Tag Archives: USDA

FSIS Announces Move from Pulsed-Field Gel Electrophoresis to Whole Genome Sequencing for Analyzing Shiga Toxin-Producing E. coli (STEC) and Salmonella Isolates

  Whole genome sequencing (WGS) determines the order of all of the DNA building blocks (nucleotides) in an organism’s entire genome in a single laboratory process.  A comparison of the DNA sequence of an isolated bacterial pathogen to the sequences from other samples in a DNA database can pinpoint the source of a foodborne disease … Continue Reading

Contrary to Popular Reports, Farm Bill Will Not Affect FDA Status of CBD

Media outlets are reporting that a Farm Bill provision removing industrial hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act will change the FDA status of cannabidiol (CBD) in foods.  However, the relevant provisions under Subtitle G (“Hemp Production”) affect only the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA’s) authority over hemp farming and allow states to … Continue Reading

Mixed Reactions to Final Rule on School Meal Flexibilities

As previously posted on this blog on November 30, 2017, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced temporary exemptions to some of the rigid nutrition standards for school meals established by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act in 2010 and published an interim final rule, titled the “School Meal Flexibility Rule,” that would make some of … Continue Reading

Important Details Remain Unsettled Following USDA and FDA Announcement of Decision to Jointly Regulate Cell-Cultured Meat

As previously reported on this blog, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have both claimed regulatory oversight of cell-cultured meat, a product that some say could be available for marketing in as early as three years.  Federal law grants regulatory authority over meat products, poultry, catfish, and … Continue Reading

CDC Issues Update on Multistate Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Raw Turkey

An outbreak of Salmonella Reading linked to raw turkey that began in November 2017 continues to sicken Americans in 35 states.  Raw turkey pieces, ground turkey, whole turkey, and turkey pet food have been linked to illnesses in humans. A total of 164 people have been infected, 47% of whom have been hospitalized.  There has … Continue Reading

USDA Secretary Signals USDA Role Over Animal Cell Culture Technology Regulation Ahead of Joint USDA-FDA Meeting

As previously reported on this blog, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that they will hold a joint meeting on October 23-24, 2018, to discuss the use of cell culture technology to develop products derived from livestock and poultry. The meeting will focus on potential hazards, regulatory … Continue Reading

USDA Updates Poultry Line Speed Standards

On August 21, 2014, USDA-FSIS published a final rule called the “Modernization of Poultry Slaughter Inspection” (79 FR 49566, Aug. 21, 2014) which amended the Agency’s poultry regulations to establish an inspection system for young chicken and turkey slaughter establishments, called the New Poultry Inspection System (NPIS). Under the final rule, the maximum line speed for young … Continue Reading

China, U.S. Tariffs to Have Long-Term Effect on Soybeans

The same day that China and the United States imposed new tariffs on each other’s products, including food items, the Soybean Association issued a statement warning about the long-term effects of the trade war. Noting that U.S. soybean producers have spent more than 40 years and millions of dollars building the China market for soy … Continue Reading

FDA Publishes Goals for Supporting Antimicrobial Stewardship in Veterinary Settings for Fiscal Years 2019-2023

On July 31, 2018, FDA announced that it was working on a five-year blueprint to combat antimicrobial resistance in animals.  On September 14, 2018, FDA published Supporting Antimicrobial Stewardship in Veterinary Settings: Goals for Fiscal Years 2019-2023. FDA provides action items to promote three goals; we summarize several major steps for each; Align Antimicrobial Drug … Continue Reading

USDA and FDA Announce Joint Meeting on Animal Cell Culture Technology

Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that they will hold a joint meeting on October 23-24, 2018, to discuss the use of cell culture technology to develop products derived from livestock and poultry. As we previously reported on this blog, FDA held a public meeting on … Continue Reading

USDA Bioengineered Food Labeling Final Rule Sent to OMB for Review

In a sign of progress, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) received the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) final rule for the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard (NBFDS) on August 31, 2018 – less than two months after the comment period closed on the proposed rule for the NBFDS on July 3, 2018. As … Continue Reading

Former Director of the FDA’s Office of Biotechnology Pens Op-Ed Criticizing FDA Enforcement on Organic Labeling, FDA Commissioner Pledges to Look at Labeling Claims in Organics

In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, Dr. Henry Miller, the former founding director of the FDA’s Office of Biotechnology, criticizes FDA as giving organic food labeling and advertisement “a complete pass.”  The author calls out FDA’s lack of enforcement on claims that organic foods are grown “without toxic or persistent pesticides,” noting that in fact, … Continue Reading

NGOs Sue USDA Over Delay in Issuing BE Disclosure Rules

The 2016 National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standards (NBFDS) Act directs the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to develop regulations and standards to create mandatory disclosure requirements for bioengineered (BE) foods by July 2018. The Center for Food Safety (CFS) and the Center for Environmental Health (CEH) filed a lawsuit in the Northern California U.S. District Court on August … Continue Reading

European Union’s Top Court Rules on Gene-Editing Technology

The European Court of Justice has ruled that all techniques that induce DNA mutagenesis result in products that can be regulated as genetically modified organisms.  GMO regulation had previously been limited to products of genetic engineering where DNA from a separate organism was introduced into the target organism’s genome.  Newly developed gene editing techniques exploit … Continue Reading

Groups Petition FSIS to Change “Product of the USA” Policy

The Organization for Competitive Markets (OCM) and American Grassfed Association (AGA) have petitioned the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) to change its standard for making a “Product of the USA” claim on meat and meat products. Currently, FSIS allows the statement “Product of USA” if either (1) the country to which the product is … Continue Reading

Final Comments on USDA’s BE Labeling Rule Debate Disclosure for Highly Refined Foods and Ingredients

The comment period on USDA’s proposed requirements to implement the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard (NBFDS) closed on July 3. As previously reported on this blog, when USDA asked for input prior to drafting the regulation, commenters disagreed on whether highly refined ingredients derived from bioengineered (BE) crops should be disclosed. As a result, in … Continue Reading

Trade Dispute with China Worries Agriculture; USDA Vows Support

 The U.S. agricultural industry has voiced concerns about potential financial losses due to the ongoing trade dispute with China, notwithstanding U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue’s assurance last April that farmers will be protected. By way of background, on June 15, President Trump announced that the U.S. will impose a 25% tariff on $50 billion in … Continue Reading

Senate Released Bipartisan Draft of Farm Bill

As previously reported on this blog, in March 2018, House Agricultural Committee Chairman Michael Conway delayed the release of the draft law renewing farm and nutrition programs due to opposition to cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). SNAP offers nutrition assistance to more than 47 million eligible, low-income individuals and families, and is … Continue Reading

FDA and USDA Announce Collaborative Effort to Align Produce Safety Requirements

On June 5, 2018, FDA and USDA announced a new collaborative effort to streamline produce safety requirements for farmers by aligning the USDA Harmonized Good Agricultural Practices Audit Program (USDA H-GAP) with the requirements of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act’s (FSMA’s) Produce Safety Rule. This effort follows the signing of a formal agreement in … Continue Reading
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