• Countries closely monitor Japanese food for radiation

    On Saturday, Japan announced that radiation was detected in spinach and milk produced near the Fukushima nuclear plant; the levels were low enough to not pose a long-term threat to human health, but they were above the national safety level, so the Japanese government has stopped sales of food products from near the damaged plant; countries importing food products from Japan are on alert

  • Climate change linked to food safety, cost

    Changing climate could make food more dangerous, add to the malnourishment of millions, and change even what we eat; for every degree the ambient temperature rises above 6 degrees Celsius — or 43 degrees F — temperature in an area, the occurrence of food-borne salmonella poisoning increases by 12 percent; drought can cause a loss in plant vigor, making plants more susceptible to disease; floods and heavy rains favor the growth of fungal pathogens on leaves, and many disease-causing organisms can spread in changing wind currents

  • Common clam to help clean oil-filled waters

    Clams are bottom-dwelling filter feeders, obtaining nutrients by filtering the water around them; researchers at Southeastern Louisiana University are studying the lowly Rangia clam to determine whether the organism can contribute to helping clean oil-polluted waters

  • Drought in China threatens wheat crop and send global prices soaring

    UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warned that a severe drought was threatening China’s wheat crop and could result in shortages of drinking water; analysts fear that wheat prices could soar even higher if China were to begin importing large quantities of food to feed more than a billion hungry mouths; wheat prices are already at record highs and have sparked food related protests around the world; surging prices are partially responsible for Egypt and Tunisia’s recent mass uprisings; China’s Shandong province, a major agricultural region, has only received fifteen percent of its normal rain levels; in dire terms Chinese state media reported that “land is drying out, and the crops are dying”

  • Curbing price speculation to prevent food riots

    Global food prices are hitting record highs in part due to environmental disasters and increased financial speculation; to secure food supplies and prevent riots, agriculture ministers are proposing regulations on agricultural speculation; world food prices rose 25 percent last year while the price of grain has soared 79 percent; in 2008 sharp increases in food prices sparked riots and political instability in thirty countries including Egypt and Haiti

  • Technology tracks produce from growth to delivery

    The new federal food safety bill has sparked a technology race among companies to provide simple electronic tracking systems for individual items of produce; the new law mandates that each part of the supply chain keep electronic records of where they received items from and where they shipped it to; this comes as a result of a large salmonella outbreak in 2008 that reached more than forty states and infected more than 1,300 people; poor records led to misidentification and slow recalls in that outbreak; every year 3,000 people die from food-borne illnesses while one in six people suffer from food poisoning

  • view counter
  • U.K. report warns of coming global food shortages

    By 2050 global food supplies will not be sufficient to feed an expanding population; the UN estimates that food production must rise by 70 percent to feed a world population of more than nine billion in 2050; rising demand and surging global population coupled with increasing resource conflicts over land, water, and energy will hamper food production; currently nearly a billion suffer from hunger and more than sixty food riots have occurred in more than thirty countries in the last several years; the report urges an immediate action and whole range of government solutions to adjust current policies on economics, climate change, resource use, and agricultural practices

  • Mystery of 200 dead Wisconsin cows solved

    Researchers find the cause of the mysterious deaths of 200 cows in Wisconsin: the sweet potato; the animals were killed by a poison found in spoiled sweet potatoes that were part of the cattle’s feed

  • FDA looks for ways to fund $1.4 billion Food Safety Reform Act

    Food-borne illness strikes 40 million Americans, hospitalizing 100,000, and killing thousands each year; on 4 January President Obama signed the long-awaited FDA Food Safety and Modernization Act into law — sweeping legislation that overhauls U.S. food-safety laws for the first time in more than seventy years; the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated the food-safety law would cost about $1.4 billion in its first five years, including the cost of hiring an estimated 2,000 additional food inspectors; the passage of the legislation now presents FDA with the question of how to procure the funding required to implement and enforce the new system

  • U.S. moves to address antibiotic resistant bacterial diseases

    Antibiotic resistant strands of bacteria are on the rise and threatening the efficacy of existing drug treatments; scientists fear a time when antibiotics will be useless to stop infections due mutations caused by the overuse of antibiotics; legislation has been introduced at the federal and state level targeting the overuse of antibiotics in farm animals to help reduce the prevalence of super bacteria; an FDA study found that 80 percent of all antibiotics produced in the U.S. went to farm animals

  • Food packaging indicates food freshness

    An estimated 8.3 million tons of household food — most of which could have been eaten — is wasted in the United Kingdom each year because retailers and consumers question whether the food is safe to eat; researchers at Glasgow’s Strathclyde University are developing a plastic indicator that alerts consumers to food that is starting to go off; the new indicator will change color to provide a warning when food is about to lose its freshness

  • K-State doctoral dissertation examines food bioterrorism

    Terrorist “chatter” and information gleaned from informants have led DHS to warn restaurants and hotels that terrorists are planning to use biological agents to contaminate food in readily accessible areas such as salad bars, cafeteria food displays, and more; a Kansas State graduate student writes a dissertation on how restaurants in country clubs protect themselves against this risk; he finds that they do not do much

  • New U.S. food safety law goes into effect

    On 15 December the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued its first estimate since 1999 of the toll of food-borne diseases in the United States: 48 million people sick each year, 128,000 hospitalized, and 3000 deaths; in the biggest overhaul of food safety in the United States since the 1930s, President Barack Obama yesterday signed a law giving the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) more power to inspect and shut down food producers yesterday, President Obama; critics say the law does not go far enough

  • Feds warn of food-borne, other poison-based threats

    U.S. federal authorities believe a food-borne attack on the U.S. homeland is unlikely, but they are still urging businesses and local law enforcement to keep watch for such an attack and a smorgasbord of other poison-based threats, including the possible contamination of skin products or even handrails at public places

  • Latest terror threat in U.S. aims to poison food

    CBS reports that DHS uncovered a plot to attack hotels and restaurants over a single weekend; the plot uncovered earlier this year is said to involve the use of two poisons — ricin and cyanide — slipped into salad bars and buffets