Washington, D.C.—The Food Safety Modernization Act, since WholeFoods last updated its status in January, has been signed into law by President Barack Obama. But, the new year has brought some challenges to the implementation of the new law’s measures. The Act, which broadens the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) power to regulate food safety, has an uncertain future in terms of funding.
New York, NY—The United Nations (UN) Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has further increased existing concern over world food supply and prices by announcing alarming predictions for the near future. FAO chief economist Abdolreza Abbassian summarized the situation in a widely-circulated statement, saying ,“We are entering danger territory.”
Brattleboro, VT—A jointly sponsored study by the Organic Trade Association (OTA) and KIWI magazine found that U.S. families are enjoying organic food in greater quantities and in a broader range of categories. Some 41% of parents reported buying more organic food than in the previous year, and over three-quarters of U.S. households were found to use some organic products.
A federal judge has deemed the continued planting of genetically modified (GM) sugar beets, supplied solely by Monsanto, to be in violation of a previous court order, and ruled that the current GM crop should be plowed under. U.S. District Court Judge Jeffrey White of San Francisco ruled that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) had permitted Monsanto to plant the beets despite a previous ruling by him requiring that USDA complete an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the beets before planting.
Boulder, CO—The practice of grass-based, environmentally friendly organic dairy farming is better for cows’ health, and leads to better quality milk, too, according to a recent report. The research, conducted by The Organic Center and published under the title, “A Dairy Farm’s Footprint,” presents the conclusions that organic dairy farms support healthier, less stressed, more frequently lactating and longer-living cows. Organic dairies also have a smaller carbon footprint than high-production, conventional dairies (with manure methane emissions reduced by 60% to 80%) and produce milk with a superior nutritional profile.
Reports indicate that food retail prices in nearly every category are in for higher-than-average inflation in 2011. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has said that for all food, prices are expected to rise 2–3%, nearly double the 2010 increase. Meat prices are predicted to approach a 3.5% hike, and dairy a 5.5% jump.