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Food Recalls Skyrocket

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Touch the Soil News #476 Employing improved methods of detecting food poisoning, the FDA is finding a whole lot more food that must be recalled. For the second quarter of 2016, food recalls are up 167 percent over the first quarter. This massive recall event was driven primarily by one incident – the CRF Frozen Foods recall of fruit and vegetables across 42 brands in all 50 states. The real kicker was that CRF suspect vegetables (for listeria) were present in almost 50 million pounds of meat products by Ajimoto Windsor. Ajimoto recalled 47 million pounds of meat products as a result. FDA food recalls and food poisoning events are…

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FDA Warning Letter to Whole Foods Markets, Inc.

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Touch the Soil News #418 Whole Foods Market always seemed like a good place to start when trying to eat healthier and safer foods. Earlier this year (2/16/2016), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) undertook an inspection of Whole Foods’ North Atlantic Kitchen in Everett, Massachusetts. The Kitchen’s Facebook page explains that it supplies made-to-order food destined to over 65 Whole Foods stores in Massachusetts, Maine, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York and New Jersey. The results of that inspection were conveyed via a formal warning letter from the FDA on June 8, 2016 addressed to John Mackey and Walter Robb – Co CEOs. The FDA said that Whole Foods had…

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The Fight Against FDA-Approved GMO Salmon Heats Up

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Touch the Soil News #413 Last November, the Food and Drug Administration approved the genetically engineered salmon from AquaBounty Technologies. The company’s operations are in Canada, but its corporate headquarters are in Maynard, Massachusetts. A broad coalition of environmental, consumer and commercial and recreational fishing organizations are suing the USDA for approving the first-ever genetically engineered salmon. The salmon contains DNA from three fish creating a rapid weight-gain animal. Suing the FDA are the following groups: Center for Food Safety Earth Justice Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations Institute for Fisheries Resources Golden Gate Salmon Association Kennebec Reborn Friends of Merrymeeting Bay Ecology Action Center Food and Water Watch Center…

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Food Recalls – Too Prevalent for Comfort

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Touch the Soil News #347 There is not enough space in our news columns to report the volume of food recalls taking place in the U.S. – 1 to 2 a day. Following are just a few of the recent recalls that provide ample insight to why more people are giving industrial and corporate food more scrutiny. 4/2/16 – Cashews with glass pieces Snyder’s-Lance Inc. is recalling some of its Emerald brand cashews. The problem started when a customer complained of the glass. Investigations are now underway. 4/2/16 – Glass in cans Roland Foods, LLC – in cooperation with the manufacturer in Peru – is recalling specific lots of Fire…

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Weird Food Happenings

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Touch the Soil News # 177 Over the course of the past few weeks the nation’s food chain has been in a flurry of recalls due to the weirdest of causes. In addition, Salmonella and Listeria issues seem to be off the Richter scale. Is it the full moon or Halloween on the horizon? See if you can make sense of what’s been happening from all of these FDA reports: 8/25/215 │ Macadamia Nuts Jansai Valley Raw Macademia Nuts, distributed nationwide in retails stores and mail orders are possibly contaminated with Salmonella and are being recalled.   8/26/15 │ Cut Green Beans Cascadian Farm Cut Green Beans in 10 ounce…

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The Innate Potato – A GMO Creature Working to Come Out of the Test Tube

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Touch the Soil News #171 Last Friday, August 28, 2015, the USDA gave the green light for the Innate potato (a genetically modified potato) by giving it a “no regulated status.” In essence, J.R. Simplot Company – the creator of the Innate potato – is free to move forward to the next regulatory steps at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The Innate potato technology supposedly makes the potato less likely to black spot bruising and resists late blight. Late blight is a potato disease that infects plants during the growing season – causing the plant to prematurely die. Haven Baker, Vice President of plant sciences at Simplot said that…

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Oversights, Carelessness and Corruption Compromise Food

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Touch the Soil News #164 The title of this news piece almost reminds one of politics – an activity surrounded by perils, corruption and unsafe practices. One of the investigative themes we cover in Touch the Soil News relates to compromises in the food chain – a scary thought. Yet, it is these kinds of discoveries that support trends for decentralization, localization and transparency – even if it means starting your own food garden for a portion of your nutritional needs. Following are a few highlights from events unfolding within the last 30 days (sources: FDA and Food Safety News): 8/21/15 │ Alphin Brothers – a North Carolina seafood processor…

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Food Gardening – What is the Attitude of the Food and Drug Administration?

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For many years food production by home food gardeners, community gardeners and urban farmers has been on the rise. According to the National Gardening Association, growing food at home or in a community garden is up 17 percent over the past 5 years.  In 1994, there were 1,755 farmer’s markets in the U.S. By 2014 there were 8,268 farmers markets, an almost five-fold increase. Purchases of organic foods, absent many of the food additives that are causing concern are expected to grow at an annual rate of 14 percent from 2013 to 2018. The Organic Trade Association estimates that about 81 percent of families are purchasing organic food at least…

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