Tag Archives: United States Department of Agriculture

Gov’t offers $680 million for Indian farmers …as reported by AP – Reminder


WASHINGTON — The government is offering American Indian farmers who say they were denied farm loans a $680 million settlement.

Unlike a second round of the black farmers suit that is now pending in Congress, the American Indian money would not need legislative action to be awarded.

The two sides agreed on the deal after more than 10 months of negotiations. The government and the Indian plaintiffs met in federal court Tuesday to present the settlement to U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan.

The agreement also includes $80 million in farm debt forgiveness for the Indian plaintiffs and a series of initiatives to try and alleviate racism against American Indians and other minorities in rural farm loan offices. Individuals who can prove discrimination could receive up to $250,000.

A hearing on preliminary approval of the deal is set for Oct. 29. Sullivan indicated he was pleased with the agreement, calling it historic and coming down off his bench to shake hands with lawyers from both sides.

Assistant Attorney General Tony West and Joseph Sellers, lead attorney for the plaintiffs, both said they were encouraged by the judge’s positive reaction.

“Based on the court’s comments, we’re optimistic,” West said after the hearing adjourned.

The lawsuit filed in 1999 contends Indian farmers and ranchers lost hundreds of millions of dollars over several decades because they were denied USDA loans that instead went to their white neighbors. The government settled a similar lawsuit filed by black farmers more than a decade ago.

“Today’s settlement can never undo wrongs that Native Americans may have experienced in past decades, but combined with the actions we at USDA are taking to address such wrongs, the settlement will provide some measure of relief to those who have been discriminated against,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a statement.

Claryca Mandan of North Dakota’s Three Affiliated Tribes, a plaintiff in the case, stopped ranching after she and her husband were denied loans in the early 1980s. She said she was pleased with the settlement.

“This is a culmination of 30 years of struggle,” she said

And Republicans continue to interfere and hurt POC who own land

usa.gov :tips on food safety

Image result for turkey safety

Get tips on how to safely store, thaw, and roast a turkey.
Here are a few key tips:
Avoid Fresh Pre-Stuffed Turkeys – Don’t buy fresh pre-stuffed turkeys because harmful bacteria in the stuffing can quickly multiply. If you buy a frozen pre-stuffed turkey, look for a USDA or state mark of inspection. Frozen pre-stuffed turkeys should not be thawed before cooking.
Thaw Frozen Turkey – There are 3 ways to safely thaw a frozen turkey: in the refrigerator, in cold water, or in the microwave. Look at the thawing chart, based on the size of the turkey.
Clean Up – Use soap and water to wash hands, utensils, counters, sinks, and anything that comes in contact with raw turkey and its juices.
Cook to 165°F – Cook your turkey to a minimum internal temperature of 165°F. Look at timetables for roasting a turkey in a 325°F oven, based on the size of the turkey and whether or not it’s stuffed.
Discard After 2 Hours – After you’ve enjoyed your Thanksgiving meal, discard any turkey, stuffing, or gravy left at room temperature for more than 2 hours. Or, if room temperature is above 90°F, discard food after 1 hour.

Toxic Chicken

Tyson Foods: Stop pouring dangerous chemicals on chickens     

                                                By Sherry M.
                                                Washington, Alabama


I didn’t expect to already be on disability, seeking early retirement. But I’m here because of companies like Tyson which require the use of hazardous chemicals on poultry in facilities like the one I worked in. That’s not safe for workers. And it’s allowing companies to cut corners and put the public’s health at risk. I want Tyson to be an industry leader and stop using these chemicals, especially peracetic acid, which is poured all over these carcasses. Having well-trained experts rather than an over-reliance on chemicals will help keep meat contaminated with feces or pus or harmful bacteria off our plates.

I am proud of my work as a USDA poultry inspector where one of my primary duties was to protect the public from foodborne illness. My parents and grandparents worked in the industry and none of them have ever experienced the symptoms I’m having today. But I became seriously ill as a result of heavy chemical use in the plant where I was stationed and things have changed.
Currently, I’m suffering from health problems, including asthma attacks, sinus problems, and even organ damage. My failing health has seriously impacted my lifestyle and may have ended my 16-year career as an inspector. As highlighted in a recent Washington Post article, chemical problems seem to be cropping up in plants all over the country.
In a Tyson plant I worked at in Alabama, the introduction of a chemical called peracetic acid just made things even worse. I felt as though I couldn’t breathe in the plant. One day I was coughing so hard that I broke two ribs. It was a nightmare. And as of the moment I am writing this, the USDA has not done any formal evaluation of how these chemicals affect workers’ health. Additionally, there have been no studies of how these dangerous chemicals, directly applied to the carcasses in processing, affect humans’ health other than directly from the very companies that profit from their sale.

There are a lot of questions. But no one has answers. I can tell you that the Tyson Team Member Bill of Rights claim that there’s a ‘right to a safe workplace’ but it certainly does not seem like it’s being followed.
Following a series of illnesses, including a serious asthma attack that sent me to the emergency room in the fall of 2011, I was left with no choice but to leave the plant and file for disability in December of that year. In addition to daily medication, I now make regular doctor visits, including to a lung specialist who advised me not to return to the plant.

My doctors told me they have witnessed an increasing amount of patients coming from the Tyson plant with similar symptoms, including respiratory infections, eye irritation, and the development of serious allergies.
Inspectors and Tyson plant workers are hesitant or even afraid to admit they’re becoming ill. In particular, vulnerable company employees know they are expendable, and risk termination if they speak out against the visible dangers of chemical use in processing.
I know there are methods to improve inspection by taking birds ‘offline’ if they appear contaminated, so they can be cleaned up without the use of excess chemicals.

After feeling powerless for so long, I now know it’s my duty to speak out on behalf of those inspectors and plant workers who fear retaliation for voicing their concerns.

Please join me in asking Tyson Foods to stop using peracetic acid in its poultry processing and improve standards at facilities so inspectors, workers, and consumers are safer.

Photo from USDAgov

USDA-FSIS Recall Cases ~~ Dec 2013

USDA logo
USDA logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Updated information is now available. An updated list of retail consignees has been posted for recall 075-2013 – Hawaii Firm Recalls Frozen, Raw Chicken Products Due To Possible Temperature Abuse, Dec. 20, 2013.

Hawaii Firm Recalls Additional Frozen, Raw Chicken Products Due To Possible Temperature AbusePalama Holdings, LLC, a Kapolei, HI establishment, is expanding its recall of raw, frozen marinated chicken products to approximately 24,784 pounds because they may have experienced temperature abuse in the distribution chain, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today. The expanded recall covers all teriyaki chicken products produced at the company’s Kapolei, HI plant with “Best by” dates ranging Sept. 24, 2014 to November 6, 2014.

Updated information is now available. An updated list of retail consignees has been posted for 074-2015California Firm Recalls Dried Sausage Products Due To Possible Contamination With Staphylococcus Aureus Enterotoxin, Dec. 19, 2013.

Updated information is now available. An updated list of retail consignees has been posted for recall 075-2013 – Hawaii Firm Recalls Frozen, Raw Chicken Products Due To Possible Temperature Abuse, Dec. 20, 2013.

Hawaii Firm Recalls Frozen, Raw Chicken Products Due To Possible Temperature Abuse
Palama Holdings, LLC, a Kapolei, HI establishment, is recalling approximately 3,600 pounds of raw, frozen marinated chicken products because they may have experienced temperature abuse in the distribution chain.

California Firm Recalls Dried Sausage Products Due To Possible Contamination With Staphylococcus Aureus Enterotoxin
Lee Bros. Foodservice Inc., a San Jose, Calif., establishment, is recalling 740 pounds of sausage products that may be contaminated with Staphylococcus aureus enterotoxin

Updated information is now available. An updated list of retail consignees has been posted for recall 071-2013, Ontario, Canada Firm Recalls Prosciutto Ham Product For Possible Listeria Monocytogenes Contamination (Dec 6, 2013).

Colorado Firm Recalls Meat And Poultry Products That Were Produced Under Insanitary Conditions
Yauk’s Specialty Meats, a Windsor, Colo., establishment, is recalling approximately 90,000 pounds of various meat and poultry products that were produced under insanitary conditions.

Washington Firm Recalls Chicken Noodle Soup Due To Misbranding and Undeclared Allergen
StockPot, Inc., an Everett, Wash. establishment, is recalling 1,864 cases (approximately 22,368 pounds) of chicken noodle soup due to misbranding and an undeclared allergen. The Classic Chicken Noodle Soup product is formulated with wheat, a known allergen.

Ontario, Canada Firm Recalls Prosciutto Ham Product for Possible Listeria Monocytogenes Contamination
Santa Maria Foods, a Brampton, Ontario, establishment, is recalling approximately 2,600 pounds of whole boneless ham prosciutto product due to possible contamination with Listeria monocytogenes.

Contamination and no recalls … Urge recall and launch real reform!

Policy and Action from Consumer Reports

Foster Farms won’t budge. With nearly 300 sick so far, and antibiotic resistant salmonella strains linked back to particular Foster Farms processing plants, it’s time for a recall.

More than that, it’s long past time our nation’s food producers stop overusing antibiotics on food animals — a practice that makes our life-saving drugs less effective at fighting deadly bacteria.

Despite the government shutdown, we’ll get you heard on this important health issue! Send a message now, and we will get it into the right hands at USDA and FDA.

Demand an immediate recall and new rules for antibiotic use!

When antibiotic resistant strains make people sick, industry reminds us to cook the food more. Wipe everything with bleach. While these precautions certainly help, they don’t address the underlying problem.

Our nation’s meat and chicken industry relies heavily on the overuse of antibiotics to speed growth and help animals survive filthy, crowded conditions. Overuse spurs the emergence of antibiotic-resistant ‘superbugs’ on both the farm and in our communities.

That’s why we’re also asking that FDA finally take a strong stand for reduced antibiotic use in agriculture. The current outbreak should serve as a warning. Let’s make real progress before the antibiotics we need for human health no longer work.

Send your message now. We’ll get it to the right people, even with the shutdown.

And don’t forget — get rid of this chicken. Learn how to tell whether you have it in your house or if it’s for sale at your store.. Then forward this email to friends and family so they can check their fridge and join our movement to save our nation’s antibiotics for human health.

Meg Bohne, NotInMyFood.org,
A project of Consumers Union, Policy and Action from Consumer Reports