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FDA Announces New Strategy for Protecting Imported Foods

FDA Announces New Strategy for Protecting Imported Foods

On February 25, 2019, the U.S. Food Drug Administration (FDA) released a new strategy for improving food safety of imported foods in the U.S.

Globalization of the U.S. food supply has increased rapidly in the last fifteen years. The U.S. imports 15 percent of its total food supply, largely due to consumer demand for diverse and high-quality food products. According to the report, 32% of fresh vegetables, 55% of fresh fruits and 94% of seafood consumed comes from imports sourced from over 200 countries and 125,000 facilities and farms worldwide. Imported shipments of food to the U.S. are expected to climb to an impressive 15 million by end of this year.

You Can Help Protect SNAP for College Students

You Can Help Protect SNAP for College Students

In our February Newsletter, we wrote about a SNAP rule change proposed by the United States Department of Agriculture. The new rule would increase hunger and food insecurity by restricting the ability of states to waive the time limits for receipt of SNAP by able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDS). [Read earlier article here].

The State of New York would be particularly hard hit by the proposed rule. Nationally, USDA estimates that more than three quarters of a million current recipients would lose their SNAP benefits. Comments must be submitted by April 2.

Plastic-free Foodscapes: New bans and fees on single-use disposable shopping bags and food containers go into effect in 2019

Plastic-free Foodscapes: New bans and fees on single-use disposable shopping bags and food containers go into effect in 2019

Food or Plastic? That is the question. Estimates of the World Economic Forum indicate that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the oceans than fish. Every year, 8 million tons of plastic bags end up in our waterways and disrupt our environment and put our food supply in jeopardy. We are effectively dealing with both an environmental and a public health crisis. Animals can easily mistake plastic products for food – a dead sperm whale was found with 13 pounds of plastic its stomach last November– and plastic products break down into fragments transferring hazardous chemicals and toxic heavy metals, often added to add strength, quality, and pigment to these products. Leached out metals can then end up in foods and drinking water.

Dr. Amos Laar Discusses the Food Environment in Ghana at CUNY SPH

Dr. Amos Laar Discusses the Food Environment in Ghana at CUNY SPH

Amos Laar, Ph.D, a Senior Lecturer in the School of Public Health at the University of Ghana, visited the CUNY School of Public Health on Monday 2/11 to discuss his work to identify contemporary changes to the food environment in Ghana. Dr. Laar has written and presented extensively on maternal and young child nutrition, nutrition-related non-communicable diseases (NR-NCDs), as well as on the socio-cultural, socio-ethical, and medico-ethical dimensions of sexually, and perinatally transmissible infections – serving as a consultant to international organizations, national governments, and non-governmental organizations. You can read his most recent reports on Ghana’s Food Environment below.

Q and A on Food Democracy

Q and A on Food Democracy

In the last few years, democracy-- and food democracy -- has encountered several challenges here in New York City and nationally. Debates about, for example, Amazon’s on-again-off-again Long Island City deal, lobbying, voter registration, who gets to decide where to locate supermarkets and soda policy, each illustrate how we struggle to define democracy today. Why should food policy analysts and advocates care about democracy?

Proposed Rule Would Remove 755,000 People from SNAP Rolls

Proposed Rule Would Remove 755,000 People from SNAP Rolls

Once again, the Trump administration has posted a proposed rule change that would increase hunger and food insecurity in the United States. And again, advocates are calling for individuals and organizations to post comments during the mandatory 60-day comment period that ends on April 2. The proposed rule would change the basis on which the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) grants the states waivers from rules restricting unemployed adults without children to three months of SNAP benefits in a three-year period, commonly known as ABAWD regulations. USDA estimates that 755,000 people would lose benefits and predicts a net reduction in spending on SNAP benefits of $7.9 billion over five years. Some background may be helpful.

The CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute “Top 10” Food Policy Events of 2018

The CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute “Top 10” Food Policy Events of 2018

The past year reminds us once again that, every step forward can be accompanied by steps backward which forced us to often take food policy “victories” with a grain of salt. To help Food Policy Monitor readers take stock of the past year, we identify our staff choices for the Top 10 positive and negative food events in 2018, defined as events that had an important impact on urban food environments in New York City or elsewhere.

“B-Side” Food Metrics

“B-Side” Food Metrics

In the days of vinyl, songs on the b-side got little air play and never made the charts, even though they often were as good as – or sometimes better than -- the hits. As we reviewed New York City’s 2018 Food Metrics Report, released in December by the Mayor’s Office of Food Policy, we identified a number of “b-side food metrics” that would enrich our understanding of the food system. Yet these are rarely given proper air time, and as a result are often overlooked by advocates. Because these already collected and public data are sometimes hard to find, not aggregated and organized as food metrics, , they remain hidden in plain sight. In the examples that follow, we illustrate the value of these data sources in answering important policy questions for each of the Food Metrics Report’s four topical areas.