Tag Archives: USDA

New “Natural” Lawsuit Targets Sanderson Farms’ “100 Percent Natural” Chicken

A leading poultry producer has been sued over “natural” claims on its chicken products.  (subscription to Law360 required) Americans’ increasing appetite for clean label, ethically-raised foods has resulted in the continued proliferation of consumer advocacy litigation targeting “natural” claims for products containing synthetic ingredients or preservatives.  Adding fuel to the continued uptick in “natural” litigation … Continue Reading

USDA Halts Brazilian Fresh Beef Imports Amid Safety Concerns

As previously covered on this blog, Brazilian federal police raided several meat producers earlier this year for allegedly doling out bribes to inspectors to certify meat that was either rotten or tainted with Salmonella.  Following the bribery scandal, USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) instituted 100% point-of-entry re-inspection of all Brazilian meat products imported into the United … Continue Reading

USDA Advances “Modernization of Pork Slaughter” Rule

Earlier this Spring, we reported that USDA’s Food Safety & Inspection Service intends to move forward with plans to modernize swine slaughter inspections by way of a “Modernization of Pork Slaughter” rule. The new rule – which has garnered significant industry support – aims to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the federal inspection process … Continue Reading

USDA Continues to Make Progress on GMO Labeling Rules

As previously reported on this blog, a new federal law requiring labeling of genetically modified (GM) foods and food ingredients was signed into law on July 29, 2016.  This law directs the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to develop regulations and standards to create mandatory disclosure requirements for bio-engineered foods by July 2018.  Under the new law, food companies would … Continue Reading

New FSIS Directive Indicates Expanded Testing of Brazilian Beef and Veal

As previously covered on this blog, Brazilian federal police raided several meat producers earlier this year for allegedly doling out bribes to inspectors to certify meat that was either rotten or tainted with Salmonella.  Following the bribery scandal, USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) instituted 100% point-of-entry re-inspection of all Brazilian meat products imported into the United … Continue Reading

USDA Creates Trade Undersecretary Post

As background, Section 3208 of the Agricultural Act of 2014, Pub. L. 113-70 (7 USC §6935) required the Secretary of Agriculture to propose a reorganization of international trade functions for imports and exports, including a plan for the establishment of the Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs (U/Sec TFAA). On May 11, 2017, … Continue Reading

Consumer Group Denounces Plan to Import Cooked Poultry from China

As previously covered on this blog, late last week, the White House announced that China would resume beef imports no later than July 16, 2017 as part of a broader trade agreement with China.  In return, the U.S. pledged that it will remove obstacles to importing cooked Chinese poultry meat. In response, Food & Water Watch issued a statement expressing … Continue Reading

USDA Further Delays Effective Date for Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices Rule

As previously covered on this blog, on January 19, 2017, USDA published a controversial final rule on organic livestock and poultry which establishes minimum indoor and outdoor space requirements for chickens as a function of type of production and stage of life, as well as adds new provisions for livestock handling and transport for slaughter. 82 FR 7042.  The effective date for … Continue Reading

USDA Eases Sodium Restrictions for School Meal Programs

Enacted in 2010, the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA) set rigid nutrition standards for schools and paved the way for the subsequent implementation of school meal rules that many in the industry argue have limited the flexibility of school foodservice providers, led to increased food waste in school cafeterias, and resulted in declining participation in the National … Continue Reading

Organic Industry Continues Double-Digit Growth in U.S. and Abroad

As our readership is well aware, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) administers the National Organic Program (NOP), which includes standards for “organic” food in the United States. The NOP accredits and oversees approximately 80 businesses and state governments that directly certify organic farms and businesses.  The number of certified operations has increased since the count … Continue Reading

Maine Seeks Modification to USDA SNAP (Food Stamp) Benefits

USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) administers the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also colloquially known as the “Food Stamps” Program.  SNAP, through State Agency partners, offers nutrition assistance to more than 47 million eligible, low-income individuals and families. Under the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (the Act) and corresponding SNAP regulations, states have … Continue Reading

USDA to Undertake Study on Antimicrobial Use in Pork Operations

The USDA Antimicrobial Resistance Action Plan, released in 2015, recommended that USDA agencies perform enhanced monitoring of antimicrobial use in food-producing animals. In addition, as our readership is well aware, beginning on January 1, 2017, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) initiated policy changes regarding the use of antimicrobials in food-producing animals. These changes include: … Continue Reading

Sonny Perdue Becomes 31st U.S. Agriculture Secretary

On April 24, the U.S. Senate confirmed former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue as Secretary of Agriculture by a vote of 87 to 11 and on April 25, 2017 he became the 31st United States Secretary of Agriculture. Perdue, 70, grew up on a dairy farm and holds a doctorate in veterinary medicine. In announcing the … Continue Reading

Campylobacter and Salmonella Top CDC’s 2016 List of Causes of Foodborne Illnesses

The Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet) has been tracking trends for infections transmitted commonly through food since 1996, collecting data on approximately 15 percent of the U.S. population.  FoodNet is a collaboration of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 10 state health departments, USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and the … Continue Reading

USDA Seeks to Advance “Modernization of Pork Slaughter” Rule

As our readership is well aware, USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) regulates the production of meat, poultry, and egg products. To help achieve its enumerated food safety goals, FSIS is continuously seeking to develop and promote best practices at slaughter that may be used to prevent, eliminate, or reduce levels of potential microbiological contamination … Continue Reading

Animal Welfare Institute Calls for Greater Humane Slaughter Enforcement in New Report

Animal welfare – and, in particular, humane slaughter – have become hot-button issues in the food industry in response to consumer demand for ethically-raised foods.  The key federal agency charged with humane slaughter oversight is USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service. With respect to livestock, USDA administers the Humane Methods of Livestock Slaughter Act (7 USC, … Continue Reading

Brazilian Meat Regains Access to Key Markets Amid Recent Scandal

As previously covered on this blog, Brazilian federal police raided several meat producers earlier this month for allegedly doling out bribes to inspectors to certify meat that was either rotten or tainted with Salmonella. A number of jurisdictions – including China, Chile, Japan, Mexico, Hong Kong, South Africa and the European Union – responded by halting the … Continue Reading

Congresswoman Calls for Halting the Importation of Brazilian Meat

By way of background, Brazilian federal police raided several meat producers last Friday for allegedly doling out bribes to inspectors to certify meat that was either rotten or tainted with Salmonella. The raids uncovered that a small number of companies and inspectors have allegedly been using “carcinogenic acids” to mask rotten meat, switching out labels on expired … Continue Reading

FSIS Issues Updated Guidance Concerning Beef and Veal Slaughter Best Practices

As our readership is well aware, USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) regulates the production of meat, poultry, and egg products.  To help achieve its enumerated food safety goals, FSIS works with industry to develop and promote best practices at slaughter that may be used to prevent, eliminate, or reduce levels of potential microbiological … Continue Reading

FSIS Increases Beef Import Inspection From Certain Countries

By way of background, all meat and poultry food products are potentially subject to regulation by USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) upon import into the U.S.  Turning to raw beef, in particular, when FSIS has determined that a foreign country is “equivalent” to export raw beef, FSIS may assign an E. coli O157:H7 … Continue Reading
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