FDA

Grant Gerlock / Harvest Public Media

Walking through the warehouse of food processor Heartland Gourmet in Lincoln, Nebraska shows how complicated the food safety system can be. Pallets are stacked with sacks of potato flour and smell of fresh baked apple-cinnamon muffins is in the air. 

Heartland Gourmet makes a wide range of foods from muffins and organic baking mixes to pizzas and burritos. That means business manager Mark Zink has to answer to both of the main U.S. food safety regulators, the Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday released a drastically streamlined application for access to drugs still in testing.

The move could have implications for a “Right to Try” bill in the Kansas Legislature that says terminally ill Kansans may access those drugs without applying to the FDA.

Proponents of the bill say that the current FDA application process can take more than 100 hours for a physician to complete, which makes it difficult to find doctors willing to do so.

Steve Smith / Flickr--CC

Missouri residents who have exhausted conventional disease cures will have access to experimental drugs under legislation signed on Monday by Gov. Jay Nixon.

The so-called Right to Try legislation gives patients and their doctors the ability to procure drugs that have yet to gain approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration if the pharmaceutical manufacturer agrees to provide the product.

If you were dying and had exhausted all conventional treatment options, wouldn’t you want immediate access to a drug that might prove to be a miracle cure?

That’s the promise of legislation that, if signed by Gov. Jay Nixon, would make Missouri the third state in the country - after Colorado and Louisiana – to enact a so-called “Right to Try” law, which aims to get  investigational drugs into the hands of terminally ill patients as quickly as possible.

FDA Pushing To Limit Livestock Antibiotics

Dec 12, 2013
Bill Wheelhouse / Harvest Public Media

The FDA wants to phase out antibiotics in meat.

Regulators released a broad plan Wednesday, designed to prevent meat producers from using drugs that are also used to treat sick humans. That means some changes Midwest farmers and ranchers will have to get used to.

FDA Increases Inspections On Cantaloupe Farms

Apr 29, 2013
Scott Bauer / USDA--Creative Commons

The Food and Drug Administration is ratcheting up inspections this year on cantaloupe farms and other processing facilities throughout the country. The increased scrutiny is in direct response to two large-scale outbreaks of deadly food borne bacteria.

Both outbreaks were tied directly to tainted cantaloupe. Salmonella on melons from Indiana and listeria on some from Colorado killed 36 people.

The repercussions were felt by cantaloupe growers throughout the country - including Michael Hirakata in Colorado’s Arkansas River valley.

A nonprofit foundation set up to support scientific research of interest to the Food and Drug Administration is finally starting to take off after years of struggling financially — and it's about to get some long-promised funding from the FDA.

But some critics worry that this foundation, which will also raise money from private sources including industry, could provide a way for the food and medical industries to sway FDA decisions.

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