It seems almost every month brings news of another outbreak of food-borne illness, even in foods as innocent as spinach and melon. Regulatory oversight has been unable to keep pace with massive food industry consolidation and a complex distribution system. Why does the FDA consider all disease-causing bugs in food “adulterants” (making the food illegal to sell) while USDA does not? Why can’t USDA require mandatory recalls upon an outbreak? Why hasn’t sufficient funding been allocated to the FDA to conduct proper inspection? The answer to all these question is politics.
RECENT BLOG POSTS
In my ongoing attempt to shine a light on the critical role that lawyers play in the food movement, here are just a few examples of legal victories this past year. As this list demonstrates, we need lawyers to both proactively change the law, and to defend against legal challenges. This was an especially good [...]Continue reading →
Last month, an unusual scuffle played out between two federal agencies over a controversial proposal by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to increase the speed of kill lines for poultry in slaughterhouses. But with testing from Consumer Reports last year revealing that 97 percent of raw chicken breasts purchased at retailers are contaminated with harmful [...]Continue reading →
The food and beverage giant’s new sweetener causes confusion with claims of FDA approval For years, the processed-food industry has searched in vain for a low-calorie sweetener that actually tastes good, let alone one that retains the flavor profile of the underlying product. In 2010, the food and beverage giant PepsiCo formed an agreement with [...]Continue reading →
The Other NRA: National Restaurant Association eviscerates the rights of customers, workers, and children
By Michele Simon and Saru Jayaraman Food movement leaders tend to stick to their specific issues, whether it’s advocating for healthy food, fighting for workers’ rights or curbing marketing to children. For each of these issues, there are numerous food corporations that need to change. But there is one organization that conveniently provides us with [...]Continue reading →
The Grocery Manufacturers Association may soon be coming to your state capital. Take note of their rap sheet before you let them in the door. In secret documents that I uncovered in November, the Grocery Manufacturers Association (aka food industry lobbyists) laid out its five-point plan for opposing the labeling of foods containing genetically-modified organisms [...]Continue reading →