Tag Archive | "USDA"

GMOs: Does Regulation Ensure Safety?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

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GMOs: Does Regulation Ensure Safety?

The public's biggest concern when it comes to GMOs is their safety. There are a lot of misconceptions about genetic engineering. When pressed on science of GMOs, I have often heard people fear that the genetically modified material in the foods they are eating will somehow mutate their DNA too. While logically it sounds like that makes a bit of sense, scientifically its nonsense. So how do we test for and ensure that GMOs are safe? Allow me to introduce you to the complex world of genetic technology regulation. Image credit: kevin dolley on flickr.

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The Truth About Organic Farming

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

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The Truth About Organic Farming

Certified organic sales are now $52 billion/year, worldwide. The large market is fueling a lot of myths out there about organic foods and there is even more propaganda supporting these organic methods that is rarely understood. It's like your mother used to say: just because everyone is jumping off a bridge doesn't mean you should do it, too. I only want to point out that not everything is as it seems. So here are some of the myths of organic produce, and the realities behind them.

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Can Biodiversity and Agriculture Coexist? How Super Metrics Made Wildlife Enemy #1 on the Farm (Day 4)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

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Can Biodiversity and Agriculture Coexist?  How Super Metrics Made Wildlife Enemy #1 on the Farm (Day 4)

Think back to a time before agriculture existed. Hawks pounced on squirrels, coyotes chased field mice and bison roamed the Great Plains. Then came Homo sapien. As super hunters, we first decimated the populations of any large animals we found in Africa. It's from that background we begin to examine a tough question – can biodiversity exist in a world of monocrop staples like corn and rice, amphibian crushing pesticides, and food safety protocols that explicitly make farmers keep sterile fields free of small animals? The answers are varied from those we have spoken to on the Nutrition Wonderland Tour of America.

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Nutrition Wonderland’s Tour of America Begins in California

Monday, September 21, 2009

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Nutrition Wonderland’s Tour of America Begins in California

Nutrition Wonderland's 2009 Tour of America has begun! We are now in California, visiting with a host of organizations that are changing how agriculture and medicine are practiced. If you want to know more about our tour, check out an overview of our mission on this tour. See our stops in the interactive map after the jump...

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JBS Swift Beef Recalls 400,000+ Pounds of Beef, E.coli 0157:H7 Outbreak in 13 States

Friday, June 26, 2009

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JBS Swift Beef Recalls 400,000+ Pounds of Beef, E.coli 0157:H7 Outbreak in 13 States

JBS Swift has voluntarily recalled 42,000 pounds of beef packaged in late April from 13 states at the request of the USDA after fears of another e.coli 0157:H7 outbreak. This news comes only one week after last Friday's major Nestle E.coli 0157:H7 outbreak in cookie dough. The USDA has classified the outbreak as a 'Class I Recall' which is the highest level of severity their FSIS division applies to any recall. Follow the read link to get the whole story (thanks to JC Westbrook of Flickr for the nice shot).

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Food Safety Enhancement Act (HR 2749) Advances Out of Committee

Thursday, June 18, 2009

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Food Safety Enhancement Act (HR 2749) Advances Out of Committee

June 10th marked a historic day in food safety as the Food Safety Enhancement Act (HR 2749) moved out of subcommittee for a vote in the US House. UPDATE: It has now formally also moved out of committee for a real vote on the House floor.

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Food Safety – The US Policy Dimensions of HR 875 and HR 759

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

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Food Safety – The US Policy Dimensions of HR 875 and HR 759

With the recent spat of recalls surrounding pistachios and peanut butter in the US, there has been a large response from the public to better safeguard the food supply. Here we review some of the options currently being discussed against the wisdom of some leading food safety professionals.

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Food Safety – The Recent History

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

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Food Safety – The Recent History

The early part of 2009 has witnessed one of the largest food contamination cases in US history. The Peanut Corporation of America had a salmonella outbreak in one of their factories, contaminating the majority of peanut-butter containing products in the United States. Here, we review the recent history of food borne illnesses and how they relate to the consolidation of the food industry.

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Organic Fish Standards Announced by the USDA

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

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Organic Fish Standards Announced by the USDA

Last week, the USDA announced their first organic guidelines for fish. The new guidelines uphold some of the traditional mainstays of organic agriculture, like banning the use of antibiotics, hormones, pesticides and GMO feed in some instances while weakening other provisions at the same time. Most notable in the new guidelines is the inclusion of a loophole that allows aquaculture farms to obtain up to 25% of their feed from unregulated wild seafood stock (see the NOSB draft literature). The loophole does specify that organic producers use 'sustainable' wild seafood as the feed for their fish stocks but does not go so far as to require 100% organic feed. This is the first time ANY livestock producer (NOTE: the USDA classifies fisheries as 'livestock') has been allowed to include any non-organic feed into their own animal's feed.

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