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Food Safety News

Breaking news for everyone's consumption

Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue

Opponents say USDA reorganization has multiple problems

Critics are continuing to noodle Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue’s plan to reorganize his large department, finding things they don’t like about it. Perdue’s desire to move U.S. involvement in world food standards to USDA’s trade office, taking it away from food safety, was the first change to stir controversy. Stephen Ostroff, the Food and… Continue Reading

Perdue’s plan pleases business, concerns food safety experts

FDA, USDA food safety veterans fear public interest will take back seat to exporters' interests

Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue is making a peculiar argument for transferring the U.S. Codex Office from food safety to trade. Perdue is claiming the move will better ensure that the international standards are “grounded in science,” which is the peculiar part. The U.S. Codex Office has long reported to the USDA undersecretary for food safety,… Continue Reading

Letter from the Editor: Vacancy says food safety not a priority

Opinion

I’m pretty jaded when it comes to the federal government — no matter who is running it. But I do know that without filling the spokes in the government’s wheels nothing is going to happen. And some spokes are more important than others. Faithful readers know Food Safety News is counting the days for the appointment by President Trump and… Continue Reading

Moving the U.S. Codex Office to USDA Trade is a big mistake

Opinion

One significant provision in Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue’s most recent realignment announcement would move the U.S. Codex Office from the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) to the newly created Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs (TFAA) office. While the move may seem inconsequential on the surface, this realignment will undermine the United States’ credibility… Continue Reading

Former USDA officials say feds critically short of veterinarians

Veterinarians' groups predict shortage of highly educated staff will decrease U.S. food safety

Sometimes when a door swings open, opportunity for change has the chance to enter. That’s what some members of the National Association of Federal Veterinarians are hoping will happen now that two top food safety positions at the U.S, Department of Agriculture are in line for new leadership. On July 31, Al Almanza retired from… Continue Reading

Letter From The Editor: Fill USDA’s top food safety posts now

Opinion

UPDATED: So far,  so good. Secretary Perdue has named, on a temporary basis,  two USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) career employees to the top jobs. Paul Kiecker is acting FSIS administrator and Carmen Rottenberg is acting deputy undersecretary for food safety. A couple days ago we ran Al Almanza official farewell message. He’s been… Continue Reading

A farewell message from Al Almanza after 39 years with FSIS

Opinion

Editor’s note: Originally posted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in a Constituent Update, this message from Al Almanza comes as he prepares for his last day on the job at the agency’s Food Safety and Inspection Service. He is set to retire July 31. After 39 years with FSIS, I am retiring from public… Continue Reading

Cattlemen sue USDA in federal court over Country of Origin Labeling (COOL)

State and national cattlemen’s associations hope to team rope the  U.S. Department of Agriculture in federal court over  regulations that they say allow beef and pork to be classified as “domestic products” even when the meat products involved are imported from foreign counties to confuse American consumers and harm U.S. farmers and ranchers. It’s an… Continue Reading

Brazilian beef ban petition fails to generate much interest

That petition on the White House’s “We the People” website calling for the United States to ban Brazilian beef was looking for 100,000 signatures. It fell a little short. In fact it was short by 97,985 signatures and is now locked down. The Billings, MT-based Rancher-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund or R-CALF USA was hoping the… Continue Reading

New leadership at USDA, FDA might increase outside meetings

Poultry, antibiotics, Ionophores and activities with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency were among the subjects of April meetings between Al Almanza, administrator of USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), and people outside the federal government. Almanza’s public calendar for April included five meetings, four before Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue was confirmed by the… Continue Reading