First hearing set for challenge to new WOTUS rule by major private landowners

April 5 is the date of the first hearing for the many parties involved in a federal court challenge to a final rule posted this past December from EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers defining the d“waters of the United States” (WOTUS) under the 1972 Clean Water Act.

Private landowners represented by several organizations filed a 42-page complaint on Jan. 18 in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas in Galveston. It says the Environmental protection Agency and the Army Corps over-stepped their authority and should have waited for a Supreme Court ruling on the issue.

The plaintiffs include:

  • American Farm Bureau  Federation, 
  • American Petroleum  Institute, 
  • American Road And  Transportation Builders 
  • Association, Associated General 
  • Contractors Of America, 
  • Leading  Builders Of America, 
  • Matagorda  County Farm Bureau, 
  • National  Association Of Home Builders
  • National Association Of  Realtors 
  • National Cattlemen’s Beef Association 
  • National Corn  Growers Association, 
  • National  Mining Association, 
  • National  Multifamily
Read more

Evaluating the food safety risk of online food delivery during the pandemic

World Universities Network researchers have investigated the food safety risk of online food delivery platforms against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic in Taiwan

The COVID-19 pandemic has seen a dramatic increase in demand for online food delivery services for everything, from groceries to cooked meals around the world, including in the United States. The food safety risk of so much food being delivered this way has gone largely unexplored.

Researchers in Taiwan, however, have investigated the food safety literacy of both consumers and proprietors of online food delivery services during the pandemic in Taiwan.

The COVID-19 pandemic has seen the enforcement of lockdowns and shelter-in-place policies across the world. As a consequence, there was also an increase in the use of online shopping and online food delivery services.

The use of online food delivery services was so widespread, that in Taiwan, about 56 percent of the population has used … Read more

EU eases melon rules but tightens checks on vanilla extract from U.S.

The European Commission has relaxed checks on melons from Honduras but added controls for vanilla extract from the United States.

Changes were made as part of updated legislation on the rate of official controls and emergency measures for food of non-animal origin imported into Europe. Rules are modified every six months.

Decisions are based on notifications made in the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) portal and information from documentary, identity and physical checks by member states in the first part of 2022.

Requirements for checks on 10 percent on Galia melons from Honduras, put in place in January 2022 after a multi-country Salmonella Braenderup outbreak, have been removed. In 2021, 350 people fell sick, mostly in the UK but there were four cases in the United States and two in Canada.

Ethylene oxide and food dyes
Consignments of vanilla extract from the United States will need to … Read more

It’s the 10th anniversary of the PCA indictment and the courts are still working on it

This February is the 10th anniversary of the criminal indictment of Peanut Corporation of America’s executives. And the two defendants who remain in federal custody are still actively pursuing release, meaning there have only been a few moments in the past decade when these cases have not been active.

The criminal prosecution of the PCA executives was a milestone in food safety as it meant the food industry was being held responsible for an outbreak that caused hundreds of illnesses and several deaths.

The legal action began in February 2013 when the federal indictments of Stewart Parnell, Michael Parnell, Samuel Lightsey, and Mary Wilkerson were unsealed in a federal court in Albany, GA. A separate indictment for Daniel Kilgore was opened later.

During the four years after the multistate Salmonella outbreak that was linked to PCA peanut butter and paste made at its Georgia plant, little was revealed about the … Read more

Tribes caught in food safety dilemma

Eat fish; it’s healthy. 

Except when it isn’t.

That’s the quandary that many Pacific Northwest and Columbia River Basin tribal members face as they try to balance their strong historic and cultural ties to salmon with modern studies that show salmon in their area can be polluted by contaminants — among them mercury and a host of other toxic chemicals.

The quandary arises because many tribal members eat more than what health officials suggest is the safe amount of salmon each month — eight 8-ounce servings. Because of that, they are particularly vulnerable to the contaminants that can be in the fish.

A serving is about the size and thickness of a person’s hand.

That recommendation is based on findings that contamination in some fish is high enough to advise people to eat that small amount each month. For most non-tribal people, who average less than that amount, the health … Read more