Posts Tagged ‘E.coli’

Feds Playing Politics with Food Safety is Enough to Make You Sick

Rarely does the mainstream media bother to connect the dots when it comes to our broken food safety system. Consider these two recent headlines:

Foodborne Outbreaks Falling Short of U.S. Reduction Goals

USDA to purchase $170 million worth of meat to help farmers struggling with drought

The latter story celebrating government action to “help farmers” — prompted by this U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) press release — was trumpeted by major media outlets across the nation without any questions raised. Of course American farmers need help during times of drought and that effort is well worth supporting, but is the indiscriminate buying up of meat really the best and only idea the feds can come up with? Read rest at Center for Food Safety…

Postscript: Since writing this article, the federal government reported that two people have died and 141 were made sick by salmonella in yet another cantaloupe outbreak, this one in 20 states.

Produce Industry Funders of Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools are Putting Children at Risk: A Plea to Michelle Obama

The United Fresh Produce Association Foundation says it’s “proud to be a Founding Partner of the Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools Initiative.” I thought the First Lady should know this trade group is responsible for killing a vital produce testing program that helps keep kids safe from infection.

Dear Mrs. Obama,

I am writing out of deep concern over Let’s Move’s partnerships with the United Fresh Produce Association and the Produce Marketing Association. These two groups have lobbied to kill a vital pathogen testing program. While the Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools program is to be applauded, its association with these trade groups is not.

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Your Burger Just Got a Little Safer, Thanks to Uncle Sam

After years of debating, petitioning, rule-making, and outright stalling, this week the federal government is finally implementing new requirements for testing E. coli in ground beef. Why is this cause for celebration?

Read rest at Center for Food Safety…

Whistleblower to Maker of Pink Slime: “Quit Harassing Me”

This past week, the media woke up to the shocking reality that our meat supply is in fact industrialized. Long gone are the days of your friendly local butcher grinding meat for your kids’ hamburgers. Taking its place is a corporate behemoth you probably never heard of called Beef Products Inc.

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A Budget Cut Only the Produce Industry Could Love

You’ve probably never heard of the Microbiological Data Program (MDP) but if you eat fresh produce, you should, because it’s currently on President Obama’s budgetary chopping block. The MDP is a small ($5 million annually) pathogen monitoring program tucked away in the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It tests fruits and vegetables for deadly bugs like E. coli, salmonella, and listeria.

Read rest at Center for Food Safety…

Meat Safety Politics: A Decade of Inaction at USDA on Non-O157 E. coli

In the wake of the horrible E. coli outbreak in Germany, many food safety advocates are calling on the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to get off the dime and expand required beef testing to strains beyond the standard 0157:H7. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) approximately 160,000 people in the United States are sickened each year by non-O157 E. coli. Six serotypes, known as the “Big Six” (E. coli O26, O45, O103, O111, O121, and O145) are currently under scrutiny. Far from being a new issue, the evidence for why we need expanded testing has been available for at least 20 years, maybe even 30. According to the petition filed against USDA by the law firm Marler Clark , as early as the 1980s, non-0157 strains were first identified globally. The first outbreaks were reported in the U.S. in the 1990s. What has happened since? Quite a lot, but little of which can be called progress.
You can read the timeline in my article at Food Safety News.

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