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
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
Bloomberg sugary drink ban has powerful opponents
Mayor Michael Bloomberg's announcement that the city will pursue a ban on large sugary drinks sold at restaurants, movie theatres, and other locations is just the latest attempt in his campaign against obesity--one that has so far met with little success in the face of a powerful food lobby, one sometimes joined by odd bedfellows.
In 2010, when his administration asked the federal government for permission to prohibit New York City food stamp recipients from purchasing sugary drinks with their benefits, the Food Industry Alliance of New York State, a trade group representing New York State grocers and other ...Continue reading
No government money to criticize soda, says freshman lawmaker
Outraged that federal stimulus money has been used for local advertisements targeting soda as unhealthy, Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R-Tenn., has introduced the Protecting Foods and Beverages from Government Attack Act, which would make it illegal to use federal funds to criticize a legal food or beverage product.
A member of the House Agriculture Committee, the freshman has collected more than $24,000 from the food and beverage industry, including $4,500 from Steve Ennis, the recently deceased CEO of a local Coca Cola bottling company. Susan Hirschmann, a Coca Cola lobbyist who served as chief of staff to former House ...Continue reading
Food and media companies donated generously to lawmakers opposing food marketing guidelines for kids
Last summer, a bipartisan group of House members from Pennsylvania wrote federal agencies complaining that proposed guidelines restricting the marketing of unhealthy food to children marked “an alarming regulatory overreach.” They emphasized their sugary roots in “the leading confectionary producing state in the nation.”
Indeed, Pennsylvania is home to the 117-year-old Hershey Company, maker of the ubiquitous Hershey’s kiss. But what the lawmakers from the Keystone State didn’t say was that they had other “constituents”—out-of-state campaign cash constituents, many of them Washington-based trade associations.
The massive lobbying push by food and media interests against the controversial guidelines ...Continue reading
Influence Explored: Kraft splits like an Oreo – which side will the cream stick to?
According to an article in the Wall Street Journal yesterday, Kraft is splitting into two publicly-traded companies – one that... View ArticleContinue reading
OGD: FDA to launch product recall database
When salmonella outbreaks were discovered last year in peanut butter and
pistachios, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) took action by
posting information about affected products on its web page,
creating a widget where consumers could do look-ups, and providing a
downloadable database of the information--all of which proved tremendously popular. Starting this fall, the public will have access to a similar database containing details about all food, drug, and medical device recalls that occurred throughout the year, according to agency officials.
This database, which will be available to download in xml format, as well as via a ...