With a stated goal of confronting food and agriculture policy issues in the face of global uncertainty, an initiative called AGree was launched recently by a broad-based coalition of leading industry figures. Citing challenges like a rapidly increasing global population, limited arable land, pressure on fresh water quality and availability and environmental degradation, the initiative’s organizers say this is a pivotal time to be addressing policy issues.
Washington, D.C.—In an effort to stem the wastefulness and risks to consumer health associated with meat product recalls, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has initiated a new rule that will prevent meat processors from shipping to stores until safety tests are returned.
Newark, DE—While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) develops its own produce tracing program as is now required by law, a program already established by several produce industry groups, the Produce Traceability Initiative (PTI), is forging ahead with its own “track-and-trace” system.
At the April 26–29 meeting of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) in Seattle, WA, committee members planned to consider various proposals that would have a major impact on how the National Organic Program is run. One proposal that could prove contentious is for the allowance of synthetic materials in organic products, without prior safety review by FDA or approval by USDA.
Austin, TX—Whole Foods Market Inc. will now feature animal welfare ratings on meat products in all of its stores. The rating system, created by the nonprofit Global Animal Partnership (GAP), is designed to let shoppers learn more about how animals are treated by a manufacturer.
A genetically modified (GM) strain of alfalfa, engineered to survive the application of Roundup herbicide, has been fully deregulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). In a separate move one week later, USDA allowed farmers to plant GM sugar beets while it finishes working on an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for that crop.
Packaging for many ground or chopped meat and poultry products will now feature nutrition facts panels, according to a new rule established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Forty of the most common cuts of meat, as well as whole, raw meat and poultry products will be required to present this information on a label, or have the nutrition facts available at the point-of-purchase. The rule is to become effective on Jan. 1, 2012.