May 18, 2012
The Best, Most Disgusting Reporting on Food Safety
The recent brouhaha over pink slime (and other lovely mass meat production processes) is only the beginning. Here’s our roundup of some standout reporting about the food on your plate.
This is a multifaceted, perennial topic. If you think we missed any, we’re happy to hear suggestions. Please email a link to MuckReads@propublica.org or tweet it with the hashtag #muckreads.
Safety of Beef Processing Method Is Questioned, The New York Times, December 2009
What the USDA Doesn't Want You to Know About Antibiotics and Factory Farms, Mother Jones, July 2011
Asian Honey, Banned in Europe, Is Flooding U.S. Grocery Shelves, Food Safety News, August 2011
America's Dangerous Food-Safety System, The Daily Beast/ Newsweek, September 2011 A shortage of inspectors in the U.S. food-safety system exposes Americans to the risk of illness and death.
Nation's Food Anti-terror Plans Costly, Unwieldy, Associated Press, September 2011 An AP investigation into the United States' $3.4 billion food counter-terrorism program found that progress had been slowed by a complex web of bureaucracy. Contributed by @joannalin
On The Menu, But Not On Your Plate, Boston Globe, October 2011 A Globe-organized DNA test revealed scores of mislabeled fish in Massachusetts restaurants, grocery stores and seafood markets. Often, “local” fish was actually hauled from thousands of miles away, and while some chefs and store owners seemed to have no clue, others admitted to knowingly selling mislabeled food to boost profits. Experts said it reflects a nationwide trend that causes diners to unwittingly overpay, may make people sick and results in overfishing.
Dispute Over Drug in Feed Limiting U.S. Meat Exports, MSNBC, January 2012
How Washington Went Soft on Child Obesity, Reuters, April 2012
A History of FDA Inaction on Animal Antibiotics, ProPublica, April 2012
As Beef Cattle Become Behemoths, Who Are Animal Scientists Serving? The Chronicle of Higher Education, April 2012
Bonus points: In 1968, Nathan Kotz of the Des Moines Register and Minneapolis Tribune won a Pulitzer Prize for reporting on unsanitary conditions in meat packing plants, which, according to the Pulitzer site, helped ensure passage of the Federal Wholesome Meat Act of 1967. Anybody have an online copy?
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