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Entries in FDA (3)


The People's Summit: Bernie Sanders, Divest Your Plate!

I'm thrilled to be going to the People's Summit in Chicago next week. Today, the organizers gave us a chance to submit a question to Senator Bernie Sanders, who will be the keynote speaker on Saturday. Here's what I wrote:

Dear Senator Sanders, our diet feeds climate change, high health care costs, and personal misery. According to the United Nations, animal agriculture is the largest source of greenhouse gases. Few Americans eat enough fruits and vegetables to ward off preventable cases of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and early death. What steps would you take to change our agricultural subsidies, public food purchases, and nutrition education to move Americans toward a more plant-based diet?

This question seems more important than ever now that the United States has shamefully pulled out of the Paris Climate Accords. If our government won't work with the rest of the world to avert environmental disaster, then it's up to us. We can make a real difference by voting with our forks.

Divest Your Plate: Local, Organic, Plants, Fair Labor, Less Waste

My Dream Answer

Here's an answer that would have me dancing in the aisle at the People's Summit. Bernie, please feel free to use it. Everyone else, please share.

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FDA asks for comments on proposed new food labels

Here's some good news: the FDA is proposing improvements to the food labels which were first required twenty years ago. These are real improvements, ones that make the labels more honest and easier to read. The primary proposal is good and the alternative label is even better. (See example before and after labels below.) Neither proposal mentions genetically modified ingredients or consolidates information on the confusing UDSA Certified Organic seal.

Comments are open on the new label design through June 2nd. You can bet your last Oreo that the corporations are weighing in, so let's make sure the FDA also hears from people who want to eat healthy, real food. See below for details on the proposal and how to comment.

Current label compared to primary proposal

The new label makes it harder for manufacturers to use ridiculous portion sizes to disguise unhealthy food. (The serving size for Fig Newtons is ...

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NC Food Safety Forum: Good Laws & Actions, but Budget Cuts Ahead

When I registered for the  North Carolina Food Safety Forum, held today in the Research Triangle Park, I asked whether the free lunch would be vegetarian friendly. We haven't thought about the menu yet, came the reply, but we'll keep that in mind. When I saw the tchotchkes, snack cakes, soft drinks, and bowls of candy awaiting participants this morning, I decided not to stay for lunch.

But I am glad that I attended this interesting forum on illness caused by food-borne bacteria, viruses, and other contaminants, even if it didn't address illness caused by eating unhealthy but sanitary food. When people talk about cutting funding to the government, I always wonder if they realize the importance of food inspectors and the work that goes into creating a safe and reliable food supply.

Read below for highlights of how the U.S. budget may affect food safety, how the FDA's new powers will lead to safer food, how good agricultural practices make produce safer, and how the Food Safety Taskforce reacted to recent tornadoes in North Carolina.

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