influence Policy

An independent cattlemen’s group is charging its larger competitor with using federal “Beef Checkoff” marketing dollars to illegally influence government actions and policies. The Billings, MT-based R-CALF United Stockgrowers of America made the charge earlier this month against the Denver-based National Cattleman’s Beef Association in a letter to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, Attorney General… Continue Reading

Is the R-CALF Gang Eating Grilled Avocado?

The “Meatless Monday” campaign that urges Americans to cut their beef consumption by 15 percent suggests grilled avocado with salsa as the meat substitute of the week.   Pays Café in Billings, MT, where the leadership of the Ranchers Cattlemen Acton Legal Fund (R-CALF), is said to hang out, probably is not going to rustle… Continue Reading

Monopoly Practices Divide Rural America

FORT COLLINS, CO–The joint Department of Justice/USDA workshop that was held here was a day-long demonstration of how rural America’s views are widely differing when it comes to whether there is too much private contracting going on in the marketing and production of livestock and poultry.  The idea of government getting between producers and packers… Continue Reading

Obama Pushes Trade Deal With S. Korea

President Obama has directed the U.S. Trade Representative to launch new talks with the South Korean government to resolve issues holding up a bilateral free trade agreement. Ron Kirk, U.S. Trade Representative, said in a news release that he has been directed to initiate discussions with the Korean Minister of Trade Kim Jong-hoon, and have… Continue Reading