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ENTERTAINMENT
February 19, 2005 | Roy Rivenburg, Times Staff Writer
Strange things can happen when you're trapped inside the government's new food pyramid. In the name of gastrointestinal science, I recently subjected myself to 10 days of obeying the USDA's revamped eating and fitness guidelines. I'm still recovering. As a dietary guinea pig, I found myself drinking from measuring cups, debating whether Vicodin is a fruit or vegetable, and learning how to lose weight by changing lightbulbs. Every day, I managed to mess up at least one rule.
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NATIONAL
January 21, 2005 | From Associated Press
The Senate celebrated President Bush's inauguration Thursday by confirming two new members of his Cabinet, Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns and Education Secretary Margaret Spellings. Senators plan to confirm Carlos M. Gutierrez as Commerce secretary on Monday and Condoleezza Rice as secretary of State on Wednesday, congressional leaders said. Spellings and Johanns were confirmed on a voice vote several hours after Bush took the oath of office.
NATIONAL
January 7, 2005 | Johanna Neuman, Times Staff Writer
Nebraska Gov. Mike Johanns, President Bush's nominee to head the Department of Agriculture, told senators during his confirmation hearing Thursday that he would work aggressively to reopen the Japanese market to U.S. beef products. Japan, which had been the largest foreign market for U.S. beef, was among about 40 countries that cut off imports in December 2003 after a cow in Washington state tested positive for mad cow disease.
NATIONAL
December 8, 2004 | From Times Wire Reports
A federal employee was stabbed inside the U.S. Agriculture Department, a department spokesman said, in what seemed to have been a dispute between acquaintances. The employee was stabbed with a knife in the USDA's south building, a sprawling, blocklong structure across the street from the USDA administration building on the National Mall, spokesman Ed Loyd said. The employee was treated at a local hospital for injuries Loyd described as non-life-threatening. The assailant escaped.
NATIONAL
December 3, 2004 | Edwin Chen, Times Staff Writer
Nebraska Gov. Mike Johanns, nominated by President Bush on Thursday to be the next Agriculture secretary, grew up on an Iowa dairy farm and has traveled widely to promote farm products from Nebraska, where he has served as governor for two terms. If confirmed by the Senate, Johanns, 54, would succeed Ann M. Veneman, a Californian, as head of the 113,000-employee department.
NEWS
November 30, 2004 | Charles Duhigg, Times Staff Writer
A controversial recreational fee -- locally known as the Adventure Pass -- is expected to be extended this week by Congress for 10 years. The Recreational Fee Demonstration Program was created in 1996 on a temporary basis to pay for maintenance on public lands. It was reauthorized several times and has collected $867 million since inception. The program was due to expire on Jan.
BUSINESS
September 17, 2004 | Jerry Hirsch, Times Staff Writer
When is a virgin not always a virgin? When the "virgin" describes the type of olive oil sold in the United States. In a rare case of a trade group asking the federal government for more regulation, the California Olive Oil Council is pressing the U.S. Department of Agriculture to tighten its grading standards.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 16, 2004 | From Associated Press
Federal regulators have accused UC San Francisco researchers of mistreating animals used in experiments over a three-year period. The U.S. Department of Agriculture issued 60 allegations of animal-care violations in a complaint dated Aug. 31, which was made public Tuesday by an animal-rights group.
NATIONAL
July 22, 2004 | Jia Lynn Yang, Times Staff Writer
Tens of thousands of black farmers have yet to see any of the compensation promised them by the U.S. Department of Agriculture five years ago in one of the federal government's largest-ever racial bias settlements, according to a report released this week by a public interest watchdog group. A two-year probe by the Environmental Working Group and the National Black Farmers Assn. found that the government had denied restitution to 81,000 out of 94,000 black farmers who sought compensation.
NATIONAL
July 14, 2004 | Johanna Neuman, Times Staff Writer
The U.S. Department of Agriculture, responding to a critical report, defended its testing program for mad cow disease Tuesday, saying the surveillance plan that went into effect June 1 targets "precisely the population of animals we should be testing." The draft report, prepared by the USDA's Office of Inspector General and released by Rep. Henry A.
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