Comments on the Food Safety Modernization Act are due Friday November 15! Signed by President Obama in 2011, the act is finally getting its finishing touches before the FDA takes its new rules on the road. Many small, locally-distributing farmers are concerned about the impact certain rules will have on their businesses, especially rules intended for larger operations. [Grist]
The government shutdown is causing many safety inspectors to be sent home. The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, responsible for the safety of US nuclear plants, is set to furlough about 3,600 of its 3,900 employees. The employees retained are resident inspectors at reactors and those ready to respond to emergencies. [Bloomberg]
Tesla's new electric sedan just received the highest federal safety testing score ever: 5.4 out of 5! Since the electric car doesn't have a combustion engine, more of the frame can absorb the impact of a crash, and the location of the car's battery pack under the floor makes it extremely difficult for the car to flip over. [EcoGeek]
EPA's research into the dangers posed to drinking water sources by fracking was expected to be completed in 2014, but now an agency official says that it won't be done until 2016. While it's important to get this research right, states and towns are in need of EPA's study yesterday, so this delay is significant. [Grist]
Get this: Clean drinking water for dairy cows is linked to improved milk production, says a Penn State Extension study. What's happening at PA dairy farms though is that water quality tests look typically only at bacterial contamination and not at other pollutants such as salts, heavy metals and nitrates. [PhysOrg]
The White House Office of Management and Budget has turned the mandatory requirements of food safety and testing in the Food Safety and Modernization Act into voluntary protocols, garnering the FDA to be potentially powerless to stop outbreaks of food contamination. [Grist]
Welcome to sequestration! Here's your quick guide on how those immediate, deep, across-the-board federal budget cuts will greatly impact food, water and energy programs (among many others). If you love meat, you'd best read on.
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