Judicial & Prisons
Opinion: Immigrant purge will leave onions, peaches to rot in fields; states' attempts to engineer expulsion of 11m undocumented is lunacy and DOJ needs to work harder
The New York Times 2011-07-04
SEC investigating Monsanto over use of cash to persuade distributors to use its herbicides; firm already subject of probe by DOJ into potential anti-competitive practices
By Hal Weitzman
Financial Times 2011-06-29
Opinion: Bribery memo set off an ethics scandal that reached Tyson's executives, raises questions about who, if anyone, is held accountable for high-level corporate crime
By James B. Stewart
The New York Times 2011-06-24
Arizona may revoke business licenses of firms that knowingly hire illegals, Supreme Court affirms; law requires use of federal E-Verify to determine authorization to work
By Robert Barnes
The Washington Post 2011-05-26
Saying that laws to protect fragile ecosystem from harmful and unnecessary agricultural production are being ignored, National Wildlife Federation sues EPA
By Ken Anderson
In trial for organized crime boss, references to food, meals, cooking and the restaurant and catering businesses, along with some choice gastronomic metaphors, keep coming
By William K. Rashbaum
The New York Times 2011-04-18
Illinois attorney general sues four packaged ice companies, charging they conspired to set prices, leaving supermarkets, convenience stores and liquor stores little choice in ice suppliers
By Gregory Karp and Alejandra Cancino
Chicago Tribune 2011-03-10
Veteran CIA officer says feds covered up negligence associated with his family's stay at environmentally troubled Camp Stanley, where house oozed toxic mold and aquifer was tainted
By Charlie Savage
The New York Times 2011-02-11
Ben & Jerry's founders lead protest against Citizens United ruling that allows companies to spend from general treasuries on political activities and rolled back limits on when money could be spent
By Patrick O'Connor
The Wall Street Journal (may require subscription) 2011-01-18
Law firm says that Taco Bell uses false advertising when it refers to using "seasoned ground beef" or "seasoned beef"; mixture doesn't meet USDA standards for labeling, suit says
The Associated Press; MSNBC.com 2011-01-24
In challenge to 1922 law, food service giant Sodexo files suit against egg trade group that controls 95 percent of all laying hens, claiming conspiracy to limit supply, hike prices
By P.J. Huffstutter
Los Angeles Times 2011-01-11
Buffets, salad bars in U.S. hotels, restaurants said to have been discussed as prospective poisoning targets of al Qaeda earlier this year; hospitality industry officials were briefed
By Armen Keteyian
CBS News 2010-12-20
In strike at health insurance law, judge says administration's reasoning - mandating coverage is same as regulating payment - is so broad it could be applied to nutritional decisions
By Janet Adamy
The Wall Street Journal. (may require subscription) 2010-12-13
New York state inmate and college senior uses garden to supplement his thesis titled "The Diet of Punishment: Prison Food and Penal Practice in the Post-Rehabilitative Era"
By Emily Friedman
ABC News 2010-05-18
Judge orders uprooting of hundreds of acres of genetically modified sugar-beet plants in Arizona, Oregon; Monsanto says it will appeal
By Scott Kilman and Bill Tomson
The Wall Street Journal. (may require subscription) 2010-12-01
Houston businessman to pay $15 million to settle allegations of selling old potato flakes, salad dressing, produce, peanut butter, lobster, hamburger to U.S. military for combat troops
By P.J. Huffstutter and Andrew Blankstein
Los Angeles Times 2010-11-20
Dairy worker sentenced to jail, fined and directed to undergo mental health after video shows him apparently abusing cows; veterinarian said actions weren't abuse, says lawyer
By Donna Willis
Group sues USDA, challenging agency's recent decision to allow planting of Monsanto's genetically altered sugar beet seeds after court ruling banned farmers from planting them
By P.J. Huffstutter
Los Angeles Times 2010-09-09
Cook County Jail garden grows produce for Charlie Trotter's, The Publican restaurants, helps inmates find peace, patience, cuts recidivism from 50 percent to 13.8 percent since 2008
By Kevin Pang
Chicago Tribune 2010-09-09
In humanitarian aid world, peanut product offers rare and fantastic efficacy for starving children, but who should profit from it and spinoffs for $6 billion malnutrition prevention market?
By Andrew Rice
The New York Times 2010-09-02
Shoppers Food Warehouse execs, Maryland senator indicted in bribery scheme; in separate case, grocery agrees to pay $2.5 million penalty
Federal Bureau of Investigation 2010-09-01
11 people, 6 corporations indicted in conspiracy to smuggle $40 million of Chinese honey into US; officials say documents were altered and labels changed
By Jeff Coen
Chicago Tribune 2010-09-01
After judge bans planting of Monsanto's genetically modified sugar beets, which supply half of nation's sugar, growers fret over availability of conventional seed varieties
By Michael J. Crumb
The Associated Press; The Washington Post 2010-08-20
Political instability from lack of clean water, cholera threat, looming food shortages, price spikes, missed planting season among concerns over Pakistan's flooding disaster
By Adam B. Ellick
The New York Times 2010-08-16
With half of US sugar derived from genetically modified sugar beets, judge's ruling against GM crops creates uncertainty for sugar-dependent food companies
By Scott Kilman
The Wall Street Journal. (may require subscription) 2010-08-16
Federal judge denies bid by Eastern Shore farmers, Perdue to dismiss Chesapeake Bay tributary pollution lawsuit - the first to target Maryland's chicken industry
By Timothy B. Wheeler
The Baltimore Sun 2010-07-23
Judge throws out $2.3 million award to six Nicaraguan men in suit against Dole; banana workers' case had become political movement in poverty-stricken country
By Victoria Kim
Los Angeles Times 2010-07-16
DNA retrieved from discarded slice of pizza led Los Angeles police to suspect in Grim Sleeper serial killings
By Maura Dolan, Joel Rubin, Hector Becerra, Andrew Blankstein, Richard Winton and Robert Faturechi
Los Angeles Times 2010-07-07
Son of former Agriprocessors head found not guilty on all child labor charges at family's now-defunct slaughterhouse in Iowa
By Jens Krogstad
The Des Moines Register 2010-06-07
In farm states, growing concern over theft of anhydrous ammonia fertilizer, which is used as a catalyst in the making of methamphetamine
By Dave Russell
Purdue University 2010-05-21
By Josh White
The Washington Post 2010-05-24
The Associated Press; NBC 2010-05-03
Ex-tomato magnate pleads not guilty to antitrust charges; case is part of far-reaching governmental scrutiny of country's food sector
By P.J. Huffstutter
Los Angeles Times 2010-05-05
Agricultural biotech firms may be affected by judge's ruling that invalidates genetic patents; Supreme Court has chance to set new standards on what is patentable in upcoming Bilski case
By Andrew Pollack
The New York Times 2010-03-30
Santa Monica sushi restaurant, facing federal charges for serving endangered whale meat, closes for good as part of apology
By Tony Barboza
Los Angeles Times 2010-03-20
Judge denies request to ban planting of Monsanto's GM sugar beets, but says ruling isn't indicative of views on a permanent injunction
By Kelsey Volkmann
St. Louis Business Journal 2010-03-16
Fearing cross pollination, organic farmers file suit to halt planting, sugar production of genetically modified sugar beets
By Jeff Barnard
The Associated Press; The Washington Post 2010-03-01
Agribusiness executive pleads not guilty in tomato racketeering case dubbed Operation Rotten Tomato by FBI
By Marc Lifsher and P.J. Huffstutter
Los Angeles Times 2010-02-27
Two-part tomato scheme included bribes that likely pushed ingredient prices up and shipping of tainted products to Kraft, others
By William Neuman
The New York Times 2010-02-25
By P.J. Huffstutter
Los Angeles Times 2010-02-08
The Associated Press; The Washington Post 2010-01-26
Supreme Court's upcoming rule on ban of Monsanto's Roundup alfalfa could affect ruling on GM sugar beets - and half of U.S. sugar crop
By Jeffrey Tomich
St. Louis Post-Dispatch 2010-01-16
By Scott Kilman and Thomas Catan
The Wall Street Journal. (may require subscription) 2010-01-15
Pat-downs, more-meticulous baggage exams inspired by would-be terrorist may catch chefs smuggling meats from Europe
By Ben Worthen
The Wall Street Journal. (may require subscription) 2010-01-14
By Monica Eng
Chicago Tribune 2009-12-21
August riot at Kentucky prison was caused by inmate anger over bad food, corrections officer tells lawmakers. 'The food was slop.' Representative calls for investigation, files bill that would cancel $12 million annual contract of Aramark Correctional Services, food provider for Kentucky prisons. State contracted with firm in January 2005. Officials have said that with savings from contract, they gave corrections officers a nearly 7 percent raise in 2005, but another official says pay went up because work week was increased to 40 hours. And: Prisoners don't deserve coddling, but they deserve adequate meals, editors say (click 'See also').
By Valarie Honeycutt Spears
Lexington Herald-Leader 2009-11-07
Group of six scientists, students at Harvard Medical School pathology department hospitalized after drinking poisoned coffee. Immediate testing found no traces of poison, but later test revealed that sodium azide, a common preservative used in labs, is what sickened the researchers, internal memo said. School is installing new surveillance cameras, imposing tighter security.
By Adam Smith and O’Ryan Johnson
Boston Herald 2009-10-25
Justice Department is investigating whether Monsanto violated antitrust rules in attempt to expand its market dominance of genetically engineered crops. In U.S., its patented genes are in majority of corn, soybeans. Probe is part of inquiry into consolidation in seed industry. And: From its origins as saccharin manufacturer, Monsanto has grown to global giant, dominating commodity seed stocks, buying seed companies and suing farmers it suspects of saving its seed from last year (click 'See also').
By Christopher Leonard
The Associated Press; ABC 2009-10-08
New film starring Matt Damon as informant at agribusiness giant Archer Daniels Midland is dark comedy based on true story. Actor gained 30 pounds, wore mustache to play Mark Whitacre, who turns from corporate golden boy to FBI source to uncover price-fixing practices in industry. And: In 'The Informant,' (click 'See also') Kurt Eichenwald, author, poses unlikely question: What happens when government informant at heart of global criminal conspiracy is a bipolar, serial-lying embezzler?
By Silvia Aloisi
From 1950s to mid-1980s, Camp Lejeune water for hundreds of thousands of Marines, families was laced with then-unregulated chemicals from an off-base dry-cleaning company and from industrial solvents used to clean military equipment. Now, cluster of cancer cases has appeared, and more than 1,600 former base residents have filed claims against feds, seeking $34 billion. And: Dry-cleaning chemicals taint soil, water in Illinois (click 'See also').
By David Zucchino
Los Angeles Times 2009-08-26
Chiquita asks judge to dismiss wrongful death suits associated with payments it made to rival Colombian paramilitary groups in region that encompassed 200 of its banana farms (click 'See also'). Suits argue that payments aided terrorist groups, which pacified region with murders, kidnappings and improved Chiquita's profits; banana company says payments were extortion.
By Jane Musgrave
Palm Beach Post 2009-02-27
In four-year undercover operation, agents used cover stories, recorded conversations, fish coroner to link Southern Maryland, fish market in D.C., and possibly dinner plates along East Coast. Authorities say traffickers moved about 600,000 pounds of illegal rockfish (also called striped bass) from Potomac River, Chesapeake Bay, valued at between $3 million and $7 million.
By David A. Fahrenthold and Del Quentin Wilber
The Washington Post 2009-02-07
Criminal investigation into salmonella-linked peanut plant announced, FDA says. And: Warnings about problems at Blakely, Ga., plant came when metal fragments were found in shipment of chopped peanuts sent to Canada in April, 2008 (click 'See also'). FDA said shipment, described as "filthy and putrid," was rejected in Canada and returned to Peanut Corp of America, where it was destroyed in November.
By Jeffry Scott and Craig Schneider
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution 2009-01-30
Graft could be boosting consumer prices for ketchup, salsa and sauces according to charges in a federal price-fixing case. Kraft Foods, Frito-Lay purchasing managers admitted taking bribes from broker for central California company that processes 15 percent of nation's bulk tomato paste. The broker pleaded guilty of soliciting bribes.
By Bob Egelko
The San Francisco Chronicle 2009-01-28
Virginia six-year-old, motivated by school breakfast, gym class, drives his mother's car 10 miles toward school after he misses bus. First-grader, who passed cars on a two-lane road and may have been standing to drive before he hit a utility pole (he was unhurt), told sheriff he had trained on Grand Theft Auto, Monster Truck Jam video games. Parents charged with felony child endangerment.
By Tom Jackman
The Washington Post 2009-01-07
Ohio organic food business accused of selling meat products without a license; owners maintain they're exempt from requirement, official says. Boxes of beef, lamb, turkey reportedly confiscated. Officials deny owner's account of SWAT officers accompanying state agriculture officials, sheriff's deputies to the family's home for search warrant.
By Steve Fogarty
The Chronicle-Telegram 2008-12-09
New York state restaurant critic, companion beaten in parking lot of restaurant. Critic had announced plans on his blog to attend new restaurant's preview dinner. Whether the attack was premeditated or random is under investigation, police said. No arrests have been made.
By Jimmy Vielkind
Times Union (NY) 2008-10-19
Replacing an asphalt lot, a three-acre garden in view of Wall Street becomes a go-to place for teens and has drawn more than 5,000 students with their classes. Gardens were begun by two employees of Red Hook yourth court who started a nonprofit, Added Value, and now employ teens who 'weed it, turn it, rake it, seed it' - and sell the bounty at a farmers' market and to Brooklyn restaurants.
By Jim Dwyer
The New York Times 2008-10-08
Three suspicious packages, heavily wrapped in white packaging and duct tape, found on the first-base side outside Philadelphia stadium before recent Phillies-Braves game. Police were called, stadium was evacuated (but batting practice continued). Bomb squad arrived, then exploded hot dogs left over from photo shoot of Phanatic's hot-dog launcher.
By Rich Hofmann and David Gambacorta
Philadelphia Daily News 2008-09-25
After school lunch program comes up short by $418,876, veteran bookkeeper negotiates guilty plea, 18-month jail sentence and restitution. New Hampshire school will install new computer, in part, to aid in monitoring cash flow.
By Meg Heckman
Concord Monitor 2008-09-16
Those planning life of crime might consider a diet low in processed foods, says inventor of new fingerprinting technique. Perspiration of those who eat junk food contains more salt, and salty, sweaty fingerprints leave more telltale, corrosive impression on metal - or on bomb fragments. That leads, he says, to an indirect link between obesity and the chances of being fingered for a crime.
Science Daily 2008-09-16
Weaponless in California, ransacking burglar scours kitchen, then applies spice rub to one victim, whacks another in the face with a sausage, police say. After suspect is captured in field, authorities discover dog has eaten the evidence.
By Louis Galvan
The Fresno Bee (CA) 2008-09-06
Appeals court says USDA can prohibit testing for mad cow disease. Small Arkansas slaughterhouse wanted to test each cow to prove to foreign markets that their beef was safe. USDA cites 1913 law, also argues that tests can't be used for marketing. And: Editors call ruling 'sane,' because test detects disease months before symptoms appear; disease incubation period is two to nine years.
By Charles Abbott
Rice farmers' suits against maker of biotech rice too dissimilar to consolidate into class-action, judge rules. After Bayer CropScience's Liberty Link rice contaminated public food supply in 2006, mostly likely from plot at Louisiana State University, some countries temporarily banned U.S. rice exports, drying up foreign markets and causing drop in U.S. rice price.
The Associated Press; International Herald Tribune 2008-08-14
City adds greater police presence to its popular 'Taste of Chicago' event after four persons shot following holiday fireworks display. Shootings occurred a mile away from festival, officials said. Sixty-five vendors are offering a total of 287 items for tastings. For interactive map, click 'See also.'
By Angela Rozas And Jason Meisner
Chicago Tribune 2008-07-04
Arizona pilot project helps eligible former inmates in targeted ZIP code apply for food stamps, other assistance in attempt to reduce soaring costs of criminal justice. New program seeks to address underlying problems, such as poverty, unemployment, substance abuse and mental illness.
By Amanda J. Crawford and Yvonne Wingett
The Arizona Republic 2008-06-15
Citing '697 criminal complaints and arrest warrants,' federal agents raid AgriProcessors kosher meat processing plant and arrest more than 300. Raid 'devastating' to local economy, professor says. Iowa raid filled parents, children with fear, and points up need for immigration policy, archbishop says (click 'See also').
By Susan Saulny
The New York Times 2008-05-13
As Burger King spying case shows, we need a Bill of Rights that defends us against irresponsible corporate power. The fast-food chain says it obtained information about a college group to prevent violence. But it is a pacifist nonprofit inspired by Martin Luther King Jr., and supported by Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Foundation, Presbyterian Church and a Catholic peace movement.
By Eric Schlosser
The New York Times 2008-05-07
Complete meal, or punishment? Vermont Supreme Court will decide after inmates sue over prison's use of nutraloaf as behavior modification tool for those who throw excrement or utensils. In 1988, judge said that Michigan's use of nutraloaf was punishment. For recipe, click 'See also.'
By Wilson Ring
The Associated Press; San Francisco Chronicle 2008-03-23
Hallmark/Westland slaughterhouse worker pleads guilty to animal cruelty charges, sentenced to 180 days. Humane Society videotape showed him using forklift to force feeble cows onto their feet. The company was the second largest supplier of ground beef to the USDA school lunches; tape led to nation's largest beef recall.
By Rod Leveque
Daily Bulletin (CA) 2008-03-21
Worker charged in animal cruelty case after being filmed at Hallmark/Westland slaughterhouse says he was doing what he was told and what he was taught. 'I think it's unjust that I'm here. Where are the people in charge?' asked Sanchez Herrera, a Colima, Mexico, native. Officials say he is being held without bail on immigration charges.
By Monica Rodriguez
The Sun (CA) 2008-03-06
Chocolate price-fixing probe among Mars, Kraft Foods, Nestle, Cadbury Schweppes and others grows. Documents filed in Ontario allege that leaders of Hershey, Mars and Nestlé met secretly. Cases detail exchange of pricing information back to 2002. Germany raids offices; New Jersey sweets company files antitrust suit. Volume of commerce is potentially in the billions of dollars per year.
By Janet Frankston Lorin
The Associated Press; The Seattle Times 2008-02-14
Police, USDA charge 27 associated with eight Detroit stores for alleged ties to food stamp trafficking totaling more than $1.5 million The yearlong probe involved confidential informants and video/audio footage. Michigan criminal justice agency estimates that county's food stamp fraud totals about $16 million annually.
By Mark Hicks
The Detroit News 2008-02-13
Indian prison plans to offer inmates new diet, including eggs, soybeans, seasonal vegetables and chutneys, as well as slices of onion and lemon as condiments; cooking classes also contemplated.
The Telegraph (Calcutta, India) 2007-09-03
Jail farm in Massachusetts town becomes unconventional tourist draw as well as place for well-behaved inmates to feel sense of accomplishment while learning the art of tending plants and animals.
By Erin Conroy
Boston Globe 2007-09-01
The promise of fried chicken and a movie moves inmates to compete in cleanliness contest at South Carolina jail (showers are the tie-breaker); the center, which moves 6,800 prisoners through each year, still has the original carpet, from 1992.
By Daniel Brownstein
The Island Packet (SC); The State (SC) 2007-08-30
Norway's Bastoey Prison now operates with ecologically sound food production, solar panels, wood-fire heating instead of oil and strict recycling to teach its 115 inmates respect for environment and for others.
District judge orders prison to provide kosher meals for Muslim inmate after he sues Tecumseh State Correctional Institution to request them, citing religious requirements; officials complained that special meals would raise food and preparation costs and possibly cause resentment in other inmates.
Associated Press; Sioux City Journal
Find hemp seed, hemp oil, hemp butter, hemp bread, and hemp bars at the natural foods store, but it's all imported; hemp farming is banned in the U.S. because the plant is a version of the cannabis plant and contains low levels of the active ingredient in marijuana.
By Ann Woolner
Citing intellectual property, New York restaurateur and chef of Pearl Oyster Bar sues former employee for remarkable similarities in look and feel of a new place, Ed's Lobster Bar.
By Pete Wells
The New York Times (may require subscription)