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FDA proposes major regulations for food safety
Time
For the first time in 70 years, the Food and Drug Administration released two major requirements for improving food safety. On Friday, the FDA released two draft rule proposals for food safety that will allow the FDA to shift its focus on preventing, rather than simply reacting, to food borne illnesses. Despite the delay, public health advocates heralded the proposals as a major step in implementing the landmark FDA Food Safety Modernization Act.

Related articles:
  • Finally! FDA's new food safety rules (AARP)
  • Troxler encourages comment on food safety rules (Bladen Journal)

  • Proposed Rules (from the Office of the Federal Register):
  • Current Good Manufacturing Practice and Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Human Food
  • Draft Qualitative Risk Assessment of Risk of Activity/Food Combinations: Activities (Outside the Farm Definition) Conducted in Facility Co-Located on a Farm
  • Standards for Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption
  • More

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    Costs of new food safety rules remain years away
    The Associated Press via USA Today
    The Food and Drug Administration's new food safety rules will cost businesses about half a billion dollars annually. Proposed Friday, they will make the food Americans eat safer and help prevent food-borne diseases that every year kill about 3,000 people and sicken at least 2 million others. It will still be another three years before the rules are implemented at the biggest farms and even longer at smaller farms. More
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    Consumers redefining 'healthy eating' at restaurants
    Pizza Marketplace
    As consumers become more health-conscious, their perceptions of what is considered "healthy eating" at restaurants are changing. According to new research from Technomic, updated definitions of "health" tend to be strongly associated with food/drink that is local, natural, organic and sustainable. More
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    Obama, GOP maintain dispute over taxes
    USA Today
    The White House and Congress agree on the need for a new debt reduction deal, but not on the terms of debate. The Senate's top Republican, Mitch McConnell, said Sunday a new budget deal should include only spending cuts because the recent fiscal cliff agreement included higher taxes on wealthy Americans. More
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    Young reformers rule the Senate
    POLITICO
    The Senate's old bulls are rapidly fading as a band of more junior members in both parties seek to upend the seniority system that has ruled the chamber for generations. More
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    House, Senate working quietly to avoid government shutdown
    The Hill
    Washington is facing the threat of three major fiscal disasters in the coming months — but a government shutdown after March 27 might be the least likely of them to occur. House and Senate appropriators have been working quietly behind the scenes for months to craft 12 compromise annual spending bills to avoid a shutdown that is slated to occur when the current six-month stopgap spending bill expires. More
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    Industry advocates: Organics 'thrown under the bus' in farm bill
    Food Safety News
    "We've been thrown under the bus." That's how some organic farmers and advocates are describing the government's 11th-hour decision Jan. 1 to extend the 2008 farm bill for nine months instead of enacting a new 2012 farm bill. Their dismay is based on how organics fared when the 2008 farm bill was extended until September 2013 (Section 701). More
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    Congress sidelines specialty crop funding
    AG Professional
    The passage of a fiscal package Jan. 1 excluded key specialty crop priorities. While the bill does avert the dreaded fiscal cliff, efforts to roll a new five-year farm bill into the bill were rejected in favor of a nine month extension of the 2008 law. The extension does not include funding for certain expiring programs such as the Specialty Crop Research Initiative and Clean Plant Network. More
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    Opinion: Antibiotics and food animals – lies and statistics
    Food Safety News
    Dr. Richard Raymond writes, "From what I have been reading lately, it appears to me that the next big fight over agriculture's ability to provide consumers with plentiful, safe and affordable meat and poultry products will focus on the use of antibiotics in animals raised for food." More
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    Tree-fruit growers see proposed rules as burden
    Yakima Herald-Republic via The Seattle Times
    Washington's tree-fruit industry had hoped to be treated separately from crops grown on the ground under new federal food safety regulations. But it didn't happen. More
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    CARB publishes reefer compliance website
    Commercial Carrier Journal
    The California Air Resources Board has a new webpage to provide guidance in determining Transport Refrigeration Unit compliance status. Entities hiring a carrier to transport perishable goods on California highways or railways must only hire or contract with carriers that agree to dispatch TRUs that meet CARB's in-use performance standards for TRUs. The regulation became effective Tuesday. More
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    Sandy triggers a call: Free lunch for all
    City Limits
    In the immediate post-hurricane period, the New York City school system made all lunches free. Food advocates would like to see the change made permanent, arguing health benefits justify the cost. More
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    Public interest groups join international chorus against ractopamine
    Food Poisoning Bulletin
    Two public interest groups are the latest to add their voices to an international chorus of concern about the feed additive ractopamine. The Center for Food Safety and the Animal Legal Defense Fund have filed a petition with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration calling for the agency to reduce allowable levels of the drug and to conduct a comprehensive study of its effects on human and animal health. More
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    Poland latest European country to ban GM crops
    Food Navigator
    Poland has become the eighth European country to ban the cultivation of genetically modified crops approved by the European Food Safety Authority as safe for cultivation, after an EU approval deadline passed this week. More
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    Survey probes Americans' snacking habits
    MediaPost
    he once-dominant cultural concept of snacking as a special occasion between meals is long gone. In 2012, 52 percent of all eating occasions among American consumers were snacking occasions — up from 49 percent in 2010, according to The Hartman Group's Eating Occasions Database. More
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    Report: Target plans new grocery push
    Supermarket News
    Target Corp. in Minneapolis is rolling out eight new TV ads that will give its grocery and home goods a tongue-in-cheek, high-end fashion spin, according to reports. More
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    Changes may be coming to food menus, vending machines
    The Orange Leader
    Criticism of the obesity of America has intensified as specifics for complying with possible new regulations are still being worked out. New vending machines with the calorie count on the buttons people press to select a drink will be launched in Chicago and San Antonio in 2013. New menus are showing up in fast food restaurants, complete with calorie counts. More
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    Poultry production: With hot air treatment, bacteria fly the coop
    USDA Agricultural Research Service
    While being transported in hauling coops on trucks, poultry that have been colonized with bacteria such as Campylobacter can contaminate pathogen-free poultry. That's where Agricultural Research Service microbiologists Mark Berrang and Richard Meinersmann and colleague Charles Hofacre at the University of Georgia in Athens come in. The team has reported a treatment that reduces poultry cross-contamination from transport-cage flooring. More
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    California law lights flame for homemade food business
    BayouBuzz.com
    California's homemade food makers are now able to sell their products to restaurants and grocery stores, thanks to a new law that went into effect this year. The California Homemade Food Act created a new category of producers called "cottage food producers," which will allow people to cook their food items right from their kitchens at home. More
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    UK: Hunt warns supermarkets on sugary foods
    The Times
    Food manufacturers and supermarkets in the U.K. have to stop "shoveling sugar down the throats of young children" or face legislation forcing them to make healthier food, the Health Secretary said. More
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    Research: Targeting intestinal taste receptors could battle obesity
    Food Navigator
    Targeting taste sensors in the gut could offer the food industry a "new road" to battling obesity, say researchers from the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium, writing in Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism. More
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    New York frozen food plant cited for safety violations
    Reliable Plant
    The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently cited Rosina Food Products Inc. with nine serious violations of workplace safety standards at its production facility in West Seneca, N.Y. The manufacturer of frozen food products faces a proposed penalty of $54,750. More
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    Frozen Express
    Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, (469) 420-2601
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