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After a year that saw the most Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) food safety investigations in at least 12 years, one of the most frightening impacts of the ongoing government shutdown has been the suspension of routine food safety investigations by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

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The FDA oversees about 80 percent of the nation's food supply. liz west / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Americans only just survived the great romaine lettuce scare of 2018, and now the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has postponed routine domestic food safety inspections due to the partial federal government shutdown, the agency's commissioner said on Wednesday.

FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb tweeted that the agency usually conducts about 160 domestic inspections on manufacturing and food processing plants each week. About a third of that inventory are foods considered at high risk for causing foodborne illnesses, such as seafood, dairy products, fruits and vegetables. The ongoing government impasse, however, has postponed much of these inspections.

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Health agencies say avoid romaine lettuce as they investigate an E. coli outbreak. Agricultural Resources Service / USDA

If you're hosting Thanksgiving tomorrow, be sure to leave romaine lettuce off the menu! The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are warning everyone to avoid the classic salad green until investigators can pinpoint the exact source of an E. coli outbreak that has sickened 32 people in 11 states.

The FDA advised Americans to stop eating romaine and to toss any that's left in the fridge. Restaurants and retailers should also stop serving it until more is known.

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By Dan Nosowitz

When we think of dangerous gases emitted by cattle, the logical first thought is of methane, let loose into the air by burps and farts to contribute to climate change. But cattle are complex creatures in their diversity of noxious fumes, and the FDA just approved the first drug to treat a lesser-known one.

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OllyPlu / iStock / Getty Images

By Dan Nosowitz

Various parts of the cannabis plant have already received full FDA approval; a drug consisting of cannabidiol, better known as CBD, has already been approved to treat two rare forms of epilepsy. Researchers have been pushing for years for relaxed legal status to study the possible medicinal benefits of hallucinogenic drugs, and now the FDA has given psilocybin—magic mushrooms—a conditional form of research approval, according to Compass Pathways, the company granted that approval.

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A recall of ready-made meat and poultry products included three Harris Teeter deli meals, like from this store in Apex, NC. Mike8411251995

A problem at a single food-processing plant in California has led to a massive recall impacting millions of pounds of pre-made salads and meals, more than two dozen chains and 13 food companies, USA Today reported Tuesday.

The problem started October 15 when McCain Foods USA recalled the Fire Roasted Black Bean Corn processed at its plant in Colton, California near Los Angeles for potential contamination with Listeria monocytogenes or Salmonella, Food Safety News reported. McCain Foods has since recalled all products from its Colton plant, which makes fire roasted, caramelized and sauteed frozen fruit and vegetables.

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Astrakan Images / Cultura / Getty Images

Under pressure from the Environmental Working Group (EWG) and other environmental and public health groups, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has banned seven substances used in artificial flavors that have been linked to cancer in animals.

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Denise Taylor / Moment / Getty Images

By Dan Nosowitz

A report from the Office of the Inspector General found that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was not only slow to find problems in food production but that it often didn't take the right steps to correct violations and ensure that proper procedures were followed after violations were found. Foodborne illnesses, in some ways, are on the rise, and certainly, reporting of those violations are more visible than ever before. But there are still issues to correct.

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released on Monday the final results of a "special assignment" that examined the residue levels of glyphosate and a competing herbicide glufosinate in corn, soy, eggs and milk during the fiscal year 2016.

Their labs detected glyphosate in 63 percent of the corn samples and 67 percent of the soybean samples at "non-violative levels," or in compliance with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) pesticide tolerances. Glufosinate was found in 1.4 percent of the corn samples and 1.1 percent of soybean samples, also within legal limits. No residues of either pesticide were found in the milk and egg samples.

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BPA is found in plastic bottles, and it also leaches from can linings into foods, beverages and infant formula. Pixabay

The first U.S. study of the effect on people of exposure to a hormone-disrupting chemical widely used in food packaging showed that levels the Food and Drug Administration deems "safe" can alter insulin response, a key marker for diabetes.

The groundbreaking study, published in the Journal of the Endocrine Society, administered low doses of bisphenol A, or BPA, to 16 people, then tested their insulin production in response to glucose, commonly called blood sugar. When insulin and blood glucose levels were compared to the same measurements taken without exposure to BPA, researchers found that BPA significantly changed how glucose affected insulin levels. Similar insulin and glucose tests are used by doctors for diagnosing diabetes.

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Chafer Sentry applies glyphosate, the most widely applied pesticide worldwide, to stubbles in North Yorkshire. Chafer Machinery / Flickr

Scientists with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ( FDA) have found traces of a ubiquitous and controversial weedkiller in granola, crackers and other everyday foods, according to internal documents obtained by The Guardian through a freedom of information request.

The FDA has tested food samples for glyphosate for "two years, but has not yet released any official results," Carey Gilliam reported in The Guardian article. Gilliam is an author, investigative journalist and research director for U.S. Right to Know.

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