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Food Safety News

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Tom Vilsack

China to lift ban on US beef instituted after 2003 BSE incident


Chinese officials say they will lift a ban on U.S. beef imports imposed in 2003 after a case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, also known as BSE or mad cow disease, was confirmed in a Washington state cow imported from Canada. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack called Thursday’s announcement “a critical first step” following a recently concluded review of the… Continue Reading

USDA, Obama commit to food safety research


The U.S. Department of Agriculture is providing grants totaling more than $30 million to fund 80 research projects aimed at improving food safety, reducing antibiotic resistance in food and increasing the resilience of plants. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the grant awards Wednesday, also saying that President Obama’s 2017 budget proposes investing $700 million for… Continue Reading

Letter From the Editor: On Coloring Inside the Lines


Little child colring in coloring book with crayons

First off, I don’t mean to disparage anyone on the federal government’s Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. They are all probably fine folks. It seems that they are all the big names in nutrition working for the big universities — Harvard, Yale, Tufts and those others — that make sideline profits from the ink-stained nutrition newsletter industry…. Continue Reading

Senators Still Want Answers From Antibiotic Resistance Task Force


Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) are still waiting for answers to animal antibiotics questions posed eight months ago. The senators originally wrote to the co-chairs of the Interagency Task Force for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria in December 2014 wanting to know about how the task force plans to address issues in enforcement,… Continue Reading

Letter From the Editor: Agriculture’s Most Popular Man



I spent a couple of hours last week watching Thomas James (Tom) Vilsack wrap the House Education and Workforce Committee around his little finger. It came on his 2,338th day as United States Secretary of Agriculture. He is the boss of 85,000 USDA employees. Those who promote the narratives for such events said the Secretary… 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

Letter From the Editor: How to Live Long and Prosper


Mr. Spock

We don’t do enough on the role of technology in food and in advancing food safety. Just like the overall economy, new technologies in food and food safety are driving down costs and delivering greater efficiencies. I was planning on writing about this even before we lost actor-director Leonard Nimoy last week at the age… Continue Reading

USDA May Move Mechanically Tenderized Beef Labeling to 2016


While appearing before the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee Wednesday, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said USDA will work to introduce labels for mechanically tenderized beef within the next two years. New labeling laws are implemented in two-year increments so that new label rules made in 2013 or 2014 will be implemented on Jan. 1, 2016. When the… Continue Reading

Judge Dismisses Challenge to USDA Poultry Inspection Rule

Ruling says Food & Water Watch lacks standing


Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia has dismissed a lawsuit Food & Water Watch Inc. and two of its members filed last fall against U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to challenge the agency’s New Poultry Inspection System (NPIS). The language the judge used in her ruling issued… Continue Reading

Food Safety News Hands Santa Nice List Nominees for 2014


Merry Christmas! Whether today finds you celebrating the birth of Christ, the Winter Solstice, or about to observe Kwanzaa, the one thing everyone can agree on is that we need more nice people in this world. Food Safety News is pleased to present our sixth-annual nominations for Santa’s nice list. As we did during the… Continue Reading