Tag Archives: USDA

USDA Announces Changes To The U.S. Beef Grade Standards

USDA quality grades are used by companies to provide information to consumers about meat’s tenderness, juiciness, and flavor and are a key factor in determining the value of beef and live cattle.  Last summer, USDA requested stakeholder feedback on a petition asking to amend standards for beef carcass grades.  That petition requested that the standards … Continue Reading

GMO Labeling Law Update: CFS Drops USDA Lawsuit Regarding Consumer Study

As previously reported on this blog, legislation requiring labeling of genetically modified (GM) foods and food ingredients was signed into law on July 29, 2016.  This law, entitled the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard, 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 … Continue Reading

USDA Publishes Updated School Meal Rules

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

GMO Labeling Update: Some Senators Calling for On-Package Text to disclose the presence of GM Ingredients

As previously reported on this blog, legislation requiring labeling of genetically modified (GM) foods and food ingredients was signed into law on July 29, 2016.  This law, entitled the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard, 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 … Continue Reading

USDA Audit Shows Deficiencies in Brazil’s Meat Inspection System

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 Further Delays 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 Withdraws Biotech Regulation Proposal

As previously covered on this blog, on January 19, 2017, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)published a proposed rule to update its regulations regarding the importation, interstate movement, and environmental release of certain genetically engineered (GE) organisms in response to advances in genetic engineering and the Agency’s understanding of the plant … Continue Reading

NOSB Votes Against Banning Hydroponic Crops from Organic Certification

The National Organic Program (NOP) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) administers the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 (OFPA) (Public Law 101-624, Nov. 28, 1990).  The NOP works with the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) to develop organic standards.  More specifically, the NOSB is a Federal Advisory Board, established by OFPA, that considers … Continue Reading

New USDA Study Explores Influence of Foodstore Access on Grocery Shopping and Food Spending

USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) recently released results of a study examining the influence of foodstore access on grocery shopping and food spending. According to the study’s authors, researchers have taken the position that poor access to food retailers selling a wide range of healthy and affordable foods leads to poorer diet and diet-related health … Continue Reading

School Milk Nutrition Act of 2017 Proposed to Reverse Declining Milk Consumption

As previously reported on this blog, USDA submitted an interim final rule on July 6, 2017, that would—among other things—expand the types of flavored milk allowed in the school lunch program. That announcement followed a May 2, 2017 proclamation by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue explaining that USDA would provide greater flexibility in nutrition requirements … Continue Reading

New NARMS Report Shows Mixed Results on Antibiotic Resistance

The National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS), established in 1996, is a collaborative program of state and local public health departments and universities, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).  NARMS gathers surveillance data from human clinical samples, slaughter samples … Continue Reading

OIG Critiques USDA-FSIS Foreign Food Safety Protocols

The Federal Meat Inspection Act, the Poultry Products Inspection Act, and the Egg Products Inspection Act require foreign countries that export meat, poultry, and egg products to the U.S. to establish and maintain systems equivalent to the U.S. inspection system. The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is responsible for ensuring these products meet all … Continue Reading

GM Labeling Update: Ingredient Disclosure Debate

As previously reported on this blog, legislation 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. On June 28, 2017, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) posted a … Continue Reading

USDA Announces Comment Period on NCC Petition to Lift Poultry Line Speeds

USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) regulates the production of meat, poultry, and egg products. In 2014, FSIS published a final rule called the “Modernization of Poultry Slaughter Inspection” (79 FR 49566, Aug. 21, 2014) which amended the poultry regulations to establish an additional inspection system, called the New Poultry Inspection System (NPIS), for young chicken and … Continue Reading

San Francisco Ordinance Requires Grocery Chains to Disclose Antibiotic Use in Meat

For years, FDA, USDA, and various industry stakeholders have sought to tackle public health concerns associated with the use of medically important antibiotics to promote growth or feed efficiency in food-producing animals.  In the U.S., FDA is working with industry to gradually phase out the use of medically important antimicrobials in food animals for production … Continue Reading

FSIS to Host Meeting on Whole Genome Sequencing

Whole genome sequencing (WGS) provides insight into the genetic fingerprint of a pathogen by sequencing the chemical building blocks that make up its DNA and is increasingly being employed in food safety efforts.  Since 2012, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has regularly turned to WGS to better understand foodborne pathogens, including identifying the … Continue Reading

Bipartisan Senate Bill to Increase Ag Export Funding Praised by Farmers

Legislation that would increase funding for two U.S. Department of Agriculture export promotion programs was introduced in the U.S. Senate last week. Sponsored by Senators Angus King (I-ME), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Joe Donnelly (D-IN), and Susan Collins (R-ME), the “Cultivating Revitalization by Expanding American Trade and Exports (CREAATE) Act” (S. 1839) would increase funding for … Continue Reading

CA Court Upholds Foie Gras Ban

Foie gras is a culinary delicacy made from the fattened liver of a duck or goose.  It can be produced through a process called gavage in which the birds are force-fed through tubes inserted into their esophagus.  Foie gras sales derived from this method were prohibited in California following the passage of a bill in … Continue Reading

USDA: HACCP Reviews Required in Hurricane-Hit Areas

On September 19, 2017, USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) issued a notice requiring inspection personnel to notify establishments in hurricane-affected areas to reassess their hazard plans to ensure products are unadulterated. Under FSIS requirements, every establishment must reassess the adequacy of its HACCP plan whenever any changes occur that could affect the hazard analysis or … Continue Reading

National Chicken Council Petitions USDA to Lift Poultry Line Speed Limits

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

GMO Labeling Law Update: USDA Releases Study Exploring Potential Challenges of Using Electronic and Digital Disclosures on Food Labels

As previously reported on this blog, legislation requiring labeling of genetically modified (GM) foods and food ingredients was signed into law on July 29, 2016.  This law, entitled the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard, 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 … Continue Reading

Center for Food Safety Sues Trump Administration Over GM Labeling

As previously reported on this blog, legislation 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 29, 2018.  The law requires the USDA to have conducted … Continue Reading

USDA Rolls Out New Animal Welfare Compliance Database

USDA Animal Care is a component of the Department’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). Animal Care works with states, regulated industries, animal advocacy groups and other non-governmental organizations to support the welfare of millions of animals across the U.S. In July 2016, APHIS formally initiated a comprehensive review and update of Animal Care’s … Continue Reading

USDA-FSIS Issues Updated Guidelines for Premarket Label Approval

The labeling of meat and poultry products primarily falls under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). FSIS administers the Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA) and the Poultry Products Inspection Act (PPIA). Both the FMIA and the PPIA require food manufacturers to obtain prior approval for labels of … Continue Reading
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