Food Safety

Krypton 81 helps track ancient water source of Nubian Aquifer, shared by Egypt, Libya, Chad and Sudan; technique could track brine in NM, where radioactive waste is stored

By Felicity Barringer

The New York Times 2011-11-21

Despite public health threat of cadmium, Mexico continues use of it in production of fertilizer, toys, batteries; population absorbs toxin through foods, smoking tobacco

By Emilio Godoy

Inter Press Service (Rome, Italy) 2011-11-03

Dam-building project means switch to water from Calaveras Reservoir for San Francisco area; customers note foul smell, moldy taste caused by Aphanizomenon, an algae

By Peter Fimrite

San Francisco Chronicle 2011-11-02

Labeling genetically modified foods would scare consumers away from buying them, State Department says; virtually any U.S. food containing corn or soy would have to be labeled

By Philip Brasher

The Des Moines Register 2011-10-12

FDA will support sale of genetically engineered fish for human consumption, source says; environmental groups, some in Congress, oppose farming and sale of such fish

By Jim Kozubek

Talking Points Memo 2011-10-10

Opinion: As daily exposure to endocrine-disrupting toxins grows, academic scientists, clinicians need a place at regulatory table with EPA, FDA and industry scientists

By Patricia Hunt

Scientific American 2011-10-11

EPA proposal to cut mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants unites religious environmentalists, abortion foes; mercury in fish can cause prenatal brain, neurological damage

By Elizabeth Dias

Time magazine 2011-09-23

Though health concerns from pollution near fracking are longstanding, neither states nor feds have systematically tracked reports or comprehensively probed effects

by Abrahm Lustgarten and Nicholas Kusnetz

ProPublica 2011-09-16

"ResistanceMap" tracks spread of antibiotic-resistant superbugs around the world online

By Rob Stein

The Washington Post 2011-09-21

13 die, 72 fall ill after eating listeria-tainted cantaloupe grown by Jensen Farms of Colorado

By William Neuman

The New York Times 2011-09-27

EPA allows Florida to classify some waterways as no longer appropriate for fishing, swimming

By Craig Pittman

The Times (St. Peterburg, FL) 2011-09-14

NJ, RI senators want list of risky health, environment chemicals from EPA; it includes BPA, phthalates, polybrominated diphenyl ethers

By Cheryl Hogue

Chemical & Engineering News 2011-09-12

NJ superfund site - one of nation's most toxic - on bank of Raritan river remains submerged after Irene; benzene-laden tar balls found beyond site's barriers

By Salvador Rizzo and Christopher Baxter

The Star-Ledger 2011-09-07

Glyphosate, in Monsanto's Roundup herbicide, now commonly found in rain, rivers, air in agricultural areas of Mississippi River watershed; 88,000 tons used in 2007

By Paul Capel

U.S. Geological Survey 2011-08-29

Government inspectors continue to find unsanitary conditions and inadequate protections against salmonella on Iowa's egg farms - a year after 1,900 sickened from bacteria

By Clark Kauffman

The Des Moines Register 2011-08-28

After intense lobbying campaign by industry, administration abandons plan to cut ozone limits; toxin contributes to heart problems, asthma, other lung disorders

By John M. Broder

The New York Times 2011-09-02

Researchers find Monsanto's Roundup chemical, glyphosate, in water, air; study follows others that probe rise of super weeds, other effects of toxin on soil, animals

By Carey Gillam

Reuters 2011-08-31

Sewage causes coral die-off in Florida Keys, researcher learns; culprit is bacterium called Serratia marcescens, which often causes hospital-acquired infections

By Richard Harris

National Public Radio/ All Things Considered 2011-08-17

Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), used to make oil-resistant paper packaging, Teflon, other nonstick products, may affect function of thyroid gland; study called "clinically disturbing"

By Ken Ward Jr.

Gazette-Mail (Charleston, WV) 2011-08-06

Opinion: GOP-led House group seems bent on destroying laws protecting water, soil, air, but Obama, Senate must stand firm against states' likely race to bottom to lure business

The editors

The New York Times 2011-07-15

Supplier to Nike, Adidas, Puma, H&M, Lacoste accused of dumping endocrine disrupting toxins into Chinese water systems; critics point to hypocrisy of western outsourcers

By Jonathan Watts

The Guardian (UK) 2011-07-13

Citing harm to business, House Republicans push ahead on plans to hamstring air, water, soil protections

By Tennille Tracy

Dow Jones Newswires 2011-07-13

Bush-era EPA mischaracterized science on sensitivity of various age groups to perchlorate, a rocket fuel component tainting soil and drinking water, report says

By Bettina Boxall

Los Angeles Times 2011-07-12

Golden-orange lining in metal water bottles may leach more BPA toxin than polycarbonate versions; unlined bottles, or those with white lining did better in tests

By Janet Raloff

Science News 2011-07-11

Fracking wastewater dousing killed ground vegetation within days and more than half the trees within two years, study shows, spurring calls to classify liquid as toxic waste

By Vicki Smith

The Associated Press; Forbes 2011-07-11

After wildfires, tainted soil being removed near Los Alamos National Laboratory over concern that PCBs could wash into Rio Grande, source of drinking water for New Mexico

By Dennis J. Carroll

Reuters 2011-07-12

E. coli probe centers on 16 tons of Egyptian fenugreek seeds received by German importer in December 2009 and distributed to dozens of firms in at least 12 European countries

By William Neuman

The New York Times 2011-07-05

Study finds strong link between diabetes onset and blood levels of a group of harsh industrial chemicals that linger in fatty tissue of meat and fish

By Tom Philpott

Mother Jones 2011-07-04

House moves to kill only national program that routinely screens our fruits, vegetables for deadly e. coli, but tracking pathogens in meat, dairy has $9 million budget

By Monica Eng

Chicago Tribune 2011-07-04

Opinion: "Stoveman," a reality cooking show with deeper meaning, documents business aimed at providing efficient rocket stoves to poor households in struggling places

By Andrew C. Revkin

The New York Times 2011-06-27

As EPA tightens on emissions of mercury, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides, coal-heavy utility lobbies Congress on clean water, clean air rules

The Associated Press; Bloomberg Businessweek 2011-06-27

Pollution from lawns, sewers affecting Barnegat Bay, NJ's main breeding grounds for fish, clams and crabs, and threatens state's $35.5 billion tourism-based economy

By Wayne Parry

The Associated Press; The Wall Street Journal. (may require subscription) 2011-06-28

New coalition of hunting, fishing enthusiasts emerges as force in debate over natural gas drilling; collectively they have more than 60,000 members over Marcellus Shale

By Kevin Begos

The Associated Press; San Francisco Chronicle 2011-06-25

Opinion: Fracking for natural gas from shale has potential to transform U.S. energy production if risks to water supply, environment and human health are managed

The editors

The Wall Street Journal. (may require subscription) 2011-06-25

Radioactive tritium has leaked from at least 48 of all 65 U.S. nuclear power stations, raising fears of water tainting; regulators, industry loosen standards to keep plants operating

By Jeff Donn

The Associated Press; 2011-06-21

Pesticide spraying near streams to expand under Congressional bill that sidesteps Clean Water Act permitting

By Ashlie Rodriguez

Los Angeles Times 2011-06-21

USDA testing finds 34 unapproved pesticides on cilantro; researchers say growers may have confused guidelines for it and flat-leaf parsley, for which more pesticides are OK'd

By Monica Eng

Chicago Tribune 2011-05-31

10 dead in Germany, hundreds ill with e.coli; officials suspect cucumbers imported from two greenhouses in Spain and warn of secondary infections passed from person to person

BBC 2011-05-29

Farmers, wise to reports of dead or quarantined livestock, anguish over possible effects of fracking to their livelihood while EPA claims no jurisdiction over food production matters

By Barry Estabrook

Gilt Taste 2011-05-14

Opinion: We need to support sweeping regulatory change to our main chemical safety law, and make chemical companies demonstrate their products are safe before sale to us

By Dominique Browning

The New York Times 2011-05-09

Opinion: If you're raising and killing 10 billion animals every year, animal abuse is guaranteed, especially with standard inhumane factory-farming practices, lack of actual laws

By Mark Bittman

The New York Times 2011-04-26

Opinion: In IA, FL, MN, purpose of bills that make undercover investigations in factory farms a crime is to hide those conditions from a public that thinks about the way food is produced

The editors

The New York Times 2011-04-26

New food safety law needs funding but GOP looks to cut FDA budget; agency inspects only 1 percent of 10 million products, yet imports account for 60 percent of fresh fruits, vegetables and 80 percent of seafood

By Steven Gray

Time magazine 2011-04-24

Attempt to cut levels of acrylamide in foods has limited impact; carcinogen formed by heat reaction between sugar, asparagine and known as Maillard reaction is responsible for browning, flavor

By Rory Harrington

Food Production Daily 2011-04-22

As national attention is focused on GOP efforts to roll back clean air, water laws, similar battles under way in states, from Everglades to watershed that supplies drinking water to NJ

By Leslie Kaufman

The New York Times 2011-04-15

Roughly 1 in 4 packages of meat, poultry across U.S. contained multi-drug resistant staph in survey; risk is that we handle it badly, and transfer that staph onto our bodies, into our homes

By Maryn McKenna 2011-04-15

TVA to close 18 of its coal-burning generators, spend $3 billion to $5 billion on pollution controls on remaining units; emissions implicated in respiratory illness, acid rain, climate change

By Felicity Barringer

The New York Times 2011-04-14

Children exposed to high levels of organophosphates -pesticides sprayed on food crops - while in womb have lower I.Q. scores than their peers by school age, studies show

By Tara Parker-Pope

The New York Times 2011-04-21

Milk tainted by nitrate, a meat-curing chemical, kills three, sickens 35 in latest Chinese dairy industry safety scandal; imports have doubled since 2008, pushing global prices up

By Guy Montague-Jones; Decision News Media 2011-04-08

Japanese fishermen take offensive in fight against owner of Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, calling utility's dump of radioactive water into sea insulting, incompetent, unforgivable

By the CNN Wire Staff

CNN 2011-04-06

Letter to USDA head intensifies fight between those who see biotech as only way to feed rising population and those who fear that it produces food that is nutritionally lacking, environmentally dangerous

By P.J. Huffstutter

Los Angeles Times 2011-04-02

FDA panel rejects need for warnings on food coloring; use of the cheaper dyes, once made from coal tar but now derived from petroleum, has increased 50 percent since 1990

By Lyndsey Layton

The Washington Post 2011-03-31

Levels of bisphenol A detected in human urine dropped by 66 per cent in just three days after subjects eliminated their exposure to canned and plastic packaging, research shows

By Rory Harrington

Food Production Daily 2011-03-31

Fears about contaminated seafood spread despite reassurances that radiation 3,355 times legal limit for radioactive iodine in waters off Fukushima nuclear plant pose no health risk

The Associated Press 2011-03-31

To growing cadre of eaters who care how their food is produced, agriculture wars under way are operatic, pitting technology against tradition in a struggle underscored by politics, profits

By Lyndsey Layton

The Washington Post 2011-03-23

Opinion: We are for savings, but GOP's proposed losses of $11 billion in meat and poultry production over next seven months through furloughs of meat inspectors makes no sense

The editors

The New York Times 2011-03-06

Most plastic products, from sippy cups to food wraps, can release estrogen-like chemicals, even before exposure to simulated sunlight, dishwashing, microwaving, study shows

By Jon Hamilton

National Public Radio/ All Things Considered 2011-03-02

Opinion: Start cutting government fat by combining 15 federal agencies dealing with food safety - the same ones cited 10 years ago in report to Congress

The editors

Mercury News (San Jose, CA) 2011-03-01

Texas lawmakers introduce bills on Gulf Coast oysters, venison sales, soda in schools, winery sales and tours, raw milk sales and home delivery, naming hamburger the state sandwich

By Aman Batheja

Star-Telegram (Fort Worth, TX) 2011-02-28

Lawmakers launch investigation into health risks of drilling for natural gas on public lands; critics of practice cite potential for drinking-water pollution, environmental damage

By Andrew Restuccia

The Hill 2011-02-28

Click on this link to vote on whether genetically modified foods, or foods containing those ingredients, should require labels

MSNBC 2011-02-25

USDA reports attempted fraud from Chinese firm using fake certificate to represent non-organic crops as organic; reliance on cheaper imported organics has undermined U.S. farmers

By Bart King

Sustainable Life Media; Reuters 2011-02-22

House flies, roaches may be conduit for superbugs ingested from feces at commercial hog farms; public health specialists look to block human interaction at nearby homes, businesses

By Mick Kulikowski

The Abstract (North Carolina State University) 2011-02-16

Opinion: Possibility of taint from genetically modified alfalfa is low; farmers often cut hay before it flowers, and even if a cow producing organic milk ate GM alfalfa, impact would be benign

By James E. McWilliams

The Atlantic 2011-02-16

Opinion: With Monsanto's Roundup Ready Alfalfa, new kind of pollution is forced on us; it now affects majority of food produced in U.S., without our consent. We've said "No," but is anybody listening?

By Barbara Damrosch

The Washington Post 2011-02-16

Opinion: Government's unwillingness to label genetically modified foods and products that contain them is demeaning, undemocratic; without labeling, we have no say

By Mark Bittman

The New York Times 2011-02-17

Oil/gas group says "Gasland," with its flaming tap water and reference to 596 chemicals used in fracking, should be ineligible for Oscar in best documentary feature due to errors

By Rebecca Keegan

Los Angeles Times 2011-02-15

Citing decades-long concealment of mining-related pollution to drinking water and environment, neighbors of abandoned copper mine file class-action suit against BP America, Atlantic Richfield Co.

The Associated Press; The New York Times 2011-02-15

Ecuadorean plaintiffs, citing higher incidence of cancer in communities and water supplies polluted with oil, say that $8.6 billion ruling against Chevron isn't enough compensation

By Victor Gomez

Reuters 2011-02-15

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

Military buys Gulf fish, shrimp, oysters, crab cakes, and packaged Cajun dishes after region was hammered by last year's BP oil leak; consumers had feared bounty had been tainted

By Mary Foster

The Associated Press; The Washington Post 2011-02-06

Kerala villagers join campaign to ban Endosulfan pesticide, but Indian government, the world's largest producer, exporter and user, says negative health reports are limited and ban would risk food security

By Rama Lakshmi

The Washington Post 2011-02-07

With 60-day aging rule for raw milk cheeses widely viewed as simplistic, cheesemakers worry that new FDA proposal may require them to switch to less flavorful pasteurized milk

By William Neuman

The New York Times 2011-02-04

FDA loophole allows popular Girl Scout cookies - Samoas, Tagalongs, Thin Mints - to carry "0 grams trans fat" label though partially hydrogenated oils are high on ingredient list

By Monica Eng

Chicago Tribune 2011-01-25

FDA, dairy industry fight over testing for antibiotics in milk from farms that had repeatedly sold for slaughter cows tainted by drug residue; antibiotics overuse a question

By William Neuman

The New York Times 2011-01-26

New York state agencies following policy urging them to avoid products, equipment containing any of 85 toxic chemicals whenever safer, cost-effective options available

By Olga Naidenko

Environmental Working Group 2011-01-01

New businesses spurred by food safety law requiring that all players in food supply chain maintain digital records of where they bought all processed food and/or produce and where they sent it

By Lyndsey Layton

The Washington Post 2011-01-23

Opinion: Regulatory system requires balance; we won't shy away from new safety rules for infant formula, or treat saccharin like dangerous chemical if FDA considers it safe to eat

By Barack Obama

The Wall Street Journal. (may require subscription) 2011-01-18

Public funding of campaigns, single food safety agency, breaking culture of corporate growth every quarter among nutrition professor Marion Nestle's wishes for food system

By Marion Nestle

The Atlantic 2011-01-18

Multiple chemicals, including those used in nonstick cookware, processed foods, furniture, beauty products found in blood, urine of pregnant U.S. women, study shows

By Victoria Colliver

San Francisco Chronicle 2011-01-14

German authorities struggle to contain widening dioxin-tainted food scandal after China temporarily halts imports of German pork and egg products

By Patrick Donahue

Reuters 2011-01-12

New dioxin-tainted food scandal in Germany points to criminal deficiencies in system; low cost for livestock feed is main driver and previous safety efforts have targeted food, not feed

By Andrea Brandt, Michael Frohlingsdorf, Nils Klawitter, Julia Koch, Michael Loeckx and Udo Ludwig

Der Spiegel 2011-01-10

Someone who touched communion wafers distributed at Christmas Day services at New York church was infected with hepatitis A; virus is spread by ingestion so vaccinations urged

By Paul Vitello

The New York Times 2011-01-04

Beyond funding fight for food safety bill, other provisions likely to draw scrutiny include safety plans, risk-based inspections and standards guarantees from food importers

By Julian Pecquet

The Hill 2011-01-03

Texas senator says that EPA's emissions standards for power plants, refineries will hurt farmers, consumers; she predicts they will see higher costs passed on to them as new tax

By Andrew Restuccia

The Hill 2010-12-29

Opinion: President Obama must support EPA efforts in reducing emissions so we can breathe cleaner air and fish in our waterways will contain less mercury

The editors

The New York Times 2010-12-25

Lawmaker with a say in FDA budget says "we don't have the funding" for $1 billion over five years for food safety bill, but grocery lobby says what of $6 billion a year for corn ethanol subsidies?

By Philip Brasher

The Des Moines Register 2010-12-22

UN concerned about prosecution in China of whistle-blowers highlighting food safety scandals as well as shrinking of arable land - a major threat to self-sufficiency

BBC 2010-12-23

California appeals court upholds farmer's right to sue pesticide applicator in case of pesticide drift that contaminated organic dill; $1 million award stands as well

By Kurtis Alexander

Santa Cruz Sentinel 2010-12-22

Republicans who opposed food safety bill say it gives FDA authority but not accountability, that it will lead to higher food prices and that $1.4 billion cost isn't justified

By Christopher Doering

Reuters 2010-12-21

Opinion: This year's salmonella outbreak in eggs, which are governed by separate rules than those of new food safety bill, is reminder of broader work that was left undone

The editors

The Washington Post 2010-12-22

After tests find hexavalent chromium in drinking water, expert says most people ingest chromium from food or cigarettes, not water; acidic foods can leach the heavy metal from stainless steel pots

By Eliza Barclay

National Public Radio/ Shots 2010-12-22

EPA head vows to review hexavalent chromium by summer and to consider ordering cities to start testing for toxic metal in tap water; industry has fought limits for years

By Michael Hawthorne

Chicago Tribune 2010-12-21

FDA trying to persuade pharmaceutical firms to stop providing antibiotics to promote livestock growth; companies sold 29 million pounds of antibiotics in 2009 for use in food animals

By Philip Brasher

Des Moines Register 2010-12-19

Wooden pallet group says plastic pallet group's lawsuit over statements condoning research into plastic pallets as possible cause of tainted butter a "distraction"

By Rory Harrington Decision News Media 2010-12-20

FDA's ability to enforce new food safety law will depend on funds available to pay inspectors and staff; Republicans in House have vowed to slash spending

By William Neuman

The New York Times 2010-12-21

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

Senate passes food safety bill after weekend of negotiations, strategy sessions and several predictions about bill's demise; bill won't affect meat, poultry, some egg products

By Lyndsey Layton

The Washington Post 2010-12-20

Drinking water in most of 35 cities across U.S. contains hexavalent chromium, a probable carcinogen made famous by film "Erin Brockovich," EWG study shows

By Lyndsey Layton

The Washington Post 2010-12-18

Food safety bill looks dead after its host, omnibus spending legislation, fails; bill would give FDA ability to recall tainted food, set quarantines, access food producers' records

By Jason Millman

The Hill 2010-12-17

Citing human health and national security, California governor stands with regulators who OK process that pays owners of power plants, refineries, other polluters to cut emissions

By Jason Dearen

The Associated Press; Los Angeles Times 2010-12-17

Shale gas production linked to tainted drinking water; in Texas, EPA warns of risk of explosion, and in Pennsylvania, firm will pay residents $4.1 million and install water-treatment systems

By Ana Campoy and Daniel Gilbert

The Wall Street Journal. (may require subscription) 2010-12-17

After change in method and data analysis, CDC cuts estimates of yearly food-borne illness, death; agency says sicknesses hit 48 million people, not 76 million, and more than 3,000 die, not 5,000

By William Neuman

The New York Times 2010-12-15

Government's failure to act linked to recent egg woes; resistance to regulating business, fractured oversight between 15 agencies and 71 interagency accords weakens food safety efforts

By Lyndsey Layton

The Washington Post 2010-12-11

Opinion: Farms, mills and municipalities that use Florida waterways as a latrine learn that latest battle to stop enforcement of federal pollution laws will be paid for by state taxpayers

By Carl Hiaasen

The Miami Herald 2010-12-11

Butters in Dallas supermarket contaminated with flame retardants; researchers say either electronic devices in butter processing plant or packaging likely culprit but call for stricter scrutiny

By Rory Harrington

Food Production Daily 2010-12-07

With current food safety bill, origins of contaminants in meats, other edibles in U.S. food should be faster, easier to uncover and trace

By Katherine Harmon

Scientific American 2010-12-07

California strawberry growers granted permission to use methyl iodide, a pesticide listed by state as known cancer-causing chemical as fumigant to kill bacteria, weeds, insects

By Kelly Zito

San Francisco Chronicle 2010-12-02

New food safety bill would require about $1.4 billion in additional spending over next five years, mostly at FDA; agency had total budget of less than $3.3 billion in past fiscal year

By Philip Brasher

The Des Moines Register 2010-11-30

House may block food safety bill because Senate Democrats violated constitutional provision requiring that tax provisions originate in House; next session of Congress could start from scratch

By John Stanton

Roll Call 2010-11-30

Senate food safety bill doesn't sort out overlapping jurisdictions among FDA, other federal agencies; new bill doesn't cover meat, poultry and eggs because USDA regulates them

By Les Blumenthal

McClatchy Newspapers; The Miami Herald 2010-11-30

Opinion: For true advancements in food safety - unlike the bill that just passed the Senate - use inspections to help employees become more successful and to solve problems

By Aubrey C. Daniels

The Washington Post 2010-11-30

Opinion: FDA food safety bill, scheduled for Senate vote, only expands ineffective bureaucracy, offers no common-sense reforms; free market drives innovation, safety

By Tom Coburn

USA Today 2010-11-22

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

Opinion: Lame-duck Congress needs to approve child nutrition bill and House food safety bill that would significantly strengthen FDA ability to combat food-borne illnesses

The editors

The New York Times 2010-11-16

United Nations asks for $164 million donation to bring in additional water-purification equipment, doctors, medicines to fight cholera epidemic in Haiti

By Frank Jordans

The Associated Press; The Washington Post 2010-11-12

288,000 eggs from Ohio farm recalled over salmonella fears in latest high-profile woe for nation's food-safety system

By P.J. Huffstutter

Los Angeles Times 2010-11-09

E. coli can live for weeks around roots of produce plants and transfer to edible portions, but threat can be minimized if growers don't harvest too soon, study shows

By Brian Wallheimer

Science Daily; Purdue University 2010-11-04

Nonstick and water-repellent chemicals used to line fast food wrappers, microwave popcorn bags shown to migrate into food, taint blood with PFCAs

By Kim Luke

ScienceDaily; University of Toronto 2010-11-09

Oil from BP leak in Gulf of Mexico that disappeared was eaten, and made its way up the food chain to fish, whales, researchers learn; study did not look for toxicity in food web

By Campbell Robertson

The New York Times 2010-11-08

Del Monte Fresh Cut Green Beans leads list of processed and fresh foods in BPA content, scientists find in analysis of foods; toxin linked to heart disease, diabetes, reproductive ills

By Eryn Brown

Los Angeles Times 2010-11-02

Republican majority in House may cool interest in food safety initiatives; Frank Lucas, new Ag Committee chair, has degree in Ag Economics, represents wide band of Ag interests

By Dan Flynn

Food Safety News 2010-11-03

As the Senate left town for campaign trail, Harry Reid, majority leader, moved to proceed in November on bipartisan food safety bill; 60 votes will be needed

CQ Politics 2010-09-30

Tight Senate calendar, stubborn senator from Oklahoma and unusual coalition of left- and right-wing advocates for small farmers stall food safety bill

By Gardiner Harris

The New York Times 2010-09-18

Opinion: Process surrounding AquaBounty GE salmon illustrates FDA's perverted process; study flaws include small sample size, non-random samples, setting detection limits too high

By Tom Laskawy

Grist 2010-09-14

Food industry withholds information, forces agencies to withdraw or modify policy or action designed to increase food safety, survey shows

By Christopher Doering

Reuters 2013-09-13

Assuming that food chain stays healthy - a major question - Gulf Coast may have avoided worst of BP oil leak; dead zone from agricultural runoff to Mississippi River holding at size of New Jersey

By Leslie Kaufman and Shaila Dewan

The New York Times 2010-09-13

Oklahoma senator, citing burgeoning federal budget, set to block passage of sweeping food safety overhaul that House approved more than a year ago

By Meredith Shiner

Politico 2010-09-14

Opinion: Current system of food safety is wasteful, ineffecient; one agency should oversee food safety; advertising US agriculture should fall under another agency altogether

The editors

Los Angeles Times 2010-09-11

Adding fuel to meat safety debate, public health officials link ground beef to illnesses from a rare strain of E. coli; likely source was Cargill, which recalled 8,500 pounds of hamburger

By William Neuman

The New York Times 2010-09-02

Opinion: Industrial meat, egg factories excel at manufacturing cheap food, but evidence shows model is economically viable only because it passes on health costs to public

By Nicholas D. Kristof

The New York Times 2010-09-02

California-sponsored program greatly reduces salmonella in hen houses but adds pennies to egg costs; regulatory confusion, public's desire for cheap eggs undermine safety efforts

By P.J. Huffstutter

Los Angeles Times 2010-09-01

Opinion: Industrial agriculture has reduced cost of food but at steep cost to public health, as salmonella outbreak shows; lawmakers must resist Big Ag to pass food safety bill

The editors

Los Angeles Times 2010-09-01

Federal investigators find manure piles, live mice, pigeons, other birds inside Iowa hen houses at egg farms suspected in salmonella outbreak; farms had never been inspected

By Lyndsey Layton

The Washington Post 2010-08-31

Opinion: With US slaughterhouses poised to kill more than 10 billion animals in 2011, concern grows over health, environmental woes of handling the inedible 60 percent of each cow

By James E. McWilliams

The Atlantic 2010-08-11

Opinion: Biotech salmon is just starter protein in GM food revolution, but before using Frankenfish label, note that there are few aspects of food industry that remain "natural"

By Robin McKie

The Guardian (UK) 2010-08-27

Opinion: Senate, balking at cost of House food safety bill, must weigh inspections' price against 5,000 annual deaths, $152 billion annual costs of food-borne ills, and adopt bill

The editors

The Philadelphia Inquirer 2010-08-26

FDA to begin what could be 18-month approval process for genetically modified salmon - first engineered animal destined for consumption by humans

By Barb Kiser 2010-08-26

As FDA links salmonella outbreak to farms and chicken feed, fault line reopens in Iowa: Those who detest industrial farms vs those who see such operations as economic savior

By Monica Davey

The New York Times 2010-08-26

Russia may suspend poultry imports on salmonella fears; news comes after US exporters switched to non-chlorine disinfectant to comply with country's food safety standards

By Aleksandras Budrys

Reuters 2010-08-27

Senate's refusal to pass food-safety bill has hampered recall of 600 million eggs linked to salmonella outbreak that has sickened nearly 2,000, experts and lawmakers say

By Meredith Shiner

Politico 2010-08-24

Egg prices increase 38 percent on continuing news of salmonella-linked recall

By Philip Brasher

The Des Moines Register 2010-08-24

Absence of mandatory salmonella vaccine for hens - which has virtually eliminated illness in Britain and would cost less than a penny per dozen eggs - weakens FDA safety rules, experts say

By William Neuman

The New York Times 2010-08-24

FDA head says agency hasn't had authority to help prevent outbreaks like the 1,000-plus cases of salmonella poisoning linked to eggs from two Iowa farms

By Mary Clare Jalonick

The Associated Press; The Boston Globe 2010-08-24

Farm behind about a thousand salmonella cases, recall of more than half a billion eggs fell short on safety, FDA says

By Don Lemon, Sandra Endo and Matt Smith

CNN 2010-08-22

Opinion: Impact of public health felt most clearly in absence of negative consequences - good quality of food, water, for example- which reduces awareness of its vital functions

By David Tuller

California Magazine 2010-07-01

Methyl iodide, subbing for ozone-depleting methyl bromide as strawberry pesticide, may risk workers' health, California lawmaker says in asking EPA to reconsider 2007 approval

By Carolyn Lochhead

San Francisco Chronicle 2010-08-04

Pig farmers, accustomed to administering antibiotics for fast growth, disease prevention, battle proposed reduction in use; at issue is growing antibiotic resistance in humans

By Philip Brasher

The Des Moines Register 2010-08-01

Kellogg cereal recall hints at huge gaps in government's knowledge about risks of the 80,000 chemicals in everyday products, from food to furniture to clothing

By Lyndsey Layton

The Washington Post 2010-08-02

Group representing GM crop farmers in U.S. urges sanctions against EU for its moratorium on new biotech; many Europeans concerned over safety of technology

By Doug Palmer

Reuters 2010-07-27

Furor erupts over provision in energy bill requiring disclosure of chemicals used in fracking for natural gas; process currently is mostly exempt from Safe Drinking Water Act

CQ Politics 2010-07-28

Regulators, guns drawn, raid organic grocer, seize raw milk in latest salvo against consumers who eschew industrialized food sector with its legacy of food-borne illnesses

By P.J. Huffstutter

Los Angeles Times 2010-07-25

Opinion: Food safety legislation seeks protection for weakest and restraint on unchecked corporate power; no one should lose a child because Senate lacks will, leadership

By Eric Schlosser

The New York Times 2010-07-24

In Pennsylvania, epicenter of battle over fracking for natural gas, EPA hears stories of yellowed and foul-smelling well water, deformed livestock, poisoned fish, itchy skin

By Tom Zeller Jr.

The New York Times 2010-07-23

Democrats quarrel over BPA amendment, stalling bill that would give FDA power to recall tainted food, quarantine geographic areas and access food producers' records

By Julian Pecquet

The Hill 2010-07-19

Lawmaker asks FDA to answer questions about BP oil spill and how it could infiltrate marine ecosystem with arsenic and affect our food chain

By Matt Viser

The Boston Globe 2010-07-13

Officials quarantine beef cattle on Pennsylvania farm after waste water from fracked gas well leaked into their pasture

By Nicholas Kusnetz

ProPublica 2010-07-02

Citing untenable delay, environmental group sues FDA to force ban on controversial chemical BPA in food and beverage packaging

By Elana Schor

Greenwire/The New York Times 2010-06-29

FDA mulls OK of first GE animal that people would eat - salmon that can grow at twice the normal rate; labeling debate grows

By Andrew Pollack

The New York Times 2010-06-25

FDA urges farmers to use less antibiotics in livestock to preserve their effectiveness in humans

By Lyndsey Layton

The Washington Post 2010-06-29

Canisters pulled up by clam fishermen off New York coast cause blistering, difficulty breathing; canisters dumped back into ocean

By Rodrique Ngowi

The Associated Press; San Francisco Chronicle 2010-06-07

As FDA mulls antibiotic rules, ethanol industry frets over residue left in distillers grains, a lucrative byproduct of industry and major source of feed for beef, dairy cattle

By Philip Brasher

The Des Moines Register 2010-05-30

Opinion: As dispersants and oil mix in Gulf, shrimp, zooplankton, phytoplankton are first to experience internal bleeding - and toxins intensify as they move up the food chain

By Susan D. Shaw

The New York Times 2010-05-30

Discovery of another vast oil plume renews fears that oil could taint food chain, reach beloved sport-fish like red snapper

By David A. Fahrenthold and Juliet Eilperin

The Washington Post 2010-05-28

Latest e. coli outbreak - from less famous, yet virulent strain comprising "big six" - spurs reassessment of food safety law

By William Neuman

The New York Times 2010-05-26

Loop current may pick up BP oil, tainting coastal waters up to Cape Hatteras, N.C.; officials close more of gulf to fishing

By Jeffrey Ball and Corey Dade

The Wall Street Journal. (may require subscription) 2010-05-19

Researchers find link between ADHD, organophosphate pesticides used on commercially grown fruits, vegetables; researcher recommends buying organic

By Sarah Klein 2010-05-17

USDA raises ground beef standards for school meals to that of fast-food eateries

By Elizabeth Weise

USA Today 2010-05-15

Dow-funded study warns of dioxin in beef, vegetables raised in Michigan's Tittabawassee floodplain; elevated levels in people linger after 10 years

By Eartha Jane Melzer

The Michigan Messenger 0000-05-11

Opinion: Free-range livestock face predators, insect pests and more parasites than confined animals dosed with antibiotics

By James E. McWilliams

The Atlantic 2010-05-10

Radioactive water from oldest US nuclear plant reaches NJ drinking water aquifer; pipe leaks were found days after plant granted new 20-year license in 2009

By Wayne Parry

The Associated Press; The Philadelphia Inquirer 2010-05-07

Rare strain of e. coli blamed in 29 illnesses; outbreak tied to romaine lettuce served in restaurants, school cafeterias and deli and supermarket salad bars

By William Neuman

The New York Times 2010-05-07

E. coli possibly linked to tainted lettuce has sickened at least 19 people, three with life-threatening symptoms, FDA says

By Mary Clare Jalonick

The Associated Press; The Huffington Post 2010-05-06

Confirming suspicions, in-house watchdog finds significant weakness in FDA's domestic inspections program of food plants

By Barry Shlachter

Star-Telegram (Fort Worth, TX) 2010-05-01

Give preference to organic food, microwave in glass containers and not plastic, check for radon levels in home, cancer panel says

By Nicholas D. Kristof

The New York Times 2010-05-06

To avoid listeria, lethal to fetus, pregnant women advised not to eat processed meat products, smoked seafood, soft cheeses, or foods containing raw or unpasteurized milk

By Marion Nestle

San Francisco Chronicle 2010-03-14

Opinion: Atrazine, common corn weedkiller, under attack from activists with ideas of making farming more expensive so land is retired to "nature"

The editors

The Wall Street Journal. (may require subscription) 2010-05-03

UK water companies accused putting oyster eaters at risk by dumping raw sewage - source of norovirus - into waterways

By Jon Ungoed-Thomas

The Times (UK) 2010-05-02

Senate struggles over how to regulate small and organic growers without ruining them while upping food safety, but ignores industrial animal industry where food pathogens breed

By Carolyn Lochhead

San Francisco Chronicle 2010-04-25

Climate changes poses threat of heart disease, contamination of water, seafood tainting, bug-borne sickness, federal agencies report

By Randolph E. Schmid

The Associated Press; The Guardian 2010-04-24

Former residents of Illinois town develop serious illnesses in middle age, suspect link to illegal toxic dump used by Kraft Foods, Mobil Oil, others in '70s

By Joel Hood

Chicago Tribune 2010-04-25

Air, water, soil and health problems linked to industrial farms where cows, pigs, chickens confined in close quarters, journalist writes in "Animal Factory"

By Claire Suddath

Time magazine 2010-04-23

Government does more to promote global acceptance of biotech crops and companion glyphosate weedkiller than to protect public from possible harmful consequences, experts say

By Carey Gillam

Reuters 2010-04-13

European Commission asks how ash from volcano could affect food safety and animal health

By Guy Montague-Jones News Media 2010-04-22

Nestle challenged by stockholder on its marketing of formula to new mothers - this time on health claims on packaging

By Lorraine Heller News Media 2010-04-21

Opinion: Congress should pass Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act, which would ban industrial farms from antibiotics important to human health

By Donald Kennedy

The New York Times 2010-04-17

Michael Moss and members of The New York Times staff win Pulitzer Prize in the explanatory category, for contaminated meat and food safety series

By Claire Oh

Columbia University News 2010-04-12

Plastics chemicals increasingly scrutinized for links to disease; EPA has required testing for only about 200 of the 83,000 in inventory and restricted only five

By Bryan Walsh

Time magazine 2010-04-01

FDA says studies on triclosan, in dishwashing liquid, other soaps, raise concerns on it as endocrine disruptor or catalyst in creation of antibiotic-resistant bacteria

By Lyndsey Layton

The Washington Post 2010-04-08

FDA inspections of food plants, enforcement down; agency blames inadequate staffing, resources

By Lyndsey Layton

The Washington Post 2010-04-07

Best weapon against norovirus, with its severe symptoms, is deep cleaning with bleach solution

By Tara Parker-Pope

The New York Times 2010-04-01

Electric utilities lobby furiously against new EPA rules on coal ash, which is spread on crop fields and leaks cancer-causing toxins into drinking water

By Jeff Goodell

Rolling Stone 2010-03-17

Opinion: Limp regulations on toxins, corporate secrecy on internal safety data leave consumers closer to Wild West than nanny state

By David Leonhardt

The New York Times 2010-03-30

As emphasis grows on food sourcing, FDA faces more pressure to combat fraud

By Lyndsey Layton

The Washington Post 2010-03-30

EPA designates BPA, an endocrine disruptor found in linings of most food and beverage cans, as "chemical of concern"

By Meg Kissinger

Journal Sentinel (Milwaukee, WI) 2010-03-30

Nanotech's promise - and addition to food products - comes with little federal regulation, no labeling despite growing number of studies expressing safety concerns

By Andrew Schneider

AOL News 2010-03-24

European paper industry probes significance of safety concerns over leaching of mineral oils into foods from recycled paper and cardboard packaging

By Rory Harrington News Media 2010-03-22

Some spices from India harbor lead, likely from cropland tainted by exhaust of cars using leaded fuel; FDA has no specific rules on screening for lead in dried products like spices

By Alice Park

Time magazine 2010-03-15

Citing potential of GM crops as "weapon of hunger," doubts on their efficacy and questions of long-term effects, Catholic official urges caution, further study

Catholic News Service 2010-03-09

Canada reports case of mad cow in 6-year-old beef cow; meat didn't enter food system, officials say

By Whitney McFerron

Bloomberg; Business Week 2010-03-14

It's unclear whether grass-fed beef - nutritionally superior to that from feedlots - means better human health, but its advocates cite humane practices, no antibiotics

By Tara Parker-Pope

The New York Times 2010-03-11

FDA wants herb, spice producers to safeguard products with irradiation, steam heating or fumigation with pesticide

By Lyndsey Layton

The Washington Post 2010-03-13

Illinois moves to phase out use of perchloroethylene, a dry-cleaning solvent that tainted drinking water in community for 20-plus years

By Michael Hawthorne

Chicago Tribune 2010-03-14

Opinion: New salmonella outbreak shows senate should act on common-sense measures on food safety

The editors

The Washington Post 2010-03-11

Hydrolyzed vegetable protein, subject of recall over salmonella taint, is used in thousands of processed foods as flavor enhancer

By Monica Eng

Chicago Tribune 2010-03-06

Basic Food Flavors, which has recalled millions of pounds of hydrolized vegetable protein, knew plant held salmonella, FDA says

By Lyndsey Layton

The Washington Post 2010-03-10

In mouse study, bisphenol A exposure linked to life-long fertility defects, gene changes in offspring

By Rory Harrington News Media 2010-03-09

US pays $152 billion yearly for food-borne illness; cost includes medical services, deaths, lost work, disability

By Elizabeth Weise

USA Today 2010-03-03

Salmonella fears prompt recalls of thousands of processed foods; officials say recall could be largest in history

By Lyndsey Layton

The Washington Post 2010-03-05

Newly patented sugar-derived epoxy lining could replace bisphenol A in can linings

By Rory Harrington News Media 2010-03-04

USDA allowed suspect slaughterhouse operations to continue despite public health risks, vet says

By Peter Eisler

USA Today 2010-03-04

Study: Water tainted with common corn field weedkiller - but within EPA drinking water standards - can change frogs' sex traits

By David A. Fahrenthold

The Washington Post 2010-03-02

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

Opinion: Why redesign intestine-shaped hot dog when cutting it lengthwise, then into small pieces reduces choking hazard?

By Lenore Skenazy

The Washington Post 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

Salmonella outbreak that has sickened at least 230 may be tied to spice suppliers for salami, company says

By Lyndsey Layton

The Washington Post 2010-02-18

Citing health, environment, Chicago alderman proposes citywide ban on foam food containers in restaurants, school cafeterias

By Monica Eng

Chicago Tribune 2010-02-17

Debate over genetically modified food, long settled in U.S. with GM corn, soybeans, begins in India with halt of Monsanto's GM eggplant

By Erika Kinetz

The Associated Press; Los Angeles Times 2010-02-15

Tainted food, water push incidence of typhoid and shigellosis up in Haitian earthquake survivors; cholera epidemic feared

By Simon Romero

The Washington Post 2010-02-19

Drug-resistant infections in humans are emerging crisis linked to antibiotics overuse in factory farm livestock, scientists say

By Katie Couric

CBS News 2010-02-09

Despite health, environmental concerns, Chicago public schools create daily river of school meal waste that will sit for centuries in landfills

By Monica Eng

Chicago Tribune 2010-02-07

India to rule on allowing eggplant as first GM food; broad coalition, citing biodiversity, health, consolidation concerns, mobilizes against Monsanto

By Jason Burke

The Guardian (UK) 2010-02-08

In face of resistance from farmers, ranchers, USDA to drop livestock tracing program created after 2003 discovery of mad cow case

By William Neuman

The New York Times 2010-02-05

Foul byproduct of fracking, a drilling technique for natural gas, pollutes water supplies

By Marc Levy and Vicki Smith

The Associated Press; Charleston Daily Mail (SC) 2010-02-02

Bagged leafy greens, organic or not, often hold bacteria, Consumer Reports probe finds

Consumer Reports 2010-02-02

A year after peanut-based salmonella outbreak, Georgia law enforcement has dropped probe, feds say no comment and food safety gaps remain

By Craig Schneider and Bob Keefe

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution 2010-01-31

Under new budget, food safety big winner for FDA, with increase of $318 million to fund tracking of foods, audits, inspections

By Jennifer Couzin-Frankel

Science Magazine 2010-02-01

Aramark-run Capitol Café, where Pennsylvania's political elite eat, struggles with continuing unsanitary conditions

By Suzette Parmley and Amy Worden

The Philadelphia Inquirer 2010-01-28

EPA to investigate cluster of birth defects in farm worker community near toxic dump

By Louis Sahagun

Los Angeles Times 2010-01-27

From ammonia to gamma rays, debate continues on ways to make meat supply safer

By Steve Mills and Monica Eng

Chicago Tribune 2010-01-21

Melamine-tainted dairy products swept from shelves in south of China

By Michael Wines

The New York Times 2010-01-25

Iowa officials contemplate banning, limiting potent alcoholic beverage

By William Petroski

The Des Moines Register 2010-01-25

Disease from tainted water, fire smoke, mosquitoes, rough living has killed more in Darfur than violence, study shows

By Donald G. McNeil Jr.

The New York Times 2010-01-22

Despite public perception, grass-fed cows not immune to deadly E. coli, studies show

By James E. McWilliams

Slate Magazine 2010-01-22

Calls grow louder for Obama to fill crucial slaughterhouse/processing plant oversight position at USDA

By Elizabeth Weise

USA Today 2010-01-18

BPA, used in food can linings, bottles, of "some concern" for children, infants, FDA now says

By Jennifer Corbett Dooren and Alicia Mundy

Dow Jones Newswire/The Wall Street Journal. (may require subscription) 2010-01-15

Russia's ban on chlorine-treated poultry risks U.S. export market worth $800 million in 2008

By Dasha Korsunskaya

Reuters 2010-01-14

Higher BPA exposure consistently linked to reported heart disease in the general adult population in U.S., UK researchers say

By Rory Harrington News Media 2010-01-14

After finding E. coli again in cookie dough, Nestle switches to heat-treated flour

By Rory Harrington News Media 2010-01-14

Opinion: Food safety lapses give urgency to term 'mystery meat'

The editors

The Philadelphia Inquirer 2010-01-05

Opinion: Ammonia-injected meat mess shows need for better communication, higher priorities than price, vigilance on food safety

The editors

The New York Times 2010-01-10

Secrecy, scarcity of research on food-related nanotech worries UK science panel

By Kate Kelland

Reuters 2010-01-07

Chemical trade group blasts feds' action plan on controversial compounds

By Rory Harrington News Media 2010-01-06

McDonald's, Burger King, Cargill defend products after report that ammonia-treated beef may harbor germs

By Christopher Leonard and Mae Anderson

The Associated Press; ABC 2010-01-01

Education on fish consumption, mercury pollution cleanup among Michigan's Great Lakes priorities

The Associated Press; Chicago Tribune 2009-12-29

Schism in USDA allowed sale of ammonia-treated ground beef after pathogen discovery

By Michael Moss

The New York Times 2009-12-31

Scientists to study effects of phthalates, BPA, PBDEs, other toxins on humans

By Valerie Bauman

The Associated Press; Chicago Tribune 2009-12-28

USDA stamp pre-empts California's Proposition 65, which requires labels on meats containing harmful chemicals, judge says

By Kathy Woods

Legal Newsline 2009-12-29

E. coli-tainted beef products, possibly mechanically tenderized, sicken 21 people

By Lyndsey Layton

The Washington Post 2009-12-30

After public's mad-cow fears, Taiwan moves to re-instate partial U.S. beef ban

By Chuang Pichi, Roberta Rampton and Charles Abbott

Reuters 2009-12-29

Serious food safety violations common at airport eateries, probe shows

By Alison Young

USA Today 2009-12-23

School lunch system must require higher standards on foods, move faster on problems, experts say

By Elizabeth Weise and Peter Eisler

USA Today 2009-12-29

Simple paper sensor could test for pesticides

By Henry Fountain

The New York Times 2009-12-28

Opinion: Senate bill a step toward new system of food safety

The editors

The New York Times 2009-12-21

26,500 school cafeterias in U.S. don't get required inspections

By Peter Eisler and Blake Morrison

USA Today 2009-12-15

U.S. tests tap water for only 91 contaminants though hundreds linked to illness with long exposure

By Charles Duhigg

The New York Times 2006-12-16

Hotel's chlorine-removing water filter suspected in bacterial illness outbreak

By Damien Cave

The New York Times 2009-12-15

School lunch safety series: Trouble on the trays

USA Today 2009-12-08

Opinion: Maybe health care begins in our plastic food containers

As debate continues on health insurance and mammograms, lingering question is whether our ills have more to do with contaminants in our water or air or in plastic containers. What if surge in asthma, childhood leukemia reflect, in part, poisons we impose upon ourselves? Physicians at cancer symposium say they avoid microwaving food in plastic or putting plastics in the dishwasher, because heat may cause chemicals to leach out; they say avoid plastics numbered 3, 6 and 7. And: Lawmaker pushes for legislation to study links between women's reproductive health and chemicals that may cause hormone disruption (click 'See also').

By Nicholas D. Kristof

The New York Times 2009-12-05

See also 

Senator wants BPA ban in food containers for young children

New York senator proposes ban of BPA (bisphenol A) in food packaging for children aged three and younger. Under BPA-Free Kids Act, children's food, beverage containers containing BPA would be considered a banned hazardous substance; bill also would allow for appropriation of $25 million over five years to fund research into effects of BPA exposure on all age groups and pregnant women. And: BPA commonly found in in coatings for inside of cans containing foods, in water bottles, baby bottles and some dental fillings (click 'See also').

By Rory Harrington News Media 2009-11-18

See also 

Food-borne toxins can cause lifelong ills, researchers say

Food-borne pathogens disproportionately affect youngest of us and have effects beyond painful stomach cramps and bloody diarrhea, researchers say. Campylobacter, e.coli, listeria, salmonella seen most in children under 4; half the reported cases of food-borne illness affect children younger than 15. Lingering effects can include premature death, paralysis, kidney failure, lifetime of seizures or mental disability. To reduce infection: Cook meat thoroughly, clean work surfaces, wash produce, buy only pasteurized milk & juice products, report any food-borne illness to local health department.

By Melissa Healy

Los Angeles Times 2009-11-12

E.coli traced to producer that doesn't test for deadly bacteria

E. coli outbreak that has killed two people, sickened 500 others traced to ground beef producer that stopped testing ingredients years ago under pressure from beef suppliers. USDA has banned e.coli 0157.H7 but doesn't require meat companies to test for it; trimmings used to make ground beef are more susceptible to contamination because pathogen thrives in cattle feces that can get smeared on surfaces of whole cuts of meat. Grinders typically use trimmings from multiple suppliers; only ingredient testing, when it uncovers E. coli, enables grinders to identify slaughterhouse that shipped contaminated trim. Slaughterhouses have resisted independent testing by grinders for fear of recalls.

By Michael Moss

The New York Times 2009-11-13

Study links can-lining chemical BPA to male sexual dysfunction

High exposure to BPA, a synthetic estrogen commonly used in linings of food, beverage cans, appears to cause erectile dysfunction, other sexual problems in men, study shows. Findings raise questions about whether exposure at lesser levels can affect sexual function, researcher says. FDA has maintained chemical is safe, but research links BPA in lab animals to infertility, weight gain, behavioral changes, early-onset puberty, cancer, diabetes. And: 2 billion pounds of BPA manufactured each year, and endocrine disruptor is in 92 percent of us (click 'See also').

By Lyndsey Layton

The Washington Post 2009-11-11

See also 

FDA plan to kill oyster bacteria roils Gulf Coast

Last month, FDA stunned oyster industry with plans to require that Gulf of Mexico oysters harvested between April and October undergo process to kill vibrio vulnificus, which can be fatal to those with chronic conditions. Of 30 cases of infection traced to Gulf Coast oysters annually, half the victims die, CDC says. When California banned untreated oysters from Gulf during warm months, fatalities dropped to zero. Industry says processing will ruin taste of raw oysters, triple their cost and place undue burdens on business. Louisiana officials talk about defying feds. Gulf Coast supplies 67 percent of oysters eaten nationwide. And: Evidence of problem, solution unambiguous, says FDA official (click 'See also').

By Lyndsey Layton

The Washington Post 2009-11-10

See also 

Lawmaker questions school meals' safeguards against e.coli

Lawmaker wants Congress to see whether there are adequate protections from e.coli for school meals. He also asked investigators to compare safety, quality of ground beef available to schools with that available to restaurants, other commercial buyers. Probe earlier found that USDA didn't always make sure states and schools were notified promptly about recalled food distributed through the federal school lunch and breakfast programs, which serve 30 million students.

By Libby Quaid

The Associated Press; The Washington Post 2009-11-09

Opinon: BPA, canned food, plastic containers - and case of the willies

Evidence of harmful effects of BPA (bisphenol A), a synthetic estrogen, isn't conclusive, but justifies precautions. Chemical, found by Consumer Reports in almost all the brand-name canned foods tested, linked to miscarriage, heart disease, diabetes and liver-enzyme abnormalities. We're cutting down on use of plastic containers to store or microwave food, and I'm drinking water out of a metal bottle. In my reporting, I've come to terms with threats from warlords, bandits and tarantulas. But endocrine disrupting chemicals -- they give me the willies. And: Testimony to Congress on BPA vs phthalates (click 'See also').

By Nicholas D. Kristof

The New York Times 2009-11-08

See also 

BPA found in green beans, tuna and other canned foods

In analysis, bisphenol A, a plastic hardener, found in range of canned foods - among them Del Monte Fresh Cut Blue Lake Green Beans and 'BPA-free' cans of tuna sold by Vital Choice, advocacy group reports. Findings bolster case for banning BPA from materials that come in contact with food and beverages - can linings, baby bottles and sippy cups- group said in letter to FDA. Some studies link chemical to reproductive abnormalities, higher risk of cancer, diabetes. And: Canned juice is of particular concern, since small children may drink a lot of it, says Consumer Reports (click 'See also').

By Andrew Zajac

Los Angeles Times 2009-11-02

See also 

E.coli kills two, sickens at least 28, CDC says

Two die, 16 hospitalized, with total of 28 sickened in outbreak of e.coli that may be linked to ground beef distributed on East Coast, CDC says. Hamburger was produced by Ashville, N.Y.-based Fairbank Farms (click 'See also'), which recalled more than 545,000 pounds of its product on Oct. 31. Ground beef was distributed in Northeast, mid-Atlantic and sold at ACME, BJ's, Ford Brothers, Giant Food Stores, Price Chopper, Shaw's and Trader Joe's, company says. It's the third recall for Fairbank Farms.

By Elizabeth Weise

USA Today 2009-11-02

See also 

E.coli kills two, sickens at least 44, CDC says

Two die, 16 hospitalized and 28 have been sickened in outbreak of e.coli that may be linked to ground beef distributed on East Coast, CDC says. Hamburger was produced by Ashville, N.Y.-based Fairbank Farms (click 'See also'), which recalled more than 545,000 pounds of its product on Oct. 31. Ground beef was distributed in Northeast, mid-Atlantic and sold at ACME, BJ's, Ford Brothers, Giant Food Stores, Price Chopper, Shaw's and Trader Joe's, company says. It's the third recall for Fairbank Farms.

By Elizabeth Weise

USA Today 2009-11-02

See also 

At FDA, Team Tomato pits germ vs germ in battle against food pathogens

Building on 1917 discovery of bacteriophages - viruses that live within bacteria and can kill other bacteria - FDA scientists have found what they believe are powerful, naturally occurring 'good' bacteria that can slaughter 'bad' bacteria on fresh fruits, vegetables. In experiments, microorganisms kill salmonella, listeria, e.coli O15:H7 on tomato surfaces; only vibrio, found in warm seawater that can contaminate oysters and other seafood, has stood its ground.

By Lyndsey Layton

The Washington Post 2009-10-31

Opinion: We have two choices - cheap meat or health

Factory farming of animals is chief cause of global warming, animal suffering, a decisive factor in diseases like bird and swine flu, cause of food-borne illness. Beyond illnesses linked to them, factory farms foster growth of drug-resistant germs, contribute to risk of pandemics like H1N1 swine flu, avian flu. Factory farm industry has more power than public health professionals because we fund industry by eating factory-farmed animal products. Perhaps, in deafening silence about this problem, we understand that something terribly wrong is happening. And: Factory farming's 335 million tons of manure annually hold infectious microbes that infiltrate air, soil, water, and are transported by houseflies, farm trucks, farm workers (click 'See also').

By Jonathan Safran Foer

CNN 2009-10-28

See also 

Lawmaker looks to OK food safety bill by year's end

FDA head endorses new role for agency but wants funding guarantee; lawmaker says he wants food safety bill OK'd by year's end. Fast track may be possible in part because of agreement among consumer groups and food industry that FDA's regulatory protocol is badly outdated. Supporters point to recent deaths and illness attributed to contaminated food and to recent recalls of spinach, cookie dough, tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, peanuts and other products. Recalls together have cost food producers billions of dollars.

By Andrew Zajac

Los Angeles Times 2009-10-22

Opinion: Feds must fill safety gaps in beef, other food production

Eating a hamburger should not be a death-defying experience. Too often it is (click 'See also'). Ground beef is major part of American diet. Government needs to quickly fill safety gaps in food production. Congress, USDA should make it illegal to discourage additional testing for pathogens, must give USDA more authority to recall foods or to shut down plants that keep sending out contaminated products. Administration should nominate strong undersecretary for food safety. That vacancy leaves a huge gap.

The editors

The New York Times 2009-10-10

See also 

Slow recall alerts cited in students' salmonella-related ills

Some of the 226 students who got diarrhea and other salmonella-related symptoms after peanut product recall 'may have consumed the (tainted) products in school,' USDA school lunch recall audit shows. Recall notifications were delayed - sometimes more than a week, report says. Delay also cited on largest beef recall in U.S. history, which involved abuse of sick and injured cattle at California's Westland/Hallmark Meat Co. (click 'See also'). School meals program serves 30 million students.

By Peter Eisler and Blake Morrison

USA Today 2009-09-22

See also 

Toxins at Cold War-era missile sites threaten water supplies

Cleanup continues at dozens of former nuclear missile sites tainted with trichloroethylene, or TCE. In Colorado, one site is near Poudre River, where planned reservoir would partly submerge site and could contaminate river, municipal water supplies. In '90s, chemical was discovered in Cheyenne city wells, which are within eight-mile-long plume of TCE within Ogallala Aquifer. Cleanup is part of work at 9,000-plus sites projected to cost $17.8 billion. And: Pentagon, nation's biggest polluter, has about 25,000 contaminated properties across U.S. (click 'See also').

By Mead Gruver

The Associated Press; The Washington Post 2009-10-11

See also 

Accord allows Costco to test Tyson beef for e.coli

Costco will begin buying beef trimmings for making hamburger from Tyson, one of the largest beef producers, after agreement reached that allows Costco to test Tyson trimmings for e.coli before being mixed with those from other suppliers. Some of largest slaughterhouses have resisted added scrutiny for fear that one grinder's discovery of E. coli will lead to expanded recalls of beef, The New York Times reported Sunday (click 'See also'). Critics in Congress say USDA has irreconcilable conflict between protecting public health and at same time promoting agricultural products.

By Michael Moss

The New York Times 2009-10-08

See also 

Leafy greens top risk list for foods overseen by FDA

Ten riskiest foods overseen by FDA, which regulates 80 percent of food supply, are leafy greens, eggs, tuna, oysters, potatoes, cheese, ice cream, tomatoes, sprouts and berries, consumer watchdog study shows (click 'See also' for report). Meats, poultry, some egg products not considered because they're regulated by USDA. Tainted foods contained bacteria, from E.coli O157:H7 in spinach to scombrotoxin in tuna; victims suffered range of illnesses, from mild stomach cramps to death. One in four Americans sickened by foodborne illnesses and 5,000 die each year, says CDC.

By Lyndsey Layton

The Washington Post 2009-10-06

See also 

Flawed safety system makes eating ground beef a gamble

Tens of thousands of people sickened annually by e. coli O157:H7, mostly through hamburger. Ground beef blamed for 16 outbreaks in last three years, including one from Cargill that left 22-year-old children's dance teacher paralyzed from waist down. Hamburger patty her mother grilled for her was mix of slaughterhouse trimmings plus scraps from Nebraska, Texas, Uruguay and from company that processes fatty trimmings and adds ammonia to kill bacteria. In weeks before teacher's patty was made, records show Cargill was violating its own ground beef handling procedures. Cargill, which supplies beef for school lunches, has revenue of $116.6 billion last year and is country's largest company.

By Michael Moss

The New York Times 2009-10-04

Humane Society, senators, livestock emissions and Clean Air Act

Humane Society petitions EPA to list concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) under Clean Air Act. Animal feeding operations produce 500 million tons of manure every year. And: Other senators join John Thune, Chuck Schumer in co-sponsoring S. 527, legislation that would permanently prohibit Clean Air Act permit system for emissions - including carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide, water vapor, or methane - associated with biological processes of livestock production.

National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition 2009-09-28

See also 

Buried dump beneath closed park leaches toxins into water

As Connecticut city proposes $2 million for running waterlines to residences near former park atop a buried and leaking landfill, neighbors worry about health effects of drinking tainted well water. 'I'm no tree hugger, but this just ain't right,' says one, whose wife has psoriasis and whose preschooler has hair loss. Landfill, unlined and permeable, is bordered by wetlands to north. Toxins also threaten city's aquifer and North Stamford Reservoir. Full-scale cleanup unlikely; EPA says city is providing appropriate response.

By Magdalene Perez

The Advocate (Stamford, CT) 2009-09-27

Bill would ban arsenic in nation's poultry industry

New York congressman introduces bill to ban use of arsenic compound known as roxarsone as a food additive. Bill 3624 called Poison-Free Poultry Act of 2009. And: Feeding arsenic to chickens promotes their growth (click 'See also'). EPA says 70 percent of the 8.7 billion broiler chickens produced annually are fed arsenic. In study, 55 percent of raw supermarket chicken contained arsenic; nearly 75 percent of breasts, thighs, and livers from conventional producers did too. Carcinogen contributes to heart disease, diabetes. Some drinking water naturally high in arsenic; runoff from fields covered with arsenic-laden chicken manure adds to problem. 2009-09-22

See also 

Burger chain's spoon fragment reaches man's lung

Burger chain's spoon fragment reaches man's lung


For two years, North Carolina man suffered from coughing, vomiting, pain. Using camera-equipped endoscope, physician saw problem: Fragment of plastic spoon bearing logo of Wendy's Old Fashioned Hamburgers. When his relatives learned the news via telephone, they were eating food from that fast-food chain.

CNN 2009-09-18

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Groups target faux, real chicken products

Packaging of meat substitute product should declare that some people have serious allergic reactions to main ingredient, a vat-grown, protein-rich fungus, says Connecticut lawsuit, which seeks class-action status. Woman alleges that she ate Quorn's Chik'n Patties on three occasions in 2008 and became 'violently ill' each time. Anti-meat advocacy group plans suit over KFC's grilled chicken, which lab tests show contains PhIP, chemical that it said can increase risk of developing cancer.

By Jerry Hirsch

Los Angeles Times 2009-09-18

Focus on health care may delay Senate's food safety bill

Senator Tom Harkin says he hopes his committee can get food safety bill done this fall, but observers note that Senate is distracted by health care, financial services. Senate's bill likely to give FDA more authority over the 80 percent of food supply - everything but meat, poultry - that agency regulates. FDA moved ahead recently with rules for egg safety; last week, it revealed online registry where food processors are to report tainted ingredients. Administration also is creating a deputy administrator's position at FDA to oversee food safety.

By Philip Brasher

The Des Moines Register 2009-09-13

Likely food-borne illness leaves uninsured woman with $29,000 bill

Case of e.coli, likely from cheeseburger at diner, leaves woman with $29,000 in medical bills. She fell ill two weeks shy of insurance coverage after getting new job that paid $33,000 salary. Hospital list prices, like those that victim was charged, don't match what private or government insurance pays. Only uninsured are billed those amounts.

By Jim Dwyer

The New York Times 2009-09-13

Food safety lapses leave families bereft, lawmakers scrambling

Linda Rivera, once teachers' aide and always in motion, now in a mute state; 4-year-old girl partially paralyzed are among 80 people sickened by eating e.coli-tainted raw cookie dough, feds believe. As recalls cause public to lose confidence in food safety, lawmakers scramble; Nestlé resumes supplying chilled dough to supermarkets. And: Cargill slaughterhouse that just recalled 826,000 pounds of beef was slapped with animal handling citations last year after review of processors that supply USDA National School Lunch Program (click 'See also').

By Lyndsey Layton

The Washington Post 2009-09-01

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Share a drink, share swine flu, reporter learns

After two-week ordeal of swine flu involving fevers, listlessness, rooms full of children's snotty tissues littering the floor and - the low point - herself falling onto her back into a puddle of hot mint tea, reporter learns her lesson: Don't share drink with thirsty son just back from summer camp. For more precautions, click 'See also'.

By Brigid Schulte

The Washington Post 2009-09-05

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Sick farm workers likely source of turkeys' swine flu

Turkeys at two farms have caught swine flu, likely from infected farm workers, and have been quarantined in Chile, UN says. Once the sick birds have recovered, production, processing will continue. 'They do not pose a threat to the food chain,' says official. Canada, Argentina and Australia have previously reported spread of H1N1 swine flu virus from farm workers to pigs.

By Sudeep Chand

BBC News 2009-08-27

Former Marines link their cancers to tainted water at Camp Lejeune

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

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Opinion: Comfort in farmer's habit of naming each cow

Growing up on a diverse, chaotic family farm offered decent, varied lives for us and animals. Insipid, efficient food assembly lines produce unhealthy cheap food, mishandle waste and overuse antibiotics in ways that harm us. And it has no soul. Reassurance is in farmer who runs family dairy of 225 Jersey cows so efficiently that it can still compete with factory dairies of 20,000 cows. He names all his cows; they are family friends as well as economic assets. 'When I lose a cow, it bothers me. I kick myself.'

By Nicholas D. Kristof

The New York Times 2009-08-23

National stream survey finds mercury in every fish

In nationwide stream survey, mercury found in every fish tested, with some higher concentrations found in mining areas of West. In about a quarter of the fish, levels exceeded federal standards for people who eat an average amount of fish. In study, largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass had greatest average mercury concentrations; brown trout, rainbow-cutthroat trout, channel catfish had the lowest. And: How mercury becomes toxic in environment (click 'See also').

By Bettina Boxall

Los Angeles Times 2009-08-19

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California resumes review of chemical for strawberry fields

California pesticide regulators resume review of methyl iodide for strawberry fields. Carcinogen OK'd for use in every state except California, Washington, New York. Federal law requires growers to set up buffer zones, prohibits workers from entering field for 48 hours after methyl iodide is applied, but critics worry about safety of those living or working near the plots. And: In Mississippi's delta, Roundup drift, from crop-dust pilots or ground-level applicators, can damage off-target crops, trees, gardens (click 'See also').

By Amy Littlefield

Los Angeles Times 2009-08-03

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Two deaths linked to nanoparticle exposure in factory

Two Chinese women die, 5 others hurt after working after working without proper protection in factory using nanoparticles. Tiny diameter (nanometer is one-billionth of a meter; nanoparticles are between 1-100 nanometers) allows particles to penetrate body's natural barriers, particularly through contact with damaged skin or by inhalation or ingestion. Nanotechnology also used in food packaging, household appliances, cosmetics, sunscreen, clothing. And: Nanotechnology spurs dreams of food scientists (click 'See also').

By Tan Ee Lyn

Reuters; NewsDaily 2009-08-19

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Meat processors target of listeria probe in Australia

Chicken wraps served on some internal, international flights in two-month period suspected in possible listeriosis cases in Australia; focus of probe is meat processors and product may have been supplied to other firms. Bacteria have incubation period of up to 70 days. And: In U.S., estimated 2,500 persons become seriously ill with listeriosis each year (click 'See also').

By Rory Harrington 2009-08-06

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Council says no to biotech sugar beets on public open space

After 47 of 58 speakers show opposition, Colorado county's food policy council considers that it represents taxpayers, votes against recommending GMO sugar beets for planting in open space land. Dilemma for group was balancing economic well-being of six farmers with community. Genetically modified corn already is allowed on public land. And: Because public acceptance of biotechnology in Europe is lower than in U.S., all Kellogg products sold in Europe are free of any biotech ingredients (click 'See also').

By Laura Snider

Daily Camera (CO) 2009-07-31

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Investors say BPA risks food firms' value; feds mum on chemical's use

Investors representing $26 billion tell FDA that continued use of bisphenol A (BPA) in food and beverage can linings could threaten companies' value. Group says FDA assessment of safety, lack of federal regulation discourage search for alternatives. And: Consultants use Big Tobacco tactics to protect BPA market from regulation; EPA has no real program to regulate industrial chemicals, says environmental health specialist at Pew Charitable Trusts (click 'See also').

By Rory Harrington Decision News Media 2009-06-24

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Avoid BPA, Massachusetts tells parents, pregnant and nursing women

Massachusetts warns parents, caregivers to avoid storing infant formula, breast milk in plastic bottles containing bisphenol A, urges pregnant or breast-feeding women to avoid chemical in other food and drink containers. And: Almost all canned foods sold in U.S. have BPA-based epoxy liner that leaches BPA, an endocrine disruptor, into food (click 'See also').

By Beth Daley

The Boston Globe 2009-08-04

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House, USDA, FDA move toward improved food safey

House OKs food safety bill; opposition had centered on lesser provisions that critics said would add burdensome bureaucracy for farmers. Legislation applies only to FDA, will not cover meat or poultry products, USDA territory. And: USDA to begin regular testing of meat trimmings used to make ground beef; FDA issues voluntary guidelines for growing, processing tomatoes, leafy greens, melons (click 'See also').

By William Neuman

The New York Times 2009-07-30

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Food safety bill falls short on first try in House

Sweeping food safety reform bill falls short in House on first try. Bill is strongly supported by White House, raft of consumer groups, plus some major industry trade groups, but is opposed by some farm interests. House bill places significant new responsibility on farmers, food processors to prevent contamination. It gives FDA new power to set safety standards for growing, processing food and requires it to sharply increase inspections, enforcement.

By Lyndsey Layton

The Washington Post 2009-07-29

Food dye blocks inflammation in injured rats, scientists learn

Food dye blocks inflammation in injured rats, scientists learn

Commonly used blue food dye found to block nerve inflammation, aid recovery from some spinal cord injuries in rat study, researchers learn. FD&C blue dye No. 1, found in Gatorade, Jell-O, M&Ms, and OK'd by FDA in 1928, crosses blood-brain barrier. 'We eat 100 million pounds a year in the U.S., so we already know that there's no toxicity,' says scientist.

By Hadley Leggett

Wired magazine 2009-07-27

Opinion: EPA's endocrine-disruptor testing old, incomplete

EPA's endocrine-disruption tests for assessing pesticide safety use old information. EPA's testing program addresses only segment of organs, tissues, systems, and won't detect chemicals that can alter development, function of pancreas, and its hormone, insulin, which could lead to diabetes, obesity. Nor will it detect chemicals that alter intelligence, behavior. And: Glyphosate, atrazine included in list of pesticides for Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program (click 'See also,' then scroll to page 17583 of Federal Register).

By Theo Colborn

Scientific American; Environmental Health News 2009-04-27

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Nanoetech spurs dreams of food scientists, concerns of environmentalists

Interest grows in food nanotechnology - manipulating matter at a scale one-1,000th the width of a human hair. Grocery trade group says likely first applications for food ingredients will be technologies that add nutrients, antioxidants, or even flavors. But others want more environmental health, safety studies. And: Nanoparticles could risk water, soil ecosystems, studies show (click 'See also').

By Carolyn Y. Johnson

Boston Globe 2009-07-27

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Dry-cleaning chemicals taint drinking water, soil

Often sloppy use of dry-cleaning chemicals, primarily perchloroethylene, poisoned soil, drinking water at hundreds of sites in Illinois but decades later, cleanup efforts lag. Residents are exposed to to perc by drinking tainted water or showering in it, playing in polluted dirt and breathing vapors. And: Lawsuit filed by cancer victim says feds knowingly exposed hundreds of thousands of Marines, sailors, their family members, civilians to drinking water tainted with dry-cleaning solvents, industrial sources at Camp Lejeune (click 'See also').

By Michael Hawthorne

Chicago Tribune 2009-07-26

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Feds send different signals on GM alfalfa, sugar beets

Judge bans Monsanto's genetically modified Roundup Ready alfalfa until scientific assessment can show that new crop doesn't harm environment, but Obama administration has said it intends to continue Bush-era policies on GM sugar beets despite similar suit against them. Monsanto charges ahead on GM wheat, buying WestBred, a wheat genetics company. And: Sugar from genetically modified beets - like all other GM foods - isn't labeled; during approval process, EPA OK'd increase of glyphosate residues allowed on sugar beets by 5,000 percent. (click 'See also').

By Barry Estabrook of the Plate 2009-07-24

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Opinion: Regulate mercury now to protect human health

EPA should issue tough rule to control mercury spewed from coal-fired power plants, knowing that it is essential to protect human health - toxin is found in increasingly high concentrations in fish. Another reason: GAO, found that, in some cases, mercury emissions were reduced up to 90 percent at average cost of $3.6 million, or pennies a month on consumers' electric bills. And: Mercury-contaminated fish advisories, state by state (click 'See also').

The editors

The New York TImes 2009-07-25

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Opinion: Goods from China earning reputation for shoddiness

Chinese drywall scandal just the latest in long string of contaminated products, including honey adulterated with antibiotics in 2002, cough syrup tainted with solvent in 2006, melamine-laden milk products in 2008. Consumers don't take well to being poisoned. Chinese goods are earning a reputation for shoddiness that will be hard to shake.

The editors

Chicago Tribune 2009-07-16

BPA-free canned beans, but tomatoes lagging at Eden Foods

Michigan-based Eden Foods made costly switch to bisphenol-A-free can linings for its beans in 1999. The Ball Corporation uses enamel made from vegetable resins. 'I didn't want BPA in food I was serving to my kids, my grandkids or my customers,' says Mike Potter, founder and president. Eden's tomato products still packaged in BPA-containing cans.

By Nena Baker

Environmental Working Group/enviroblog 2009-07-14

Waxman food-safety bill alarms small-scale farmers

Small-scale farmers alarmed at Food Safety Enhancement Act steamrolling through Congress, say it could conflict with organic growing methods, trump environmental efforts. But others favor FDA regulation as way to fight proliferation of private, often unscientific, often secret food safety rules imposed by large buyers that have forced them to poison wildlife, destroy habitat and remove vegetative buffers that naturally filter pollutants and pathogens (click 'See also').

By Carolyn Lochhead

San Francisco Chronicle 2009-07-17

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More inspections could have prevented latest big beef recall

The 41,280-pound JBS Swift beef recall for e.coli, linked to 18 illnesses, could have been prevented if USDA plan to inspect more beef had been implemented. USDA is proposing to consider primal cuts - the large chunks of beef usually made into steaks, roasts - adulterated if e. coli is detected, and also to begin testing leftover parts of primals often turned into ground beef.

By Bill Tomson

The Wall Street Journal. (may require subscription) 2009-07-10

In quest for food safety, 'scorched earth' policy could affect farms nationwide

Panicked push for food safety leads to 'foolhardy' attempt to sanitize farm fields in California despite evidence suggesting industrial agriculture may be bigger culprit - and plan may go nationwide. To appease large produce buyers, farmers are poisoning ponds, ripping out vegetation harboring pollinators and filtering storm runoff. Fences and poison baits line wildlife corridors; dying rodents are leading to deaths of owls, hawks that naturally control rodents. Surprisingly little is known about how e.coli is transmitted from cow to table. And: Industry-generated food safety system no substitute for federal regulation, says food safety expert (click 'See also').

By Carolyn Lochhead

San Francisco Chronicle 2009-07-13

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Norovirus infects at least 76 aboard ship

At least 76 people aboard Marco Polo, off coast of Scotland have been infected with norovirus. German operators of Transocean Tours say source was unknown. And: Norovirus transmitted by poor hand-washing of sick food handlers, by touching tainted surfaces then eating before washing hands, or by sharing foods or utensils with victim (click 'See also').

The Associated Press; The Boston Globe 2009-07-07

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Opinion: Action needed on food safety bill

Coming after problems with tainted tomatoes, peanuts and pistachios, recall of Nestlé's raw cookie dough is another warning about weakness of nation's food safety system. Congress should move forward on new bill that would give FDA more money, authority, including much-needed power to recall products and make it easier for agency's inspectors to view company's food safety records, consumer complaints.

The editors

The New York Times 2009-07-05

E.coli found in Nestlé cookie dough

E. coli found in Nestlé refrigerated Toll House cookie dough from Virginia plant, federal investigators say. Interviews with patients - most of whom are teenage and preteen girls - showed high percentage of them ate raw Nestlé's cookie dough before becoming sick, CDC says. Refrigerated dough has rarely been associated with any food-borne illness outbreaks; at least 69 illnesses have been linked to pathogen.

By Jane Zhang

The Wall Street Journal. (may require subscription) 2009-06-29

'Inert' ingredient in herbicide kills human cells, researchers say

Monsanto's weedkiller Roundup, commonly used on food crops, contains ingredient listed as inert but is potentially toxic, says French research group. The chemical, POEA, helps main ingredient, glyphosate, penetrate cells. In tests, PEOA killed human cells. Monsanto questions methods. Product, derived from animal fat, is allowed in certified organic products. And: EPA decision due in fall on petition of 250-plus environmental, health, labor organizations to change rules for identifying pesticides' inert ingredients (click 'See also').

By Crystal Gammon

Environmental Health News 2009-06-22

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BPA causes reproductive ills in rats at 'harmless' exposure, study shows

Exposure to levels of BPA, a chemical found in baby bottles, food can linings, that U.S. deems harmless over course of lifetime triggers reproductive problems in female rats, study shows. Chemical trade group says study is irrelevant because chemical was injected, not swallowed. And: EPA hearing will examine whether BPA should be added to California's Proposition 65 list of chemicals known to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity (click 'See also').

By Rory Harrington, Decision News Media 2009-06-19

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Tracking food-borne illnesses leads CDC to virus, chicken, poor sanitation

Leading cause of food-borne illnesses is a virus, mostly from restaurant workers who fail to wash hands, CDC finds. Salmonella bacteria was second. Among 17 individual food types, poultry was most common source of illness. Dairy products accounted for 3 percent of outbreaks, most from unpasteurized milk. And: In 2008, chicken sales increased 6.7 percent - three times overall growth rate for retail, food service meat (click 'See also').

By Gardiner Harris

The New York Times 2009-06-11

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Bacteria in hospital water blamed for death of two infants

Common, deadly bacteria infecting hospital water supply blamed in deaths of two premature infants, sickness of a third in Miami. Hospital urged to initiate monthly checks of water quality, train staff in infection control, closely monitor chlorine levels and use county's twice-yearly chlorine purge. And: Company develops DNA detection system for water-borne pathogens (click 'See also').

By Fred Tasker

The Miami Herald 2009-06-10

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Industrial farming growing, dispersing drug-resistant pathogens

Industrial farming growing, dispersing drug-resistant pathogens

Kellogg Schwab/

Sampling the air for pathogens in a poultry house.

Adding antibiotics to farm animal feed is fostering, dispersing drug-resistant bacteria that imperil public health, researchers are learning. Chicken, cow, pig manure - 335 million tons annually - distributes pathogens through fertilizer and manure lagoons, where infectious microbes infiltrate air, soil, water, and are transported by houseflies, farm trucks, farm workers. Government requires no disclosure on microbial use in agriculture. In his 1945 Nobel Prize address, Alexander Fleming, who discovered penicillin, had warned of ease in making microbes resistant; Pork Board spokesperson isn't convinced.

By Dale Keiger

Johns Hopkins Magazine 2009-06-01

Coke, Del Monte, others at pro-BPA strategy session

Pregnant woman ideal spokesperson for counteracting BPA's bad image, industry executives, lobbyists decide at strategy session. Other plans: focus on how ban of BPA, used in food-can linings, baby bottles, would affect poor people who eat canned foods; cast doubt on safety of BPA-free canned goods. In last 20 years, growing number of studies link bisphenol A to cancer, heart disease, diabetes, hyperactivity. And: Industry pooh-poohs baby bottle battle (click 'See also').

By Susanne Rust and Meg Kissinger

Journal Sentinel (Milwaukee, WI) 2009-05-29

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Use Minnesota's model for food-borne illness detection, lawmaker says

Lawmaker advocates $20 million overhaul of food-borne illness detection system modeled on Minnesota's successful program, which relies on DNA testing plus intensive, early questioning of victims. Under proposal, five regional centers would train, assist health officials in advanced methods to trace illnesses to food sources.

By David Shaffer

Star-Tribune (MN) (may require registration) 2009-05-28

Noting trends, food-borne illnesses through food systems study

Food systems researcher studies consolidation; inequalities and health outcomes of 'food environments.' And: Food safety, nutrition, animal treatment, environmental impacts, worker treatment topped list of shopper concerns, providing window to educational opportunities, researcher says (click 'See also').

By Karla Cook

The Food Times 2009-06-06

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Proposed BPA ban advances in California senate

California Senate OKs proposal that would ban use of bisphenol A in food containers, as well as baby bottles, toddler sippy cups. Independent studies have linked BPA to brain development problems and behavioral troubles in young children, early onset of puberty, several cancers. And: FDA says it will review its earlier OK of BPA in baby bottles, food containers (click 'See also').

By Eric Bailey

Los Angeles Times 2009-06-03

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New bill would add transparency to food system

Key House leaders vow more frequent site inspections, mandatory preventive actions by manufacturers in new food safety bill. Proposal would require growers, manufacturers, food handlers to ID contamination risks, document preventive steps and share those records with feds, as well as require private labs to report pathogen detection. And: Obama administration launches website for its food safety working group (click 'See also')

By Lyndsey Layton

The Washington Post 2009-05-28

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Food supply disruption may be key to salmonella vaccine

Disrupting salmonella's ability to use glucose for food while it sickens host could be key to creating vaccines for it, other bacteria, researchers learn. Salmonella food poisoning sickens about 20 million people annually, causing about 200,000 deaths. It also infects farm animals. And: Whole cantaloupes sold to some Wal-Mart stores recalled (click 'See also').

By Mike Stones Decision News Media 2009-05-20

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USDA head defends livestock industry practices

With flu epidemic focusing attention on pork production practices of crowded conditions, routine antibiotic use, USDA head defends industry against lawmaker's probing. Antibiotics are given to hogs to prevent disease and for weight gain. In recent study, nearly half the hogs and half the farmers tested were carrying antibiotic-resistant MRSA bacteria. And: Risks of industrial-scale animal production unacceptable, study says (click 'See also').

By Philip Brasher

The Des Moines Register 2009-05-14

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Hormone disruptor increases in volunteers drinking from bottles

After drinking cold beverages from polycarbonate baby bottles, 77 volunteers showed nearly 70 percent increase of bisphenol A (BPA) in their urine, CDC/Harvard study shows. BPA, a plastics component and synthetic estrogen, is linked to reproductive problems, heart damage, diabetes, obesity. Made by petrochemical giant Sunoco, chemical shown in 2007 to have leached into more than half the canned foods, beverages, canned liquid infant formula tested. And: Chicago bans BPA in baby bottles, sippy cups (click 'See also').

Environmental Working Group 2009-05-13

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Agency takes step toward banning songbird-killing pesticide

EPA bans carbofuran and will remove it from market because pesticide does not meet food safety standards. Meanwhile, it still can be used on field corn, potatoes, pumpkins, sunflowers, spinach grown for seed, pine seedlings. In 2006, agency identified significant dietary, ecological and worker risks from use of carbofuran. And: Our appetite for year-'round vegetables, grains is killing our songbirds with pesticides (click 'See also').

By Richard Keigwin

EPA 2009-05-11

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Opinion: It's past time for food safety reform

Recent recalls, contaminations, plus industry calls have combined to allow for meaningful, united reform that could keep Americans confident of food on their plates. Obama would do well to use his influence to ensure food safety reform occurs. And: FDA searches Westco Fruit & Nut Co., of Irvington, NJ, after firm refuses to issue voluntary recall of products containing peanuts from shuttered Georgia plant (click 'See also').

By Caroline Scott-Thomas Decision News Media 2009-05-04

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Food safety lapses worrisome, point to developing problems

Though most public health experts believe nation's food supply safer than in past, recalls, outbreaks worrisome; some incidents point to new problems. Safety advocates say woes show inadequacy of FDA, which regulates 80 percent of food supply. Interconnectedness of food system illustrated by peanut product recall from small Georgia plant that supplied several hundred customers - 3,913 products have been recalled.

By Andrew Martin and Gardiner Harris

The New York TImes 2009-05-11

In Mexico, flu focuses complaints about Smithfield farms

Flu outbreak focuses complaints in poor neighborhoods near industrial pig farm owned by Smithfield subsidiary in Mexico. Overpowering stench, dogs feasting on pig carcasses, massive manure lagoons among neighbors' concerns. Conglomerate says it has funded reforestation, irrigation and has bought computer equipment for schools. It says it has built clinics and provides free medical care, and that Mexican health officials attribute persistent illness in area to temperature changes, malnutrition, unsafe drinking water.

By Steve Fainaru

The Washington Post 2009-05-10

EPA to limit power plants' fish-tainting sludge discharge

EPA moves to limit power plants' discharge of selenium-tainted sludge into waterways. Toxin once was spewed into air, but air-pollution controls now capture it as coal ash or sludge. As with mercury, poison builds rapidly in animals' bodies. Birds that eat tainted fish may have deformed beaks, jaws and problems producing viable eggs; humans who eat fish can suffer neurological damage, hair, nail loss. And: Study links deformed fish to selenium-tainted water near mountain-removal coal mining sites (click 'See also').

By Juliet Eilperin

The Washington Post 2009-05-03

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Opinion: Obama's pick for HHS should veto milk disclaimer bill

As Obama's pick for Health, Human Services which oversees FDA, Governor Kathleen Sibelius should veto biotech milk disclaimer bill as 29 groups have requested. Kansas bill would require that milk labeled hormone-free include disclaimer saying that FDA sees no 'significant difference' between milk products with or without it. Bill will become law unless she vetoes it by Thursday.

By Barry Estabrook of the Plate 2009-04-21

Endocrine disruptor linked to childhood obesity

Phthalates, an endocrine disruptor used in cosmetics and to soften plastic pacifiers, toys, linked to obesity, study of 400 9- to 11-year-old girls in East Harlem shows. Such chemicals affect glands, hormones that regulate bodily functions. Researcher compares endocrine disruptors' effect on childhood obesity to that of lead on a child's IQ. And: EPA regulates phthalates as water, air pollutants (click 'See also').

By Jennifer 8. Lee

The New York Times 2009-04-17

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Agricultural chemicals exposure linked to Parkinson's disease

People who lived next to fields where fungicide maneb or herbicide paraquat had been sprayed were, on average, about 75 percent more likely to develop Parkinson's, California study shows. And: Maneb often goes on potatoes, tomatoes, lettuce and corn; paraquat is used on corn, soybeans, fruit (click 'See also'). Map of their use mirrors areas of U.S. where people are more likely to die of Parkinson's disease.

Chicago Tribune 2009-04-20

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Pesticide makers must test for endocrine disruption, EPA says

EPA will require pesticide manufacturers to test 67 chemicals in products to determine whether they disrupt endocrine system, which regulates growth, metabolism, reproduction. Researchers cite male fish in Potomac River bearing eggs. Tests eventually will encompass all pesticide chemicals. And: Cornfield weedkiller linked to frog deaths (click 'See also').

By Juliet Eilperin

The Washington Post 2009-04-16

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Opinion: Time to consider one agency for food safety

Newest salmonella-linked food recall shows it's time to think seriously about establishing one federal agency to coordinate, enforce food-safety regulations. Consumers need, deserve food safety. And: Food safety system no longer improving, study shows (click 'See also). Created when most foods were grown, prepared and consumed locally, it needs overhaul to regulate increasingly global food industry.

The editors

The New York Times 2009-04-15

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Perchlorate found in baby formula, CDC reports

Fifteen of 15 powdered infant formulas contain perchlorate, a component of rocket fuel linked to thyroid disease, says CDC study, but scientists haven't named brands tested. Legislator calls on EPA to set safe drinking water standard for perchlorate, water testing. And: Pasadena begins construction of perchlorate-removing water treatment plant near Superfund site. Wells nearby have been shut down (click 'See also').

By Liz Szabo

USA Today 2009-04-02

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Peanuts, pistachios recalls fuel calls for food safety reform

As salmonella-pistachio recall expands only weeks after peanut products recall began, food safety reform calls grow. Among suggestions: mandatory recall authority for FDA, more inspections, product tracking. Also: splitting FDA and establishing Food Safety Administration. But Kathleen Sebelius, nominee for Health and Human Services secretary, says that first FDA should be restored as 'world-class regulatory agency.'

By Mary MacVean

Los Angeles Times 2009-04-03

Repeated salmonella outbreaks haven't altered FDA inspections

Despite 15-year history of nut-related salmonella outbreaks, FDA hasn't changed safety requirements at companies nor required inspectors to test for bacteria. Follow-up work after latest peanut recalls led agency to 20 previously unknown peanut product makers. FDA inspects some peanut processing facilities and contracts with states to perform inspections. And: Concerned about demand, farmers cutting back on peanut planting (click 'See also').

By Lyndsey Layton

The Washington Post 2009-04-03

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FDA website includes pistachio recall page alongside peanut version

FDA creates information site for salmonella-linked recall of Setton Pistachios; it joins the Peanut Corporation of America products version on federal agency's home page. Because pistachios were used as ingredients in a variety of foods, recall of about 1 million pounds of nuts likely will involve many products; probe at company is continuing as well. And: Ongoing list of recalled products containing pistachios (click 'See also').

FDA 2009-04-02

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Pistachio recall expanded in salmonella case

Kraft expands its recall to include Planters, Back to Nature products that contain pistachios. Setton International Foods suspects that roasted pistachios it sold to Kraft may have become mixed with raw nuts that could have contained traces of the bacteria (click 'See also'). Suspect nuts were shipped to 36 wholesalers, Norway, Mexico.

The Associated Press 2009-03-31

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Obama sets new course for food safety

Obama appoints two public health experts to head FDA, proposes single food safety group, closes downer cow loophole, all good first steps, according to food advocacy group. But: Obama's food safety plan is safe but not necessarily healthy solution, could place backyard gardeners as 'food producers' under same scrutiny as factory farms, editors say (click 'See also').

By Jane Zhang

The Wall Street Journal. 2009-03-15

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Nanoparticles could risk water, soil ecosystems, studies show

Nanoparticles in hundreds of consumer products can damage beneficial microbes, which may threaten soil, water, aquatic life, ecosystems, efficiency of sewage treatment, studies show. Microbes remove ammonia from sewage, reduce phosphorus in lakes. And: FDA requires manufacturers to provide tests showing that food goods using nanoparticles aren't harmful, but two unknowns are whether nanoparticles in packaging can leach into edibles and the impact of that consumption on human health (click 'See also').

By Matthew Cimitile and Environmental Health News

Scientific American 2009-03-24

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Vegetables absorb livestock antibiotics through tainted manure

Corn, potatoes, lettuce absorb antibiotics in soil fertilized with manure from livestock treated to increase growth, prevent infections. Nearly 70 percent of antibiotics and related drugs used in U.S. routinely fed to cattle, pigs and poultry - nearly 25 million pounds of antibiotics per year, advocacy group reports. Beyond encouraging development of resistant bacteria (click 'See also'), tainted manure can infiltrate water supplies as it percolates through soil into aquifers or runs off into waterways. Manure composting cut concentrations of some antibiotics up to 99 percent.

By Matthew Cimitile

Scientific American 2009-01-06

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Florida lawmaker looks to streamline food safety plans

Florida lawmaker proposes bill that would transfer food service safety duties to Department of Agriculture and would expand stringent food safety standards to crops beyond tomatoes. Ideally, says Carey Baker, who plans run for agriculture post, state's produce would carry a bar code to identify its growing, packing history. And: Law would require online availability of farm inspection reports (click 'See also').

By James A. Jones Jr.

Bradenton Herald (FL) 2009-03-20

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Opinion: ID chips for livestock would cripple local food movement

National Animal Identification System, with high-tech ID chips, would reward factory farms and their use of antibiotics, confinement and unnatural feeding practices by requiring one tag per herd of poultry or swine, while crippling small farms (which supply local food movement) by requiring one tag per animal. Other beneficiaries: Meat exporters, manufacturers of animal tracking systems. Better plan: Limit industrial agriculture, stimulate growth of small farms, backyard food production. And: Mad cow scare of 2003 sped development of NAIS (click 'See also').

By Shannon Hayes

The New York Times 2009-03-11

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Opinion: One cost of cheap bacon may be fiery saucer-sized lesions in people

Doctor in tiny town sees link to hog farms and fiery, saucer-sized lesions of MRSA (superbugs, or flesh-eating bacteria) in too many patients. Infections likely came from routine overuse of antibiotics in feed. Our model of agriculture produces cheap bacon but evidence is building that shows it risks our health. And: Factory-farm pigs are infused with huge range of antibiotics and vaccines and doused with insecticides so they can survive in confined spaces; they are in state of dying until they're slaughtered (click 'See also').

By Nicholas D. Kristof

The New York Times 2009-03-12

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Fighting environment, economic woes in gardens, kitchens

Fighting environment, economic woes in gardens, kitchens

Seeking solution to problems of climate change, fossil fuels depletion, food safety lapses, economic crisis, health and national security, writers issue call to arms in 'A Nation of Farmers: Defeating the Food Crisis on American Soil.' In their vision (click 'See also'), grassroots-led agricultural revolution would result in produce 100 million people becoming farmers and millions more becoming home cooks.

By Morgan Josey Glover

News & Record (Greensboro, N.C.) 2009-03-09

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Unregulated private audits miss food-safety lapses

Feds' job of monitoring food safety delegated mostly to private firms that sell auditing, but in recent food-borne illness outbreaks, auditors have missed problems. Rigor, cost of audits and inspector knowledge vary. FDA spends $8,000 for inspection, but some firms charge $1,000. Auditors often inspect only plants, not suppliers or food products and sometimes are paid by inspected firms. At Peanut Corporation of America, auditor was paid by insurance giant AIG, which then sold recall insurance to PCA. FDA proposes expanding role of private auditors to inspect 200,000 foreign food manufacturers that import to U.S.

By Michael Moss and Andrew Martin

The New York Times 2009-03-06

Focus on 'certified organic' after salmonella outbreak

As peanut-linked salmonella outbreak continues, questions arise about pricey USDA certified organic goods. Label requires adherence to rules, but doesn't guarantee food safety. Agency overseeing certification process underfunded, understaffed. Hope placed in Kathleen Merrigan, new USDA deputy nominee. And: Food safety among reasons cited for buying kosher foods, but demise of Peanut Corporation of America indicates kosher certification doesn't guarantee it (click 'See also').

By Kim Severson and Andrew Martin

The New York Times 2009-03-04

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Norovirus sickens 106 passengers aboard cruise ship

Holland American ship Oosterdam drops off 106 passengers in San Diego who fell ill with norovirus during seven-day cruise to Mexico. And: Norovirus transmitted by poor hand-washing of sick food handlers, by touching tainted surfaces then eating before washing hands, or by sharing foods or utensils with victim (click 'See also'). 2009-03-01

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USDA head favors single food safety agency

Time is right to modernize food safety system into single agency, says Tom Vilsack, USDA head. He cites risk of jurisdiction questions, communication problems, possible gaps with current system which uses 12 agencies (click 'See also') and 35 laws. Frozen pizzas with meat and their manufacturing plants are inspected by USDA. Those with cheese are overseen by FDA.

By Brian Naylor

National Public Radio/All Things Considered 2009-02-25

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Minnesota food sleuths tops at tracking pathogens

State's leadership in tracing food-borne illness comes from complex culture of teamwork: health and food investigators who work side-by-side; strong consumer protection laws; good facilities and resources; and experienced investigators who interview patients, trace products and draw linkages. And: FDA updates on salmonella outbreak, and recalls, by the scores (click 'See also').

By Tom Webb

Pioneer Press 2009-02-18

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Opinion: Beyond salmonella crisis to safer food system

Enhancing quality, safety of industrially produced food means building on success of existing programs; developing rapid detection methods for pathogens; eliminating unnecessary antibiotics; improving food preparation practices in all settings; strengthening capacities of health departments; and irradiating high-risk foods. CDC says irradiation could prevent up to 1 million cases of food-borne disease annually.

By Dennis G. Maki, M.D.

The New England Journal of Medicine 2009-02-11

Obama backs treaty to cut mercury emissions

Administration calls for cuts to global mercury emissions. Nervous system toxin can travel thousands of miles through air, water. Much drifts into oceans, where it enters food chain and contaminates fish. And: Coal-fired power plants are largest source of mercury pollution in U.S., making them true enemy of tuna sandwich crowd, says writer (click 'See also').

By Tom Maliti

The Associated Press; Chicago Tribune 2009-02-17

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Recalls grow; salmonella-linked peanut company files for bankruptcy

Salmonella-linked Peanut Corporation of America files for bankruptcy. Its Texas plant must recall all products produced there. Company's Virginia plant a concern for scientist. And: Poll finds that many consumers mistakenly believe that major brands of peanut butter have been recalled and also finds low levels of public confidence in groups involved in food production, inspection. (click 'See also').

By Kathy Lohr

National Public Radio/All Things Considered 2009-02-13

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Second peanut butter plant closed; executives decline to testify

A second peanut processing plant owned by company at heart of nationwide outbreak of salmonella illness shut down after Texas authorities discovered possible salmonella bacteria there. Company also has plant in Suffolk, Va. Taint linked to eight deaths, 600 illnesses, 1,800-plus separate recalls of peanut butter, cookies, crackers and other foods. And: Company executives refuse to testify before House committee (click 'See also').

By Lyndsey Layton

The Washington Post 2009-02-10

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Chronic wasting disease found in elk; some meat recalled

Chronic wasting disease (CWD) case quarantines elk herd in Minnesota; last case was found in 2006. Finding disturbs wildlife officials, who fear spread to wild deer. And: Seventeen pounds elk meat recalled over CWD concern; animal-to-human transmission of such diseases, such as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, or mad cow), has raised theoretical concern (click 'See also'). Consumers directed to consult EPA on disposal.

By Doug Smith

Star-Tribune (MN) (may require registration) 2009-01-27

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Opinion: Consolidate FDA, USDA food-safety work?

Single food-safety agency debated as salmonella outbreak continues. Overhaul old laws in current system, says David Kessler, ex-head of FDA. Decentralize, revamp FDA and staff with real regulators, says James McWilliams, history professor. Single agency would develop transparent standards, coordinate response, says Jaydee Hanson, food policy analyst. Reinvent food system, with children's, planetary health first, says Ann Cooper, chef. Require more reporting, view food as homeland security, says Bill Marler, lawyer. Rename USDA to reflect priority of food, says Caroline Smith DeWaal, Center for Science in the Public Interest.

The editors

The New York Times 2009-02-08

Feds twitter, blog about tainted peanuts, recalls

Feds twitter, blog about tainted peanuts, recalls


Government turns to social networking sites ( to spread word about salmonella outbreak and tainted products linked to Peanut Corporation of America. Heart of outreach effort is FDA database listing all recalled peanut products (click 'See also').

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 2009-02-02

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Essay: Choking incident shows need for staff safety training

Essay: Choking incident shows need for staff safety training

Portion of life-saving poster by Alex Holden, a Brooklyn artist.

Learning Heimlich maneuver should be mandatory for restaurant staff, writes famed cookbook author who was saved at her own party from choking on Persian shish kebab with pomegranate sauce. The knight? Tom Colicchio, who owns Craft restaurants and is judge on TV show 'Top Chef.' And: Brooklyn artist transforms eyesore of life-saving poster into aesthetic statement (click 'See also').

By Joan Nathan

The New York Times 2009-02-04

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USDA school lunches again victim of food safety lapse

USDA bought 32 truckloads of roasted peanuts and peanut butter for its school lunch program as internal tests on product at Peanut Corporation of America showed salmonella taint. Scandal exposes an array of failures in government's systems. And: In early 2008, Hallmark/Westland beef recall was flashpoint in debate over meat safety and quality of USDA school lunches (click 'See also').

By Lyndsey Layton

The Washington Post 2009-02-06

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A grilling on food safety by Senate panel

In wake of salmonella outbreak, senate panel questions FDA on food safety; one senator says that 'patchwork' gives system too much credit, and another wants creation of data bank on outbreaks. Nation has 76 million cases of food-borne illness annually, with 5,000 deaths, 335,000 hospitalizations. Current system for investigating outbreaks is like 'looking in the rear view mirror, says CDC researcher.

By Annie Johnson

CQ Politics 2009-02-05

Discard peanut butter packets in food kits, FEMA says

Peanut butter packets in FEMA emergency food rations distributed in Kentucky, Arkansas after late January storms should be discarded, says agency. Product linked to salmonella outbreak. Peanut Corporation of America could have distributed contaminated product to more than 100 companies for use as ingredient in hundreds of products, says FDA.

CNN 2009-02-04

Two candidates in lead for food safety position

Two candidates in lead for food safety position

Two veterans of food safety community are top candidates to lead USDA Food Safety Inspection Service: Caroline Smith DeWaal at Center for Science in the Public Interest, and former FSIS administrator Barbara J. Masters. And: Fixing FDA's laissez-faire approach to food safety requires new commissioner position, more inspectors and penalties for problems, says DeWaal (click 'See also').

By Ed O'Keefe

The Washington Post 2009-01-27

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Obama vows stricter food safety oversight

In wake of salmonella outbreak linked to eight deaths, 500 illnesses, White House vows stricter oversight of food safety. New FDA head, more officials due in days; 'stricter regulatory structure' will prevent breakdowns in food-safety inspections, says Obama spokesman. Recent revelations about poor oversight - in federal regulatory system and peanut company - alarming, he says.

By Ben Fuller

The Associated Press; Los Angeles Times 2009-01-30

Criminal probe begins of plant linked to salmonella outbreak

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

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Legislators seek food safety reforms from Obama

In wake of salmonella outbreak, legislators offer proposals to fix food safety system, and expect Obama to act, since he vowed food safety reform as candidate. At least 12 agencies regulate food safety. Nearly all bills would require company plans for manufacturing, testing and record-keeping and would fund more intense inspections of food factories. Some would also fix patchwork system by which outbreaks are detected.

By Gardiner Harris and Pam Belluck

The New York Times 2009-01-30

Peanut product recall expanded to cover two years' production

Discard every product made in last two years with peanuts processed by salmonella-tainted plant in Georgia, FDA says. Already, more than 400 products have been recalled; now, contamination's impact will reach even more processed food items. One legislator calls for criminal investigation; another introduces bill to increase FDA funding, authority. Outbreak now linked to eight deaths, about 500 illnesses. And: FDA peanut butter product recalls (click 'See also').

By Lyndsey Layton

The Washington Post 2009-01-29

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Food bank distributes state-donated fish, unaware of state mercury alert

Idaho food bank gave away thousands of pounds of lake trout, whitefish caught in Lake Pend Oreille donated by state wildlife agency at same time another agency warned of mercury contamination in fish caught there. Giveaway offers tough choice, says activist: Go hungry, or take mercury-tainted fish that can be dangerous to long-term health of children. And: New York's advisories on fish consumption (click 'See also').

By John Miller

The Associated Press; Bonner County Daily Bee 2009-01-28

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Tainted peanut products knowingly shipped, feds say

Peanut product plant retested some positive salmonella results but sold products anyway, sometimes after negative finding from different lab, feds say. Disclosure of internal tests not required. FDA delegated inspection to Georgia; in fiscal 2008, FDA inspected 5,930 of country's 65,520 domestic food production facilities. State inspectors test 4,500 samples yearly and have 16,000 food-processing, food-sales stores in state. And: Most of about 50 workers laid off, production shut down at troubled plant (click 'See also').

By Lyndsey Layton

The Washington Post 2009-01-28

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Sanitation lapses recorded at Georgia peanut butter plant

Peanut factory was repeatedly cited for sanitation lapses, reports show. Seven deaths, about 500 illnesses linked to salmonella outbreak; 125 peanut-containing products recalled.

By Roni Caryn Rabin

The New York Times 2009-01-27

USDA, FDA test Alabama livestock for chemical taint

EPA discovers record amounts of nonstick chemical - perfluorooctanoic acid - in sludge near Decatur, Ala., and issues drinking water advisory. Now, USDA, FDA test livestock that grazed on grass fertilized with the sludge for contamination (click 'See also). EPA seeks information from 14 companies with Alabama operations, including 3M, Japan-based chemical manufacturer Daikin, Toray Flurofibers, as well as privately held Alabama waste company.

By John Sepulvado

Georgia Public Broadcasting News 2009-01-22

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Recalled peanut products stretch across industrial food system

Volume, wide distribution, complicated supply chain and long shelf life complicate recall efforts on peanut butter, peanut paste, and processed food products made with them. Consider: peanut paste to peanut butter cup to peanut butter cup ice cream to private-label sales. More salmonella cases expected; military has instructed personnel to inspect care packages. Recalls list includes 130 products.

By Kim Severson

The New York Times 2009-01-23

Economy, wars, climate change usurp food safety reform efforts

For Congress, food safety slides behind economy, wars, climate change and health care, though Illinois senator is expected to reintroduce bipartisan food safety bill next month. GAO has for the last three years ranked food safety among biggest 'high-risk' challenges. And: Government, which scatters oversight among 13 agencies, seems likely to depend on industry to police itself, food supply (click 'See also').

By Aliya Sternstein

CQ Today 2009-01-22

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Food safety review too slow, say boy's parents

Food-borne illness review too slow, say parents of seven-year-old boy who was hospitalized in November and treated for salmonella. The parents, who have sued Peanut Corporation of America (click 'See also), want CDC, FDA, state health departments to streamline, speed review process. Vermont began reviewing cases in early December, but didn't issue warnings until mid-January.

WPTZ-TV 2009-01-22

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Food safety gets short shrift, risks nation, says FDA candidate

Food safety gets short shrift, risks nation, says FDA candidate

Noting nation's vulnerability, need for more food inspections, Steven Nissen, physician-activist and possible FDA pick, says agency is underfunded, understaffed and overworked. It is continually hit by sweeping food scares that sicken scores, sometimes resulting in death, but job of approving medicines, medical devices swamps resources.

By Delthia Ricks

Newsday 2009-01-22

Salmonella sleuthing recalls 125 peanut products

Peanut product recalls list grows - and grows - spanning peanut butter crackers to dog biscuits, frozen cookie dough to pre-assembled dinner kits (click 'See also'). Salmonella outbreak has sickened hundreds and may have killed six.

By Mary MacVean

Los Angeles Times 2009-01-22

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Contaminated beef may have prompted EPA guideline

New EPA limits of nonstick chemical in drinking water appears linked to discovery of contaminated beef from cattle that grazed in Alabama pasture fertilized with chemical (PFOA)-laden sewage sludge. But EPA doesn't require water treatment plants to test for perfluorochemicals. And: If sludge applied to grazing lands over 12 years did taint meat, possible sources are wastewater from nearby manufacturing plant, consumer products (click 'See also').

By Michael Hawthorne

Chicago Tribune 2009-01-16

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Salmonella-tainted peanut products linked to six deaths, 485 illnesses

With six dead, nearly 500 ill from suspected salmonella outbreak, U.S. says to avoid cookies, cakes, ice cream, crackers made with peanut butter or peanut paste. Major-label peanut butter not included in recall. Food makers call for robust food inspection program to reduce outbreaks, restore consumer confidence. And: Ongoing list of recalled products (click 'See also').

By Lyndsey Layton

The Washington Post 2009-01-21

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Setting limits of nonstick chemical in drinking water

EPA sets short-term allowances for nonstick chemicals toxins in drinking water at 10 times amount New Jersey set in 2007 for chronic exposure. Perfluorooctanoic acid - PFOA - linked to cancer, animal birth defects, now detected in blood of nearly all Americans, in sea life, polar bears. Eight U.S. firms plan to cut emissions of chemical 95 percent by next year. And: EPA doesn't require water treatment plants to test for PFOA; advisory appears to be linked to recent discovery of contaminated beef from cattle that grazed in Alabama pasture fertilized with sewage sludge. (click 'See also').

By Juliet Eilperin

The Washington Post 2009-01-17

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Toward limits, controls on pesticides, weedkillers in EU

European Parliament votes to tighten rules on pesticides, ban at least 22 toxins. New rules would limit or ban use of toxins near schools, parks, hospitals, aquatic environments, drinking water; wholesale aerial crop-spraying would also be banned; honeybees and other pollinators (click 'See also') would be protected. Opposition predicts loss of one-fourth produce, high vegetable prices. Rules must be OK'd by 27 member states' governments.

BBC News 2009-01-13

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Seeking a solid food safey system via Obama

Patchwork food safety system needs reform, say advocates, who look to Obama for solution. Among ideas: merging FDA, USDA systems into single food agency; replacing voluntary industry guidelines with rules; recall authority for FDA and USDA; more inspections of food processing plants, which means more staff.

By Andrew Martin

The New York Times 2009-01-10

Institutional peanut butter linked to salmonella cases

King Nut creamy peanut butter linked 30 cases of the 400 salmonella poisoning cases across 42 states. The peanut butter is sold in 5-pound containers to food service companies that supply schools, colleges, hospitals, nursing homes, other institutions. Minnesota's 'Team Diarrhea' helped in multitude of interviews that helped crack the case. And: Distributor plans peanut butter recall. (click 'See also').

By Josephine Marcotty

Star-Tribune (MN) (may require registration) 2009-01-10

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BPA is safe, baby formula maker told Congress

Enfamil infant formula maker Bristol-Myers Squibb lobbied Congress on issues including bill that would ban bisphenol A in its packaging. Study links chemical, used in most food can linings, to heart disease, type 2 diabetes and liver enzyme abnormalities. Canadian government declared BPA 'hazardous substance.' And: To reduce exposure, choose powdered formula over liquid (click 'See also'). News Media 2009-01-05

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More research needed on BPA, says FDA

After report criticizes FDA conclusion that leaching chemical used for food cans, baby bottles is safe (click 'See also'), agency plans 'large research effort' to gauge bisphenol A's effects. Critics call plan redundant, waste of taxpayer dollars.

By Will Dunham

Reuters 2008-12-15

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Minnesota gets lead out of hunters' donated venison

Minnesota X-rays venison bound for community food pantries after finding that 5.3 percent of venison sampled contained lead fragments from bullets. Funding comes from $160,000 appropriated by legislature, an increase in nonresident hunting license fees, hunter donations.

By Doug Smith

Star Tribune (MN) 2008-12-19

Soft drink makers roll out stevia-sweetened beverages

With FDA OK of herb stevia as a zero-calorie sweetener, Coca-Cola introduces Sprite Green and Pepsi launches three flavors of a zero-calorie SoBe Lifewater, plans March launch of Trop50, an orange-juice drink. And: Such sweeteners are key in reversing sales decline of carbonated soft drinks, says Pepsi head (click 'See also').

By Betsy McKay

The Wall Street Journal. (may require subscription) 2008-12-18

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Sushi implicated in actor's excessive fatigue

Sushi implicated in actor's excessive fatigue

TV Guide

Twice-daily diet of sushi, use of herbal remedies blamed for elevated levels of mercury in actor's bloodstream. Jeremy Piven, who was starring in 'Speed the Plow' on Broadway, had complained of excessive fatigue, exhaustion. He later left production. And: Eating six pieces of tuna sushi weekly in New York exceeds EPA's safe levels of consumption (click 'See also').

By Dave Itzkoff

The New York Times 2008-12-18

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Opinion: End to unregulated genetic seed alterations?

Austrian study (click 'See also') links genetically modified corn strain with diminishing fertility, size of mice. Upwards of 90 percent of U.S. soy, 60 percent of U.S. corn, come from gene-altered seeds, suffuse food system, yet government essentially doesn't regulate GMO food. Cause for hope is Obama's declaration for gene-altered organisms 'abetted by stringent tests for environmental and health effects and by stronger regulatory oversight guided by the best available scientific advice.'

By Tom Philpott

Grist 2008-12-12

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Nanotechnology oversight lacking, says report

As use of nanotechnology grows and researchers plan for use of tiny particles as food additives, in medical treatments and in electronics, report lists serious gaps in federal plan for determining risks and calls for ensuring safety of workers, consumers, environment. And: Studies are lagging behind technology (click 'See also'). One nanometer equals a billionth of a meter.

By Julie Steenhuysen

Reuters 2008-12-10

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China starts new food safety campaign

Pledging to learn from baby formula case, China launches campaign to restore faith in food products after melamine-tainted dairy product scandal. Initiative includes assessment of procedures, probes of high-risk producers or regions and targets food processors with fewer than 10 employees - 70 percent of country's 500,000 producers.

By Mike Stones 2008-12-09

FDA revokes ban of powerful drugs for cows, pigs, poultry

FDA reverses itself, continuing to allow use of cephalosporin drugs - powerful antibiotics- in food animals after calling the practice a public-health risk in July. Worry is that excessive use of antibiotics - including in animals - can promote resistance, produce life-threatening bacteria in humans.

By Alicia Mundy and Jared Favole

The Wall Street Journal. (may require subscription) 2008-12-09

Setting 'tolerable' levels for industrial toxin in food

Calling melamine a contaminant that sometimes is unavoidable, World Health Organization sets 'daily tolerable intake' without 'appreciable health risk.' The toxin, an industrial chemical, can cause kidney stones, kidney disease, other organ problems and kidney failure, and can be fatal in children. And: Toxin links industrial waste to U.S. food system (click 'See also'). 2008-12-10

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Opinion: Halting advance of health crisis from cheap food

With cheap food looming as crisis-in-the-making, Obama should consider a Cabinet-level agency over all food safety, enforcement and research. With low price as king, conglomerates trade foods from all over, and corners are cut. In U.S., 12 agencies administer 35 different food safety laws. Consumers must seek out sustainably produced foods - and vote with their pocketbooks.

By Aleda Roth

San Francisco Chronicle 2008-11-29

Opinion: Blocking pollution for public, planetary health

Bush-Cheney plan to measure emissions of coal-burning power plants hourly instead of annually could mean more pollution - and enormous cost to public health, planet. And: Fish from Catskills waterways unsafe to eat; they and their predators - bald eagles - contaminated with methylmercury, a power-plant toxin. (click 'See also') .

The editors

The New York Times 2008-11-28

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Melamine joins BPA in toxins list for baby formula can linings

'Trace' amounts of melamine, used in plastics and fertilizers, found in one of 77 U.S. baby formula samples tested, but it's allowed in can liners and manufacturing, says FDA. And: BPA, a leaching toxin thought to be found only in metal food can linings and hard, clear plastic, also is present in frozen food trays, microwaveable soup containers, plastic baby food packaging and in recyclable containers with numbers 1, 2, 5 and 7 (click 'See also').

By Justin Blum 2008-11-25

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FDA adds on-site inspection certification office in China

FDA opens China office to certify inspections of U.S.-bound products. Food safety problems, plus China's growing role as food, drug supplier to U.S. - $320 billion in products were imported to U.S. last year - prompted strategy change. Food science expert in China doubts effectiveness of move, citing dozens of pesticides available and a thousand different poisonous possibilities.

By Maureen Fan

The Washington Post 2008-11-19

FDA blocks China-made sweets on melamine fear

China-made sweets made with milk stopped for testing at U.S. border in effort to keep melamine-tainted goods from reaching stores. FDA, taking cue from other countries, increases scrutiny of goods on shelves. Agency should have acted earlier; problems with melamine are deeper than FDA acknowledges, says House member. And: Retracing path of toxin from greedy chemical companies to poor farmers in China (click 'See also').

By Annys Shin

The Washington Post 2008-11-14

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Food safety update begins as consumers worry

FDA begins updating 1986 standards for processing, packaging, storage of food. USDA inspects meat plants daily; FDA has no such requirement for food processing plants. Poll shows consumers want labels identifying: country of origin of processed and packaged foods; products from cloned or genetically engineered animals; meat treated with carbon monoxide to maintain red color; irradiated items.

By Jane Byrne 2008-11-13

Opinion: Fighting terrible legacy with hope, competence

Barack Obama won the presidential election with promise to address things beyond the power of individuals: ensuring food safety, clean air, regulating economy fairly, ensuring access to health care and educating children. He will now need the support of all Americans.

The editors

The New York Times 2008-11-05

Melamine now found in eggs from China

Melamine found in eggs imported from China to Hong Kong, raising new concerns about food quality standards in China. The toxin, last found in dairy products, has already sickened more than 50,000 children in China and led to at least four deaths. That scandal forced global recall of foods using Chinese dairy products, including pizza, biscuits, yogurt.

By David Barboza

The New York Times 2008-10-26

Three states ask manufacturers to halt BPA use

Connecticut, New Jersey, Delaware ask 11 companies to stop using bisphenol A in making baby bottles, baby-formula containers. FDA has tentatively concluded that chemical is safe, but gives consumers tips on reducing exposure. Animal studies link BPA, also used in food can linings, to reproductive system abnormalities, cancers; experts disagree on whether humans are at risk.

The Associated Press; The Wall Street Journal. 2008-10-14

Artificial food colors under review at FDA

FDA reviews petition for ban on eight artificial food colors and request for warning labels on foods that contain them. Group cites studies linking hyperactivity to consumption of dyes, some made from petrochemicals and coal tar. In UK, Kellogg switched to beetroot red, annatto and paprika extract to color strawberry Nutri-Grain Cereal Bars; in U.S., they're tinted with Red 40, Yellow 6 and Blue 1.

By Melinda Fulmer

Los Angeles Times 2008-10-13

Critic of regulation gives $5 million to FDA official's center before BPA ruling

Anti-regulation activist who says bisphenol A is 'perfectly safe' gave $5 million to research center of FDA panel head due to rule on chemical's safety. FDA draft, which says products made with BPA are safe for food, relied on industry-funded studies. And: Scientists urge 'aggressive action' to limit exposure after study notes that higher levels of BPA in body correspond with higher rates of heart disease, diabetes and liver abnormalities (click 'See also').

By Susanne Rust and Meg Kissinger

Journal Sentinel (Milwaukee, WI) 2008-10-11

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California lettuce blamed for e.coli in Michigan

Michigan e.coli outbreak traced to California lettuce. Students at Michigan State University, the University of Michigan, and inmates at Lenawee County Jail, among others, fell ill. Some lettuce was sold by Aunt Mid's Produce Co., in Detroit.

By Tiffany Hsu

Los Angeles Times 2008-10-10

Michigan lettuce linked to e.coli in Canada

Forty-one e.coli cases, three in Canada, linked to shredded iceberg lettuce from Michigan. And: Hospital head wants to know why there was five-day delay in notifying health authorities of outbreak (click 'See also'), considering recent listeria outbreak that has so far killed 20 and left 32 seriously ill across Canada.

By Erica Bajer

The Chatham Daily News (CA) 2008-10-08

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EPA says rocket fuel chemical OK in water at 15 times higher than first said

After White House officials remove scientific data from reports highlighting some risks associated with rocket-fuel chemical, EPA refuses to set drinking-water safety standard, assumes that maximum safe level is 15 times higher than suggested in 2002. Perchlorate linked to thyroid problems in pregnant women, newborns and young children and has been found in water in 35 states.

By Juliet Eilperin

The Washington Post 2008-10-04

FDA sets melamine amount that poses no serious risk

FDA says a bit of melamine in food - equivalent to two or three grains in a million grains of sand - poses no serious risk, drawing ire of House member who questions whether agency is condoning intentional contamination of foods. Four babies have died, 54,000 ill from drinking tainted milk. Some China-made products found in U.S. are contaminated.

By Marc Kaufman

The Washington Post 2008-10-04

Staff shortages, counter-terrorism efforts erode FDA

FDA lacks staff to protect food supply, particularly fresh produce, and is distracted by counterterrorism efforts and investigating outbreaks of food-borne illness, government report says. Only 1 percent of produce imported into U.S. is inspected by FDA; 60 percent of fresh produce is imported annually. One in four Americans becomes sick from tainted food each year - 76 million people. And: New e.coli cases reported (click 'See also').

By Amanda Gardner

HealthDay; The Washington Post 2008-09-26

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FDA steps up tests of products that could contain melamine

In response to melamine contamination of milk and milk products in China, FDA broadens sampling, testing of domestic and imported milk-derived ingredients and products containing milk, such as candies, desserts, beverages that could contain China products. Milk-derived ingredients include whole milk powder, non-fat milk powder, whey powder, lactose powder, and casein.

By Stephanie Kwisnek

FDA 2008-09-26

EU orders testing on Chinese products containing milk

To existing ban on import of milk and milk products from China, EU adds testing on Chinese products that contain milk powder, particularly child-focused products of milk toffee, chocolate and biscuits. Melamine-tainted infant formula has killed four babies and sickened thousands in China. And: Baby food added to to EU's banned list (click 'See also').

By Jeremy Smith

The Guardian (UK) 2008-09-25

See also 

Routine cafeteria inspections unlikely, despite law

Many school cafeterias in New York state aren't routinely inspected for food safety because of short-staffed health departments, disparity between federal, local laws. Skewing records: Some schools have no kitchen; some inspections aren't recorded. One in five public school cafeterias in Monroe County failed to meet health standards in last two years.

By David Andreatta

Democrat and Chronicle (Rochester, NY) 2008-09-14

Melamine milk scandal grows in China

Liquid milk in China found to contain melamine after similarly tainted infant formula kills three babies and sickens 53,000, with nearly 13,000 hospitalized for kidney problems. Instant coffee, milk, candy for export blocked at Asian borders. Don't assume the Chinese piece of the global supply chain follows the rules, says expert. Product-quality chief resigns. And: Ten countries ban Chinese dairy products (click 'See also').

By Don Lee and Mark Magnier

Los Angeles Times 2008-09-22

See also 

Fury builds in China over poisoned infant formula

Toll of melamine-poisoned babies rises in China, with 1,300-plus hospitalized and 158 with acute kidney failure. Traces of industrial additive found in powdered formula of 21 more dairy companies. As people's fury grows and they compare food safety standards of Olympics with those for citizens, government vows overhaul of dairy industry.

By Jim Yardley

The New York Times 2008-09-18

Another death from tainted infant formula

Second baby dies, 1,253 others ill with 340 in hospitals from melamine-tainted infant formula in China. More than 10,000 tons of milk powder seized or recalled. Scandal has renewed concerns about food safety of one of the world's largest food exporters. And: Same toxin was blamed for pet deaths in U.S. last year (click 'See also').

By Jim Yardley

The New York Times 2008-09-15

See also 

More information due on labels for meat, some produce

Country-of-origin labels due on meats, some produce, nuts. Ground beef labels may be long, because some processors mix meats of many countries. Critics complain about exemptions, including vegetables imported in bulk and then mixed by U.S. company. Label for cattle imported to U.S. for immediate slaughter can list origin country and U.S.; some fear that slaughterers won't bother with specifics. Then, there's scale: How do you verify origins of thousands of cattle slaughtered each day?

By Stephen J. Hedges

Chicago Tribune 2008-09-13

More babies ill from tainted formula in China

One baby dies, 432 ill from melamine-tainted Sanlu infant formula in China. Toxic chemical is used in plastics, fertilizers and cleaning products but also gives appearance of increased protein content in animal feed. In 2007, it was linked to deaths and illnesses of thousands of pets in the U.S. Officials vow severe punishment to those responsible.

BBC News 2008-09-13

Deformed child's parents say they worked fields wet with pesticides

In closely watched case of farm workers against Ag-Mart that began in 2005, parents of deformed baby say they were forced to work in North Carolina tomato fields still wet from pesticides, that pesticides were sprayed while they ate. Company, which sells Santa Sweets and Ugly Ripe tomato brands, also runs farms in Florida, New Jersey, Mexico. And: Company agreed to pay for lifelong care of field worker's limbless child (click 'See also').

By Kristin Collins

The News & Observer (Raleigh, NC) 2008-09-11

See also 

Tainted baby formula from China

Chinese-made baby formula may be tainted with toxic melamine, officials say. Though Sanlu-brand product is illegal to sell in U.S., some may be available at Chinese specialty stores. Melamine was found in pet food ingredients from China and in 2007 was linked to deaths, illnesses of hundreds of cats and dogs.

By Lisa Richwine

Reuters 2008-09-12

After listeria deaths, food safety becomes Canadian election topic

Food safety becomes election issue after Canada's deadly listeria outbreak; Liberal Leader calls for resignation of agriculture minister. One issue is new rules requiring inspectors to spend more time going over records of tests and tasks at processing plants, which leaves too little time on physical inspections, union leader says. And: Meat slicing machines likely source of contamination (click 'See also').

By Bill Curry, Jane Taber and Rheal Seguin

The Globe and Mail (Canada) 2008-09-05

See also 

Plastics chemical inhibits brain links

EPA's current 'safe daily limit' for consumption of bisphenol-A (BPA), a leaching chemical used in hard plastic water and baby bottles and food and beverage can linings (click 'See also'), could cause memory/learning impairments and depression, research on primates shows. Scientist says EPA 'may wish to consider' lowering limit.

By Karen N. Peart

Yale University 2008-09-03

See also 

Toll rises in Canada from tainted cold cuts

Twelve deaths, 26 cases and 29 suspected cases of food-borne illness prompt expanded recall of 220 Maple Leaf products made at one factory in Canada. And: Listeriosis is common and rarely fatal, but can take up to 90 days to incubate (click 'See also').

By Ian Austen

The New York Times 2008-08-26

See also 

Raw milk suspected in food-borne illness

California organic dairy stops selling raw milk through cow-share program after customer develops symptoms of campylobacter infection and is hospitalized. And: As demand for raw milk grows, federal government increases efforts to reduce availability over concerns of food-borne illnesses, though states regulate the industry (click 'See also').

By Nicholas Grube

The Daily Triplicate 2008-08-16

See also 

Opinion: Retailers as food safety watchdogs

Stricter food safety standards by retailers is a welcome development. Retailers have both the clout to compel high standards and better tracking in agriculture and a direct reason to care, since they're the consumer's best chance of being compensated for food poisoning under product liability laws.

The editors

Los Angeles Times 2008-08-19

FDA OKs bacteria-killing radiation for lettuce, spinach

FDA approves irradiation of iceberg lettuce, fresh spinach in effort to reduce incidence of e.coli, salmonella and listeria and to lengthen shelf life without nutrient compromise. Dole Foods is considering process. Consumer safety group wants growers to document manure use and ensure safety of irrigation water, which is suspect in summer salmonella outbreak.

By Lauran Neergaard

The Associated Press; Newsweek 2008-08-21

Fourteenth case of mad cow in Canada

Fourteenth case of mad cow confirmed in Canada. Latest case occurred in six-year-old beef cow; officials say it did not reach food chain. In 1997, government banned practice of feeding the herbivores protein from brains and spines of infected cattle or sheep. The material was still allowed in pig and poultry feed until July 2007.


The Star (Canada) 2008-08-15

Track team members battled possible food-borne bug during Olympics training

Food poisoning suspected in pre-Olympics illnesses of 15 percent of about 150 American athletes on track team in town outside of Beijing. Events official says he was told illnesses were 'normal stomach bugs' and not out of the ordinary for an international trip.

By Gina Kolata and Jason Stallman

The New York Times 2008-08-16

Look for more information on food packaging

Country-of-origin labels required by Sept. 30 for beef, chicken, fresh produce, frozen fruits and vegetables and other products; restaurants exempt. In hint on price shoppers may pay, retailers' costs about 7 cents a pound for beef and 4 cents a pound for pork. Ground meat labels must list all countries of origin or list of all reasonably possible countries of origin (click 'See also').

By Michael Doyle

Mcclatchy-Tribune; The Houston Chronicle 2008-08-01

See also 

FDA warns of toxin in Maine lobster liver

Eat Maine lobster, but leave the tomalley - the soft green liver - says FDA. Red tide in Atlantic waters from Canada to South Carolina may have deposited toxin that could cause paralytic shellfish poisoning. And: Florida lawmakers push for red tide research (click 'See also').

The Associated Press; U.S. News & World Report 2008-07-28

Bird, bee-killing pesticide banned over toddler safety risk

Citing safety risk to toddlers, EPA bans residue of carbofuran. It's used mostly in developing countries on rice, bananas, coffee, sugar cane, corn, potatoes, soybeans and alfalfa. It kills bees and, over last 40 years, it has killed millions of wild birds, including golden and bald eagles, red-tailed hawks and migratory songbirds, environmental groups say.

By Juliet Eilperin

The Washington Post 2008-07-25

Jalapeños show matching salmonella strain

After 1,251 reported illnesses, FDA finds Saintpaul salmonella match in Mexican hot peppers, but contamination source unclear. And: North Carolina recalls jalapeño peppers and Hass avocados for Orangeburg salmonella (click 'See also').

By Bina Venkataraman

The New York Times 2008-07-21

See also 

Avoiding food-borne illness

Of the estimated 76 million cases of foodborne illnesses in the U.S. each year, a majority occur in restaurants. To reduce risk if food source is unknown, follow CDC's common-sense precautions (click 'See also') used for travel in developing countries (which, paradoxically, also export foods to U.S.); eat only at restaurants that passed local health inspections.

By Laura H. Kahn

Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 2008-07-16

See also 

USDA to list stores that receive some recalled meat, poultry

USDA will in August begin listing retail stores receiving meat and poultry products recalled for serious concerns to public health at Retail stores include supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, meat markets, wholesale clubs and supercenters. Agency won't identify distribution centers, institutions or restaurants.

USDA 2008-07-11

Opinion: Tracing food, from farm to fork

Salmonella outbreak suspected in salsa ingredients shows it's time to put existing technology to work, tracing foods from the fields to the dinner table. Congress must protect our food supply by linking traceability with mandatory recall authority in current globalization bill under consideration.

The editors

The Washington Post 2008-07-08

Loophole may hide true levels of e.coli in slaughterhouses

Loophole allows meat companies to move e.coli-contaminated meat found during processing into the 'cook only' category without telling USDA. Some inspectors say practice conceals higher levels of bacteria in packing plants than the companies admit. School lunch program bought 2.8 million pounds of cooked beef in 2006.

By Stephen J. Hedges

Chicago Tribune; The Seattle Times 2007-11-11

Health regulators push against raw milk movement

As popularity of raw milk grows, state regulators fine small dairies for minor violations, obtain search warrants and push for restrictive laws. FDA backs the efforts but CDC reports show that about 59 people became ill from raw milk each year, compared to 14 million who contract other food-borne illnesses each year. And: Undercover agents entrap dairy farmers (click 'See also').

By David E. Gumpert

The Nation. 2008-03-05

See also 

Salmonella outbreak continues growth

Salmonella outbreak now largest in U.S., with more than 1,000 cases CDC says. Agency says to avoid raw red plum, red Roma, round red tomatoes, and products containing these raw tomatoes, and warns elderly, immune-compromised to avoid jalapeno peppers as well.

By Steven Reinberg

HealthDay News; U.S. News & World Report 2008-07-09

Jalapeños replace tomatoes in salmonella probe

As U.S. salmonella cases edge toward 1,000 and tomato industry counts losses in hundreds of millions of dollars, health officials refocus salmonella probe. At mostly non-chain restaurants that serve Mexican food, they now are examining jalapeño peppers, serrano peppers and cilantro.

By Jane Zhang and Janet Adamy

The Wall Street Journal. (may require subscription) 2008-07-04

Danes seek clues to salmonella outbreak

In Denmark, sleuths seek cause of salmonella that has sickened up to 4,000; meat product suspected. Experts visit patients, examine refrigerator contents and have been provided electronic files for overview of credit card purchases.

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation News 2008-07-02

Tomato 'repacking' complicates disease tracking

Co-mingling, or repacking, tomatoes from different farms is common practice and a challenging twist to disease sleuths at FDA. It could mean that Mexican tomatoes go to Florida and are sold with tomatoes from Florida. Or box from Florida could easily be refilled with tomatoes from a box from Mexico, and vice versa, says expert. And: sampling of rejected foods from Canada, Mexico and China (click 'See also').

By Sabin Russell

San Francisco Chronicle 2008-06-28

See also 

Backyard gardens poisoned across UK, Wales

Gardeners across UK, Wales, warned not to eat homegrown produce if they used Dow herbicide-tainted manure. Extent of problem, which could extend to market gardeners, unknown. Affected crops include potatoes, raspberries, onions, leeks, beans, peas, carrots and salad vegetables, which wither or become deformed.

By Caroline Davies

The Observer (UK) 2008-06-29

MRSA found in some pork, pigs and some vets

Ten percent of ground pork, pork chops in Ontario study harbor antibiotic-resistant bacteria called MRSA, researcher finds; other studies show superbugs in pigs and in some veterinarians. Bacteria not 'important source of disease at this point,' he says. USDA doesn't test for it.

By Thomas M. Burton

The Wall Street Journal. (may require subscription) 2008-06-16

Salmonella outbreak across nine states

Salmonella cases reported in nine states, with illnesses linked to raw red tomatoes in Texas and New Mexico, officials say. Those 57 cases were caused by an uncommon type of Salmonella bacteria called SaintPaul. Homegrown tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes and tomatoes sold with the vine still attached are not linked to illness.

By Julie Steenhuysen and Will Dunham

Reuters 2008-06-03

See also 

Downer cattle banned from slaughter

Downer cattle will be banned from slaughter, USDA head says. Change will increase humane handling from producers, transporters and slaughterhouses, he says, since there will no longer be any market for cattle that are unable to rise or walk on their own. Decision comes after video resulted in nation's largest beef recall.

By Ed Schafer

USDA 2008-05-20

Food safety crisis

Ancient food safety system endangers U.S., new report finds. Gaps include old laws, poor use of resources, and inconsistencies among agencies, leaving 76 million sick each year. Report recommends one food safety agency which would inspect foods throughout the entire food chain, update inspections as needed; establish standard practices for recall and penalties, and improve inspection of imported foods.

By Steven Reinberg

U.S. News & World Report 2008-04-30

Studying the BPA studies

In approving plastics additive, FDA ignored 100-plus studies that raised health concerns and relied on two industry-funded studies. Bisphenol A (BPA), used in baby bottles, plastic food containers, bottles, tableware and the plastic linings of canned foods, can mimic estrogen and is linked to cancer, behavioral disorders and reproductive ills in animals.

By Lyndsey Layton

The Washington Post 2008-04-27

See also 

Labeling a chemical 'toxin'

Canada on verge of declaring bisphenol A a toxin, which could lead to ban on food-related uses, government insiders say. The chemical, used in making hard plastic baby bottles, drink and food containers as well as linings in food cans, disrupts animals' hormonal systems. U.S. agency agreed with panel on 'concern' about neural and behavioral changes in people who consumed the chemical.

By Ian Austen

The New York Times 2008-04-15

See also 

Baby bottle problem

Bisphenol A, used to make baby bottles and to line cans, could be linked to hormonal problems, early study shows. Early puberty, tumors and urinary tract problems occurred after rats ate or were injected with low doses of the chemical, made by Dow Chemical Co. and BASF Group, among others. For New Jersey's effort to ban chemical, click 'See also.'

By Matthew Perrone

The Associated Press; Fox News 2008-04-15

See also 

Eating dirt - and sludge

In Baltimore and East St. Louis, federally-funded researchers broadcast sludge on neighborhood yards to study whether the human- and industrial waste-based fertilizer would protect dirt-eating children from lead poisoning. No evidence that children were tested; results, published in 2005, said phosphate and iron in sludge can bind to lead and pass safely through a child's body. Critics say sludge has not been proven safe.

By John Heilprin and Kevin S. Vineys

The Associated Press; The Washingt 2008-04-13

See also 

Getting the lead out

Food pantries in Minnesota pull donated venison after concerns over lead bullet fragments in meat. Health officials weren't sure that venison in hunters' freezers is a health risk. Agriculture department began testing food-pantry venison in March after North Dakota found lead fragments in food-shelf venison; custom meat processor, which butchered hundreds of deer last year, says he and his workers avoid bullet-damaged areas.

By Chris Niskanen

Pioneer Press (MN) 2008-04-11

Opinion/Blog: Dirt on diacetyl

Chefs' group calls for change in FDA safety advisory on diacetyl, an artificial butter flavoring implicated in lung problems of workers in flavoring and popcorn factories. CDC is examining hazard in three New York institutional restaurants; Washington State officials are examining at least two sites in Seattle. Artificial diacetyl is routinely added to pure unsalted butter.

By Andrew Schneider

Seattle Post-Intelligencer (WA) 2008-03-20

See also 

Opinion/Blog: Battling FDA

Honduras fights FDA's recall of cantaloupes from Agropecuaria Montelibano, which imports about two million boxes annually under Dole, Chiquita and Mayan Pride, and possibly other labels. Recall threatens $100 million industry and 5,000 Honduran workers; country wants reimbursement for $8 million already lost. FDA has linked the melons to 58 cases of salmonella; critic says shoppers have no idea how to determine who grew a melon.

By Mike Nizza

The New York Times 2008-03-26

See also 

Talking trash

As sales of Italy's prized buffalo milk mozzarella plummet and restaurateurs switch to cow's milk version, consortium distances emblematic product from dioxin pollution. For decades, Camorra, an organized crime group, has illegally dumped trash around Naples, where some of the best mozzarella is made. Probe investigates link between shady cheesemakers and what officials knew.

By Ian Fisher and Daniele Pinto

The New York Times 2008-03-26

See also 

Time, money and e.coli

USDA's new faster, more sensitive test for e.coli will likely find more pathogen on beef, officials say. Meat processors could avoid many recalls by waiting for lab results before shipping meat out, but many 'can't afford' delay, USDA says. Meatpackers recalled 33.4 million pounds of beef for possible e. coli contamination last year; 11 of the 21 e.coli-related recalls in 2007 were results of USDA testing.

By Philip Brasher

The Des Moines Register 2008-03-20

Something in the water

Potomac River, source of drinking water and a fish habitat, contains Syngenta's weedkiller atrazine, and other suspected endocrine disruptors, plus more chemicals from sewage, farm fields and lawns. In 2003, male fish in tributary were found with eggs growing inside them. In 1996, Congress ordered EPA to create a testing program to identify endocrine disruptors, but the tests have not begun.

By David A. Fahrenthold

The Washington Post 2008-03-18

See also 

Lax testing for mad cow?

Mad cow policy in U.S. is 'don't look, don't find,' critics say. In U.S., testing is voluntary; U.S. tests 0.1 percent. Japan tests all cows 20 months and older; UK tests all cows 30 months and older. Loopholes here allow cow food to contain cow blood (blood can carry BSE); chicken manure and feathers (chicken feed can contain beef and ground bone); and restaurant garbage (could include cow bones and meat). For graphic, click 'See also.'

By Douglas Quan

The Press-Enterprise (CA); Grist 2008-03-13

See also 

Bringing up baby

Bringing up baby

Parents switch from hard plastic baby bottles after reports questioning safety of chemical used in their manufacture. In tests on animals, the chemical, called bisphenol A, or BPA, shows hormone-like effects on the reproductive system. Sales of glass baby bottles boom.

By Lisa A. Flam

The Associated Press; The Guardian (UK) 2008-03-13

See also 

Call for food safety

Group calls for ban on nanoparticles used in food and food-related products - from beer to baby drinks - until government testing is conducted. Then, those products containing tiny particles should be labeled. FDA requires industry to provide tests that show food goods aren't harmful, but there are few published studies on health impact of nanoparticles, which can easily penetrate organs and cells.

By David Biello

Scientific American 2008-03-13

See also 

Big food makers say they're obeying USDA on recall alerts

Manufacturing giants ConAgra, General Mills, Heinz and Nestle say they're not required to notify consumers of recalled Hallmark/Westland products; USDA only wanted them to notify retailers. They say that only limited quantities of suspect beef were used. USDA says list of retailers that receive recalled products is a secret. See RECALLS & ALERTS for list of products.

By Stephen J. Hedges

Chicago Tribune 2008-03-09

See also 

Beef recall and USDA secrecy

Despite two-year push to make public the lists of retailers that receive recalled products, USDA has not yet sent rule change to White House budget office for OK. The agency won't name the 10,000 food distributors, processors, grocers and restaurants that received Hallmark/Westland beef. Lawmaker says information is not confidential: 'If we have stores that are selling bad products, we should know about it.'

By Jane Zhang

The Wall Street Journal (may require subscription) 2008-03-07

USDA's secret beef recall list

Lawmakers demand list of restaurants and retailers that received tainted beef; USDA says it's against the rules, but will check with the lawyers. Though USDA plans to make recall lists public later this year, that information still is considered confidential, with retailers provided the choice on whether to disclose details.

By Christopher Doering

Reuters 2008-03-06

Tracking food to its source

Massive beef recall tests food companies' ability to track supplies. Heinz learns by its own sleuthing that its Boston Market lasagna with meat sauce contained recalled beef; General Mills put a team on the question to learn of five days in which Hallmark/Westland beef was added to canned soup. After 9/11 attacks, new laws to block bioterrorism required companies to trace their production forward and back.

By Julie Jargon

The Wall Street Journal (may require subscription) 2008-03-04

Opinion: One food-safety agency

Public safety must come before the needs of business; secrecy and delays are inexcusable. We need one food agency responsible for consumer safety; it must be adequately funded. The agency must have the power to recall dangerous food. All of us have the right to know where recalled food products were sold.

The editors

Los Angeles Times 2008-03-04

Tainted beef in California

California's Department of Public Health lists hundreds of retailers, restaurants linked to Chino-based Hallmark/Westland beef recall and promises to update information as it becomes available.

California Department of Public Health; The Los Angeles Times 2008-02-28

See also 

Opinion: Tainted beef and systemic problem

It's time to put the health and well-being of America's eaters, animals and food industry workers first. The $70-billion-a-year meat business is largely controlled by four corporations with political clout that shows in: blocking universal testing for mad cow disease; coaxing regulators to speed up processing lines, and reducing the role and number of inspectors in plants.

By Christopher D. Cook

Los Angeles Times 2008-02-24

See also 

Opinion: Fixing food safety

How many people need to get sick or die before Congress overhauls the food inspection program? The USDA and FDA need authority to demand recalls; food producers should be able to track their supplies; foreign suppliers should create and implement a safety plan that can be better monitored. Creating a single agency to oversee food safety is worth serious consideration.

The editors

The New York Times 2008-02-21

Costco checks beef source

Wholesale giant Costco pulls three suspect products from its shelves in wake of Hallmark/Westland meat recall, says company spokesman. The company is researching the issue, and stopped selling the products until source of meat is determined. ''We know we purchased ingredient meat from them,' he says. 'We need to know which products we put them in.'

By Eugene Driscoll

The News-Times (CT) 2008-02-19

Not quite ready

Sugar industry, banking on customers' diminished resistance to genetically modified foods, plans big crop of Monsanto's Roundup Ready sugar beets engineered to tolerate the company's weedkiller. Food safety groups sue, pointing out risks of cross-pollination with table beets and Swiss chard. A similar lawsuit, using similar arguments, stopped the planting of Roundup Ready alfalfa last year.

By Dan Charles

National Public Radio 2008-02-14

See also 

Broadcasting antibiotics

Potatoes, lettuce and corn absorbed antibiotics from pig manure used as fertilizer in experiment, a USDA-funded study first reported in 2006. Effects of consuming raw or cooked plants containing antibiotics are largely unknown, but concerns include antibiotic resistance and allergic reactions.

Science Daily 2007-07-13

See also 

Safe sells

Safe sells

Trader Joe's will switch to non-China suppliers for garlic, frozen organic spinach, ginger, edamame and other items, but chain will continue to carry products with Chinese ingredients. Wegmans Food Markets dropped Chinese garlic last year but has retained its frozen tilapia.

By Julie Schmit

USA Today 2008-02-10

Opinion: Outside influence

Consternation, not soothing words and complacency, would be more reassuring from USDA after agency failed to halt abuse of sick cows at slaughterhouse that supplied school lunch program - until Humane Society filmed it. And it was up to another consumer advocacy group and The New York Times to test tuna sushi for mercury - then report that it exceeded FDA standards. It's time for alarm at the food safety agencies.

The editors

Los Angeles Times 2008-02-09

Making the switch

Making the switch

Study shows that when children switched from conventional to organic produce, pesticide signs disappeared from their urine within eight to 36 hours. Pesticide level markers were higher in winter, suggesting that children may have eaten imported fruits and vegetables that didn't comply with domestic produce standards. Researcher's top organic picks: Strawberries, apples and spinach.

By Andrew Schneider

Seattle Post-Intelligencer (WA) 2008-01-30

See also 

Tainted dumplings

Mass recall of insecticide-tainted Chinese dumplings in Japan may include small quantities that could have been imported to the United States. Recall highlights recent problems in oversight of Japan's domestic food companies, scandalized by mislabeled meats, outdated sweet bean cakes and contaminated milk.

By Martin Fackler

International Herald Tribune 2008-02-01

Heat problem

Boiling water in polycarbonate bottles drastically increases amount of leached bisphenol A, or BPA, into liquids, research shows. The chemical is also used to make the epoxy resins inside most tin cans and in dental fillings. Scientists suspect the estrogen mimicker could contribute to early puberty in girls, a hike in prostate cancer and declining sperm counts.

By Martin Mittelstaedt

The Globe and Mail (Canada) 2008-01-30

Olympic effort

Olympic effort

With Aramark responsible for more than 3.5 million meals during the 60 days of the Beijing Olympics and Paralympics, organizers push for Chinese suppliers and implement massive regulatory system while trying not to imply that general food supply is sub-par.

By Lindsay Beck

Reuters; Guardian Unlimited (UK) 2008-01-09

Green on the go

Greenest solution for transporting water and food is re-using what's around the house. Beyond that, there are controversies with "single-use" plastic bottles and hard plastic re-usable bottles; glass breaks and stainless steel is pricey. Plastic bags are cheap to make, but disposal is a problem; wax paper is expensive to make but decomposes.

By Alina Tugend

The New York Times 2008-01-05

See also 

Raw feelings

New strict bacteria-count standards for raw milk products in California take effect in January, but producers argue that coliform count helps make product unique and that testing for e.coli and salmonella is already done. Other states permitting raw milk sales have adopted the standard.

By Michelle Locke

The Associated Press; The Mercury News (CA) 2007-12-25

Mad cow

Canada reports case of mad cow disease in 13-year-old Alberta cow, but officials say that no part of the animal entered the human or animal food chain. Since the animal was born before a food ban was enacted, it won't reduce the nation's status as "controlled risk" for the deadly ailment.

The Canadian Press 2007-12-19

Troubled waters

With more than 4.5 million fish farmers, China is producer and exporter to the world. But as factory-farming aquaculture contaminates the fragile water supply, farmers add drugs and pesticides to fish feed. That keeps the fish alive, but further pollutes the water and leaves toxic residue in seafood, which we then eat.

By David Barboza

The New York Times 2007-12-15

See also 

Weathering emergencies

Weathering emergencies

With nation in winter's grip, protect family's food supply. Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed to keep food cold for about four hours and frozen for 24-48 hours. Refreeze food only if it still contains ice crystals or a food thermometer shows 40 degrees or below. Discard refrigerated perishables such as meat, poultry, fish, soft cheeses, milk, eggs, leftovers and deli items after four hours without power.

USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service 2007-12-10

Factory inspected

China agrees to "facilitate" access of American inspectors to its factories in exchange for continued opportunity to sell its goods in U.S. But critics worry whether it offers enough safeguards, since accord includes only preserved foods; pet food and pet treats; raw materials such as wheat and rice protein; and farm-raised fish, including shrimp and catfish.

By Stephen J. Hedges

Chicago Tribune 2007-12-12

Off the shelves

Citing health concerns, Canada's largest specialty outdoor-goods retailer pulls most reusable polycarbonate water and food containers from its shelves. A chemical used in their manufacture, bisphenol A, mimics estrogen and has been linked in many studies to illnesses that could be caused by hormone disruption.

By Martin Mittelstaedt

The Globe and Mail (Canada) 2007-12-07

Fighting a bug

In battle against e.coli, a potentially fatal food pathogen sometimes found in hamburgers, Tyson and other processors use hot water, acid and vacuums, but practical solution, except for irradiation, proves elusive.

By Andrew Martin

The New York Times 2007-12-06

Superfund cleanup

In calculating cleanup for Duwamish River in Seattle, critics say coalition underestimated chinook salmon consumption by Native American tribe and decided that the river would never become source of clams, which are bottom feeders where pollutants settle. And, fish caught from tribe's 70 boats on river are bought by Safeway, a grocery chain.

By Robert McClure and Colin McDonald

Seattle Post-Intelligencer (WA) 2007-11-27

Opinion: Wash and eat

Hand-washing, once a sign of gentility, respect for others, and a necessity since food was eaten out of hand, has fallen out of favor. Too bad for us. It's a low-tech, effective way to stop the spread of bacterial and viral infections.

By Katherine Ashenburg

The New York Times 2007-11-27

Catch and release

Pesticides, industrial pollutants, fertilizers, gasoline and motor oil contaminate fish in Texas county's waterways. Some fish are so toxic that the state has banned their possession. Others are listed in limited consumption advisories.

By Scott Streater

Star-Telegram (TX) 2007-11-25

See also 

Child care

Three little-known chemicals from numerous companies have been linked to disorders in human health: phthalates, found in soft lunch boxes; bisphenol A, found in plastic baby bottles, water bottles and containers, as well as food and drink can liners; and lead, found in drinking water, lunch boxes and toys.

San Francisco Chronicle 2007-11-21

Just the facts

New online health inspection reports for restaurants, delis and convenience stores prove a runaway Internet sensation in Rhode Island, at one point registering 224 hits a minute shortly after launch. The next plan, Dine Safer Award, raises the bar even higher.

By Mark Arsenault

The Providence-Journal (RI) 2007-11-12

See also 

Fatal lunch

Reigniting worries over food safety standards, 13-year-old girl, 10-year-old boy and four others die after eating soup served at scrap collection business in China's central province of Hubei.

By Stephen McDonell

Australian Broadcasting Corporation 2007-11-14

Food detective

Classic signs of food poisoning land a reporter in the hospital, and he suspects the shrimp he hogged at the sushi restaurant. The lab diagnosed salmonella and it was traced to a fancy restaurant, but myriad trails - sloppy slaughtering, infected eggs, unwashed hands touching a plate of food - showed nothing and left only questions.

By Joel Rubin

Los Angeles Times 2007-11-03

Safer imports?

Bush administration wants to grant the FDA and Consumer Product Safety Commission power to mandate recalls on tainted food and products, require safety testing, oversee safety standards of producers and importers, ban imports if necessary and penalize violators. But critics say success depends on Congress, and plan doesn't go far enough.

By Jane Zhang, John D. McKinnon and Christopher Conkey

Wall Street Journal 2007-11-06

Who's in charge?

Who's in charge?

When the oversight of a pizza with cheese and pepperoni falls under the jurisdiction of the FDA and the USDA, there are too many fingers in the pie, say critics of the current food safety system. This overlapping authority causes alarming lapses and inconsistent responses, they say.

By Josh Funk

The Associated Press 2007-11-05

See also 

OK to eat?

Under new rule before governor in Arkansas, food distributors and retailers, not state, will pay costs of testing imported foods for safety; the state health director can order testing according to USDA standards and violators can be fined.

By Peggy Harris

The Associated Press; Houston Chronicle (TX) 2007-11-01

Much mercury

Eating fish laden with mercury can cause brain damage in adults and fetuses - a Stanford student was temporarily disabled by his four-can-a-day tuna diet. Coal-fired power plants, which supply half the nation's energy, in 2005, dumped nearly 50 tons into the air, which washed into waterways, then into fish. Safe seafood choices: salmon, shrimp, flounder, scallops, anchovies and sardines.

By Larry Wheeler

Gannett News Service, USA Today 2007-10-31

Opinion: Fish vs kids

A report that encourages pregnant women to increase fish consumption was a "classic example of industry-driven marketing under the cloak of scientific research," according to aquaculture advocate, who argues that the research mistakenly downplayed risk of exposing a fetus to mercury.

By Andrea Kavanagh

Los Angeles Times 2007-10-31

See also 

Reforming food

China approves, in principle, new food safety law designed to standardize production, processing, sale and supervision; law also requires better release of information about food safety, higher fines and punishments and public's right to sue.

By Ben Blanchard

Reuters 2007-10-31

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Food poisoning?

Suspected food-borne illness cases in Jordan rise to 338; officials test restaurant's hummus after initial water tests show no contamination, but it is region's third such problem in four months.

Xinhua; The Jordan Times 2007-10-29

Not so shiny

Japan's squeaky-clean image slips after candy manufacturer admits recycling old red bean paste for new rice cakes and earlier allegations of mixed meats mislabeled as pure ground beef; officials vow to prosecute but citizens feel unsettled and even worry about authenticity and safety of sushi, shark's fin and marbled beef, the nation's iconic dishes.

By Hiroko Tabuchi

The Associated Press 2007-10-26

Information, please

As concerns mount about safety of Canada's food supply, its federal government creates a citizen-oriented website that will provide details about current recalls and about companies with problems:

By Carly Weeks

CanWest News Service 2007-10-25

Nasty bug

Listeria bacteria and listeriosis, the food-borne illness caused by the germ, isn't as prevalent as salmonella, but it is of particular danger to developing fetuses and those with chronic illness; the bug has been found in myriad prepared foods and illness has an incubation period of 30-90 days.

By Jane E. Brody

The New York Times 2007-10-16

Opinion: Label it

Bill requiring labels for cloned meats and milk is a small step in the right direction; FDA's movement toward no-label approval based on part, from biotech company data, is a slippery slope toward other questionable biotech products including human genes.

By Osagie K. Obasogie and Pete Shanks

San Francisco Chronicle 2007-10-05

Slow recall

As cases of Topps-related e.coli climb, USDA examines reasons why it waited 18 days to announce recall of 21.7 million pounds of New Jersey company's frozen hamburger patties; New York recall went out after first case was confirmed.

By Stephen J. Hedges

Chicago Tribune 2007-10-04

Port reduction?

Latest proposal to safeguard safety of food would close hundreds of ports to entry, siphoning edibles through only 13 sites; grocery industry, importers and exporters predict trade disruption and soaring grocery prices.

By Andrew Bridges

The Associated Press; Washington Post 2007-09-26

Price bite:

As China creates and begins to enforce stricter standards for food safety to restore confidence in the Made-in-China label, exports to U.S. fall, domestic growers cheer and American consumers see prices head upward.

By Don Lee

Los Angeles Times 2007-09-24

Not so safe:

With imports flooding the borders and FDA food safety staff winnowed away over the last decade, agents can sometimes only provide a cursory inspection of a listed import; they inspect less than one percent of actual products.

By Stephen J. Hedges

Chicago Tribune 0000-00-00

Water problem:

Cholera epidemic, possibly from a sewage-poisoned well, hits northern Iraq, with nearly 4,000 cases suspected; Sulaimaniya juice bars shut down and restaurants told to stop serving vegetables that may have been washed in polluted water.

By Sherko Raouf

Reuters; Scientific American 2007-08-29

Opinion: China quality

As country's importance grows in the international market, Chinese people should understand that there will be greater scrutiny of both country and products, so greater care for quality and food safety is important; errors would victimize its own people first.

By Wu Jianmin

People's Daily Online (China) 2007-08-27

Knowing more:

After years of delays, country-of-origin labels for beef, lamb, pork, perishable agricultural products, peanuts and other items, will soon be required, but politics plays favorites and many processed foods are exempt.

By Diedtra Henderson

The Boston Globe 2007-08-24

Modified sugar:

Genetically modified sugar beet seed designed to resist Monsanto herbicide is gaining popularity among growers and processors, including American Crystal Sugar Co.; Wyoming Sugar Co., and Minn-Dak Farmers Cooperative; farmers must pay $60 premium per acre, and GMO sugar won't carry special label.

Associated Press; CNN 2007-08-22

Off the land:

Despite day jobs, couple hunt, fish and gather about a third of the food they eat, using a nearly comprehensive mental map of Seattle foraging spots to relish what they call unbelievably bountiful land.

By Huan Hsu

Seattle Weekly 2007-08-08

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Barren future?

Banana farm workers sue Dole, alleging that work in the 1970s alongside pesticide called DBCP made them sterile; suit also names Dow Chemical Co., saying that it "actively suppressed information about DBCP's reproductive toxicity."

By Noaki Schwartz

Associated Press; 2007-08-14

Recalls: raw oysters

The FDA is warning consumers not to eat raw oysters harvested from an area of the southern tip of Hood Canal in Washington after an outbreak of illness caused by Vibrio parahaemolyticus bacteria. Oysters from the area were distributed to California, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, New York, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia (Canada), Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Singapore.

Food and Drug Administration

Smelling vinyl

EPA says there's only one cancer-causing culprit in family of compounds called phthalates, which are used to make plastics flexible (and make that new shower-curtain aroma), but EU has banned six types for children's toys; in the meantime, use glass for microwaving and wax paper instead of plastic wrap.

By Eviana Hartman

Washington Post

See also 

China syndrome

For mom-and-pop enterprises, food safety isn't important when the question is how to feed the family, so hidden and unregulated businesses spring up at home, behind closed doors - and they thrive.

By Audra Ang

Associated Press

Extreme food

With glasses of plum moonshine smoothing the way, writer eschews mushrooms but eats a bowl of pork fat soup made by cook who lives in the radioactive danger zone near Chernobyl; later, his stomach shows high radiation levels.

By Stefan Gates

BBC News 2007-05-11