All the News That’s Fit to Eat: Obama Acts on Antibiotics, Cargill Sues Syngenta, and a Winery Shutters

Check out some of the food news stories that grabbed our attention this week.

1. White House Unveils Plan to Curb Antibiotic Resistance (Various)

President Obama released a plan to combat the rise of antibiotic resistant bacteria, a problem the administration says poses a “serious threat to public health, national security, and the economy.” Highlights of the plan include a report that outlines goals and strategies to combat the issue, as well as an executive order that creates a task force and advisory council to put those strategies into action. While the effort undoubtedly sheds light on the crisis of antibiotic resistance, which costs the U.S. economy at least $20 billion a year, some critics argue that the plan doesn’t put enough pressure on one of the biggest culprits: animal agriculture. Livestock and poultry companies routinely feed unnecessary antibiotics to animals, both to fatten them for slaughter and to prevent disease, and this practice has dramatic implications for antibiotic use among humans. Rather than giving the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the regulatory muscle to curb overuse of antibiotics, critics argue, the plan merely continues to advise companies to stop using antibiotics for growth promotion. Advocates point out that livestock and poultry producers can maintain current levels of antibiotic use simply by attributing use to “disease prevention.” Read more

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All the News That’s Fit to Eat: GMO “Fish Oil,” Cheap Eats, & Oyster Politics

Even in the dog days of summer, the food news keeps coming. Here’s what caught our eye this week.

1. Missouri Approves “Right to Farm” Amendment By Narrow Margin, Recount Possible (New York Times)

The amendment, which provides large farms with protection against regulation of practices such as the use of genetically engineered seeds and animal confinement, passed with 50.1 percent of the vote or 2,528 votes (less than one-half of one percent). Read more

All the News That’s Fit to Eat: New Poultry Rules, GMO-Resistant Bugs, and Climate-Friendly Cheerios

It’s summer, but that doesn’t mean food news stops. Below, we share some of the top news stories of the week.

1. USDA Overhauls Poultry Inspection Rules (The Hill)

After more than two years of proposals and push-back by advocates, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) moved to put new poultry inspection rules in place yesterday. The voluntary rules would result in companies providing their own inspectors (while keeping one from the USDA in every plant), making it essentially a move to privatize the inspections. It will also mean fewer inspectors per plants, with each inspector looking at 140 birds per minute. Read more

All the News That’s Fit to Eat: Vanishing GMOs, Global Meat, and a Win for Wild Salmon

1. U.S. Court Upholds FDA Animal Feed Policy Despite Health Concern (Reuters)

Back in 2012, two district courts rules in favor of lawsuits brought by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and a group of affiliated public health groups, saying the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) had to act to address antibiotic overuse in livestock. It was an important win on paper because the federal agency has known about the dangers of unnecessary use of these drugs for growth promotion and disease prevention since the 1970s, but has hedged on passing regulations with any real teeth since then. Read more

All the News That’s Fit to Eat: Intersex Fish, Disappearing Birds, and Lab-Made Milk

Here’s what caught our eye in food news this week:

1. Food Safety Advocates Welcome, Criticize Foster Farms’ First-Ever Recall of Salmonella Chicken (The Oregonian)

Last week, just before the holiday weekend, Foster Farms recalled over a million pounds of chicken. But some food safety advocates feel it’s too little too late after a 16-month-long salmonella outbreak that has sickened nearly 625 people. The company insists that that it has begun to enact new food safety procedures but the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has raised questions about how effective they are. Read more