Jul 22, 2009 | 11
The Food Safety Enhancement Act (H.R. 2749), a bill currently being moved through the House of Representatives and gaining attention over the summer, could give the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authority to regulate the way animals are raised on farms—a prospect that worries many small farmers.
The bill brings to light the challenges of determining which government agency should be regulating which process. And generally, farmers are more comfortable with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) governing farm production policies.
Many farmers believe that the FDA should regulate food and not necessarily the living organisms on the farm. One of the biggest concerns among farmers is the lack of FDA expertise regarding on-farm production, as pointed out by North Carolina Farm Bureau President Larry Wooten during his testimony at a June 17 congressional hearing on the bill. The Farm to Consumer News Web site reports that organic supporters are worried about burdensome and expensive regulations that the “food safety police,” as they call the FDA, might devise and enforce.
Jul 16, 2009 | 9
Corn-based ethanol production continues to rise; U.S. farmers planted 87 million acres of corn this year—two million more than the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) had initially estimated in March. This news has driven down corn market prices, leaving farmers skeptical about the theory that ethanol production has caused a corn shortage and in turn inflated food prices in the U.S.
The U.S. is the world's largest producer of both corn and ethanol, surpassing Brazil in the latter category in 2006. Since 2002, the year ethanol production began rapidly increasing in the U.S., the rate at which food prices increase has doubled (an increase of $46 per week for a family of four from 2002 to 2009, compared with an increase of $23 per week for the same family over the prior seven-year period). These simultaneous increases in food costs and ethanol production have left many people concerned over a potential shortage of the grain. The current market prices, however, undermines the correlation between ethanol production and a shortage of the grain.
Feb 24, 2009 | 5
Pres. Obama has tapped Kathleen Merrigan, an academic and former congressional aide who helped write federal organic food-labeling rules, to be deputy agriculture secretary. The White House announced the pick yesterday, drawing cheers from food-safety advocates, who have pushed for more stringent labeling regs.
"Merrigan will bring an excellent perspective to a number of troublesome labeling issues now before the agency," Jean Halloran, Consumers Union's director of food policy initiatives, said in a statement. Among the matters that need to be addressed, she said: loopholes in the current "grass fed" standard, lack of uniformity in meat marketing claims, defining "raised without antibiotics" label claims, and weaknesses in the current definition of "naturally raised."
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The Dow Chemical Company is the leading producer of polyalkylene glycols (PAGs) used in synthetic fluids and lubricants where petroleum,
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Conventional washing machines cause excessive damage and wrinkling to clothes primarily during the water removal step. With the introduc
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