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Food Safety News

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Senate

Senators Introduce Bill for Voluntary COOL Label

Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and John Hoeven (R-ND) introduced a bill Thursday that would remove certain meats from the mandatory country-of-origin (COOL) labeling program and institute a voluntary label instead. In May, the World Trade Organization rejected a U.S. appeal of its decision that COOL on meat unfairly discriminates against meat imports and give the… Continue Reading

Amendment to Increase FSMA Funding Fails in Committee

The Senate Appropriations Committee approved the agriculture appropriations bill for fiscal year 2016 on Thursday after discussing a handful of amendments. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) proposed an amendment to increase the funding allocated for implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), but it was ultimately voted down. This came after referencing the case of Blue Bell… Continue Reading

Senate Ag Appropriations Bill Heads to Full Committee

The Senate’s FY 2016 agriculture appropriations bill has received subcommittee approval and will be considered by the full appropriations committee on Thursday. The bill includes a $45-million increase for the Food and Drug Administration’s food safety activities. Although $3.5 million more than the House allocation, the increase is still less than half of the $109.5-million increase… Continue Reading

Senate Agriculture Committee Mulls Options on COOL

The Senate Agriculture Committee held a hearing Thursday to discuss country-of-origin labeling (COOL) for meat, which requires that packages sold in the U.S. indicate the country, or countries, where animals were born, raised and slaughtered. “It doesn’t matter if you’re pro-COOL (and many are) or anti-COOL (and many are), you cannot ignore the fact that retaliation… Continue Reading

Congress Gives President Obama Fast-Track Authority for Trade Deals

A contentious trade bill passed the U.S. Senate on Wednesday and is headed to the president’s desk. The Senate voted 60-38 to renew Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), which gives trade deals a “fast track” through Congress where lawmakers would only get an up-or-down vote without being able to add amendments. TPA passed the House in… Continue Reading

Reid Calls for Full FSMA Funding on Senate Floor

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) urged Congress to fully fund the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) in his remarks Tuesday on the floor of the U.S. Senate. “Unfortunately for many Americans, falling ill from contaminated food has become all too regular,” Reid said. He described the experiences of Rylee Gustafson and Lauren Bush, both of whom became… Continue Reading

Louisiana Senator’s Bill Seeks to Enhance the Safety of Imported Seafood

U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) introduced a bill this past week that would amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to ensure the safety of imported seafood. According to the American Shrimp Processors Association (ASPA), which supports the bill, S. 190 increases inspection standards on foreign imported seafood, requires foreign exporters to meet U.S…. Continue Reading

No Movement on Agriculture Appropriations Bills as Congress Goes on Five-Week Break

Congress broke for the August recess on Friday and won’t be back in the Capitol until Sept. 8. One of the many pieces of legislative business left at a standstill is the Fiscal Year 2015 agriculture appropriations bill, which funds the Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration. The House of Representatives began… Continue Reading

Senate Committee Approves Amendments Banning Horse Slaughter, Labeling GE Salmon

Two amendments added to the Senate agriculture appropriations bill on Thursday deal with horse slaughter and genetically modified salmon. U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) introduced an amendment during the full committee markup that would ban horse slaughter, calling it both a health and a budget issue. “We should not be stretching already tight budgets …… Continue Reading

Warren Questions FDA Commissioner About Antibiotics Guidance

The issue of antibiotics in animal feed reared its head again Thursday as U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) questioned Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Margaret Hamburg about the effectiveness of Guidance 213 during a Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) hearing. “Surely the removal of production uses from the market is a good… Continue Reading