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News: The Obama Administration and Food Safety

Two years into it term, the Obama administration gets a solid grade of B for overall food safety from a range of interest groups that includes consumer advocates, growers, processors, and manufacturers. But consensus is lacking on specific efforts, such as the conducting inspections, since different groups are impacted very differently by these activities. For instance, consumers applaud more frequent testing of fresh produce, but growers complain that the process takes too long and can hold up and even...

Features: USDA Approves Genetically Modified Sugar Beets

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will permit the planting of genetically modified (GM) sugar beets under certain conditions, while continuing to prepare a full Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the beets under a ruling from a U.S. district court judge.

Features: FDA Releases First Reportable Food Registry Report

Salmonella accounted for 37.6% of the reports submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Reportable Food Registry (RFR) Annual Report between September 2009 and September 2010, according to the first annual release of the report in January. Undeclared allergens and intolerances made up nearly as many reports, at 34.9%, with Listeria monocytogenes making up 14.4% of incidents.

Columns: Insure Against the Inevitable

If you think a recall is unlikely, or that you’ll be covered in the event it happens, think again. From a food safety standpoint, we are living in a dynamic and fast-changing world. Because microorganisms exist naturally in our environment, they will continue to find their way into many of our foods. Given recent improvements in national foodborne illness outbreak surveillance, more illnesses are identified and more outbreaks are reported.

Departments: Regulations, Market up the Ante for Food Safety

If you subscribe to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s (FDA) Recalls, Market Withdrawals and Safety Alerts, you’re well aware that food recalls occur almost daily. Few of these product issues receive nationwide publicity like this summer’s recall of 380 million infected eggs or last year’s Salmonella-tainted peanut butter.

News: Researchers: FDA Transgenic Salmon Review Flawed

The review process being used by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to assess the safety of a faster-growing transgenic salmon fails to weigh the full effects of the fish’s widespread production, according to analysis by a Duke University-led team in a recent issue of Science.

Columns: Food Safety Legislation: It's Alive!

Talk about bad timing. In last issue’s letter, which I wrote the day after the GOP spanked Democrats in the recent mid-term election, I pronounced food safety legislation, specifically the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (S. 510), effectively dead.

Features: Money for the Food Safety Mission

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) report Enhancing Food Safety: The Role of the Food and Drug Administration, released on June 8, criticized the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approach to food safety. The report recommended that the FDA take a proactive approach by relying on prevention and surveillance rather than continuing its current reactive approach to address potential failures in ensuring the safety of the nation’s food supply.

Features: The FDA's Evolving Approach to Food Safety

On June 8, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) published a report on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) role in ensuring the safety of the American food supply. In response to criticism leveled by both food safety experts and the public, Congress had commissioned the IOM to examine gaps in the current food safety system and to identify the tools needed to improve food safety.

Columns: RIP, Food Safety Legislation?

I am writing this letter on November 3, one day after the GOP’s massive gains in the midterm election, in which they were projected to gain at least 60 seats in the House. That’s the biggest gain by any major party since 1948.

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February/March 2015

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