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Food Safety News

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Sonny Perdue

USDA reopens nominations for microbiological committee

With more than half of the seats open on its National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods, the USDA is again seeking nominations for the 30-member panel. In a notice posted Monday in the Federal Register, the U.S. Department of Agriculture set a Sept. 27 deadline for people to nominate themselves or others for… 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

Out with the old, in with the new-ish in USDA’s No. 2 post

Al Almanza puts in his retirement papers; confirmation process begins for Stephen Censky

The Al Almanza decade as USDA’s most important figure in food safety is ending, and Stephen Censky is coming in as deputy secretary to help Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue run the department. Almanza, deputy under secretary for food safety and administrator of USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), is retiring from government effective July… Continue Reading

U.S. stops imports of Brazilian beef for food safety concerns

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has suspended imports of all fresh beef from Brazil because of recurring food safety problems documented since March, when the agency began inspecting 100 percent of all meat from the South American country. During his confirmation hearing 12 weeks ago, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said he thought an embargo against… Continue Reading

Senate confirms 31st Secretary of Agriculture: Sonny Perdue

Sonny Perdue today is the 31st Secretary of Agriculture, having won confirmation by the U.S. Senate in an 87-to-11 vote on Monday. The former governor of Georgia succeeds Tom Vilsack, who led the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the past eight years and who endorsed Perdue as his successor once the former Georgia governor was… Continue Reading

GIPSA rule kicked down the road for Perdue’s eventual decision

Sonny Perdue continues to wait for the U.S. Senate to return from vacation to vote on his confirmation as Secretary of Agriculture, which now scheduled for April 24. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), however, continues to churn out decisions on its own.  The latest of those is today’s publication in the Federal Register, now… Continue Reading

Senate fiddles as rural America burns waiting for ag secretary

Sonny Perdue will be confirmed as the nation’s 31st Secretary of Agriculture. It’s just a matter of whether it will occur before or after the U.S. Senate goes on vacation. Ahead of their recess, the Senate is obsessed with Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch’s fate and time seems to be slipping away for also getting… Continue Reading

Near confirmation, Perdue says no to Brazilian beef embargo

Former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue thinks it would be an over-reaction for USDA to embargo Brazilian beef because of that country’s federal investigation of meat inspectors being bribed to overlook standards for exported meat. Perdue responded to questioning by Sen. John Thune, R-SD, during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry, which lasted… Continue Reading

Sonny Perdue set to face Senate ag committee Thursday

Secretary of Agriculture-designate Sonny Perdue will finally get his hearing tomorrow before the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee. President Trump nominated the former Georgia governor to serve as America’s 31st Secretary of Agriculture nine weeks ago. It is not clear why there’s been such a delay in getting the Committee hearing scheduled. The Senate… Continue Reading

Vacant positions are slowing things down at FDA and FSIS

While the Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price says we can expect the next Food and Drug Administrator commissioner to be named soon, significant meetings held by designated FDA policy makers with persons outside the executive branch continue to draw down. Acting FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Ostroff has so far reported on three… Continue Reading