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    "The latest BSE case was “atypical,” Clifford said, meaning that its disease form is very rare and not generally associated with an animal consuming infected feed. Such cases can occur spontaneously in older animals, said Guy Loneragan, an epidemiologist and professor of food safety and public health at Texas Tech University in Lubbock."

    Mad-Cow Case Confirmed in Central California, USDA Says

    South Korean retailers suspend sales of U.S. beef on ‘mad cow’ news — “If necessary we can strengthen quarantine and inspections or ban imports,” a ministry official told AFP on condition of anonymity. South Korea barred US beef in late 2003 following an earlier case of mad cow disease, only agreeing to resume most beef imports in 2008. The United States has an estimated 90.8 million head of cattle, forming a large chunk of the economy in states like Texas, Nebraska, Kansas and California. Around 40,000 US cattle are tested by the Department of Agriculture each year.

    — 1 year ago
    #science  #news  #politics  #food supply  #mad cow  #cattle  #south korea  #exports  #usda  #department of agriculture 
    …
Republicans to slash food stamps – The White House deliberately increased monthly benefits in 2009 by about $20 per person as a way to pump stimulus dollars into the economy. And in this post welfare-reform crisis, hard-strapped governors have sought to maximize food stamp dollars as a cheap way to help families without tapping state funds. The higher costs and visibility—especially as more businesses advertise that they will honor the electronic benefit cards introduced in the 1980’s—are what’s driving the Republican push. The Recovery Act boost in benefits is already phasing out and will be gone entirely by November 2013. But the package now, to be taken up by the House Agriculture Committee Wednesday, would end this abruptly summer, impacting families Sept. 1, and saving about $5.9 billion in 2012 and 2013. […] the severity of the proposed House cuts could be an over reach for two reasons. First they are all coming from the Agriculture panel in a context where rich farm subsidies continue to be protected at a time of record income for producers. Even in the commodity lobby, there is broad consensus that the current system of cash payments to growers at a time of high farm profits can no longer be politically defended. And by not striking more of a balance, the committee risks real damage to the coalition that has supported farm and food programs together for decades. 

    Republicans to slash food stamps – The White House deliberately increased monthly benefits in 2009 by about $20 per person as a way to pump stimulus dollars into the economy. And in this post welfare-reform crisis, hard-strapped governors have sought to maximize food stamp dollars as a cheap way to help families without tapping state funds. The higher costs and visibility—especially as more businesses advertise that they will honor the electronic benefit cards introduced in the 1980’s—are what’s driving the Republican push. The Recovery Act boost in benefits is already phasing out and will be gone entirely by November 2013. But the package now, to be taken up by the House Agriculture Committee Wednesday, would end this abruptly summer, impacting families Sept. 1, and saving about $5.9 billion in 2012 and 2013. […] the severity of the proposed House cuts could be an over reach for two reasons. First they are all coming from the Agriculture panel in a context where rich farm subsidies continue to be protected at a time of record income for producers. Even in the commodity lobby, there is broad consensus that the current system of cash payments to growers at a time of high farm profits can no longer be politically defended. And by not striking more of a balance, the committee risks real damage to the coalition that has supported farm and food programs together for decades. 

    — 2 years ago with 5 notes
    #news  #politics  #the poor  #needy families  #food stamps  #republicans  #gop  #cutting food stamp program  #usda  #rich farm subsidies continue  #farm lobby  #big ag welfare continues  #cash payments to growers  #tax cuts for the wealthy  #austerity for the rest of us  #class war  #income redistribution 
    Daily Kos: USDA considering privatizing meat/poultry inspection! WTF/ACTION →

    randomactsofchaos:

    From Grist comes this’ What are they thinking?’ moment

    Don’t like shit in your meat/poultry? Well too bad cause if the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) moves forward with plans to privatize part of its meat and poultry inspection program that’s what you’ll get.

    Under the current rules, the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is responsible for inspecting all chicken and turkey carcasses for things like bruises, bile, and yes, shit, before they’re sent for further processing. The proposed HACCP-Based Inspection Models Project (HIMP) would remove those USDA inspectors from the lines, leaving poultry plant employees, who already stand in a fast moving I-Love-Lucy style line to flag unsanitary or otherwise flawed birds

    It’s a plain and simple job cutting, money saving measure. The program is projected to save FSIS up to $95 million over three years, and to give a $250 million boost to poultry companies.

    “All [HIMP] really is, is a way to dramatically lower quality and standards,” says Amanda Hitt, director of the Government Accountability Project’s Food Integrity Campaign. Poultry, she adds, “shouldn’t have feathers, scabs, blisters and pustules. It shouldn’t have feces in the cavity. These are all things that now, under HIMP, are going to be left to the plants to deal with.”

    Not surprisingly, republicans are all over this like ants over honey. This is what they do. And how well has that worked out? It’s been a disaster from our privatized health care system to our privatized wars The profits first ideology has undermined our population and our democracy.

    This is an assault on food safety and public health and although there are rumors that the program could start as early as October we may be able to influence this debacle.

    There is a comment period which runs through April 26. Lets try to make them wish they had never thought of this stupid idea!

    Sign the petition

    — 2 years ago with 9 notes
    #politics  #news  #usda  #poultry inspection  #petition  #environment  #food safety  #public health 
    AP News: Closing of 259 USDA offices raises safety concerns →

    DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The U.S. Agriculture Department announced Monday it will close nearly 260 offices nationwide, a move that won praise for cutting costs but raised concerns about the possible effect on food safety.

    Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the goal was to save $150 million a year in the agency’s $145 billion budget. About $90 million had already been saved by reducing travel and supplies, and the closures were expected to save another $60 million, he said.

    The plan calls for 259 offices, labs and other facilities to be closed, affecting the USDA headquarters in Washington and operations in 46 states. Seven foreign offices also will be shut.

    Some of the closures had been previously announced. The USDA said last year it would shut down 10 agricultural research stations, including the only one in Alaska, where scientists were seeking ways to use the vast waste generated by the largest wild fishery in the nation to make everything from gel caps for pills to fish meal for livestock feed.

    Other parts of the announcement were a surprise. Andrew Lorenz, deputy district manager for the Food Safety and Inspection Service in Minneapolis, learned his office would be closed, along with those in Madison, Wis., and Lawrence, Kan.

    "They wiped out the entire Midwest," said Lorenz, whose office handles all federal inspections of meat, poultry and egg products in Minnesota, Montana, the Dakotas and Wyoming.

    Read more…

    Essentially they’re saving $150 in a $145,000 budget — at the expense of the nation’s food safety.

    • Budget: $145,000,000,000
    • Savings: $150,000,000

    The Teaparty / Libertarian dream: let the market regulate itself.

    — 2 years ago with 14 notes
    #news  #politics  #usda  #budget cuts  #food safety and inspection  #fsis 
    politicalprof:

Calling Newt Gingrich:
Who uses food stamps and other welfare programs. And no, Newt, it turns out they’re not all African American. 
From Charles Blow.

…
TABLE SOURCE: USDA (PDF Report) Table A.23
Hey, Newt — be sure you have all the facts when you “go to the NAACP convention and tell them they should demand paychecks instead of food stamps.”
And Rick Santorum has a lot to learn about blah people.
Idiots.

    politicalprof:

    Calling Newt Gingrich:

    Who uses food stamps and other welfare programs. And no, Newt, it turns out they’re not all African American. 

    From Charles Blow.

    TABLE SOURCE: USDA (PDF Report) Table A.23

    Hey, Newt — be sure you have all the facts when you “go to the NAACP convention and tell them they should demand paychecks instead of food stamps.”

    And Rick Santorum has a lot to learn about blah people.

    Idiots.

    — 2 years ago with 2148 notes
    #news  #politics  #food stamps  #newt gingrich  #rick santorum  #naacp  #blah people  #usda 
    Sorry, Teaparty: it’s not “Obama’s” Christmas tree tax. It’s “George Bush’s” Christmas tree tax. →

    Once again, teatards, it’s actually Dubya’s fault. Again:

    Right-wing media figures are accusing the Obama administration of seeking to impose a tax on Christmas trees; but the Christmas tree industry has been working since 2008 — before President Obama was elected — to partner with the Department of Agriculture and establish a marketing campaign funded by tree growers in order to promote the sale of fresh Christmas trees.

    […] Led by the Drudge Report and Fox Nation, right-wing media figures immediately leaped on the rule, calling it President Obama’s “Christmas tree tax“:

    treetax

    Gateway Pundit blogger Jim Hoft said the “Christmas Tree Tax” illustrated that “Barack Obama hates Christians.”

    Far from a tax initiated by the Obama administration, the proposal to create an assessment on tree growers to fund a research and promotion program through the USDA was begun by the industry during the Bush administration.

    I guess George W. Bush hates Christians.

    — 2 years ago with 59 notes
    #news  #politics  #religion  #FAIL  #media  #2008  #christmas tree growers  #christmas tree tax  #George W Bush  #GOP  #outrageous outrage of the day  #President Obama  #rage  #Republicans  #rwnjs  #tea party rightwing  #USDA 
    A new strain of antibiotic-resistant E.Coli has left 18 dead in Europe

An antibiotic-resistant strain of E.Coli to go along with that new strain of drug-resistant Staph that I mentioned yesterday:
A virulent strain of antibiotic-resistant  E.coli has left 18 dead in Europe, left over 1,800 sick, and touched off  a continent-wide scare against all produce, suspected to be the source  of the infection.
[…] Germ sleuths might also trace back the source of the outbreak to a specific herd of cattle or even a single heffer, a so-called “smoking cow” in whose bowels the e.coli festered and mutated. The cow’s manure could  have also tainted irrigation waters, which could have then lead to  produce becoming contaminated with the bacteria.
Then there’s the worries that such an  outbreak could occur in the US. The FDA has increased its monitoring of  produce imported from Europe, although not very much is brought over.  But the bigger concern is that right now we only test the food supply  for a single strain of E.coli that up until now was thought the most  dangerous. There’s a multitude of other kinds of E.colis out there that  we don’t test for, and that’s where a stateside “super-toxic” E.coli  could erupt from.
“There are no regulations in place today  that would prevent this kind of outbreak from occurring,” in America,  the Center for Science in the Public Interest told NPR.
Read more…

Antibiotics are used to promote growth in cattle and other animals in the food chain. In June of last year, “The  Food and Drug Administration urged farmers on Monday to stop giving  antibiotics to cattle, poultry, hogs and other animals to spur their  growth, citing concern that drug overuse is helping to create dangerous  bacteria that do not respond to medical treatment and endanger human  lives.”

The Union of Concerned Scientists  estimates that 70 percent of antibiotics and related drugs used in the  United States are given to animals.
Many of the same classes of drugs fed to  animals are deemed “critically” important in human medicine by the FDA,  including penicillin, tetracyclines and sulfonamides. In recent years,  public health experts say there has been an alarming increase in the  number of bacteria that have grown resistant to antibiotics, leading to  severe, untreatable illnesses in humans.

Antibiotics are probably a much less expensive way to grow livestock than if one used food and water combined with TIME.  How did the FDA proposal turn out? A year later no decision has yet been made, and the GOP has determined the budgets for the FDA and USDA should be cut.
Related:
A new strain of drug-resistant Staph has been discovered
The GOP wants to cut funding to the USDA and the FDA

    A new strain of antibiotic-resistant E.Coli has left 18 dead in Europe

    An antibiotic-resistant strain of E.Coli to go along with that new strain of drug-resistant Staph that I mentioned yesterday:

    A virulent strain of antibiotic-resistant E.coli has left 18 dead in Europe, left over 1,800 sick, and touched off a continent-wide scare against all produce, suspected to be the source of the infection.

    […] Germ sleuths might also trace back the source of the outbreak to a specific herd of cattle or even a single heffer, a so-called “smoking cow” in whose bowels the e.coli festered and mutated. The cow’s manure could have also tainted irrigation waters, which could have then lead to produce becoming contaminated with the bacteria.

    Then there’s the worries that such an outbreak could occur in the US. The FDA has increased its monitoring of produce imported from Europe, although not very much is brought over. But the bigger concern is that right now we only test the food supply for a single strain of E.coli that up until now was thought the most dangerous. There’s a multitude of other kinds of E.colis out there that we don’t test for, and that’s where a stateside “super-toxic” E.coli could erupt from.

    “There are no regulations in place today that would prevent this kind of outbreak from occurring,” in America, the Center for Science in the Public Interest told NPR.

    Read more…

    Antibiotics are used to promote growth in cattle and other animals in the food chain. In June of last year, “The Food and Drug Administration urged farmers on Monday to stop giving antibiotics to cattle, poultry, hogs and other animals to spur their growth, citing concern that drug overuse is helping to create dangerous bacteria that do not respond to medical treatment and endanger human lives.”

    The Union of Concerned Scientists estimates that 70 percent of antibiotics and related drugs used in the United States are given to animals.

    Many of the same classes of drugs fed to animals are deemed “critically” important in human medicine by the FDA, including penicillin, tetracyclines and sulfonamides. In recent years, public health experts say there has been an alarming increase in the number of bacteria that have grown resistant to antibiotics, leading to severe, untreatable illnesses in humans.

    Antibiotics are probably a much less expensive way to grow livestock than if one used food and water combined with TIME.  How did the FDA proposal turn out? A year later no decision has yet been made, and the GOP has determined the budgets for the FDA and USDA should be cut.

    Related:

    — 2 years ago with 1 note
    #news  #science  #politics  #18 dead  #1800 sick  #antibiotic resistant  #drug resistant  #e.coli  #Europe  #FDA  #new strain  #super-toxic E.coli  #USDA 
    Republican-run House committee slashes funding to USDA, FDA and other agencies by 14%
But of course there are exactly zero suggestions to  cut defense, retire the tax cuts for the rich, or to quit subsidizing  oil companies with our shrinking federal revenue. Besides, who needs  safe food or drugs?
Taxpayer spending on the Agriculture  Department, the Food and Drug Administration, and several smaller  agencies would be cumulatively slashed by 14 percent next year under a  spending bill approved Tuesday by the House Appropriations Committee.
Full story…

    Republican-run House committee slashes funding to USDA, FDA and other agencies by 14%

    But of course there are exactly zero suggestions to cut defense, retire the tax cuts for the rich, or to quit subsidizing oil companies with our shrinking federal revenue. Besides, who needs safe food or drugs?

    Taxpayer spending on the Agriculture Department, the Food and Drug Administration, and several smaller agencies would be cumulatively slashed by 14 percent next year under a spending bill approved Tuesday by the House Appropriations Committee.

    Full story…

    — 2 years ago with 12 notes
    #politics  #news  #budget cuts  #dod  #FDA  #GOP  #House Appropriations Committee  #oil subsidies  #public debt  #Republicans  #tax cuts for the wealthy  #tea party  #USDA  #wars 
    It all makes perfect sense: Anthony Weiner’s weiner
There’s no question that Anthony Weiner would post a racy pic on his YFrog account. What’s there to lose? And anyway, Rep. Weiner has always given off that lewd vibe, hasn’t he?
Secondly, have we ever known Andrew Breitbart, or his excellent website, to steer us wrong? Ever?
Certainly it couldn’t possibly be retaliation for Weiner’s rather popular YouTube rants against Republicans and Breitbart’s “mission.” No way.

    It all makes perfect sense: Anthony Weiner’s weiner

    There’s no question that Anthony Weiner would post a racy pic on his YFrog account. What’s there to lose? And anyway, Rep. Weiner has always given off that lewd vibe, hasn’t he?

    Secondly, have we ever known Andrew Breitbart, or his excellent website, to steer us wrong? Ever?

    Certainly it couldn’t possibly be retaliation for Weiner’s rather popular YouTube rants against Republicans and Breitbart’s “mission.” No way.

    — 2 years ago with 4 notes
    #news  #politics  #journalism  #weinergate  #5th grade  #acorn  #Andrew Breitbart  #Anthony Weiner  #big government  #breitbartocalypse  #james o'keefe  #journalism  #racy pic  #Shirley Sherrod  #USDA  #weiner  #weiner jokes  #yfrog