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May 26, 2004 | From Reuters
American farmers will export a record $61.5 billion worth of agricultural products in fiscal 2004, despite a sharp drop in beef exports because of mad cow disease, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said. U.S. imports of farm goods from other nations were estimated at a record $51.5 billion for fiscal 2004, up $5.8 billion from last year, the USDA's Economic Research Service said in its quarterly forecast of farm trade.
May 24, 2004 | Stephanie Simon, Times Staff Writer
John Tarpoff knows his demand is illogical. There is no scientific reason for him to extract a sliver of brain from each steer he slaughters to test for mad cow disease. He kills only young cattle at his processing plant: certified Angus, 12 to 20 months old. Animals that young just don't get the disease -- at least, not at a detectable level. Testing every carcass is "highly unnecessary," Tarpoff said. Still, he's desperate to do it. But the federal government won't let him.
April 27, 2004 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Prosecutors opened their case Monday against self-proclaimed "Sausage King" Stuart Alexander by outlining the months the sausage factory owner allegedly spent flouting the law and threatening government health inspectors before he shot and killed three of them. Alexander, 43, faces three counts of murder in the June 2000 deaths of U.S.
February 18, 2004 | From Associated Press
A House committee on Tuesday questioned the government's credibility in the first U.S. case of mad cow disease, quoting three witnesses who denied Agriculture Department claims that the infected Holstein was lame. The worker who slaughtered the cow, the hauler who delivered it and an owner of the slaughterhouse all recalled seeing the infected animal on its feet, rather than it being the nonambulatory "downer" described by USDA officials. In a letter to Agriculture Secretary Ann M.
October 26, 2002 | From Reuters
The U.S. Agriculture Department said Friday it plans to allow irradiated meat to be served to millions of children in U.S. schools by the end of the year. Irradiation, which has been endorsed by the World Health Organization, exposes food to low doses of electrons or gamma rays to destroy deadly microorganisms, such as E. coli O157:H7 and salmonella. Under the U.S.
October 7, 2002
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's new labels are designed to help consumers figure out--at a glance--the exact organic content of the foods they buy. Only products in the first two categories, in which 95% or more of the ingredients are organic, can bear the USDA organic certification seal. This includes products made domestically and imported from abroad.
Shoppers who want to buy organic foods can be bewildered by the labels' often fuzzy claims, and may even suspect that the edibles they're paying a premium for aren't truly pesticide- or hormone-free. After all, terms such as "organically produced," "pesticide free," "100% natural," or even "certified organic" aren't guarantees of purity. But new government-approved labels, which will debut in two weeks, should eliminate some of that guesswork. Under the guidelines, foods must meet strict U.S.
The White House has agreed to supply less than 20% of the money requested by the U.S. Agriculture Department to support a major expansion of two farm conservation programs, prompting alarm from conservation groups and some influential members of Congress. Following a congressional directive, the USDA asked the White House for $34.5 million this year to hire experts and provide support for two conservation programs.
August 7, 2002 | Reuters
The U.S. Department of Agriculture said it may create a voluntary system to verify whether shipments of crops were genetically altered. The move comes as the U.S. begins market-opening talks with its World Trade Organization partners, many of which oppose or are ambivalent about biotech crops. Under the proposed industry-funded system, companies could choose to detail to the USDA how they keep products separate from gene-altered crops at all levels of the food chain.
December 7, 2001 | Bloomberg News
The U.S. Department of Agriculture halted imports of clementine citrus fruit from Spain because live Mediterranean fruit fly larvae have been found in stores in California, Louisiana, Maryland and North Carolina. The USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service indefinitely banned the sale and distribution of the Spanish clementines in states where the pest could survive.
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