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News for August 9, 2010

Raw Food Raid Challenges Consumer Freedom

A guns-drawn raid on a Venice food pantry late last month was the latest salvo by government regulators in their war on health freedom and consumer sovereignty. No less than four state agencies and two federal ones participated in the early morning raid of Rawesome Foods, a farm-to-consumer distribution center.

The only discernible crime of the private, members-only buying club was their failure to operate a food facility without a license. Rawesome immediately restocked and resumed normal operations after the state-sanctioned intrusion, contending that it never operated in a retail capacity and does not fall under the commercial jurisdiction of the regulatory agencies. The LA Times debriefed its readers on the baffling Op:

READ MORE (CA Independent Voter Network) ]

Genetically Modified Canola 'Escapes' Farm Fields

Genetically modified crops are commonplace in fields across the United States, but a new study suggests that some plants have spread into the wild. A survey of North Dakota has turned up hundreds of genetically modified canola plants growing along roads across the state.

The results, presented Friday at the annual meeting of the Ecological Society of America in Pittsburgh, show that the vast majority of feral canola plants in the state contain artificial genes that make them resistant to herbicides. Researchers also found two plants that contained traits from multiple genetically modified varieties, suggesting that genetically modified plants are breeding in the wild.

READ MORE (NPR) ]

USDA plans to require ID for interstate livestock

Federal officials looking to head off livestock disease outbreaks are drafting regulations that would require farmers to identify animals that move across state lines.

The aim is to reduce illness and deaths by making it easier for officials to trace brucellosis, tuberculosis and other diseases to a particular group of animals, location and time.

READ MORE (USA Today) ]

Vegetables Likely Culprit in Outbreak Linked to Taco Bell

An attorney for a nationally known food safety law firm said Saturday that the salmonella outbreak linked to Taco Bells in 21 states is likely the result of vegetables being brought into the stores.

"Since the outbreak is so widespread, it's likely that the contamination was on the vegetables when they arrived at the stores and not something that happened while the food was being prepared," attorney Bill Marler of Marler Clark told AOL News.

READ MORE (AOL News) ]

When Agrochemical Corporations Invented Nature

A civil society protest against a British agrochemical company that claims it has invented a particular sort of broccoli has again focused attention on the question who owns natural biodiversity, especially vegetables, seeds, and many forms of meat and animal food products.

Delegates from some 300 environmental and consumer organisations from all over the world gathered last month in Bavarian capital Munich, some 500 kilometres south of Berlin last month to demonstrate outside the headquarters of the European Patent Office (EPO) against the patent the agency accorded on broccoli seeds, plants and breeding methods to the British agrochemical company Plant Bioscience.

READ MORE (IPS) ]

One Million Pounds of Ground Beef Recalled Due to Escherichia Coli

A California meat processor is recalling about one million pounds of frozen ground beef patties and bulk ground beef products due to possible contamination with Escherichia coli O157:H7, The United States Department of Agriculture announced Aug. 5.

Valley Meat Company based out of Modesto, California recalls the beef products after a California state health agency linked the ground beef patties to a small outbreak of E coli illness.

READ MORE (Food Consumer) ]

'Cloned Beef' On Store Shelves Causes Stir In Britain

Britain is in the middle of a new media storm over the safety of beef - but this time it is not about mad cows, but cloned ones.

Earlier this week a Scottish farmer admitted that he had raised cows derived from an American clone. Meat from at least one of the animals was sold to wholesalers and probably ended up in stores.

READ MORE (NPR) ]

Oregon girl not bitter after lemonade flap

After a county inspector squeezed out a kid's lemonade business, so many Oregonians puckered up in disgust that the county chairman had to pour on a little sugar.

The apology sweetened up some sour feelings and made 7-year-old Julie Murphy eligible to resume selling her Kool-Aid and water concoction for 50 cents a cup.

READ MORE (MSNBC) ]

Fido's food could be making kids sick, report says

Fido's food may be making kids sick, a government report warns, detailing the first known salmonella outbreak in humans, mostly young children, linked to pet food.

The outbreak sickened 79 people in 21 mostly eastern states, between 2006 and 2008. Almost half of the victims were children aged 2 and younger.

[ READ MORE (AP) ]

How We Eat, Produce Food Could Bring Down Society

In a time when "super-sized" and "combo specials" are the way to order, it seems America will never face a food shortage. But a new book, Empires of Food: Feast, Famine, and the Rise and Fall of Civilizations, takes a hard look at how American habits -- in farming, eating and treating the environment -- could lead to a food famine. Host Guy Raz talks with co- author Evan Fraser about how food empires fail and if America is next.

READ MORE (NPR) ]

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