Posts Tagged: USDA

Some recalled beef hit store shelves 10 months ago

Another day, another food recall. A California slaughterhouse is voluntarily recalling 1 million pounds of ground beef after seven people sickened by E.coli contamination had their illnesses traced to the meat.

According to an Associated Press brief in The New York Times, the recalled ground beef was processed by (more…)

Calls for GAO to investigate US Forest Service

Crews may be battling wildfires from San Diego to Siskiyou counties as California’s fire season gets underway in earnest, but officials here are focusing on one of last year’s most publicized blazes—a deadly conflagration perhaps made worse by a delayed response.

Smokey the Bear himself is now in the firing line.

According to Paul Pringle of the Los Angeles Times, both of California’s U.S. Senators, Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, along with a number of Southland congressmen are demanding (more…)

USDA prepares fig leaf for European olive producers

They may be preliminary, but the results are nonetheless shocking: Nearly 70 percent of the 19 different brands of foreign and domestic extra-virgin olive oil tested by researchers at UC Davis weren’t what they claimed.

Despite the assurance of labels and premium prices, much of the oil was adulterated with cheaper refined oils, pressed from olives already past peak, damaged by heat or light or just plain old and stale, (more…)

USDA extends olive branch to American oil pressers

In a move that should reassure shoppers burned by a European scandal involving phony olive oil, the USDA will begin enforcing the scientific verifiability of label claims.

It may come as a shock to American consumers, but prior to this coming October, descriptors such as “virgin,” “extra virgin” and “cold pressed” are considered nothing more than unenforceable marketing terms. (more…)

USDA regs put pressure on California meat producers

Regulations intended to boost the safety of meat produced at the nation’s industrial slaughterhouses could prove so onerous and expensive that they will put small processors out of business, undermining a nascent movement that’s rebuilding links between small farmers and America’s dining room tables. (more…)

Federal School Lunch Funding In Peril

The Washington Post’s Jane Black reports that Dept. of Agriculture staffers want more money for its commodity food program, which gives school lunches to poor kids:

Improving the quality of food provided free to schools is important at a time when school budgets are being squeezed. President Obama has proposed an additional $1 billion for child nutrition programs, including school lunch, in his 2010 budget.

But in the face of a projected federal deficit of $1.3 trillion , even the strongest supporters of school-lunch reform say that Congress is unlikely to approve a substantial funding increase when it takes up the issue next year. (more…)


Here is a positive example of money from the $787 billion stimulus bill that’s had an instant impact. The New York Times’ Michael Cooper reports that the stimulus bill gave $100 million to food banks, a sizeable addition to the $250 million the Ag Dept. hands out each year to food banks. Already all this has been spent and gone to food pantries and soup kitchens. With requests for emergency food assistance up by 30 percent from 2008, according to one survey Cooper cites, this seems a sensible, humane way to combat the recession.-MB