Interventions on Farms and Feedlots
The “Food Safety From Farm to Fork” report from the Pew Charitable Trusts examines food safety control measures currently used on farms and feedlots or that might be employed in the future. This report assesses pre-harvest interventions aimed at reducing the level of the major foodborne pathogens—Salmonella, Campylobacter, and E. coli O157:H7—that can lead to the contamination of meat from poultry, swine, and cattle. These pathogens are included in this examination because they account for a substantial proportion of infections linked to meat and poultry consumption, and research on pre-harvest interventions has focused primarily on them.
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Explore This IssueAugust/September 2017
Brexit’s Impact on Food in the U.K.
The “A Food Brexit: Time to Get Real’” paper published by the Science Policy Research Unit at the University of Sussex suggests that the U.K. is unprepared for the most complex change to its food system, which will be required before Brexit. The report, by leading food policy specialists Professor Erik Millstone (University of Sussex), Professor Tim Lang (City, University of London), and Professor Terry Marsden (Cardiff University), concludes that leaving the EU poses serious risks to consumer interests, public health, businesses, and workers in the food sector. Its authors claim that this is because there is no government vision for U.K. food or agriculture, yet prices, quality, supply, and the environment will all be adversely affected even with a “soft” Brexit. They warn that British consumers have not been informed about the “enormous” implications for their food, a third of which comes from within the EU.
U.S. and China Exporting Agreements
The U.S. FDA signs a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Certification and Accreditation Administration of the People’s Republic of China, formally establishing a registration process for U.S. food manufacturers who export certain foods to China. The agency recently published “Guidance for Industry: Establishing and Maintaining a List of U.S. Milk and Milk Product, Seafood, Infant Formula and Formula for Young Children Manufacturers/Processors with Interest in Exporting to China” to further explain what information exporting establishments should provide to the FDA to register under this new arrangement. The FDA will use the information received to establish and update a list of eligible exporters in a manner consistent with the MOU, and the agency will update the list of establishments and products four times per year.
USDA also reaches agreement with Chinese officials on final details of a protocol to allow the U.S. to begin exporting rice to China for the first time. When the new rice protocol is fully implemented, the U.S. rice industry will have access to this critical market, significantly expanding export opportunities. U.S. rice exports can begin following the completion of an audit of U.S. rice facilities by China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection, and Quarantine.
In addition, while in Beijing in late June, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue formally welcomed the return of U.S. beef to the Chinese market after a 13-year hiatus. The return of U.S. beef and beef products is a part of the U.S.-China 100-Day Action Plan announced by the Trump Administration on May 11, 2017, with the first shipment of U.S. beef arriving in China on June 19, 2017.
Nomination for USDA Deputy Secretary
President Donald J. Trump nominates Stephen Censky, CEO of the American Soybean Association, to be Deputy Secretary of Agriculture. “Steve Censky has been a strong supporter and vocal advocate throughout his career for agricultural biotech, expanding trade, and increased funding for agriculture research,” says Pamela G. Bailey, president and CEO, Grocery Manufacturers Association, in a statement. And according to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, “Our work has only just begun in delivering results for the people of American agriculture, and the experience and leadership skills of Stephen Censky will only enhance our efforts.”