• CDC counts 383 salmonella cases from tomatoes

    The toll of the U.S. salmonella outbreak continues to rise; tomatoes from sections of Mexico and Florida remain the main suspects as the source of the outbreak

  • Why it takes so long to trace a bad tomato

    Tomatoes do not carry bar codes, so it is difficult to trace the source of the recent tomato-borne salmonella outbreak; tomatoes coming from Mexico and parts of Florida are prime suspects

  • Making U.S. food safe, I: FDA not moving fast enough

    The recent outbreak of tomatoe-borne salmonella poisoning moved legislators to charge that the FDA has not made good on its promise last year to make food safer for U.S. consumers

  • Making U.S. food safe, II: Tracing the sources of bad food

    The United States lacks a system for effective tacking and tracing of food supplies as they are distributed throughout the country; one expert says that “Right now the technology [for tracking food] exists, but it’s not being used widely because companies aren’t required to use them”

  • Background: More on tomato-borne salmonella

    Recent census of produce outbreaks between 1996 and 2007 counted no fewer than 33 epidemics from Salmonella-contaminated fruits and vegetables; in five of them, tomatoes were the culprit

  • Meaningful farm bill reform effort fails yet again

    Current law allows subsidies to farmers with annual adjusted gross income of as much as $2.5 million; the administration and many legislators wanted to to end payments to producers with adjusted gross incomes greater than $200,000; agribusiness industry plowed more than $80 million into lobbying last year — and defeated the measure

  • Cargill to promote food safety training in China

    Cargill will partner with AQSIQ to provide Chinese government officials, academics, and business leaders with food safety training to expand their knowledge in food safety management

  • U.S. food inspection system one step away from breaking point

    High FDA official says U.S. food inspection system is not broken yet, but that a few food-borne outbreaks at the same time would push it toward the “breaking point”; official says FDA is “lacking the work force” to be able to respond to more than one major food borne outbreak at a time

  • Debating NAIS

    Is the USDA’s Nationwide Automatic Identification System (NAIS) an essential tool for fighting animal disease and agroterrorism — or is it a threat to civil liberties and a heavy, unnecessary burden on small farmers and pet owners? The debate continues

  • FDA criticized for ignoring health problems in spinach packing

    You may want to think twice before ordering spinach next time: Inspections of sixty-seven facilities found inadequate restroom sanitation, litter piles, and indoor condensation posing a risk of food contamination by microorganisms; the bad thing is that the FDA has taken no action to correct these breaches

  • HSDW conversation with Marion Nestle

    Professor Nestle on food safety in a globalized economy, the threat of bioterrorism, government regulation of the industry, and genetic modification

  • FSIS exemplifies growing inadequacy of U.S. food inspection regime

    Decline and fall: In FY 1981, FSIS spent $13.22 per thousand pounds of meat and poultry inspected and passed; by FY 2007, the figure had fallen to $8.26 per thousand pounds; in FY 1981 FSIS employed about 190 workers per billion pounds of meat and poultry inspected and passed; by FY 2007, FSIS employed fewer than 88 workers per billion pounds

  • FDA needs to move with the times

    The FDA tasks and responsibilities grow as its budget and resources are cut; FDA commissioner says agency needs to adapt to changing safety concerns and technological advances in both industries

  • U.S. growing dependence on corn increasingly worries economists

    The U.S. economy’s dependence on corn — to feed dairy cows and egg-laying hens; fatten cattle, hogs, and chicken; make sweet soda; and meet ethanol mandates — leads economist to warn of a “corn shock” in case of a drought across the Midwest

  • MSU lab develops early-warning for biological invaders

    Montana State University lab creates a nationwide team of plant pest experts who work together to identify pests, teach each other from their personal fields of expertise, and track the development of threats to agriculture or, potentially, human health