Op-ed: Jane Velez-Mitchell – Food safety doesn't end with S.510
November 30th, 2010
07:00 PM ET
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Jane Velez-Mitchell is the author of 'iWant: My Journey from Addiction and Overconsumption to a Simpler, Honest Life' and 'Secrets Can Be Murder: The Killer Next Door' as well as 'Addict Nation: An Intervention for America' which will be published in February, 2011. She hosts ISSUES with Jane Velez-Mitchell nightly on HLN at 7p ET.

"Half measures avail us nothing." It’s a profound saying that usually applies to recovery from addiction, but, it could just as well be applied to America’s food crisis. The U.S. Senate’s passage of the Food Safety Modernization Act (S.510) is a step in the right direction, but, it fails to address the core issue at the very heart of our nation’s struggle to keep our food supply safe: the extreme and cruel confinement of animals raised and killed for food.

5@5 - John T. Edge
November 30th, 2010
05:00 PM ET
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5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.

What once was old, is new again - especially around the holidays. ‘Tis the season to disregard the glossy food magazines and opt for the comb-bound Junior League cookbooks and stained index cards to recreate Aunt Myrtle's sweet potato casserole circa 1954.

As John T. Edge, says:

These dishes aren’t goofs. They’re good. I don’t serve them with ironic detachment. I serve them with gusto. I realize, in this moment of local this and artisan that, they’re kind of retrograde. By my lights, that means they're well suited to the holiday season now upon us, when all seem inclined toward retro-pleasures.

Along with penning numerous food-centric books, John T. writes a monthly column, “United Tastes,” for the New York Times, is a contributing editor at Garden & Gun magazine and a columnist for the Oxford American. He was also a contributing editor at Gourmet before the beloved publication folded in October 2009.

He has been nominated for five James Beard Foundation Awards, and in 2009, was inducted into Beard's "Who's Who of Food & Beverage in America." John T. is also director of the Southern Foodways Alliance at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, an organization that documents, studies and celebrates the soul of Southern food - old and new.

Five Retrograde Holiday Dishes: John T. Edge

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Filed under: 5@5 • Holiday • Recipes • Retro • Think

Box lunch
November 30th, 2010
12:00 PM ET
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Sink your teeth into today's top stories from around the globe.

  • Something to look forward to after getting acquainted with a TSA agent: airports and airlines are boozier than ever! - USA Today

  • Bravo Farms of California recently recalled all of its cheese - including cheddar sold under the Whole Foods Market name. - NPR

  • From Cam’ron’s Sizzurp to Danny DeVito’s Limoncello, the best and worst of celebrity spirits. - Flavorwire

  • Farm schools take root in Chicago's South Side. - The Atlantic

  • If you're going to shop until you drop, you're going to need some healthy food court fuel. Here's a hint: Cinnabon is not classified as such. - Health.com
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Lunchtime poll – S.510: Food Safety Modernization Act
November 30th, 2010
11:45 AM ET
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The U.S. Senate has just voted, 73-26, in favor of S.510 – the Food Safety Modernization Act. The bill offers a sweeping overhaul of the nation's current food safety regulations, empowering the FDA with oversight of mandatory recalls of potentially contaminated food, requirements for food producers to develop written food safety plans, accessible by the government in case of emergency and implementation of a food tracing system.

Get the basics of the bill and more on the vote.

While supporters and opponents of the bill agree that food safety is paramount - especially in light in this past summer's egg-based salmonella contamination that sickened over 1,600 consumers - there is considerable disagreement about the level of federal involvement that should be allowed.

On which side of the fence do you fall?

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Filed under: Business and Farming News • Buzz • Farms • FDA • Food Politics • Health News • Lunchtime Poll • News • Recalls • S. 510 • Tainted Food

S. 510: Food Safety Modernization Act – the basics
November 30th, 2010
09:30 AM ET
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UPDATE: The Food Safety Modernization Act passes 73-25. Here is a list of how the Senators voted.

The US Senate is currently voting on the passage of S. 510, the Food Safety Modernization Act, a long-stalled bill that would introduce enhanced governmental oversight of the nation's food producers' safety systems.

Some opponents to the bill assert that it imposes the same one-size-fits all set of legislation on small farmers and producers and giant food conglomerates and factory farms alike, placing a strain on those less equipped to comply with new regulations. They also fear it will raise food prices and all $1.5 billion to the deficit, and too extremely centralize and concentrate governmental control over food producers.

Supporters claim that these measures are necessary to protect the public from compromised food, such as the salmonella-tainted eggs that sickened more than 1,600 people this past August.

Key points:

- The FDA would have the authority to issue direct recalls of foods that are suspected to be tainted, rather than relying on individual producers to voluntarily issue recalls.

CNN Radio's Jim Roope speaks with FDA's Associate Commissioner for Food Protection, Dr. Jeff Farrar about the measures the FDA can currently take.

- Food producers would be required to develop written food safety plans, accessible by the government in case of emergency. These would include hazard analysis and a plan for implementing corrective measures.

- The Secretary of Health and Human Services would be required to create a food tracing system that would streamline the process of finding the source of contamination, should an outbreak occur.

- Importers would be required to verify the safety of all imported foods to make sure it's in accordance with U.S. food safety guidelines.

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Filed under: FDA • Food Politics • Health News • Recalls • S. 510 • Tainted Food

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