December 17th, 2011 - Erin Shaw
Shamrock Farms is under fire from the USDA for questionable “split operation” livestock management practices that could get their organic certification revoked. The USDA investigation is in response to a formal complaint by the Cornucopia Institute, an organic industry watchdog that first inspected Shamrock in 2008. Cornucopia found “inadequate, overgrazed pasture adjacent to their milking facility,” and learned from Shamrock employees that “the confined cows had not been out in weeks.” Federal organic regulations require that cows be grazed, a practice that some factory-scale dairies shirk according to Cornucopia’s investigations.
Read More:Busted: USDA Finally Enforces Organic Standards at Shamrock Farms
July 30th, 2011 - Jill Ettinger
Californians may have just spotted a gem amidst the rubble of America’s crumbling economy: The California FreshWorks Fund is a $200 million public-private partnership aimed at increasing healthy and affordable food for the state’s most challenged communities.
Read More:California Strikes Gold: $200 Million for Access to Fresh Food
June 6th, 2011 - Jill Ettinger
The USDA must complete an Environmental Impact Study before Monsanto’s GM sugar beets will be allowed to continue being grown for commercial use, a federal appeals court decided in late May.
Read More:Monsanto’s GM Sugar Beets Require Further Testing Says Court
June 3rd, 2011 - Jill Ettinger
Random USDA produce tests showed at least 34 unapproved pesticides on samples of fresh cilantro that were not removed with washing, according to an article in the Chicago Tribune.
Read More:Dozens of Unapproved Toxic Pesticides Found on Fresh Cilantro
April 11th, 2011 - Jill Ettinger
Last week, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, announced a new rule proposed by the USDA that would require all beef, pork and poultry producers in the US to test their products for potential contaminants, and hold them until test results had proven the meat products safe, before releasing the foods for sale .
Read More:USDA Announces New Testing Rules for Foodborne Pathogens
April 9th, 2011 - Jill Ettinger
With 25 million children and teens—nearly one third of American kids — overweight or obese, the USDA announced new nutrition standards for school lunches earlier this year, making dietary changes for the first time in more than 15 years.
Read More:School Lunch Reform Causes Big Menu Changes
February 9th, 2011 - Gerald "Gerry" Pugliese
Important nutrition facts may soon appear on the front of food labels, hopes the Grocery Manufacturers Association and the Food Marketing Institute, who this week announced a new labeling system called “Nutrition Keys” to make important health data that much more accessible.
Nutrition Keys, which is voluntary, asks food producers to display calories, saturated fat, sodium, and sugar content on the front of food packages; currently nutrition facts appear on the back of most food products.
Read More:Nutrition Facts Coming to the Front of Food Labels
February 8th, 2011 - Jill Ettinger
Despite a court order to conduct a thorough Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) of genetically modified (GM) sugar beets before deregulating the seeds, The USDA has decided to continue allowing the planting of Monsanto’s Roundup Ready sugar beets.
Read More:USDA Permits Planting of GM Sugar Beets
February 5th, 2011 - Jill Ettinger
Current regulations are unclear when it comes to the definition of “outdoors” for factory-farmed animals. The common “cage free” and “free range” labels may lead consumers to imagine a picturesque pastoral setting, but it’s not the norm according to Mark Kastel, co-founder of The Cornucopia Institute, a consumer watchdog group.
Read More:USDA Urged to Define ‘Outdoor’ for Organic Animals
January 5th, 2011 - Jill Ettinger
For all the confusion about diet and health in America, it turns out consumers are a lot smarter than they may seem—at least when it comes to claims of natural versus organic, according to a recent survey.
Read More:‘All Natural’ Confusing and Misleading Consumers