News for September 01, 2010
Got E. coli? Raw Milk's Appeal Grows Despite Health Risks
Milk is well known as a great dietary source of protein and calcium, not to mention an indispensable companion to cookies. But "nature's perfect food," a label given to milk over time by a variety of boosters, including consumer activists, government nutritionists and the American Dairy Council, has become a great source of controversy, too. The long-running dispute over whether milk, both from cows and goats, should be consumed in raw or pasteurized form—an argument more than a century old—has heated up in the last five years, according to Bill Marler, a Washington State lawyer who takes raw milk and other food poisoning cases.
[ READ MORE (Scientific American) ]
After a half billion bad eggs get released, the FDA reveals filthy conditions of Wright County Egg
There's nothing like a good salmonella outbreak to inspire FDA inspectors to deliver blunt, graphic reports from inside the industrial food system. When future historians marvel at the fetid, festering underbelly of our food culture, they will relish these post-facto dispatches from the biohazardous front.
Back in 2009, a company called Peanut Corporation of America sparked a massive recall involving 4,000 products put out by 360 companies. Nearly 700 people fell ill, half of them children, and nine died. The cause: salmonella-tainted peanut paste. The FDA's after-the-fact investigation [PDF] of the massive Georgia plant makes riveting reading (for the strong of stomach): moldy water seeping directly into "finished product"; cockroaches running around; processing machinery that routinely went uncleaned, etc. Most shocking of all, the company had several times detected the presence of salmonella in finished product based on its own testing -- and sent it out anyway.
[ READ MORE (Grist.org) ]
Legislation for Greater Agribusiness Empowerment
On July 29, 2009, the House passed HR 2749: Food Safety Enhancement Act of 2009 "To amend the (1938 as amended) Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to improve the safety of food in the global market, and for other purposes."
[ READ MORE (OpEdNews) ]
Growing Power: Growing the good food revolution
Milwaukee, long known for its beer, brats and cheese, is becoming a Good Food destination. Growing Power, an organization headed by the sustainable urban farmer and MacArthur Fellow Will Allen, today announced it is hosting the largest farm conference of its kind Sept. 10-12 at State Fair Park in West Allis. The first annual National-International Urban & Small Farm Conference, expected to draw thousands of visitors from around the world, will bring together a diverse audience of not only those interested in urban agriculture and sustainable farming practices, but those who can help bring the Good Food to the table. Urban planners, city officials, physicians, educators, nutritionists, corporate executives, university officials and social justice activists will join small and urban farmers at the event.
[ READ MORE (WisBusiness) ]
Public Interest Groups Get it Wrong on Egg Recall
It is obvious from this egg recall that neither the FDA nor the USDA has any understanding of nutrition or food safety. So they should not be telling Americans what to eat, what is nutritious, or what is safe.
The industrial farm operations with one million chickens where the contaminated eggs come from would never pass an inspection, nor should they. So the idea that any additional laws would protect the public, short of shutting these inhumane, toxic waste dumpsites down, borders on the absurd.
[ READ MORE (Hartke) ]