food safety

Resuscitating Obama’s Environmental Legacy

Trump has had a single-minded focus on eliminating any traces of Obama’s presidency. But it’s not too late to turn the tide.

We’ve now had nearly four years of Trump’s all-out war on environmental protection. Trump has single-mindedly tried  to wipe out every trace of Obama’s legacy.  It’s time to see what’s left of Obama’s achievements. And what could a new President do to revive his legacy? In a Legal Planet post a week before the last …

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From the Grand Canyon to Contaminated Cantaloupes – and More

Five books with fresh perspectives on environmental issues.

Law reviews make little effort to track new books, unlike other journals in other disciplines . So it’s pretty much hit-or-miss whether you learn about relevant new books.  I wanted to share some interesting finds that have crossed my desk, joined a growing pile of unread books, and then slowly left the pile. The subjects …

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The Thin Gray Line

Few people understand the role that the bureaucracy plays in keeping us safe.

“Bureaucrat” is just another name for public servant. It has been said that a thin blue line of police protects us from the worst elements of society. But it is a thin gray line of underpaid, overworked, anonymous bureaucrats who protect society against more insidious risks — risks ranging from nuclear contamination to climate change to …

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Nutrition & Food Safety at Trump’s FDA

I posted earlier about an FDA move to remove nicotine from cigarettes in the hope of preventing addiction. FDA is also moving forward on some food nutrition issues. That makes FDA’s Commission, Scott Gottlieb, an oasis of sanity within the Trump Administration. First, as of May, FDA will begin enforcing a regulation requiring restaurants to …

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The Dietary Supplement Scandal

There are 65,000 dietary supplements on the market, and almost half the population uses at least one of them. Americans spent $13 billion on dietary supplements last year, according to the Washington Post.  There are disturbing indications that nearly all  that money is wasted — or to put it more bluntly, that the industry is essentially …

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FDA Discretion and Animal Antibiotics

FDA has stalled for 30 years in regulating antibiotics in animal feed. A court says that’s O.K.

The FDA seems to be convinced that current use of antibiotics in animal feed is a threat to human health. But the Second Circuit ruled recently in NRDC v. FDA that EPA has no duty to consider banning their use.  That may seem ridiculous, but actually it’s a very close case legally.  The court’s discussion of Massachusetts …

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The Food Safety Paradox

As Tom McGarity documents in his recent book, Freedom to Harm, the American food safety system is in disarray.  You’d think we’d all be wiped out by food poisoning.  Yet, the rate of sickness caused by bad food seems to have remained constant since the mid-nineties.  What’s going on? McGarity and others are right about the …

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A Second Helping of Chicken and Salmonella

Food safety levels leave plenty of room at the table for salmonella

Last week on Legal Planet, Dan Farber posted about the surprising regulatory inattention paid to food safety, using as example the latest chicken salmonella outbreaks in the U.S. (see “Playing Chicken with Food Safety,” 10/20/13).  This post picks up from there, to mention that while the recent incidents highlight the chicken-salmonella problem, they don’t quite …

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Playing Chicken With Food Safety

Food safety doesn’t get the attention it deserves from regulators. Case in point: the latest Salmonella outbreak.

Food safety is something of a step-child of U.S. regulation.  The public obviously cares about it, but it lacks the kind of attention from advocacy groups that the environment gets.  The results have not been pretty. Food safety is divided between the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (for …

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Protecting the Safety of Food Imports

Food safety, particularly for imported foods, is a serious problems.  Help is on the way — but slowly, very slowly. According to the NY Times: About 15 percent of food that Americans eat comes from abroad, more than double what it was just 10 years ago, including nearly two-thirds of fresh fruits and vegetables. And …

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