September 26, 2020

Permanent Injunction Against Sundial Herbal Products For Unapproved Drugs

A federal judge has entered an order of permanent inunction against Sundial Herbal Products to stop distributing their products because they have been labeled unapproved new drugs and misbranded drugs. Despite previous warnings from the FDA, the company "continued to violate the law and distributed their products," according to a new release issued by the FDA. FDA Chief Counsel Stacy Amin said in a statement, "Americans expect and deserve medical treatments that have been scientifically proven to be safe and effective. Making claims that unproven drugs can cure or prevent diseases places consumers’ health at risk. We remain committed to pursuing and taking swift action against those who attempt to subvert the regulatory functions of the FDA by repeatedly disregarding the law and … [Read more...]

Blue Bell Pleads Guilty in Ice Cream Listeria Monocytogenes Outbreak

Blue Bell pleads guilty in ice cream Listeria monocytogenes outbreak and pays $19.35 million. And a former company president has been charged in connection with a scheme to allegedly cover up the incident, according to the Justice Department. The charge is that the company shipped contaminated and adulterated product. That deadly outbreak covered a five year time span from 2010 to 2015 that sickened 10 people. All of the patients were hospitalized. Three people who lived in Kansas died. Eight of the patients were hospitalized when they were served contaminated Blue Bell ice cream. The outbreak strain of Listeria monocytogenes were found in ice cream made at the Blue Bell plants in Brenham, Texas and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. This outbreak was long and complicated; we have put together … [Read more...]

Consent Decree Against PA Miller’s Organic Farm For Avoiding Inspections

A consent decree has been issued against Miller's Organic Farm of Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania for violating USDA laws by avoiding inspections and misbranding meat and poultry. In November 2019, the U.S. government permanently enjoined the company and its owner, Amos Miller, for obstructing federal health and safety oversight and from selling uninspected meat to the company's nationwide "private membership association." USDA inspectors and investigators went to the farm in December 2019 to assess compliance with the injunction. They found 2,000 pounds of fresh meat carcasses that Miller's had slaughtered without federal inspection, in violation of the injunction. FSIS tagged the meat so it couldn't be used or sold, but Miller's voluntarily destroyed them. FSIS fond more violations … [Read more...]

Injunction Filed Against MI Home Style Foods by FDA

Home Style Foods, a seafood and salad processor in Hamtramck, Michigan has been enjoined against producing and distributing ready-to-eat seafood salads, non-seafood salads, pierogis, and dips because they were processed under insanitary conditions, according to the Department of Justice. The complaint was filed on January 13, 2020 against the company and the company's president, Michael J. Kowalski. The complaint states that the company "violated the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act by processing and distributing fish products and other food, including salads, pierogis, and dips, in a facility where government inspectors previously found evidence of Listeria contamination.  The complaint also alleged violations of seafood safety regulations designed to mitigate hazards associated with … [Read more...]

Judge Strikes Down Iowa Ag Gag Law

A federal judge struck down Iowa's ag gag law last week. Those laws make it illegal for animal rights advocates to go undercover to expose animal abuse at farms and puppy mills. The 2012 law was approved by Iowa lawmakers, and carried a fine of up to year in jail. ACLU legal director Rita Bettis Austen said the ruling was "an important victory for free speech." She also said that the law was an example of government using its power to protect those in power. She added, "Ag gag clearly is a violation of Iowans' First Amendment rights to free speech. It has effectively silenced advocates and ensured that animal cruelty, unsafe food safety practices, environmental hazards, and inhumane working conditions go unreported for years." The Animal Legal Defense Fund was one of the … [Read more...]

Utah’s Ag-Gag Law Struck Down

An ag-gag law in Utah has been struck down. Earlier this month, the Utah attorney general said that no appeal would be filed in a federal court decision to end the law as unconstitutional. These laws criminalize video recording on ranches and farms that expose animal abuse. Members of animal rights groups pose as workers to film cruelty against animals. University of Denver law professor Justin Marceau, one of the attorneys who represents animal rights groups said, "[Ag-gag] laws in states like Iowa and Kansas are crying out for a challenge at this point." The state that have some type of this law on the books include Kansas, Montana, North Dakota, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, North Carolina and Alabama. Animal rights advocates say that these laws violate free speech and target … [Read more...]

Lawsuit Against EPA Over CAFOs Settled

According to Food & Water Watch, a federal court approved a settlement agreement, ending years of litigation over the Environmental Protection AGency's (EPA) release of concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) records under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). This will protect the public's access to information about factory farm pollution. Industry groups sued the EPA for this information in 2013 when the agency gathered basic information about CAFOs from state agencies. A coalition of advocacy and consumer groups, including Food & Water Watch, the Environmental Integrity Project, and Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, wanted to protect access to this data. The settlement will require the EPA to withhold some information from the records collected from states, … [Read more...]

Permanent Injunction Entered Against Valley Milk Products

The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia entered a consent decree of condemnation and permanent injunction against Valley Milk Products LLC on March 15, 2017. The decree orders the condemnation of seized milk powder products and prevents its distribution.   The seizure action was filed in the Western District of Virginia on November 18, 2016 at the request of the FDA. The complaint alleged that milk powder products were manufactured under insanitary conditions "whereby they may have become contaminated with filth, and/or whereby they may have been rendered injurious to health. That complaint sought to seize and condemn certain adulterated milk powder products at Valley Milk Products’ Strasburg, Virginia facility." Valley Milk Products nonfat dry milk … [Read more...]

ConAgra Grocery Pleads Guilty to Shipping Contaminated Peanut Butter

ConAgra Grocery Products LLC, a subsidiary of ConAgra Foods Incorporated, pled guilty yesterday to a criminal misdemeanor charge imposed over a massive Salmonella outbreak linked to its peanut butter in 2006. The Department of Justice announced the agreement on December 13, 2016. The company was ordered to pay an $8 million fine and a $3.2 million penalty, the largest fine ever paid in a food safety case. A plea agreement was filed last year in federal district court in the Middle District of Georgia. Senior U.S. District Court Judge W. Louis Sands accepted the guilty plea and imposed the sentence and fines. The company admitted in the plea agreement that it introduced contaminated Peter Pan and one product code of WalMart's Great Value peanut butter into interstate … [Read more...]

Pritzker Hageman Wins $7.55 Million Verdict for Child with HUS E. coli

On November 22, 2016, noted food safety attorney Fred Pritzker and his team won a $7.55 million verdict for a child who contracted an E. coli infection and developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) in 2013 after visiting Dehn's Pumpkins, a business in Dayton, Minnesota. A jury in Hennepin County, Minnesota returned the verdict in favor of the child, who suffered severe kidney damage. The 10 year old girl went to the farm with her parents on the weekend of October 12 - 13, 2013 and got sick a few days later. At least seven people were sickened in that particular E. coli O157:H7 outbreak. The Minnesota Department of Health linked the illnesses to cows that were in the animal attraction at the farm. At least three of the case patients had bacterial isolates with the same DNA … [Read more...]

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