• Raising awareness about the risk of agroterrorism

    A day-long event in California’s Central valley sees farmers, terrorism specialists, and law enforcement officials discuss threat, impacts, and response needs involved in a potential terrorist attack on the area’s thriving agricultural sector

  • Food facilities failing to register with FDA

    The Bioterrorism Act of 2002 requires food facilities — exempting farms, retail facilities, and restaurants — to register with the FDA; the FDA had expected about 420,000 domestic and foreign food facilities to register because of the 2002 law; according to an FDA spokesman, as of 14 December, 392,217 facilities had registered — 157,395 in the United States and 234,822 foreign facilities that export to the United States

  • Senator Cochran’s earmark savvy benefits Mississippi biodefense center

    Republican Senator Thad Cochran of Mississippi is famous for his support of federal earmarks and regularly ranks near the top among senators for the number and size of his annual earmark haul; on Sunday the Senate passed a $1.1 trillion omnibus federal spending bill for the 2010 fiscal year, and Cochran managed to insert $150 million worth of earmarks for Mississippi; among the beneficiaries is Jackson State University’s National Center for Biodefense Communications, which conducts research and compiles data on bioterrorism threats to agriculture, and which is slated to receive $750,000 through the bill

  • Senate panel approves food safety bill

    The Senate last week passed a new food safety bill which would impose user fees, allow mandatory recalls, set performance standards, and impose civil penalties; some business associations are uncomfortable

  • Demands grow for improved global food supply chain

    New study: “Food can become contaminated at many different steps in the supply chain. Experience in conducting food-borne disease outbreak investigations suggests that improved product tracing abilities could help identify products associated with disease more quickly, get risky products off the market faster, and reduce the number of illnesses associated with food-borne illness outbreaks”

  • Preparing for agroterror attacks in Wisconsin

    FDA awards funds to states’ program aimed at making the food supply chain better protected against agroterror attacks; the Wisconsin program will use the money to fund a computer program using licensing and inspection information to develop computer maps that track where contaminated food may have been distributed

  • Possible costs of tougher U.S. food safety bill worry small farmers

    Small farmers worry about a rewrite of the U.S. food safety regulations expected to be debated by a Senate committee this week; in particular, small farmers say rules designed to prevent transmission of food-borne illnesses by large growers and packers will overwhelm small growers

  • FDA releases updated Food Code

    The Food and Drug Administration has released the updated FDA Food Code; there are more than 1 million restaurants, retail food stores, and vending and food service operations in institutions such as schools, hospitals, nursing homes, and child care centers in the United States; the Food Code provides all levels of government with practical, science-based guidance regarding regulation of these food-handling organizations, and with manageable, enforceable provisions for mitigating known risks of food-borne illness

  • Bipartisan WMD commission: U.S. failing to address urgent biothreat

    Interim report assesses progress in preventing WMD proliferation and terrorism

  • Kansas officials confident that BioLab project will not be derailed

    Congress has allocated $32 million for the design of the Manhattan, Kansas biolab which will replace the aging Plum Island facility; Congress conditioned the release of the rest of the money on the result of studies examining the risks involved in building a biolab in “Tornado alley”; other states that wanted the lab have been slow to give up the fight

  • Some in the livestock industry worry about disease lab's Kansas location

    Two national cattlemen’s organizations say moving the study of dangerous pathogens to the mainland would be unwise because a tornado or other mishap could allow diseases to escape into the surrounding animal population; supporters say facility presents no risk to agriculture

  • FDA awards 83 grants in FY2009 totaling $17.5 million

    The Food and Drug Administration awarded $17.5 in grants to improve food safety by emphasizing improved response, intervention, innovation, and prevention

  • Victims of food-poisoning on Hill in support of S. 510

    Food safety debate intensifies as food-borne illness victims lobby for stronger food laws; new bill, S. 510s would increase FDA inspections of food processing plants, especially of high-risk facilities, require imports to meet U.S. safety standards, establish science-based minimum safety standards for growing fresh produce, and give the agency mandatory recall authority

  • The Top 10 foods most likely to make you sick

    Some of the healthiest foods are also the most dangerous, causing most food-borne disease in the United States; the leading illness-carrying foods: leafy greens, eggs, and tuna

  • Trust for America's Health calls on Senate to reform U.S. food safety

    Approximately 76 million Americans — one in 4 — are sickened by food-borne diseases each year. Of these, an estimated 325,000 are hospitalized and 5,000 die. Medical costs and lost productivity due to food-borne illnesses in the United States are estimated to cost $44 billion annually