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Food Safety News

Breaking news for everyone's consumption

Secretary of Agriculture

USDA saying less during transition, but scientists not gagged

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Reports of a black out on public information from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service are vastly overblown. ARS Chief of Staff Sharon Drumm did send out a three-line email Tuesday to the agency’s 2,000 scientists to let them know the agency would not be releasing any “public facing documents” until further notice…. Continue Reading

Top food safety job and others remain to be filled at USDA

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With the somewhat tardy appointment of former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue as secretary of agriculture combined with Senate Democrats taking their time with the confirmation process, there’s going to be a backup of some other important appointments at USDA and across the federal government. And the backup is occurring even though one man came close to… Continue Reading

When food safety crisis hit, Perdue had to prepare for next one

Former Gov. Sonny Purdue is president-elect Donald Trump's pick for secretary of agriculture.

This century’s most deadly outbreak of foodborne illness came out of the state of Georgia while secretary of agriculture nominee Sonny Perdue was governor, and there was not much he could do about it. After King Nut peanut butter made by Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) was implicated in the deadly nationwide outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium, investigators from… Continue Reading

Secretary of Agriculture choice not as difficult as farm policy

NEWS ANALYSIS

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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