While 2014 was waning, cattlemen across the country were writing the U.S. Department of Agriculture against a proposal to allow certain beef imports from Argentina. Why? Plus, Keystone XL still dominates the news.Continue reading
Feds have no policy on posting meetings
While the federal government has extensive rules about how its regulatory agencies makes rules--with notices, publication schedules and comment periods--there is no government-wide policy for providing information to the public about meetings between executive branch officials and private interests. These contacts between regulators those seeking to influence them--refered to as ex parte meetings--can have a profound effect on the final shape of the rules that govern everything from disposing of trash to disclosing positions in complex derivatives. Yet there is no uniform requirement to make information about these meetings available to the public, let alone whether or not agencies must ...Continue reading
Under the radar lobbying: How food suppliers are pushing back on safety regs
Among the many groups pushing for exemption from new food safety rules meant to prevent outbreaks of deady bacteria are a group of dry bulb onion farmers from Idaho and Oregon.
"To date there has never been a documented food safety issue with dry bulbs. Onions have a protective covering and curing process that greatly reduce food safety risks," wrote a cluster of at least 47 onion farmers to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last May. "Onions are never consumed without first being peeled. Because of these factors we feel that dry bulb onions should be exempt." The group ...Continue reading
Key elements of food safety law stuck at White House regulatory agency
Regulations designed to improve food safety have been languishing in an obscure White House office.Continue reading
As summer growing season starts, produce safety rules delayed
As the nation's farmers enter a new growing season two years after 33 people died and 147 people were sickened in 28 states after eating listeria-infested canteloupe from a Colorado farm, the produce industry has effectively delayed implementation of a law intended to improve food safety.
The United Fresh Produce Association, which describes itself as "industry's leading trade association committed to driving the growth and success of produce companies and their partners" spearheaded the push for more time to comment on a pair of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rules toughening safety standards for farms and processors.
The ...Continue reading
Most regulations get little attention
Anyone can comment on federal regulations but few -- outside the regulated industries and entities -- do.Continue reading
How Transparent is Your Turkey?
The government collects terabytes of data on food—from safety to marketing to subsidies—funded by taxpayers and consumers. But that does not mean this crucial information is available to you online and in real time so you can actually do something about it.Continue reading