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Plants Tied to Salmonella Outbreak Can Stay Open

USDA says conditions have improved

(Newser) - The three California processing plants linked to the salmonella outbreak that has sickened nearly 300 people in 18 states will be allowed to stay open, the AP reports. USDA inspectors will conduct "intensified samplings" at the Foster Farms facilities for the next three months, but they're satisfied for...

Salmonella Hits 18 States —With CDC Shut Down

About 300 people have been sickened by chicken

(Newser) - A salmonella outbreak involving chicken has sickened about 300 people in 18 states, most of them in California, reports the AP . Authorities issued an alert for chicken packaged at one of three Foster Farms operations in California with a USDA mark of P6137, P6137A, or P7632. Here's the fun...

Fecal Matter on Meat at Plants Using New USDA System

3 of 5 pork plants in pilot program have terrible safety records

(Newser) - A disturbing, extensive Washington Post piece today reveals that the USDA hopes to implement a program nationwide that allows pork plants to process meat in less time while using fewer USDA safety inspectors—despite the fact that three of the five plants that have used the new meat inspection approach...

Feds Demand Magician Submit Rabbit 'Disaster Plan'

USDA backtracks on rule after case publicized

(Newser) - Marty the Magician is no stranger to red tape—the Department of Agriculture has long required him to have a license for the rabbit he uses in his act—but even he was surprised when the government ordered him to pull a rabbit disaster plan out of his hat. Under...

Outlaw Raisin Farmer Defies Uncle Sam

 Outlaw Raisin Farmer 
 Defies Uncle Sam 

Outlaw Raisin Farmer Defies Uncle Sam

For 11 years, Marvin Horne has refused to turn over crop to 'raisin reserve'

(Newser) - Get ready to read the weirdest fact you're likely to encounter all month: There exists in our country a national raisin reserve. And a 68-year-old California raisin farmer has spent the last 11 years fighting it. The Washington Post reports the very unusual and very fascinating story of Marvin...

Now, You'll Know if Your Meat Has Been Eating GMOs

USDA approves new label

(Newser) - Let's say you're the sort who avoids genetically modified food. How do you know your steak has been exercising the same restraint? Until now, you didn't, but now the USDA has approved a non-GMO label for meat and "liquid egg products," the New York Times...

Agriculture's Rising Force: Female Farmers

Women now account for 30% of US farmers

(Newser) - One of the biggest changes in agriculture isn't so much about what type of seeds are being planted as who is planting them: women. Grist expands on a USDA study showing that the number of farms run by women has nearly tripled in the last three decades. Add in...

Chicken Plants to Douse Birds With More Chemicals

 Chicken Plants to 
 Douse Birds With 
 More Chemicals 

Chicken Plants to Douse Birds With More Chemicals

Because USDA is set to OK increase conveyor belt speeds

(Newser) - The Washington Post has a lengthy, appetite-killing story about new rules set to go into place at US poultry plants that are likely to result in an increase in chemicals used to treat the birds. The USDA is expected to allow plants' processing lines to move even faster later this...

Feds to Beef Up Horse-Meat Testing

USDA says move is response to recent events, consumer concerns

(Newser) - With horse meat having turned up in foods all across Europe , the USDA said yesterday it will step up its "species testing" on meat imports, reports NBC News . In the past, such testing only occurred when there was a reason to doubt the purity of a shipment. Though the...

USDA: Time for 'Sea Change' in Fighting Pests

Officials release list of top 15 threats

(Newser) - Pests are causing billions of dollars of agricultural damage—the Asian citrus psyllid alone has cost Florida growers $4.5 billion—and it's time for a "sea change" in how we deal with them. Today, the USDA is releasing its list of the top 15 pest threats, USA ...

How the USDA Hacked the Sequester

Tom Vilsack got $55M in new money for meat inspectors

(Newser) - There's no way to get out of the sequester's mandatory budget cuts, right? Wrong—at least for the USDA. Just three weeks after the sequester hit, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack found a way around it, snagging $55 million in new money for meat inspectors—just about the same...

Forget Europe: US May OK Horse Meat Plant

It hasn't been processed here in 6 years

(Newser) - What timing: With Europe trying to rein in a horse meat scandal , the US may give the green light to a horse slaughtering plant in New Mexico. The facility, which would produce horse meat that's safe to eat, could get Agriculture Department approval within the next two months, the...

Are You Eating Horse Meat?
 Are You Eating 
 Horse Meat? 

Are You Eating Horse Meat?

Officials doubt it, but horse-meat tests are flying off shelves

(Newser) - With Nestle stung by the horse-meat scandal , you may wonder whether unwanted cheval has reached your dinner table. Federal US regulators say it's unlikely, because domestic suppliers don't slaughter horses and Washington doesn't allow imported beef from European countries affected by the scandal, reports NBC News . That...

Sorry, USDA Employees: No More Deep-Fried Lunch

Cafeterias will adhere more closely to USDA's dietary guidelines

(Newser) - For years, the USDA has been giving Americans dietary guidelines—and now USDA workers will have to start living by those guidelines, at least during lunchtime. The cafeterias at the Agriculture Department's DC headquarters have gotten a makeover, and the most headline-worthy change is that the deep fryers have...

Animal Cruelty Found at Harvard Labs

Monkeys, mice, die thanks to inhumane, careless treatment

(Newser) - The USDA has issued an official citation against the Harvard Medical School for repeated incidents of cruelty to its lab animals. Four of the school's monkeys have died in less than two years, including one that was still in its cage when it was put through a mechanical washer,...

Beef Plant in Abuse Video Supplied In-N-Out, Schools

Burger chain cancels contract with Calif. slaughterhouse

(Newser) - The California slaughterhouse closed down for alleged animal abuse counted the In-N-Out burger chain among its biggest customers, reports ABC . The Central Valley Meat plant provided between 20% and 30% of the beef used in the chain's burgers, according to an In-N-Out spokesman, who says the chain canceled its...

Feds Shut Calif. Slaughterhouse After Abuse Video

Dairy cows shocked, kicked, shot repeatedly before slaughter

(Newser) - Federal officials have shut down a California slaughterhouse after receiving an undercover video showing dairy cows, some unable to walk, being repeatedly shocked, kicked and shot, according to authorities. Investigators, sent to the Central Valley Meat company after officials viewed the heartbreaking footage, found evidence of "egregious inhumane handling...

Half of US Counties Now Disaster Areas

Drought has ravaged much of the nation

(Newser) - The worst drought in decades has officially ravaged more than half the counties in America. The USDA declared 218 counties across a dozen states natural disaster areas yesterday, bringing the total number of counties bearing that distinction to 1,584, the AP reports. The disaster designation makes farmers and ranchers...

USDA Plugs Meatless Mondays, Outrage Ensues

Storm of criticism follows suggestion to employees

(Newser) - Who knew an interoffice newsletter could create such drama? The USDA gave "Meatless Monday" a shout-out in its newsletter this week, encouraging its employees to help the planet out by joining the effort to go vegetarian on Monday "while dining at our cafeterias." This did not go...

Drought Now Worst Since 1956
 Drought Now Worst Since 1956 

Drought Now Worst Since 1956

More than half of continental US affected

(Newser) - The US is in the grip of the worst drought in more than 50 years, with almost 80% of the country either in drought or in abnormally dry conditions. The NOAA's latest report finds that 56% of the continental US is in drought, the sixth-highest percentage on record and...

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