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Defending the rights and broadening the freedoms of family farms and protecting
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News for February 11, 2010

McItaly burger controversial in home country

ROME - Italy's agriculture minister defended his sponsorship of McDonald's new all-Italian burger Monday amid criticism that he is selling out to a multinational corporation and sacrificing Italy's culinary reputation in the process.

Minister Luca Zaia has argued that McDonald's new McItaly burger — using all Italian beef, Asiago cheese and artichoke spread — will pump €3.5 million ($4.8 million) more a month into the pockets of Italian farmers grappling with tough economic times.

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The Road to Hell is Paved with the Processed Food Safety Act

Which would you rather eat: food that is uncontaminated, or food contaminated with pathogens and then irradiated or doused in chemicals? Seems like an easy question, right? Well if the Processed Food Safety Act of 2009 passes, the latter will be the norm.

Under this bill, introduced last November by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), all meat and poultry processors and handlers must either certify that “each ingredient in the meat or meat food product … has undergone a pathogen reduction treatment” or else that the processor has tested and confirmed that there are “no verifiable traces of pathogens” in the finished product and every ingredient.

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USDA to work with states on tracking to contain disease

LANSING — After 10 years and $120 million spent, the United States Department of Agriculture is scrapping its plans for a national animal identification system, calling for states to come up with their own proposals to track animals in the event of a disease outbreak.

Whatever collaborative national plan emerges, USDA’s efforts will “only apply to animals moved in interstate commerce,” not herds of cattle that never move out of state,  the agency’s announcement issued Feb. 5 advised.

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Should Ireland’s food be Irish?

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland’s (FSAI) Food Safety Consultative Council recently hosted an open meeting to discuss the position for and against the merits of buying Irish food. The open meeting, entitled ‘Should Ireland’s Food be Irish?’ provided an opportunity for a discussion on the benefits and disadvantages to consumers who buy food produced in Ireland and the current legislation in place to regulate food labelling, whilst also giving the general public an opportunity to see the workings of the Food Safety Consultative Council.

Speakers at the event said that in the current economic climate, recent pressures placed on the consumer including wage cuts, tax increases and cutbacks in public expenditure have made consumers increasingly price sensitive, and as a result price trends for food in 2009 had fallen by 7.8 per cent, with non-alcoholic beverages falling by 11.7 per cent.

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Raw milk producer hopes B.C. will respect decision

Local raw milk advocates hope an Ontario court decision Thursday means the B.C. Provincial Health Authority will back off on its attempt to shut them down.

Ontario dairy farmer Michael Schmidt won a 16-year legal battle for the right to share raw milk products Jan. 21, and in the process won a ruling that food freedom advocates hope will help expand the ability of Canadians to eat what they want without government interference.

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