Government Shutdown Threatening Food Safety

By: Tuesday October 8, 2013 7:53 am

In theory, essential workers should be immune to a government shutdown caused by Congress and the White House not being able to get their act together. The Pentagon has already recalled a sizable portion of their workers back from furloughs. But one function of the government that seems rather essential is, in fact, being threatened [...]

Monsanto’s Rogue Wheat Still A Mystery

By: Thursday June 20, 2013 10:37 am

Agribusiness monopoly Monsanto is facing class action lawsuits after its genetically modified wheat was found in areas it was never approved to be in. Monsanto still claims it is mystified and that all its experimental GMO wheat was destroyed. The search for the rogue wheat is still ongoing. The GMO wheat, labeled MON 71800, was [...]

You Shall Know Our Velocity: Political Priorities Measured in Time Frames

By: Wednesday May 23, 2012 1:41 pm

You can pretty well judge priorities in Washington simply by a matter of speed. If issues sit out there forever without being addressed, the political powers that be don’t really care about them. If they get attended to right away, they must have a certain importance attached. And this isn’t about lip service, but follow-through. [...]

USDA Seeks to Let Poultry Companies Self-Inspect Their Product

By: Thursday April 5, 2012 7:06 am

The US Department of Agriculture believes that their budget will tighten. In a letter, USDA head Tom Vilsack tells all employees that “we will have to continue our path of belt tightening.” He indicates that the House’s budget, which keeps defense spending constant, will force cuts on the other discretionary non-defense agencies like USDA, which [...]

Cass Sunstein’s Regulatory Cost-Cutting Plan

By: Tuesday August 23, 2011 10:15 am

In my previous item I mentioned that new regulations to improve the nation’s food safety were threatened by funding cuts. But the candle is being burned at both ends. While regulatory agencies struggle to carry out their mandates with underfunded budgets, the mandates themselves are being curtailed by a White House-led effort to trim regulations. [...]

FDA Funding Cuts Put Food Safety Law in Peril

By: Tuesday August 23, 2011 9:35 am

One of the policy items you hear the Administration tout as part of defending their record is the food safety bill. Food policy experts considered it flawed, but generally a step in the right direction, and the first overhaul of the nation’s food safety system in decades. There’s every reason for the White House to [...]

A Look at the Cuts in the New, Leaner 2011 Budget

By: Tuesday April 12, 2011 6:35 am

The House Appropriations Committee released the final 2011 continuing resolution text, which reflects the agreement between Congressional leaders and the President. You can view a summary of the CR and the list of final program cuts. Or, if you’re daring, you can read the full text. First of all, there’s a 0.2% across-the-board cut to [...]

“Milk Is Probably OK”

By: Friday April 1, 2011 8:00 am

Granted, this is a quote from a consumer, not a scientist, but it accurately conveys the fear from the population over radiation: By scientific standards, the radiation found over the last week in batches of milk on the West Coast was minuscule and, moreover, not dangerous to humans. But the mere mention of any contamination [...]

Japan: Tap Water Too Radioactive for Infants in Tokyo

By: Wednesday March 23, 2011 6:50 am

The locus of fear in Japan has shifted from the Fukushima Daiichi plant (although smoke was seen coming from Unit #3 today) to the produce and other food products coming out of the region. The FDA has banned the imports of milk and fresh produce from around the stricken nuclear power plant, which seems sensible. [...]

Dennis Kucinich Settles Olive Pit Lawsuit

By: Friday January 28, 2011 2:11 pm

While we await the Egyptian Speaker of Parliament, who is apparently about to make an important statement about the government, I wanted to put a quick capper on this story about Dennis Kucinich and his dental issues. The announcement that he was suing a Congressional cafeteria because he bit into an olive pit sparked a [...]

Issa Asks Corporate Players to Pick Regulations to Target

By: Tuesday January 4, 2011 9:33 am

We know about Darrell Issa’s steady stream of investigations. What we didn’t know is how central federal regulations were to that list. In fact, in determining how to proceed on the regulatory aspect of his oversight hearings, he has enlisted the industries themselves to tell him which regulations to jettison. Because there’s nothing corporations do [...]

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