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FOOD SAFETY

To Our Health!

Deficiencies in the regulation of the American food supply constitute the most serious and persistent gap in American consumer protection. Congress must seize the opportunity to fix the problem.

FOOD SAFETY

Battling Back Bacteria

Fifty years after we figured out how to keep astronauts’ food from making them sick, the time has come to commit to keeping the rest of us as safe.

Contributors Examine Agricultural Biotech

In order to feed a growing, hungry world amidst a warming climate, we have to produce more food. Solutions to the problem of how to increase crop yields include both ecology-based farming and biotechnology approaches. But how do we define [...]

Would You Like Some Data With Your Safer Food?

Salmonella. Downer cows. More salmonella. The past year has seen several unpleasant and dangerous incidents of widespread food contamination. Today, Lyndsey Layton reports in the Washington Post that newly introduced Congressional legislation offers a slate of remedies to ramp up [...]

Top Brass on FDA as “Public Health Agency”

Shortly after being sworn in as the Commissioner of the Federal Drug Administration last Friday, Margaret A. Hamburg and her principal deputy commissioner, Joshua Sharfstein, described their plans to run the FDA as a public health agency in New England [...]

HEALTHY FOOD

Serving Twinkies While Rome Burns

The answer is a mix of politics and profits, two things that should not get in the way of national standards for school nutrition to help better educate our youngsters.

Administration to Split FDA?

The Associated Press reports that drug makers are quietly hopeful that recent appointments signal an agency-level bifurcation between food safety and drug safety responsibilities: Drug industry advocates are quietly allying with some of their longtime critics pushing to split the [...]

WEISS'S NOTEBOOK

Snack Shelf Epidemic

The peanut product recalls continue, revealing more cracks up and down the food safety system. And people keep getting sick.

NYT on Organics and Food Safety

In the Dining & Wine section yesterday, a story on the fractures in the food safety system that led to contaminated peanut products in organic brands. Kim Severson and Andrew Martin note: Organics has grown from an $11 billion business [...]

FOOD SAFETY

Cheaper by the Dozen

The salmonella-contaminated peanut outbreak is raising alarm over the U.S.’s fractured food system—a system “organics” and conventional mass-market foods often travel through side-by-side.

FDA Approves First Drug Made in a Mammal

The Food and Drug Administration gave a thumbs up today for ATryn, a blood-thinning drug produced in the milk of genetically engineered goats. As we’ve previously described, it’s the first drug made in the milk of a farm animal to [...]

Questions for Peanut Butter Investigators

Members of Congress and others are calling for independent investigations into the federal oversight system for food production facilities in light of new revelations about chronic problems at the Peanut Corp. of America peanut-processing plant in Blakely, Georgia. Those calls [...]

Peanut Butter Problems

Okay, so according to the Lyndsey Layton in today’s Washington Post, the FDA has issued clear information that major brands of jarred peanut butter on grocery shelves are not subject to the recall. But there are hundreds of products affected–so [...]

WEISS'S NOTEBOOK

Unsavory Snacks

Part of the problem behind the recent spread of Salmonella-infected peanut paste products is a disastrously underfunded FDA.

Dinner on Your Desktop

Comparisson of different rice types Nutritious Rice for the World runs out of the University of Washington, but pieces of the research work could be unfolding on a desktop near you. That’s because the research is one of five projects currently part of IBM’s World Community Grid. The grid allows volunteer computer users to run a small program that takes advantage of unused processing power to predict the structure of desirable rice proteins.

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