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San Francisco Upstages the USDA, the FDA and Congress

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Touch the Soil News #831 (Feature photo – New to this Era of Americanism, when it comes to food issues (and other issues), is the upstaging by cities, counties and states of the federal institutions that historically have been the power brokers over our food. Recently, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed an ordinance that requires large food retailers to disclose details about antibiotic use in the meats they sell. The new city ordinance – which was unanimously passed by the Board of Supervisors – will become law later this month. It is no surprise that industrial agricultural interests are in opposition. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention…

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It’s a Porker

JEFO-Pigs

Touch the Soil News #827 (Feature photo – J.D. Bunod – public domain) This year, 2017, Americas some 60,000 pig farmers have been operating under a new antibiotics use law. The new law does not allow pork producers to administer antibiotics that are medically important to humans of their own volition. Instead, the administration of medically important antibiotics to pigs can now only be done with the supervision an approval of a veterinarian. This does, however, not solve the larger public preference of moving to meat totally absent from antibiotic use. Called The FDA Guidance 209 and 213, it seems that pig farmers have adjusted to having more veterinarian oversight…

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Antibiotics in Meat – How Does Your Favorite Restaurant Score?

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Touch the Soil News #496 (feature photo courtesy of Center for Food Safety) Social protest in the food chain is not only growing, but it is becoming organized. Recently, a number of high-profile non-profits joined forces to produce a report card that grades major restaurant chains on efforts to move to antibiotic free meat in their restaurant chains. The cooperating organizations include the Natural Resources Defense Council, Consumers Union, Friends of the Earth, Center for Food Safety, Food Animal Concerns Trust and Keep Antibiotics Working. You can download the full report here: http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/reports/4471/chain-reaction-2016-how-top-restaurants-rate-on-reducing-use-of-antibiotics-in-their-meat-supply In a nutshell, here are the grades for America’s 25 largest fast food and fast casual restaurant…

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Was the Farmer Right in the First Place – Battle of the Animal Drugs

photo courtesy of FDA

Touch the Soil News #207 A number of years ago, as an agricultural credit officer for one of the nation’s largest agricultural banks; I opened my mouth and got told off by a dairy farmer. As part of my duties, I spent time visiting farming enterprises that had “promise” in becoming a customer of the bank. This time I was visiting with a dairy farmer who banked with another bank. He was successful and had a 2,500-cow dairy close to a large population center. At the time, I had a burning question about why the heavy use of antibiotics in dairy and meat animals. For a little background, many dairies…

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