How Foster Farms Used the USDA, Big Chicken Lobbyists and Lawyers to Avoid a Recall

By: Friday June 20, 2014 6:52 pm

On the surface this story is good news. But read further as I dissect this announcement, the media coverage and wonder what levers were pulled and words tweaked to get there.

 

Journalists Challenge a Law Passed in Idaho Which Makes it Possible for Anyone Who Secretly Films or Records Animal Abuse to be Jailed for up to a Year

By: Tuesday March 18, 2014 8:14 am

A coalition of groups and journalists are challenging a law passed in Idaho, which makes it possible for anyone who secretly films or records animal abuse to be jailed for up to a year. In February, Idaho became the seventh state to pass an ag-gag law—a farm secrecy statute aimed at political speech on industrial [...]

Monsanto Spends Millions to Kill GMO Labeling Initiative in WA State

By: Wednesday October 23, 2013 3:11 pm

Voters are already mailing in ballots for food labeling initiative I-522 in Washington State, where large food corporations have set a state record, contributing 17.1 million dollars, to defeat the truth-in-labeling initiative. A ‘Yes’ vote supports labeling of foods to reflect that genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are in food where genetic enginnering was utitized.

Government Shutdown Threatening Food Safety

By: Tuesday October 8, 2013 10:20 am

Enjoy seafood? Well according to one report 90% of seafood imports are going uninspected due to the shutdown.

Monsanto’s Rogue Wheat Still a Mystery

By: Thursday June 20, 2013 12:16 pm

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.

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

By: Wednesday May 23, 2012 7:10 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. Two items exemplify this today.

USDA Seeks to Let Poultry Companies Self-Inspect Their Product

By: Thursday April 5, 2012 8:25 am

Is this really the type of program that we need to sacrifice in the name of sound budgeting? Do we really need to let poultry companies police themselves, or end lead poisoning prevention programs, so rich people can keep a tax cut?

FDA Funding Cuts Put Food Safety Law in Peril

By: Tuesday August 23, 2011 11:30 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 use that as part of their list of accomplishments.

There’s only one thing: as a result of the legislation, the FDA has more responsibility but does not have more money.

The Party Line: Japan Nuclear Crisis Continues, Highlighting More Potential Dangers in US

By: Friday August 19, 2011 3:00 pm

Imagine, if you will, living somewhat close to a nuclear reactor—not right next door, but close enough—and then imagine that an accident at that reactor causes a large release of radioactive isotopes into the atmosphere. Certainly scary, but maybe less scary because you know your government has computer models that show where the nuclear fallout will blow and fall, and they explain that the amounts that will blow and fall on you are negligible.

Sure, you might think twice about that reassurance, but it is not like they are saying everything is OK. The government, after all, did evacuate some people based on their fallout models. . . so they are on top of it.

A Look at the Deeper Cuts in the New 2011 Budget Deal

By: Tuesday April 12, 2011 7:07 am

Food safety is cut 1% below the previous year’s level. The Labor Department program for green jobs has been cut. The Justice Department’s asset forfeiture fund, which helps fund its criminal investigations, got a $500 million hit. The Special Supplemental Feeding Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) has been cut $500 million from 2010 levels. The total reduction in the Financial Services area, barely a year out from passing Dodd-Frank, approaches 10%. There’s a $942 million cut to the Community Development Fund program, which is nearly 1/4 of the total. And two programs in the health care law, Kent Conrad’s co-ops and Ron Wyden’s Free Choice voucher, have been eliminated.

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