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USDA delays Obama’s organic livestock standards for review

File comments at regulations.gov after USDA/AMS posts notice today in the Federal Register

The USDA is today publishing a notice in the Federal Register to further delay and reconsider new mandates for handling and transporting livestock and providing avian “living conditions” for poultry raised as organic food. Without the action, the new requirements under the National Organic Program would have taken effect today. Meat and poultry products labeled as… Continue Reading

2015 in Review: Animal Antibiotics

It’s difficult to summarize what happened on the animal antibiotics front this year. There were lots of pledges, lots of discussions and lots of reports, but not very many actions. Still, we still wanted to recap what happened in the 2015 regarding animal antibiotics. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that antibiotic-resistant infections… Continue Reading

White House Releases Fall 2015 Regulatory Plan

The White House has released its “Current Regulatory Plan and the Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions” for fall 2015, which provides an overview of the Obama administration’s regulatory plans for the coming year. Two final rules expected to be released next month by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS)… Continue Reading

Obama’s Choice for FDA Commissioner Gets Senate Hearing on Tuesday

An important step on the road to confirmation for President Obama’s choice as the next U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commissioner will be taken this coming Tuesday. That’s when the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee will hold a full public hearing on Dr. Robert Califf’s nomination. If he is confirmed by the… Continue Reading

Could a Single Food-Safety Agency be the Answer?

Opinion

(This article by Baylen J. Linnekin was published here on Feb. 7, 2015, and is reposted with permission. He is executive director of the Keep Food Legal Foundation and an adjunct professor at George Mason University Law School, where he teaches Food Law & Policy.) This week, with little fanfare, the Obama administration released a proposed 2016… Continue Reading

2014 in Review: Animal Antibiotics

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

Letter From the Editor: ‘Craig Memo’ Neuters Freedom of Information Act

Opinion

It was 48 years ago this Fourth of July weekend that President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the original two-page Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). LBJ reportedly was reluctant about opening federal records to the public, but he nonetheless promoted it by saying this would be “the most transparent” administration in history. Just kidding… Continue Reading

White House Threatens to Veto House Ag Appropriations Bill

The Obama administration said on Tuesday it would likely veto the House agriculture appropriations bill, just as versions of the funding provisions are moving through both the House and Senate. “The bill severely undermines key investments in financial oversight in a manner that would cripple Wall Street reform, and impedes implementation of statutorily-mandated financial regulations,”… Continue Reading

Health Professionals Ask Obama to Take Stronger Action on Antibiotics in Ag

Citing the growing threat from antibiotic resistant infections, nearly 800 health care professionals signed onto a letter sent to the Obama administration on Tuesday urging more limits on antibiotics used in food animal production. “Current patterns of antibiotic use in agriculture not only increase the risk of antibiotic-resistant infections in people but also support an… Continue Reading

Obama Administration Seeks FDA Funding Increase for FSMA Implementation

The Obama administration is requesting cuts at most agencies in its 2014 budget, released on Wednesday, but seeking a significant increase in funding at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to help the agency implement the monumental Food Safety Modernization Act. While the administration’s budget is very unlikely to be enacted, it underscores the White… Continue Reading