Friday, September 26, 2008

FDA Public Meetings on Produce Traceability

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced two public meetings regarding product tracing systems for fresh produce. The purpose of the meetings is to stimulate and focus a discussion about mechanisms to enhance product tracing systems for fresh produce and to improve FDA's ability to use the information in such systems to identify the source of contamination associated with fresh produce-related outbreaks of foodbome illness.

This discussion will help FDA determine what short and long term steps we should take to enhance the current tracing system. FDA hopes to address concerns on specific issues ranging from the scope of traceability and the costs, benefits and logistics of standardization, to FDA's role in enhancing produce traceability.

If you would like to attend one or both of the produce traceability meetings, you are requested to register in advance. For further information, contact: Deborah Harris, EDJ Associates, Inc., 11300 Rockville Pike, suite 1001, Rockville, NID 20852,240-221-4326, FAX: 301-945-4295, e-mail:

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Food Claims and Litigation Conference

The Grocery Manufacturers Association's Annual 2009 Food Claims and Litigation Conference is scheduled to take place February 24-26, 2009 and will be held at Rancho Las Palmas in Rancho Mirage, CA. Nationally recognized authorities from the food, legal, and scientific communities will present these issues in a thought-provoking environment:

· Recent Developments in Food Product Liability
· Country-of-Origin-Labeling
· Utilizing Internal Company Resources to Help Defend a Food Product Liability Lawsuit
· Food Safety McCarthyism
· Confronting Criminal Allegations When Contamination Hits
· Pre-Litigation Risk Management for Consumer Products Companies
· CA Prop 65 and Food, The Current Landscape of Food
· Litigation from a Plaintiff’s Perspective
· Utilizing Non-Traditional Discovery Methods to Investigate and Defeat the Plaintiff’s Case
· Flavoring Litigation
· Current Issues with the Insurance Industry Current Issues with the Insurance Industry

For more information, click here. <>

Monday, September 15, 2008

Student Writing Competitions in Legal Medicine

The American College of Legal Medicine (ACLM) has announced their 2009 Student Writing Competitions in Legal Medicine.

Legal Medicine Writing Competition

ACLM will award $1,000 each winner in three categories: medical student, law student, and health care professional student. Papers must be submitted by January 9, 2009. For more information, click here.

Bioethics Student Writing Competition

ACLM will present awards for three outstanding original papers written by law or health professions students on topics in bioethics. 1st Prize – $1,000 2nd Prize – $500 3rd Prize – $250. In addition, the ACLM will pay the costs of travel and lodging for the winner of the 1st prize to present his or her paper at the ACLM Annual Meeting, February 27- March 1, 2009 in Las Vegas, NV Travel and lodging arrangements will be made by the ACLM. The deadline for submission is January 9, 2009. For more information, click here.

Friday, September 12, 2008

ERS "Food Safety and Import"

The USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) has published, Food Safety and Imports: An Analysis of FDA Import Refusal Report. The report examines the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) data on refusals of food offered for importation into the United States from 1998 to 2004. The report does not necessarily show the distribution of risks because FDA has focused its import efforts on problems that appear to recur. The data show some food industries and types of violations may be consistent sources of problems both over time. The three food industry groups with the most violations were vegetables (20.6 percent of total violations), fishery and seafood (20.1 percent), and fruits (11.7 percent).

The full report is available here.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Irradiation as a Food Processing Aid for Beef

The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced that it has received a petition from the American Meat Institute (AMI) to recognize the use of low penetration and low dose electron beam irradiation on the surface of chilled beef carcasses as a processing aid. FSIS will hold a public meeting on September 18, 2008, to review the information contained in the petition and to receive public comments on what action it should take with respect to the petition. FSIS is also receiving comments until October 18, 2008.
The announcement of the meeting and direction for submitting comments is available here: [TEXT] [PDF].

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Illinois Food Safety Symposium Sept. 24-25

Regional food professional conferences often are underappreciated bargains for continuing education and professional development. These regional venues provide an ideal forum for professional growth and networking. One such conference is the Illinois Food Safety Symposium, which will be held September 24-25, in Champaign, Illinois.

I am speaking on “Why Food Laws Matter” on September 24. The conference is sponsored by The Illinois Department of Public Health, the Illinois Department of Agriculture, and the Illinois Public Health Association.