Feb 25, 2013
12:05 PMThe Wind Machine
● This Sunday I journey to Barcelona, Spain, to attend the Global Food Safety Conference. This annual meeting, to be held on March 6-8, is a project of the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), a European-based effort by large international retailers to establish a method of approving various food safety standards. (One of the officers of GFSI is the vice-president of food safety & health at Wal-Mart USA.) The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's lead person for food safety policy, Mike Taylor, will be a prominent speaker at the conference in Barcelona, which is expected to attract about 1,000 participants from some sixty countries.
● The Feds are making a statement about the seriousness of food safety enforcement. Last Friday four former officials with Peanut Corporation of America were charged with felonies arising from a deadly 2008-09 salmonella outbreak. The corporation, which operated in Georgia, is now bankrupt.
● The 50th anniversary of the Rutgers' headquartered IR-4 Program, funded by USDA grants to help farmers gain registration of needed minor crop chemicals, will be celebrated at a reception to be held March 12 on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. The IR-4 Commodity Liaison Committee and the Minor Crop Farmer Alliance are co-hosting this event, which will take place on the top floor--with an impressive view of Union Station--of the office building housing the MCFA's legal counsel, McDermott, Will and Emery.
● Stoel Rives, a Pacific Northwest-based law firm, has opened a new satellite office on 19th Street NW in Washington, D.C.
● Mark Gedris is leaving the United States Apple Association this Friday for work at another trade association. Mr. Gedris is director of membership and communications at USApple, having joined its staff in June of 2011.
● The United Fresh Produce Association will form a "Biotechnology Task Force" to give its board advice on how to handle the various issues, including consumer retail labeling and frictions with organic production, that arise with the introduction into commercial production of approved genetically engineered fruits and vegetables.
● Political Fruit: (On the idea of giving the president latitude in where to make sequestration budget reductions.) "Others worry that it would allow Obama to cherry pick popular items for closure and cuts so as to apply more pressure on Republicans." Chris Stirewait, Fox News.com, published on February 22, 2013.