July 7, 2015

Food & Water Watch Denounces Beef Imports from Brazil and Argentina

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Food & Water Watch is denouncing beef imports from Brazil and Argentina. Executive Director Wenonah Hauter released a statement about the USDA lifting restrictions on these imports. Those countries have "a history of the deadly disease of foot and mouth disease in animal herds." There has not been a case of FMD in the United States since 1929. Members of Congress ask that the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) study these rules. That has not been done. The process was rushed, since the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) can take up to 90 days to review "significant" rules. Hauter states, "Brazil and Argentina have checkered food safety records, as USDA has been forced on several occasions to suspend imports of products currently eligible to come into the U.S. for … [Read more...]

Humane Society Files Complaints Against Costco’s Egg Supplier

Eggs FPB

The Humane Society of the United States has filed complaints with the FDA and FTA over Costco's egg supplier Hillandale Nearby Eggs. The complaints call for asking the feds to investigate potential "violations of federal false advertising and health and safety laws." The complaints allege that Hillandale farms "deceived consumers concerned about animal welfare and that the filthy and unsanitary conditions at Hillandale present serious food safety concerns." An undercover investigation found that hens were locked in cages so tightly they couldn't spread their wings. Live birds were forced to be in the same cages as dead birds, and fly infestations were common throughout the facility. The depiction of the farm on Hillandale's Nearby Eggs cartons show hens roaming in a pasture. The … [Read more...]

WHO Classifies 2,4-D Herbicide as Possible Carcinogen

Weeds

The Center for Food Safety has announced that the World Health Organization (WHO) has determined that the herbicide 2,4-D, used in Dow Chemical's "Enlist Weed Control System", is "possibly carcinogenic to humans." Enlist corn and soybean seeds are genetically engineered to resist this herbicide. Enlist is comprised of glyphosate, the chemical used in Roundup, and 2,4-D, which was an ingredient in Agent Orange used during the Vietnam war. Glyphosate has also been determined as a "possible carcinogenic." Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of Center for Food Safety, said in a statement, "this last thing we need is genetically engineered crops that dramatically increase the spraying of potentially carcinogenic chemicals. Dow's GE crops will be sprayed with Enlist Duo, which combines … [Read more...]

USDA Offers Food Safety Tips to Those Affected by Severe Weather

Storms

The USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is issuing food safety recommendations for the Northeast, Central Appalachians and Ohio Valley because of severe thunderstorms. These storms may cause power outages that could compromise the safety of food in consumers' homes. If the power goes out, keep appliance thermometers in the refrigerator and freezer. Safe temperatures are 40°F or lower in the refrigerator and 0°F or lower in the freezer. Freeze water in 1-quart containers before the storm to help keep food cold. They can be put around the food in both appliances to keep food cold. Freeze leftovers, milk, and fresh meat and poultry before the storm to keep them at a safe temperature longer. Know where you can get block or dry ice to help keep food cold. Fifty pounds of dry … [Read more...]

Hepatitis A Warning For Original Joe’s Customers in Canada

Hepatitis A CDC

Alberta Health Services is warning consumers who ate at an Original Joe's restaurant in Strathmore that they may have been exposed to the hepatitis A virus. The restaurant is located at #8, 100 Ranch Market in Strathmore, Alberta. Anyone who ate at that restaurant from June 9 to June 19 may have been exposed. Alberta Health Services will offer hepatitis A vaccines to all patrons who consumed food from this location. People who only consumed beverages are not at risk for exposure and do not need a shot. The drop-in clinics will be held at the Northgate Clinic in Calgary on June 23 and June 24 from 1:00 pm to 9:00 pm. A clinic will also be at the Chestermere Community Health Centre on June 23 and June 24, 2015 from 1:00 pm to 9:00 pm. And a clinic will be at the Strathmore Public … [Read more...]

Groups Urge WHO to Set Safety Standards for Glyphosate

Farm Field

A coalition of groups, including Food & Water Watch, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), and Friends of the Earth are using the World Health Organization (WHO) to set safety standard for the herbicide glyphosate, found in RoundUp and other chemicals, that has been classified as carcinogenic. In a letter to the WHO, the coalition raised concerns about conflicts of interest on an expert advisory panel that could review the cancer classification. Three of the eight panel members have "financial and professional ties to the chemical industry, including Monsanto, the largest producer of glyphosate," according to Food & Water Watch. NRDC Health Program Director Erik Olson said in a statement, "The WHO is highly respected for protecting public health around the world,d and it … [Read more...]

FDA Orders Manufacturers to Omit Trans Fats Within 3 Years

FDA

Today, the FDA finalized its determination that trans fats, made from partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs), are not "generally recognized as safe" or GRAS, for use in human food. Food manufacturers will have three years to remove this ingredient from products. FDA's Acting Commissioner Stephen Ostroff said in a statement, "the FDA's action on this major source of artificial trans fats demonstrates the agency's commitment to the heart health of all Americans. This action is expected to reduce coronary heart disease and prevent thousands of fatal heart attacks every year." Since 2006, food manufacturers have been required to include trans fat content information on nutrition labels on all food products. But manufacturers could put "0 grams trans fat" on the label if the product contained … [Read more...]

CFA Statement on House COOL Vote

Chris Waldrop, director of the Food Policy Institute at the Consumer Federation of America released a statement about the house vote on country of origin labeling (COOL). Last week, the House voted to repeal COOL, meaning that labels on meat, pork, and chicken would no longer have to state where the food came from. He said in a statement, "yesterday the House voted to deny American consumers basic information about where their food comes from. In supporting a repeal of country of origin labeling for meat, pork, and chicken, Congress bowed to overblown threats of retaliation from Canada and Mexico and took action prematurely before the case at the WTO was fully settled." The World Trade Organization has repeatedly ruled against the United States on this matter. Canada and Mexico … [Read more...]

Jeni’s Ice Cream Finds Listeria in Ohio Facility

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Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams recalled all of their products last month after Listeria monocytogenes bacteria was found in the ice cream made in their Nebraska plant. More than 265 tons of ice cream was destroyed.  They shut down production and cleaned the facility, then reopened. But testing found more of the pathogenic bacteria in the Columbus,Ohio kitchen. Routine swabbing discovered the problem. Production has been halted again as the company investigates. All of their ice cream is now subject to test-and-hold before it enters into commerce. The company is temporarily closing its scoop shops because they don't have enough ice cream. FDA inspectors looked at the Ohio facility eight times in April and found cleanliness problems and inadequate pathogen controls. The report states … [Read more...]

Antibiotic Resistance Increasing for Some Pathogens, CDC Reports

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Some types of Salmonella and other bacteria are increasing their resistance to antibiotics, according to a new report from the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) which tracks antibiotic resistance in humans, farm animals and deli meat. Each year, about 440,000 Americans develop antibiotic-resistant infections from foodborne germs. Created in 1996, NARMS is an interagency collaboration of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). It tracks antibiotic resistance in six pathogens: non-typhoidal Salmonella, typhoidal Salmonella, Shigella, Campylobacter, E. coli O157, and Vibrio. The new report, based on information from 5,000 isolates gathered in 2013, … [Read more...]

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