Updating Food Safety & Changes Ahead

Updating Food Safety & Changes Ahead

Updating Food Safety & Changes Ahead plus Food Forethought. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Northwest Report.

The Agriculture Department is working to do all it can to upgrade and update its food safety operation, including trying to get food safety statutes updated. Jerold Mande, Deputy Under Secretary of Agriculture for Food Safety, told lawmakers that the USDA is looking to overhaul and update the statutes governing its food safety operations.

MANDE: USDA will be seeking to modernize its food safety statutes to address emerging threats to the food supply, new scientific understandings of those threats and new technologies to combat those threats. We seek the help and support of this committee to find ways to modernize our current laws. We are developing concepts stemming from the legislative principals of the working group on priorities we think should be addressed to modernize the statutes for the 21st century.

The Director-General of the World Trade Organization, Pascal Lamy, spoke at the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom this week where he talked about a new – triangle of global governance which he sees emerging. The triangle includes the contribution of the multilateral trading system; globalization; and the WTO and the system of international governance. Lamy called for a new architecture of global governance to provide a framework for effective cooperation. He said we need multilateral cooperation more than ever.

Now with today’s Food Forethought, here’s Lacy Gray.

If you’re like me, you don’t think about the fact that the gallon of milk you purchase at the store is actually costing a dairy farmer somewhere money out of their pocket. Most dairy farmers right now are struggling to survive and are being paid much less for their milk than it costs them to produce it. The dairy industry is hemorrhaging dairy farmers at an alarmingly high rate due to the fact that they can no longer afford to maintain their farms. The global recession fast track has left dairy farmers with an overabundance of milk at a time when wholesale prices for milk have spiraled downward into near oblivion. U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says he is working to come up with a plan to help and assist America’s dairy farmers, but when asked at a recent public forum why the USDA hasn’t done more to limit importation of powdered milk protein his reply that “it was on his radar, but very complicated” went over like sour milk. Things need to get “uncomplicated” for dairy farmers quickly before they simply become a vanishing breed.

Thanks Lacy. That’s today’s Northwest Report. I’m Greg Martin on the Northwest Ag Information Network.

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