U.S. Approves Chinese Genetically Modified Rice
As reported by Reuters, a rice genetically modified (GMO) by Chinese researchers to resist pests has passed safety inspections by authorities in the U.S., allowing for its sale there even though Beijing continues to prohibit planting of any GMO food grain. The rice, known as Huahui 1, was developed by a team at Huazhong University in central Hubei province to resist pests like the rice stem borer. While Chinese authorities granted the strain a safety certificate in 2009, it has never been approved for commercial production. Beijing has spent billions of dollars researching GMO crops but has held back from commercial production of any food grains because of consumer concerns about their safety. Validation of the country’s GMO safety testing and products by U.S. authorities could help persuade the government and consumers in China to accept the products at home.
You Might Also Like
Explore this issueFebruary/March 2018
Finding Sources of Foodborne Illnesses
The Interagency Food Safety Analytics Collaboration (IFSAC) releases a report titled “Foodborne illness source attribution estimates for 2013 for Salmonella, Escherichia coli O157, Listeria monocytogenes, and Campylobacter using multi-year outbreak surveillance data, United States.” The authors used outbreak data to update previous analyses. CDC estimates that, together, these four pathogens cause 1.9 million cases of foodborne illness in the U.S. each year. The report noted that Salmonella illnesses came from a wide variety of foods; E. coli O157 illnesses were most often linked to vegetable row crops (such as leafy greens) and beef; Listeria monocytogenes illnesses were most often linked to fruits and dairy products; and non-dairy Campylobacter illnesses were most often linked to chicken. IFSAC indicated that attribution percentage for dairy was not included in this analysis because, among other reasons, most foodborne Campylobacter outbreaks were associated with unpasteurized milk, which is not widely consumed, and likely over-represents dairy as a source of Campylobacter illness.
USDA’s FSIS proposes to amend the egg products inspection regulations by requiring official plants that process egg products to develop HACCP systems and Sanitation SOPs and to meet other sanitation requirements consistent with the meat and poultry regulations. FSIS is proposing that facilities will be required to produce finished egg products free of detectable pathogens. The regulatory amendment is also said to remove unnecessary regulatory obstacles to innovation.