Federal agencies are set to begin a year-long testing program on U.S. beef, pork and poultry to measure the levels of a highly toxic group of chemicals called dioxins, which are best known for their use in Agent Orange and other herbicides.

The 2018 Dioxin Survey, headed by the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Services (FSIS), will be done in conjunction with the federal Agricultural Research Service (ARS), and the Red River Valley Agricultural Research Center in Fargo, ND.

This is the fourth such survey in a recurring five-year cycle. The FSIS collaborates with federal partners including ARS, the
Continue Reading FSIS set to begin dioxin analysis of U.S. meat, poultry

Among six hairy crab samples — three collected at the import level and three from retail sales — Hong Kong’s Center for Food Safety recently found one with levels of dioxin and dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls or PCBs that exceeded the maximum allowed by law.

The finding promoted further review and caused Hong Kong to suspend import of any hairy crabs from the Jiangsu Providence after Nov. 1 “to ensure food safety.” Jiangsu is a coastal Chinese province north of Shanghai.

Shanghai hairy crab aka Da Zha crabA medium-sized burrowing crab known for its furry claws, the Shanghai hairy crab is formally known as the Da Zha
Continue Reading Hairy crabs taking dioxin and dioxin-like PCBs into Hong Kong

Texans have received a warning from the state department of health about six species of fish caught in portions of the Neches River Basin due to fish testing for heightened levels of mercury and dioxins. The area of concern is a portion of the Neches River Basin that includes Sam Rayburn Reservoir and B.A. Steinhagen Reservoir. It stretches from the State Highway 7 bridge west of Lufkin downstream to the U.S. Highway 96 bridge near Evadale, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. The affected species consist of:

  • Blue catfish (over 30 inches)
  • Flathead catfish
  • Gar (all

Continue Reading Texas Issues Fish Consumption Warning for Neches River Basin

Food & Water Watch, a Washington, DC-based advocacy group, said Monday it’s concerned about the way the U.S. Department of Agriculture is regulating meat imports following last weekend’s recall of nearly 200,000 pounds of imported chicken for dioxins — toxic pollutants that can pose a public health risk. On Saturday, the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service issued a public notification announcing that health authorities in Chile had recalled 188,522 pounds of chicken that had been shipped to the United States over concerns about dioxins. According to Google news, the recall was not picked up by any mainstream media outlets
Continue Reading Dioxin Chicken Recall Prompts Questions from Food & Water Watch

After decades of consideration, the Environmental Protection Agency has released a final assessment on the health impact of dioxins, for the first time setting a toxicological threshold for non-cancer risks posed by exposure to the chemicals.

The food industry had been concerned that EPA would set exposure recommendations below what some Americans are already exposed to via their diet, which could cause some people to radically change their eating habits. But the report released by EPA instead touted the reductions in dioxin exposure. According to the agency air emissions of dioxins have decreased 90 percent since the 1980s.

“Today’s findings

Continue Reading After Long Delay, EPA Releases Dioxin Assessment

The Environmental Protection Agency missed a deadline this week to release part of an analysis on the public health impact of dioxins, a lapse that angered public health and environmental advocates.

After many years of delays, the agency said in August it would complete the first part of the dioxin reassessment, which would have set a toxicological threshold for the first time, by January 31.

The draft reassessment has been sharply criticized by the food industry for being too restrictive and being based on shaky science. Health and environmental groups expressed outrage at the continued delay.

“Shame on EPA Administrator

Continue Reading EPA Misses Key Deadline for Dioxin Assessment

Congressman Ed Markey, D-MA — who serves as Ranking Member of the Natural Resources Committee and is a senior member of the Energy and Commerce Committee — is urging the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to finalize the long-delayed health assessment of dioxins.

Citing the recent government data that showed air releases of dioxin rose 10 percent between 2009 and 2010, and total disposal increased by 18 percent, Markey asked EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson to make the dioxin assessment a priority.

Dioxins, which are released in certain industrial manufacturing processes but are also naturally occurring, are absorbed by animals and can

Continue Reading Rep. Markey Urges EPA to Act on Dioxin Assessment

The food industry is worried a new Environmental Protection Agency proposal on dioxin, a group of toxic chemicals, could deem the average American diet dangerous.

After several years of deliberation, and a draft proposal, the EPA is expected to release a final guidance on dioxin exposure sometime this month.

Last month, the Food Industry Dioxin Working Group (FIDWG) — an ad hoc coalition made up of groups like United Egg Producers, the American Farm Bureau, and the American Frozen Food Institute — sent a letter to a senior White House policy adviser expressing “deep concern” over the effort. The letter

Continue Reading Food Industry Concerned About EPA’s Dioxin Limits

Hong Kong ceased testing all German food products for dioxin, switching Feb. 1 to sample checks after more than 100 tests for the chemical were negative.

The Food and Environmental Hygiene Department for the special administrative district that governs Hong Kong reported Jan. 26 on a batch of 17 samples that went through dioxin testing at its Center for Food Safety. Ten samples were for pork and seven for pork products; all were free of dioxin contamination.

“The measure to hold and examine imported German eggs, poultry and poultry products as well as pork and pork products will remain in

Continue Reading Hong Kong Samples for Dioxin in German Imports

For the second time in less than a week, multiple foods imported from German have passed dioxin tests by Hong Kong’s Center for Food Safety, known for its ability to sniff out chemicals in edibles.

Getting its food products back into Hong Kong is a sign the German dioxin scandal may be on the wane.  Last Saturday, the Center for Food Safety took samples from five shipments of food products that were bound for Hong Kong consumers.  All passed.

“In view of the recent detection of dioxin in some eggs, poultry, and pork produced in Germany, samples were collected in

Continue Reading No Dioxin in German Foods Bound for Hong Kong