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Meet your greens, part 2: Industry seeks to outfox FDA

This is the second in a series of posts on my week in Monterey, CA, where I attended the first of seven USDA hearings around the country on an industry proposal to create a national marketing agreement on the safety of leafy greens. (Marketing agreements are explained in my first post, here.) It’s not...

Meet your greens: National Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement hearings, Week 1

This is the first in a short series on the National Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement hearings held September 22-24 in Monterey, CA. I packed a suit for three days of USDA hearings over an industry-proposed national food safety agreement [pdf] for leafy greens. In retrospect, I should have packed a flask....

‘Eating In’ for Better Food in Schools

I went to a Slow Food USA "Eat In" at the foot of San Francisco's magnificent City Hall on Monday, one of several hundred events across the country that aims to build a movement around the upcoming reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act. The Act covers many parts of government food programs that affect...

Pork prevention: What’s behind the NPPC bailout, or how the government keeps filling up Big Meat’s trough

During the Iowa flood disaster in the summer of 2008, I proposed that there are winners and losers in moments of human tragedy — those who pay the costs of dealing with an unsavory situation, and those who are on the receiving end of those payments. When it comes to the obesity epidemic, for example, there...

NPR utters the phrase “big milk”

Consolidation station: NPR's John Burnett shines a spotlight on agribusiness consolidation, the control of the food system by an ever-smaller group of mega-companies. Independent farmers and ranchers are pushing the Obama Administration to take a good, long look at the factors that brought us to where we...

School lunch reform: A pipe dream or a deluge?

The kids will have their... whole wheat roll?: The momentum is building for big changes to the national school lunch program, reports Kim Severson in the New York Times. Ann Cooper, the chef who famously transformed lunches in the Berkeley school system and has since moved on to Boulder, Colorado, is a...

NYT mag on obesity: Don’t punish, politicize

Who paves the road for the responsibility bandwagon?: Were it up to him, Cleveland Clinic heart surgeon Delos Cosgrove would amend the clinic's wellness policy--which already bans the hiring of smokers--to include a ban on the hiring of obese people. His is a hard-line approach linking obesity to personal...

Family farmers: No NAIS in our name

NPPC doesn't speak for me: Rhonda Perry, a Missouri farmer and director of the Missouri Rural Crisis Center, is tired of Big Meat purporting to represent her interests in Washington. NAIS, a controversial animal tracking program [that we've covered numerous times], is just the newest example of the "farm...

Feds to hold workshops on ‘competition issues’ in agriculture

We're not the only skeptics. The same day that Ethicurean Marc gave his skeptical analysis of a General Accounting Office report finding no harm from the growing (ha-ha) power of a very few agribiz companies, the U.S. Departments of Justice and Agriculture announced plans to conduct workshops in early 2010...

Senate basically kind of halves funding for National Animal ID

Say it again, with feeling: Senators John Tester (D-MT) and Mike Enzi (R-WY) flexed some legislative and moral muscle earlier this week with an amendment to the agriculture spending bill that halves funding for the USDA's controversial National Animal Identification System (NAIS). The amended  bill  passed...

GAO report questions selection of Kansas lab site

Darn those GAO bean-counters! Analysts in the Government Accountability Office are questioning the selection process of a site in Kansas for the planned new National Bio and Agro-defense Facility (NBAF), which will study some of the most virulent animal and plant diseases known to man. We're sincerely...

House debates whether we should sacrifice human antibiotics for meat industry gain

Sharfstein socks one to Big Meat: In a hearing held today in the House Rules Committee, Deputy FDA Commissioner Josh Sharfstein threw the administration's weight behind a ban on feeding antibiotics meant for humans to healthy animals. The practice is common on industrial livestock operations, where low...

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