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Ground and processed poultry is contaminated with salmonella at much higher rates than whole birds, USDA figures show. (USDA/Flickr)
Ground and processed poultry is contaminated with salmonella at much higher rates than whole birds, USDA figures show. (USDA/Flickr)

Food safety regulators are hoping new rules will reduce the number of Americans sickened by salmonella bacteria found on the chicken they eat. Currently, salmonella is estimated to cause about 1 million illnesses a year.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is cracking down on the amount of salmonella it will allow on certain poultry products. Poultry companies will be required to keep incidences of salmonella to under 15 percent of the chicken parts they produce under new standards released Thursday.

The USDA has had success in cutting the proportion of whole chickens found with salmonella. Now it’s focusing on cut-up chicken parts and on ground chicken and turkey, says James Dickson, a professor who studies food safety at Iowa State University.

Leaders from the 12 countries involved in the Trans Pacific Partnership met in Auckland, New Zealand, to formally sign the trade agreement Feb. 4, 2016. (Courtesy Office of the U.S. Trade Representative)

The U.S. is formally part of the biggest global trade partnership in history after the countries involved in the Trans-Pacific Partnership symbolically signed the deal in New Zealand. For President Obama, now comes the hard work.  

 

Twelve countries bordering the Pacific Ocean negotiated for years to hammer out the TPP. Though the deal is expected to open up new markets for American agricultural exports, especially soybeans and beef, it remains controversial.

 

“There are some people suggesting the concessions that have been made in terms of access into the U.S. market will offset that,” said Julian Binfield, director of international programs at the University of Missouri. “Or some people would suggest that the deal didn’t as go far as some people would have liked.”

 

The battle now moves to Congress for approval, where the TPP has been met with opposition from both sides of the aisle. Legislators will ultimately vote to approve or reject the deal in the coming months.

Brian Campbell, a graduate student at Colorado State University, shows off hemp stalks at the university's research farm. (Luke Runyon/Harvest Public Media)
Brian Campbell, a graduate student at Colorado State University, shows off hemp stalks at the university's research farm. (Luke Runyon/Harvest Public Media)

Colorado is now home to some of the nation’s first certified organic cannabis, which comes with a blessing from federal regulators. CBDRx, a Longmont, Colo. cannabis farm, has secured a certification to market its products with the organic seal from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a major coup for the plant’s enthusiasts.

“As long as the industrial hemp is grown according to the Farm Bill, it can be certified organic to the USDA National Organic Program,” Penelope Zuck, USDA’s organic program accreditation manager, wrote in an email correspondence to a Colorado State University professor obtained by KUNC.

Catch that? We’re talking about hemp here, which is still considered cannabis under federal law. The distinction, and USDA’s decision to certify it, throws the plant into an even larger legal gray area.

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