October 27, 2016

Raw Milk Bill Back in Wisconsin Legislature

A bill to legalize the sale of raw milk is back in the Wisconsin legislature. Republican Representative Dave Murphy introduced a bill last week that would let dairy farms sell raw milk and raw milk products directly to customers where they are produced.  The farmers would not need state milk producer licenses or permits, and state milk quality rules would not apply to these products. At this time, selling raw milk is illegal in Wisconsin. "Incidental sales" of raw milk directly to consumers at a dairy farm for consumption by that consumer, the consumer's family, or nonpaying guests, is exempted from the law. But if done on a regular basis, or if the sales involve advertising, those sales are deemed illegal. Dairy farmers who are considered "bona fide" owners can consume raw milk from … [Read more...]

California Sets Strictest Antibiotic Standards for Factory Farm Use

California has just passed a law setting the strictest standards for antibiotic use in farm animals in the country. Senate Bill 27, which was enrolled September 26, 2015, prohibits the administration of "medically important antimicrobial drugs, as defined, to livestock unless ordered by a licensed veterinarian through a prescription or veterinary feed directive." The bill prohibits using antibiotics solely for purposes of gaining weight or improving feed efficiency. The governor's signing statement states "SB 27 addresses an urgent public health program. The science is clear that the overuse of antibiotics in livestock has contributed to the spread of antibiotic resistance and the undermining of decades of life-saving advances in medicine." The FDA set voluntary standards last year … [Read more...]

Law Firm Clients Speak Out on Food Safety

The American Association for Justice held a press conference today on the importance of litigation in food safety. The civil justice system is one of the last resources consumers have to protect themselves against contaminated foods put into commerce by big business. Lawsuits are "sometimes the only mechanism for deterring negligent behavior and rooting out systemic problems in the food chain," according to the report, Food Safety and the Civil Justice System. In June of 2012, John McKissick ate soft cheese that was imported into the United States from Italy. He got very sick with listeriosis and was hospitalized for months. For most of that time, he was unconscious and suffered from hallucinations and sepsis. His wife Pat contacted our law firm, which underwrites Food Poisoning … [Read more...]

House of Representatives Passes DARK Act

Center for Food Safety is expressing "deep disappointment" that the Republican-controlled House of Representatives passed H.R. 1599, a bill that will not allow state and local governments to label and regulate genetically engineered foods. The bill codifies a voluntary labeling system approach, blocks the FDA from ever implementing mandatory GE food label, and would let food companies make misleading claims about how "natural" GE foods are. The bill is officially named The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015. But opponents have dubbed it Deny Americans the Right to Know (DARK) Act. Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of Center for Food Safety said in a statement, "passage of this bill is an attempt by Monsanto and its agribusiness cronies to crush the democratic … [Read more...]

Senators Introduce COOL Labeling Legislation

U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and John Hoeven (R-ND) have introduced new bipartisan legislation to address country-of-origin labeling (COOL) following the World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling against the United States in May 2015. The legislation, called the Voluntary County of Origin Labeling (COOL) and Trade Enhancement Act of 2015 would comply with that ruling, and would put in place a voluntary label. This label would help consumers know where their food comes from and should confirmed with the WTO's ruling. The labels could say "Product of the U.S." Stabenow said in a statement, "Michigan farmers and ranchers take pride in raising the world's safest and most affordable foods, and parents in Michigan want to know as much as possible about what their kids are eating. If … [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...]

North Carolina Governor Vetoes Ag Gag Bill

The governor of North Carolina, Pat McCrory, has vetoed the ag-gag bill that was sent to his desk. The bill was designed to give big agriculture and factory farms a civil cause of action against anyone trying to uncover animal abuse. McCrory said in a statement, "This bill is intended to address a valid concern of our state’s businesses—how to discourage those bad actors who seek employment with the intent to engage in corporate espionage or act as an undercover investigator.  This practice is unethical and unfair to employers, and is a particular problem for our agricultural industry. It needs to be stopped. While I support the purpose of this bill, I believe it does not adequately protect or give clear guidance to honest employees who uncover criminal activity.  I am concerned that … [Read more...]

PAMTA Reintroduced to Congress

Representative Louise Slaughter (D-NY), the only microbiologist in Congress, has reintroduced the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act (PAMTA) to prevent a post-antibiotic future. Overusing antibiotics causes bacteria to mutate and become resistant to these life-saving drugs. More than 2,000,000 Americans acquire an antibiotic-resistant infection every year, and at least 23,000 died from those infections. This carries a cost of $20 to 35 billion every year. PAMTA will address all routine uses of medically important antibiotics in the feed of animals that are not sick. The FDA made a commitment in 1977 to put limits on this antibiotic use. The voluntary guidance that agency issued in 2013 is being called a "fig leaf" solution to a monumental problem. Slaughter … [Read more...]

Cow Share Arrangement for Raw Milk Sales Allowed in WV

The legislature in West Virginia has cleared a bill that will let people purchase raw milk through cow herd share arrangements. The vote was 81-19, according to the Bluefield Daily Telegraph. The sale of raw milk has been illegal in that state up to now. The retail sale of raw milk, at farms or at retail establishments, will not be allowed. Consumers would fill out a contract of ownership for a cow, and sign a form acknowledging that they are aware of the health risks posed by this product. In addition, physicians would be required to report any illnesses caused by raw milk to public health officials. Unfortunately, food poisoning outbreaks linked to raw milk increase in states where raw milk sales are legal. All raw milk contains pathogenic bacteria. Pasteurization is the only way … [Read more...]

Legislators Reintroduce PARA

Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Susan Collins (R-ME) reintroduced the Preventing Antibiotic Resistance Act of 2014 (PARA) to Congress on Monday. This is the Senate version of the House bill PAMTA (Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act). This bill would force the FDA to withdraw approval of medically important antibiotics that are used for disease prevention unless the drug's maker can demonstrate that its use on factory farms doesn't pose a risk to humans. A revised label would need to be issued for antibiotics that meet this standard. The bill would close a gap in the FDA guidelines issued in December 2013. At that time, the government asked - not told - asked the industry to eliminate antibiotic use to help animals gain weight. Industry could still use antibiotics … [Read more...]

Report Your Food Poisoning Case
[contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"]

Home About Site Map Contact Us Sponsored by Pritzker Hageman, P.A., a Minneapolis, MN law firm that helps food poisoning victims nationally.