News for November 3, 2010
Wanted: Your informed opinions on the food-safety reform bill
Casual observers of the food-politics world probably don't know it, but there's a major shakeup coming in the way government oversees the food industry. After several high-profile scandals involving deadly spinach, peanut butter, and (most recently) eggs, the FDA has proven itself incapable of ensuring that the food exiting our vast manufacturing facilities is safe to eat. In short, the FDA's power to stand up to food giants has crumbled under the weight of industry influence.
So Congress, in its dysfunctional way, has been forced to face up to the problem. Although the Senate failed to pass the Food Safety Modernization Act (S. 510) before the election, word is that it will take it back up during the lame-duck session in a few weeks.
[ READ MORE (Grist) ]
Want Raw Milk? Buy Part of a Cow
Raw milk proponents believe they have found a way to legalize unpasteurized milk sales: allow people to buy a share of a cow or goat and claim the right to use the milk as owners.
It will take state legislation to do it, but proponents believe they have the support of many raw-milk-supporting legislators and plan to win approval during the next legislative term.
[ READ MORE (EIN) ]
USDA Seeking Approval of Genetically Modified Sugar Beets
The U.S. Department of Agriculture unveiled Tuesday controversial plans to again approve genetically modified sugar beets in time for planting next year, a move that would nullify a federal court ruling in August that invalidated the original approval issued by the USDA five years ago.
The USDA's proposal, published Tuesday, represents the preliminary stage of the process and will be followed by a 30-day comment period before the department makes a final decision. The USDA laid out three possible options in the proposal, including an option not to re-approve the sugar beets, but said its preferred course of action would be to "authorize the commercial production" of genetically modified sugar beets under strict regulations.
[ READ MORE (Wall Street Journal) ]