Posts Tagged ‘Food Safety News’

Top 10 Lawyers Working to Improve the Food System

I admit this post is somewhat self-serving. But I am getting weary of so many lists (like this one) celebrating heroes of the food movement that leave out an entire category of professionals that deserve a little respect. They may not be as famous as Alice Waters but they are working just as hard, maybe even harder. So here, in no particular order, are ten lawyers doing critical work to improve how we eat.

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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…

Don’t like the message? Shoot the messenger

As a writer who’s been exposing food industry deception and other underhanded tactics for many years, I’ve had my fair share of hate mail and other personal attacks. But on Monday, when I published my article, Dairy Industry Making a Killing, by Killing Cows? at Food Safety News, the comments threw me for a loop.

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Dairy Industry Making a Killing, by Killing Cows?

If you think you’re paying too much for a gallon of milk these days, it could be the result of an elaborate price-fixing scheme, according to a recent class action that charges the dairy industry with federal antitrust violations, among other claims. The case was instigated by the animal advocacy organization Compassion Over Killing whose research revealed that, between 2003 and 2010, more than 500,000 young cows were slaughtered under a “dairy herd retirement” program, in an effort to reduce the supply of milk and inflate prices. The group also alleges that the program “bought out smaller farmers and instructed them to kill their entire dairy herds, unfairly increasing the profits of agribusiness giants.” Read rest at Food Safety News…

Pesticides Are Good for You

For years now, I have been hearing about the food industry’s influence on the annual conference of the American Dietetic Association — the nation’s largest gathering of nutrition professionals–with some 7,000 registered dietitians in attendance. Last month, I witnessed it for myself and discovered the corporate takeover by Big Food was worse than I even imagined. Read rest at Food Safety News…

Safe, Organic Animal Foods Too Expensive? Eat Less

In an email exchange with Dr. Richard Raymond over my recent article on the massive Cargill recall of Salmonella-tainted ground turkey, the former head of food safety at USDA warned me that a likely result of tightened food safety laws would be “higher food prices making meat and poultry unaffordable sources of protein to some.” To which I replied: “I have no problem with that.” Read the rest at Food Safety News.

Why the Meat Industry Sells Salmonella

As a lawyer who writes about food policy, one of my biggest frustrations is how reporters often get the law wrong, or omit critical pieces of information. Last week the latest massive food safety recall hit the news – 36 million pounds of ground turkey possibly tainted with Salmonella, courtesy of meat giant Cargill. While some media outlets were asking good questions about why it took the federal government so long to release such vital information (problems began in March), others reported that it’s currently legal to sell Salmonella-tainted meat. While the meat industry might like it that way, that’s not the entire story. Read the rest over at Food Safety News. See also this handy 6-point summary by Mark Bittman of the New York Times.

Who Really Benefits from the Egg Industry Deal?

Last week, the Humane Society of the United States held an unusual press conference. The group announced an agreement with its long-time adversary, the United Egg Producers, to jointly seek federal legislation that would improve the housing conditions of egg-laying hens. As a result, HSUS is calling off its recent efforts to get ballot measures passed in Oregon and Washington State on the issue.
Continue reading at Food Safety News.

Big Ag’s Latest Attempt to Chill Free Speech

For many good food advocates, the end of a legislative session often means disappointment that their bills to help fix our broken food system did not pass. But in some states, when lawmakers go home we should really all breathe a big sigh of relief. Such was the case last week when the Iowa Legislature adjourned without passing one of the more obnoxious proposals to rear its ugly head in any state house this year. In the wake of video footage exposing the horrific conditions of animals raised for our consumption, agribusiness decided it was time to fight back. Read the rest at Food Safety News…

Will Germany Crisis Affect USDA Policymaking?

Thanks to Food Safety News for allowing me to cross-post my articles; here is my first.

In the midst of what has tragically become the deadliest E. coli outbreak in history, serious questions are being raised about the need to step up testing here to protect the American public from a similar calamity. Food safety experts and consumer groups have for several years now recommended that USDA require testing in ground beef beyond the most commonly tested E. coli strain, 0157:H7.

As recently reported by Food Safety News, the USDA has at last drafted a notice of rulemaking (how agencies promulgate laws) to expand the definition of “adulterant” to include 6 non-0157:H7 STECs (Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli), which would force industry to test for these other strains. But now the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) appears to be holding things up.

The question is, why?

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