Posts Tagged ‘food safety’

Top 10 Reasons to Care About Food Workers

This week, with the release of Saru Jayaraman’s new book, Behind the Kitchen Door, I’ve been writing about the powerful influence of the National Restaurant Association, for example, in lobbying against paid sick days for workers. Sadly, most of my colleagues in public health and the good food movement don’t pay enough attention to the many injustices workers face every day. So here is my attempt to help correct that situation.

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How the Other NRA is Making Us Sick

 

This week, food labor advocate Saru Jayaraman is releasing her new book, Behind the Kitchen Door, which relates  heartbreaking stories of just some of the 10 million restaurant workers in the U.S. In a chapter called, Serving While Sick, she tells the disturbing tale of a fast-food worker who had no choice but to come to work with a bad cold since she couldn’t afford to go unpaid. When this worker tried to explain to her manager how perhaps handling food while coughing and sneezing was not such a good idea, she was laughed at. She later wondered how many customers she got sick that day because she couldn’t leave the counter every time she needed to wipe her nose.

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Panelist at Natural Products Expo West on March 7

I am pleased to take part in this panel on March 7 and the Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim.

GMO Labeling: Where Are We Now?

Washington State, the National FDA Just Label It Effort, and Lessons Learned from Prop 37

Thursday, March 7, 2013, 8:30 – 9:30 a.m, Anaheim Marriott Hotel, Platinum Ballroom 1

After submitting 350,000 signatures, GMO labeling advocates are rallying to support I-522, the People’s Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act, in Washington State. I-522, one of a handful of state initiatives calling for GMO labeling, is considered one of the best chances for GMO labeling in 2013.

Learn how you can support this effort, along with lessons learned from California’s Prop 37 and what’s happening on a national level to require labeling of genetically engineered foods, from a panel of speakers and industry leaders deeply involved in these efforts.

Speakers

  • Trudy Bialic, Director of Public Affairs, PCC Natural Markets, I-522 Steering Committee
  • Gary Hirshberg, Chair, Stonyfield Farm and Co-founder, Just Label It
  • Jessica Lundberg, Board of Directors, Lundberg Family Farms
  • David Bronner, CEO, Dr. Bronner’s
  • Ken Cook, President, Environmental Working Group
  • Michele Simon, JD, MPH, Author, Appetite for Profit, President, Eat Drink Politics

Moderator

  • Steven Hoffman, Managing Director, Compass Natural, and Staff Member, I-522

For information and to contribute, contact Steve Hoffman, on behalf of The People’s Right to Know campaign. steve@compassnatural.com, tel 303.807.1042. As a grassroots political organization, Label It WA depends on you. Visit www.labelitwa.org.

Serving Science or Monsanto?

Timing of AAAS statement on GMO labeling is highly suspicious

With about a week to go before California voters head to the polls to decide the fate of Proposition 37, which would require GMO foods to be labeled, I expected an already ugly campaign to get even uglier.

But the latest gift to the No on 37 campaign smells especially bad. Last week, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS – goes by “Triple A-S”) released this “statement” on GMO labeling that sounds like it was drafted by Monsanto. The statement ends with the non-scientific but very quote-worthy conclusion that “mandating such a label can only serve to mis­lead and falsely alarm consumers.” While Prop 37 is never mentioned, what purpose could the timing serve other than persuading Californians to vote no on the measure?

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Prop 37 Sparks Clash Between Organic Brands and Parent Companies

Even if you don’t live in California, you have probably heard of Proposition 37, which if passed in November, would require labeling of foods containing genetically engineered ingredients. The state-wide initiative has been causing quite a stir, in part because of the companies that are opposing the measure. Read rest at New Hope …

Feds Playing Politics with Food Safety is Enough to Make You Sick

Rarely does the mainstream media bother to connect the dots when it comes to our broken food safety system. Consider these two recent headlines:

Foodborne Outbreaks Falling Short of U.S. Reduction Goals

USDA to purchase $170 million worth of meat to help farmers struggling with drought

The latter story celebrating government action to “help farmers” — prompted by this U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) press release — was trumpeted by major media outlets across the nation without any questions raised. Of course American farmers need help during times of drought and that effort is well worth supporting, but is the indiscriminate buying up of meat really the best and only idea the feds can come up with? Read rest at Center for Food Safety…

Postscript: Since writing this article, the federal government reported that two people have died and 141 were made sick by salmonella in yet another cantaloupe outbreak, this one in 20 states.

Produce Industry Funders of Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools are Putting Children at Risk: A Plea to Michelle Obama

The United Fresh Produce Association Foundation says it’s “proud to be a Founding Partner of the Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools Initiative.” I thought the First Lady should know this trade group is responsible for killing a vital produce testing program that helps keep kids safe from infection.

Dear Mrs. Obama,

I am writing out of deep concern over Let’s Move’s partnerships with the United Fresh Produce Association and the Produce Marketing Association. These two groups have lobbied to kill a vital pathogen testing program. While the Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools program is to be applauded, its association with these trade groups is not.

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Your Burger Just Got a Little Safer, Thanks to Uncle Sam

After years of debating, petitioning, rule-making, and outright stalling, this week the federal government is finally implementing new requirements for testing E. coli in ground beef. Why is this cause for celebration?

Read rest at Center for Food Safety…

Mercury Bigger Worry than Radiation in Tuna

Few things get a media frenzy going like the combination of two words: radiation and food. Despite the ubiquitous availability of truly unhealthy foods 24/7, just raise the specter of radioactivity on our plates, and people suddenly get very serious about what they are eating. And the media fans the flames.

Read rest at Center for Food Safety…

New Fact Sheets on Food Safety, Nutrition, and Food Stamps

In my work as a consultant for various organizations, I’ve had the pleasure to write the following fact sheets. Please share far and wide. You can learn more about my consulting services at EatDrinkPolitics.com

Center for Food Safety:
Foodborne Illness
Nutrition, Obesity, and Processed Food

Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy: Part of What’s at Stake series on the 2012 Farm Bill
Enough to Eat: Food Assistance and the Farm Bill

 

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Contact Michele Simon: michele@eatdrinkpolitics.com

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