Header graphic for print

Food Safety News

Breaking news for everyone's consumption

Secretary of Agriculture

Secretary of Agriculture choice not as difficult as farm policy



When the bitter cold began spreading over rural America last month, the parlor guessing game around many a wood stove was guessing who President-elect Donald J. Trump would name as secretary of agriculture. But the time for that game has passed. The past three presidents all named their ag bosses by the end of the… Continue Reading

Food safety expertise could trump ho-hum ag appointment


One of the nation’s past top food safety officials might be named Secretary of Agriculture by President-elect Donald J. Trump. Cuban-born Texan Professor Elsa Murano, who served as U.S. Under Secretary of Agriculture for Food Safety in the administration of President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2004, is a late edition to a list… Continue Reading

Appeal could put Secretary of Agriculture in courthouse door


For the first time since the U.S. Department of Justice increased filing criminal charges for food safety violations, it may get its wings clipped just a bit by a challenge to district court jurisdiction in some limited instances. At issue is a jurisdictional question being raised on appeal that could prevent some criminal charges from… Continue Reading

Halal appeals get meaty; federal court jurisdiction challenged


When it went through the trial court, the case just seemed like a switch-a-roo scheme that got busted. But now, a consolidated appeal with oral arguments planned is sparking  broader interest because it’s become a question about the jurisdiction of federal courts. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit has allowed the federal government… Continue Reading

A question of the Secretary of Agriculture’s jurisdiction


After an Iowa  jury found the founder of Midamar Corp. guilty of a scheme to falsify documents behind certain Halal beef shipments several years ago, others involved “plead out.” But Midamar and Jalel Aossey, who had to step down as head of  the closely-held family corporation, are asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the… Continue Reading

A Look Back at Food Safety During Obama’s First Six Years


Since the Obama administration took over the executive branch more than six years ago, foodborne illnesses from meat, poultry and eggs — products regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture — has been falling. In fact, just from fiscal year 2013 to 2014, illnesses from meat and poultry has fallen by 10 percent, according to… Continue Reading

Secretary Vilsack Says Another Option Needed for Unwanted Horses


U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack told reporters Wednesday Congress should come up with a better solution for handling unwanted horses than slaughtering the animals for meat for human consumption. His comments came as USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service has five at least partially completed applications to slaughter horses for human consumption, probably only… Continue Reading

Letter From The Editor: Predictions Anyone?



Twenty-nine men and one woman have served as Secretary of Agriculture since the office was created when the U.S. Department of Agriculture achieved cabinet-level status in 1889. With the especially close Nov. 5 general election only a couple months away, in all likelihood, a new Secretary of Agriculture will be appointed in a matter of… Continue Reading