Daily Archives: February 17, 2012

Feds shut down Amish raw milk farm

From Stephen Dinan in the Washington Times:

“The FDA won its two-year fight to shut down an Amish farmer who was selling fresh raw milk to eager consumers in the Washington, D.C., region after a judge this month banned Daniel Allgyer from selling his milk across state lines and he told his customers he would shut down his farm altogether.

The decision has enraged Mr. Allgyer’s supporters, some of whom have been buying from him for six years and say the government is interfering with their parental rights to feed their children.

But the Food and Drug Administration, which launched a full investigation complete with a 5 a.m. surprise inspection and a straw-purchase sting operation against Mr. Allgyer’s Rainbow Acres Farm, said unpasteurized milk is unsafe and it was exercising its due authority to stop sales of the milk from one state to another. Continue reading

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CDC refuses to name restaurant chain blamed for poisoning 60 customers

From Barry Estabrook on Politics of the Plate:

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) handling of a recent investigation into a salmonella outbreak that sickened 68 people in 10 states—sending more than 20 to the hospital—had all the elements of a B-grade spy movie. The CDC identified the source of the contaminated food, but refused to make the name public, instead calling it Restaurant Chain A, and saying only that it was a Mexican chain. It could have been any one of six such chains that operated in the affected states.

That seemed like odd behavior from an agency whose responsibility is to save lives, protect Americans, and save money through prevention. Although no one died in this outbreak, which came to light last fall, salmonella is frequently fatal, so outing the culprit could have saved lives. Revealing the identity of the mysterious Restaurant Chain A would have allowed customers to protect themselves by avoiding the place, if they chose. And a little negative publicity might have been just what was needed to convince those in charge of the company to clean up their act, perhaps preventing future outbreaks. Continue reading

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Big dairy on the defensive?

From Andy Bellatti on Grist.org:

There was a time, not too long ago, when American’s milk options were limited to various forms of cow’s milk (i.e. full-fat, reduced-fat, skim, lactose-free). But times have changed. Soy was the first non-dairy milk to “go mainstream” in the mid 1990s, and you can find “milk” varieties including almond, coconut, hazelnut, hemp, oat, and sunflower seed on supermarket shelves,

Much like an only child who is the center of attention until a sibling comes along, Big Dairy has started to lash out. “Alternative milks” are no longer relegated to the vegan world; many vegetarians and omnivores also purchase and consume plant-based milks. This is bad news for Big Dairy (a.k.a. The California Milk Processor Board).

Behold their latest campaign — “Real Milk Comes From Cows” (tagline: “many imitations, still no equal”). The idea, apparently, is to point out all the ways in which plant-based milks have cooties. One of their inane recent ads can be seen in the screenshot below:

Image via Grist.org

Coconut milk is described as “spooky” for looking so “real,” or similar to cow’s milk. Hazelnut milk is supposed to creep us out because of the “stuff on the bottom,” Almond milk is dissed for having a “funky” color, and soy milk is unveiled as a product that doesn’t come from a cow (when did it ever claim to?). Continue reading

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Abolish the food industry?

From Raj Patel, in The Atlantic:

If public health is a legitimate reason to curb corporations' advertising to kids, why limit bans to cigarettes, booze, and toys in happy meals, and not include, say, all unhealthy food?

“In the fall of 2008, San Francisco polished its progressive credentials by banning something. From October 1, 2008, the sale of cigarettes was prohibited in certain places. You could still buy them in convenience stores, of course, and bodegas, gas stations, and even the occasional bar. But the city thought that perhaps it was a bad idea to allow them to be sold in pharmacies. As the city attorney, Dennis Herrera, put it: “Consumers — and especially young people — should reasonably expect pharmacies to serve their health needs, not to enable our leading cause of preventable death.” Continue reading

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