Food Safety

U.S. Supreme Court overturns ‘downer’ slaughter law

The U.S. Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision, ruled against a California law that bans the slaughter of all non-ambulatory animals. The case was known as National Meat Association v. Harris, and included all non-ambulatory livestock— but specifically addressed fatigued hogs. FULL STORY »

Ag groups still in the dark over dioxin

The stakes for American agriculture are huge. Yet, the person who represents 16 agricultural organizations in the matter says he can’t get a response from the Obama Administration on possible new dioxin standards. “As we’ve reached out to the Administration broadly and to EPA (the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) specifically, we are getting radio silence — there’s no response to us,” Steve Kopperud, coordinator for the Food Industry Dioxin Working Group, told AgriTalk radio on Tuesday. FULL STORY »

Administration wants to combine FSIS and FDA

There’s long been talk about creating a single federal food safety agency. That may become a reality if Congress grants the Obama Administration authority to reorganize the government. FULL STORY »

Resistance blame game – humans first?

Livestock have been repeatedly implicated as the source of antimicrobial resistance, but new research from Scotland shows that, at least in the case of Salmonella Typhimurium DT104, resistance profiles are often showing up in humans before animals. Guy Loneragan, BVSc, PhD, offers some information to put this new research in context. FULL STORY »

Nonambulatory livestock slaughter bill resurfaces

For yet the fifth time, U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-N.Y.), has introduced legislation to ban all nonambulatory livestock from entering the food system and require that they be euthanized. FULL STORY »

Scientists urge balance in antimicrobial resistance war

Antimicrobial resistance in humans is often attributed to veterinary use of antimicrobials, but the relative contribution to the problem from animals and humans is poorly understood at the population level, University of Glasgow researchers outline in a new report. FULL STORY »

Cephalosporin restrictions get mixed reviews

A flurry of activity related to antimicrobial use in animal agriculture took place in the New Year, starting with U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s announcement to limit extra-label use of certain cephalosporin products in cattle, hogs, chickens and turkeys. It’s getting some mixed, but generally positive reviews. FULL STORY »

FDA to end "extra-label" use of some antimicrobials

Antibiotic issues are back in the spotlight as the New Year gets underway. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an order that will prohibit certain uses of the cephalosporin class of antimicrobial drugs in cattle, swine, chickens and turkeys. FULL STORY »

Foodborne illness costs decline

Foodborne illnesses can be costly in more ways than one, but at least from an economic impact standpoint the trend line is pointing down. FULL STORY »

Animal scientists react to FDA antibiotic policy

The FDA announced last week that it would close hearings on the potential risks of “subtherapeutic” antibiotic use in food animals. This announcement means the FDA will no longer pursue the withdrawal of the antibiotics penicillin and tetracycline from use in animal feed. Though some object to the policy change, FDA announcement actually comes at the recommendation of several leading animal scientists. FULL STORY »

FDA drug action on hold

Last week the FDA backed off its original intent to withdraw certain antimicrobials from food-animals. FULL STORY »

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