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• 1958 Food Additives Amendment
• Drug Companies to Phase Out Some Antibiotics
• Sugar Intake and Heart Disease

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• FDA to seek comments on Food Safety Modernization Act
• Foodborne illness outbreaks associated with restaurants, institutions
• Salmonella outbreaks and poultry processing inspections
• Consumer Reports: bad bacteria on raw chicken breasts
• American Academy of Pediatrics warnings about raw milk

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On January 4, 2013, the FDA released for public comment its proposed rule for preventing foodborne illnesses from foods eaten by humans. As part of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), this proposed rule aims to establish science-based, minimum standards for growing, harvesting, packing and holding produce in its raw or natural (unprocessed) state on domestic and foreign farms.

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• U.S. government sued over food safety rules
• Lead in urban eggs
• Effects of nanoparticles on soybean plants
• Sunland recalls nut butter products

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The FDA and most world food safety agencies require that a product sold as honey must contain pollen, because pollen enables regulators to verify the source of the honey. But the FDA doesn’t check for pollen, says Food Safety News, so ultra-filtered honey – honey that is heated, possibly watered down and then forced through small filters – is common in stores.

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The USDA’s proposal to largely outsource poultry inspections and drastically speed visual inspections violates federal law, says the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), which represents thousands of federal meat and poultry inspectors.

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Many certified organic farmers and producers seek to increase sales and market penetration through value-added food production or sales to institutions, supermarket chains and food processors. Markets for local, organic food are strong and growing rapidly, but licensing requirements, food safety regulations and liability issues must be addressed before a farmer can market a product.

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The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has confirmed the fourth U.S. case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), in a dairy cow from central California. The cow was never presented for slaughter for human consumption, and milk does not transmit BSE, says USDA.

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Forty-one days after our company launched its first products, we received an urgent recall from Starwest Botanicals, a supplier of organic herbs and spices, due to Salmonella contamination of organic celery seed, 1 pound size, lot number 40302, shipped between June 29, 2011, and November 29, 2011. We were instructed to examine our stocks immediately and discontinue use and distribution and recall any product we had distributed with the contaminated seed.

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• Congresswoman Chellie Pingree questions FDA farm raids relating to raw milk
• FDA not properly auditing state inspections of food plants

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Purdue University researchers have found that E. coli and Salmonella can live inside plant tissues as well as on the surface, so just washing produce may not eliminate all bacteria.

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• Outbreak of E. coli O104:H4
• Prevalence of E. coli O157:H7 in manure
• Antibiotic-resistant bacteria
• Multidrug-resistant bacteria in raw chicken
• BPA found in 71 of 78 canned food samples
• Less packaging leads to less BPA and DEHP metabolites

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• Behavior of children with ADHD is worse when they consume artificial food dyes
• Salmonella less prevalent on organic poultry farms
• Dietary yeast extract as non-antibiotic alternative in organic turkey production

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Passage of the Federal legislation S.510: FDA Food Safety Modernization Act reflects consumers’ needs and desires for assurance that their food supply is free from pathogens and contaminants that cause foodborne illnesses. Russell Libby, MOFGA’s executive director, logged countless hours in Washington, D.C., advocating for small, diversified farms as the bill was developed.

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Three articles relating to factory-farm egg production labeled as organic, lead in children's and baby food, and renaming high fructose corn syrup.

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4 articles on the following topics: poultry slaughter and processing on small farms; canned foods with measurable levels of bisphenol A (BPA); broilers harboring salmonella and/or campylobacter; the appointment of Michael R. Taylor as deputy commissioner for foods at the Food and Drug Administration.

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USDA’s mandatory country of origin labeling (COOL) program; FDA will allow irradiating lettuce and spinach with x-rays to destroy pathogens.

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USDA wants Sewall Orchard to pasteurize cider; journalist challenging National Animal Identification System (NAIS) records; Creekstone Farms seeks to test its slaughtered cows for mad cow disease; European Food Safety Authority’s final cloning risk assessment.

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In January 2008, 143 million pounds of beef products were recalled by Westland/Hallmark Meat Co. in California – the largest beef recall in U.S. history.

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Our cultural picture of a sustainable farm includes a mix of animals and crops, with hayfields and pasture and, often, intensively managed vegetables. However, if regulators continue down their current path, this won’t be an option for farmers for much longer.

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On Oct. 12, 2006, the FDA and the State of California announced that samples of cattle feces on a ranch had the same E. coli O157:H7 genetic fingerprint as the strain that sickened 204 people and killed three. Later, a wild pig with the same strain was found, suggesting that the pig may have transferred the organism from infected cattle manure or in its own manure.

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