Alternative model for bird flu containment gets court review

“Oh give me land, lots of lands, and the starry skies above. Don’t fence me in…”

The Humane Society of the United States, Mercy for Animals, and Farm Sanctuary are getting the U.S. District Court for Central California to review their plan for combatting bird flu. It involves lots of land.

The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and Veterinary Services moved to dismiss the bird flue lawsuit filed a year ago. That does not mean the plaintiffs have won, but it does mean they will get their plan reviewed by the judge.

They claim that APHIS rewards so-called “factory farms” that hold birds too closely together in battery-like cages that contribute to the spread of the virus when outbreaks do occur.

The HSUS favors incentives for producers to give their animals room to move as they would in nature, and with the other plaintiffs, they claim their Read more

Environmental buzz words: Sustainability vs. Greenwashing

Editor’s note: Each Spring, attorneys Bill Marler and Denis Stearns teach a Food Safety Litigation course in the LL.M. Program in Agricultural and Food Law at the University of Arkansas School of Law. This specialized program for attorneys brings together those who are interested in our food system, from farm to table. As a final assignment, students are asked to write an op-ed or essay on food safety, with the best to be selected for publication in Food Safety News. The following is one of the essays for 2021.

Opinion

By Amy Joy Allen

Climate change is no longer something that will happen in the future – it’s happening now. Generations throughout the world are urging governments to protect not only their citizens, but the citizens of the world. As Bill Gates recently said, we need “unprecedented [global] cooperation” immediately to deal with climate change. In theory, governments would … Read more

Publisher’s Platform: Killing two birds with one stone still works

Opinion

This weekend I continued to work on the Parker and Jarboe E. coli cases — both linked to the consumption of tainted romaine lettuce that was caused by E. coli O157:H7 contaminated cattle feces in the environment.  I was also considering what our next move — short of litigation — might be on the quest to rid Salmonella from beef and chicken.

In researching both issues, I came across — again — a 2017 report by the Pew Charitable Trusts entitled “Food Safety from Farm to Fork” — certainly a common and well-used phrase. But is made me consider that we need to think of pathogen reduction pre-harvest as not only of a way of making our meat supply safer, but also as a way to reduce pathogens in the environment that can taint other foods we consume — namely leafy greens.

With former food safety head of Pew,

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World Bank approves loan for China food safety project

The World Bank has approved a $400 million loan to help China improve food safety management and reduce food safety risks.

The cost of foodborne diseases in terms of human capital productivity loss in China is estimated at more than $30 billion per year, almost 50 percent of the total economic burden of foodborne infections in Asia, according to the World Bank.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated food safety challenges in processing, packaging, and transporting agricultural products. Improvements in food safety standards are important for China’s trading partners and agricultural export competitiveness.

The China Food Safety Improvement Project will strengthen regulations, enforcement, and compliance along value chains including seafood, pork, fruit and vegetables consistent with global practices. The total cost is $735 million.

It will promote scientific and evidence-based enforcement of food safety regulations at the provincial and municipal levels using risk-based approaches.

The project will be implemented by the … Read more

Justice Department takes historic level of enforcement against COVID-19 fraud

When Texan Dinesh Sah pleaded guilty this week to orchestrating a fraudulent scheme to lift $17 million from the Paycheck Protection Progam’s forgivable loan program, it might have been a solo act of someone who was all hat and no cattle just getting in the wrong line at USDA’s Service Center.
But instead, it turns out to be the beginning of enforcement by the Department of Justice on massive amounts of pandemic relief contained in recent congressional appropriations.  Food and agricultural sectors are the targets of much of this government spending and the DOJ is making it known that fraud schemes that always follow the money this time won’t be tolerated.
Sah, 55 of Coppell, TX, was not at all confused about his $17 million fraud on the PPP loan funds. He quickly diverted the funds into home purchases in Texas and California along with a fleet of luxury cars
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