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Coalition of Consumer Groups Suggests Ways to Fix GRAS

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Last year, the Food and Drug Administration agreed to finalized its rule for the process of determining food substances as “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS). Now, a coalition of consumer advocacy groups has submitted an 80-page regulatory comment to the agency requesting that FDA make changes to the rule before it becomes final. FDA’s 1997 proposed… Continue Reading

McDonald’s Plans to Phase Out Chicken Fed Medically Important Antibiotics

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Fast-food giant McDonald’s announced Wednesday that, within two years, all of the chicken served at its 14,000 U.S. restaurants will come from farms which raised the birds without medically important antibiotics. The move could help limit the overuse of antibiotics in agriculture which contributes to an increase in antibiotic-resistant bugs that sicken humans. “Our customers want… Continue Reading

2014 in Review: Animal Antibiotics

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Food Safety News wrote a lot about antibiotic resistance this year — particularly the debate surrounding the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) plan to phase out the use of certain antibiotics in food animals, introduced in December 2013, and conversations sparked by the 16-month outbreak of multi-drug-resistant Salmonella Heidelberg linked to Foster Farms-brand chicken that… Continue Reading

Settlement Reached in GRAS Lawsuit Against FDA

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has agreed to finalize its rule for the process of determining food substances as “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS). The decision is part of a settlement agreement with the Center for Food Safety (CFS), which sued the agency last February, seeking to vacate FDA’s 1997 proposed rule on GRAS. The… Continue Reading

FDA Asked to Ban Certain Chemicals Used in Pizza Boxes, Other Packaging

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Nine consumer and environmental health groups petitioned the Food and Drug Administration this week seeking a ban on the use of certain chemicals in food packaging. The petitions target perchlorate, which is added to sealing gaskets for food containers and to reduce static in dry food packaging, and a family of chemicals known as long-chain… Continue Reading

EPA Sued to Ban Neurotoxic Insecticide Use on Crops

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Last week, the Pesticide Action Network North America (PANNA) and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) sued the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), asking the court to ban chlorpyrifos, an insecticide that can interfere with the brain development of fetuses, infants and children. Chlorpyrifos can cause nausea, dizziness and confusion, and, at very high exposures, respiratory paralysis and… Continue Reading

NRDC Releases FSIS Inspection Reports on Foster Farms

Group calls many of the reports 'incredibly unsavory'

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At first blush, it might seem like overkill to go back five years collecting noncompliance reports (NRs) from USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) for all Foster Farms facilities. That’s exactly what the New York City-based National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) did Thursday in dumping 300 pages of NRs on Foster Farms in the public square…. Continue Reading

Report Identifies Chemicals ‘Quietly Added’ to Food Under GRAS

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The “generally recognized as safe,” or GRAS, determination for food additives has been getting a lot of attention lately for being a regulatory loophole. The main issue is that GRAS allows companies to decide whether a substance meets the definition of GRAS without mandating a review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration before being… Continue Reading

Is the GRAS Process Broken?

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From spices to preservatives, U.S. food manufacturers have access to thousands of globally sourced substances to enhance the flavor, texture, and appeal of their products. But some question whether the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) adequately regulates the safety of these abundant substances. Groups such as The Pew Charitable Trusts and the Natural Resources… Continue Reading

NRDC Analysis of FDA Documents Finds Livestock Antibiotics ‘High Risk’ to Humans

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According to a safety review conducted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, penicillin and tetracycline antibiotic feed additives approved for “nontherapeutic use” do not meet the agency’s current safety standards. In a Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) report released today, previously undisclosed FDA documents reveal that none of the 30 products reviewed between 2001… Continue Reading