The public is very confused about Food Safety. Many folks have been conditioned by marketers to believe myths. Unfortunately, like the more conventional food marketers, even the "health food" marketers get caught up in "stretching the truth." For instance, I've seen candy bars on display at conventions for nutritionists that had hydrogenated oils in them. Guess what the nutritionists were gobbling up. Yeah. Disgusting. There is a lot of smoke and mirrors in the "organic" label business. I could beat this horse for awhile. The point is, food safety is more complicated than most folks know. By and large, food in the USA is amongst the best in the world for food safety. But we all must be careful because the cleanest home kitchens are rarely as clean as food processing plants. So, these articles will be prompted by news articles and the commentary is designed to explore the big picture.
This is a copy of a release from Pet Product News.
Wet Summer Leads to Aflatoxin Recalls of Dog Food
Posted: Feb. 9, 2012, 12:05 p.m. EST
This article was posted on Drover's Web site under Industry News.Bee Sting More Deadly than Antibiotic RiskBy Geni Wren | Thursday, February 11, 2010
In February 2010 the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric aired a two-part series on antibiotics in animal agriculture. An abbreviated summary of the presentations can be found here.
According to livestock industry, veterinary and scientific experts, the information presented about the use of antibiotics in livestock was fraught with misinformation, speculation, and inaccuracies. “The CBS report was rather short on facts and science and long on speculation,” said Dr. Richard Carnevale, veterinarian and vice president, Regulatory, Scientific and International Affairs, Animal Health Institute, in a media conference call on Feb. 11.
Americans are sick, sick, sick. Most of their diseases – mental and physical – are chronic diseases which are body failures. Nearly 100% of all body failures can be attributed to eating “nutritionally deficient” foods.
As the realization has sunk in over the years that the cause of chronic disease is the food one eats, many consumers have chosen to strike out at the source – modern agriculture. Amazingly, they blame most if not all of the amazingly sophisticated practices modern farmers and ranchers employ as reasons for why they are sick.
This lynch-mob-like reaction doesn't even begin to take into account that there's just a tiny fraction of the total citizenry employed in agriculture today and they produce enough food to feed 316,000,000 people here in the United States alone – three meals a day! And they are doing it with fewer land resources per mouth fed than at any time since the dawn of agriculture. The food produced in the United States still ranks as amongst the safest in the world and its cost is the lowest in the world in terms of disposable income. Instead of praising this modern agricultural miracle, many misguided consumers actually wants to destroy it – in their quest for improving the nutritional characteristics of the foods they eat.
WASHINGTON, April 24, 2012 – USDA Chief Veterinary Officer John Clifford today released the following statement on the detection of BSE in the United States:
"As part of our targeted surveillance system, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has confirmed the nation's fourth case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in a dairy cow from central California. The carcass of the animal is being held under State authority at a rendering facility in California and will be destroyed. It was never presented for slaughter for human consumption, so at no time presented a risk to the food supply or human health. Additionally, milk does not transmit BSE.
"The United States has had longstanding interlocking safeguards to protect human and animal health against BSE. For public health, these measures include the USDA ban on specified risk materials, or SRMs, from the food supply. SRMs are parts of the animal that are most likely to contain the BSE agent if it is present in an animal. USDA also bans all nonambulatory (sometimes called "downer") cattle from entering the human food chain. For animal health, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ban on ruminant material in cattle feed prevents the spread of the disease in the cattle herd.
UNITED STATES: FDA traces the contaminated spinach, which sickened nearly 200 people, to a beef cattle ranch in California.
Last month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) alerted consumers about fresh spinach that may have been contaminated with E. coli. The FDA later determined that the contaminating bacteria was E. coli O154:H7 – the same deadly strain that often contaminates ground beef.
To date, 199 people in 26 states became ill after eating the fresh spinach – 103 required hospitalization and three people died.
UNITED STATES: American Meat Institute Foundation President James Hodges responds to yesterday’s MeatNews article on recent research regarding a possible connection between nitrates in hot dogs and cancer.
The August 16 issue of MeatNews contained an article titled “Hot Dogs Linked to Cancer” that highlights research by Dr. Sidney Mirvish of the James Hodges, president of the American Meat Institute Foundation, Washington, D.C., issued the following comments about this MeatNews article:
“This study in no way reflects real-world hot dog manufacturing or nitrite use in hot dogs or cured meats broadly. In creating his “hot dog patties” for the study, Dr. Mirvish has used an extremely high level of nitrite--far higher than those used in today’s cured meats. In his study, he also does not add ascorbate or erythorbate, which are forms of vitamin C, which are commonly added to today’s cured meats. Vitamin C actually prevents nitrosamine formation.