Every hour of every day people around the world are living with and working to resolve food safety issues. Here is a sampling of current headlines for your consumption, brought to you today with the support of iwaspoisoned.com.
Food safety tips for diabetics
As November is National Diabetes Month, practicing safe food handling to prevent foodborne illness is in the spotlight for those with diabetes and anyone preparing food for them.
The Food and Drug Administration is offering a free booklet “Food Safety for People with Diabetes.”
“Practicing food safety is critical because diabetes can affect the function of various organs and systems of the body, making those living with this disease more susceptible to infections and pathogens that cause foodborne illness, often called ‘food poisoning,’ ” according to the FDA.
“When persons with diabetes contract a foodborne illness, they are more likely to have a lengthier illness, undergo hospitalization, or even die. ”
Some foods are more likely to harbor harmful bacteria or viruses, such as uncooked fresh fruits and vegetables, animal products including unpasteurized raw milk and raw milk cheeses, and lunchmeats and deli-type salads that have been prepared in delis or other retail establishments.
Trump Administration delays GMO rules
This week, the Trump Administration announced the withdrawal and re-evaluation of rules that the Obama Administration proposed for the modernization of the federal government’s regulation of genetically engineered foods.
What “could have been” includes an update of the 1997 U.S. Department of Agriculture’s regulations of genetically engineered (GE) organisms, or GMOs (genetically modified organisms). Congress approved The Plant Protection Act in 2000, which granted the USDA expanded powers. However, the USDA never revised its regulations regarding the new authority.
Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of the Center for Food Safety, said the move by the Administration on Monday is taking the country in the wrong direction.
“In the 17 long years since USDA gained new statutory authorities, GE crops have cost farmers billions of dollars in lost revenue from transgenic contamination and herbicide drift damage.” Kimbrell said in a written statement. “… Secretary (Sonny) Purdue’s decision to delay urgently needed new rules once again is another instance of this Administration placing corporate profits over public welfare.”
WHO urges end of antibiotics in animals
The growing problem of antibiotic-resistant bacteria spurred the World Health Organization (WHO) to update its guidelines for the use of antibiotics in animals used for human food.
The WHO recommendations aim to preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics used to treat infections in humans, according to the international body.
“Over-use and misuse of antibiotics in animals and humans is contributing to the rising threat of antibiotic resistance. Some types of bacteria that cause serious infections in humans have already developed resistance to most or all of the available treatments, and there are very few promising options in the research pipeline,” according to a WHO news release.
Scientific evidence shows that overuse of antibiotics in animals, including the common practice of using them to promote growth, contributes to the emergence of antibiotic resistance, according to Dr. Kazuaki Miyagishima, WHO director of the Department of Food Safety and Zoonoses.
Also, 80 percent of medically important antibiotics are used by the food industry on animals. The Lancet’s Planetary Health publication posted research showing that ending the unnecessary use of antibiotics in food producing animals reduced antibiotic-resistant bacteria up to 39 percent.
WHO recommends that healthy animals should only receive antibiotics to prevent disease if it has been diagnosed in other animals in the same flock, herd, or fish population.
In 2006, the European Union banned the use of antibiotics to promote growth in animals. Some major U.S. food companies have already adopted “antibiotic-free” policies to meet consumer demands.
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