Food Safety

Bad Brains: Mad Cow Cover-Up?

"The United States did not properly analyze two suspected cases of mad cow disease in 1997," reported Canada's CBC News. The U.S. Department of Agriculture veterinarian who investigated the cases, Dr.

T-Bones of Contention

The Meat Promotion Coalition, a group of meat packers and agribusiness companies seeking "to block the U.S. Department of Agriculture from requiring meat to be packaged with a country-of-origin label," is circulating a position paper among Washington DC policymakers.

You Don't Know Where that Meat Has Been

"The Meat Promotion Coalition has been formed in the office of Washington's top agriculture (public affairs) / lobby firm, Lesher & Russell," reports O'Dwyer's. Coalition members include Tyson Foods, Hormel Foods, Cargill, the National Catttlemen's Beef Association, National Pork Producers, American Meat Institute, National Meat Association, and American Farm Bureau Federation.

Mad Cow: Trade War of Words

Ongoing litigation to keep the U.S. border closed to Canadian beef and cattle, following three cases of mad cow disease there, has prompted renewed PR efforts. The Alberta Beef Producers hired Fleishman-Hillard, to help "reopen the U.S.

Not So "Firewall," After All

"We believe FDA is overstating industry's compliance with the animal feed ban and understating the potential risk of (mad cow disease) for U.S.

Beans Means Cash

British celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has admitted accepting £15,000 ($US28,000) from Heinz as part of a product placement deal in which he agreed to include an up-market version of baked beans on toast on the menu at his restaurant. "I should have been brighter," Oliver told The Independent. The success of Oliver’s television cooking program, The Naked Chef, has led to three books and a follow up television series.

Oh, Canada!

Canada confirmed its third case of mad cow disease, just two weeks after its last case and after the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced plans to normalize cattle and beef trade with Canada.

Petition from Fired Fox Journalists

PR Watch has reported in the past on the story of Jane Akre and Steve Wilson, two former investigative reporters at Fox TV's affiliate station in Tampa Bay, Florida who say the network ordered them to broadcast false and distorted news reports regarding the Monsanto company's genetically-engineered bovine growth hormone.

Feeding Cows to Cows, One Year Later

An alarming, but not surprising, investigation in today's Vancouver Sun illustrates why the mad cow feed rules in both Canada and the US are completely inadequate.

The paper reports that "secret tests on cattle feed conducted by a federal agency earlier this year found more than half contained animal parts not listed in the ingredients, according to internal documents obtained by the Vancouver Sun. The test results raise questions about whether rules banning the feeding of cattle remains to other cattle -- the primary way in which mad cow disease is spread -- are being routinely violated. ... Controlled experiments have shown an animal needs to consume as little as one milligram -- about the size of a grain of sand -- of material contaminated with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) to develop the brain-wasting disease."

Modify the Apples Without Upsetting the Cart

The debate around genetically modified organisms "is fragmenting global food markets and putting political pressure on food exporters to choose between producing natural" or GMO crops. As "big biotech companies ... are looking for growth opportunities in Asia to compensate for the problems they have encountered in European markets," Thailand developed "a seven-year plan to ... [become] a regional biotech hub." The Thai government "commissioned a team of U.S.

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