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Cut in funding does not undermine U.S. meat safety: agriculture secretary

By Ros Krasny WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A cut in funding for the U.S. meat and poultry inspections contained in the Obama administration's 2015 budget proposal does not mean less attention to food safety, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said on Tuesday. "The bottom line is - we are not compromising safety here," Vilsack said on a conference call with reporters following the release of the White House's budget proposals.

Colorado farmers get home detention for 2011 listeria outbreak

By Robert Boczkiewicz DENVER (Reuters) - A federal court judge sentenced two Colorado farmers on Tuesday to six months of home detention and five years probation for their role in a deadly 2011 listeria outbreak linked to contaminated cantaloupes. Eric and Ryan Jensen, brothers who are former owners of Colorado-based Jensen Farms, pleaded guilty in October to six counts of adulteration of a food and aiding and abetting linked to one of the deadliest U.S. outbreaks of food-borne illness.

China, Japan dumpling poisoner gets life

A Chinese court on Monday convicted a man of poisoning dumplings causing around 13 people in Japan and China to fall ill and sentenced him to life in prison, state-run media reported. Factory worker Lu Yueting was reported to have injected the dumplings with insecticide in 2008 as a protest against his employer over pay. A court in the northern Chinese city of Shijiazhuang sentenced Lu to life in prison for the crime of "insertion of dangerous substances", China's state broadcaster CCTV said.

Over 1,000 ill as Japan tainted food scandal widens

More than 1,000 people have fallen ill after eating pesticide-contaminated frozen food as a scandal widens across Japan, Jiji Press reported Wednesday. People have reported vomiting, diarrhoea and other symptoms of food poisoning after eating products including pizza and lasagne made by a subsidiary of Maruha Nichiro Holdings, the nation's largest seafood firm. The number of people affected by the tainted food has now risen to over 1,000, with more than 200 taken ill in the northern main island of Hokkaido alone, Jiji said.

300 sick in Japan after eating contaminated food

More than 300 people across Japan have fallen ill after eating frozen food products contaminated with pesticide, reports said Tuesday. Shoppers have reported vomiting, diarrhoea and other symptoms of food poisoning after eating food produced at a plant in Gunma, north of Tokyo, according to surveys carried out by the Asahi Shimbun and other local media. The plant, run by a subsidiary of the nation's largest seafood firm Maruha Nichiro Holdings, is at the centre of the nation's latest food poisoning scandal.

Fox meat makes an ass of Wal-Mart's China donkey product

Global retail giant Wal-Mart Stores has recalled a donkey meat product from some Chinese stores after tests found traces of other animals' DNA, the company said Thursday, after authorities said it contained fox meat. The world's largest retailer will reimburse customers who bought the "Five Spice Donkey Meat" 50 yuan ($8.25), a spokeswoman told AFP. The company would also independently DNA test all of its "high risk" meats in China, a procedure which is not required by retailers under Chinese food laws, the spokeswoman said.

One dead, seven injured by contaminated China parcels

A man was killed and seven others were injured in China after receiving parcels from a delivery company that had become contaminated with toxic chemicals, it was reported Saturday. The unnamed man, from China's eastern Shandong province, died after taking delivery of a box of shoes in late November which were tainted with methyl fluoroacetate, a highly toxic chemical, the Xinhua news agency reported citing the local post bureau.

Gov't to launch full investigation into false food labeling

The government decided Monday to carry out a concerted investigation into the food service industry amid a scandal over widespread false labeling. In a meeting of senior officials of the Consumer Affairs Agency and other relevant agencies, it was decided that the government will compile the results of the investigation by the end of November before drawing up guidelines, possibly by year-end, to regulate descriptions of menu items at restaurants and other eating establishments, according to officials.

2 Colo. farmers tied to deadly listeria outbreak plead guilty to introducing tainted food

DENVER - Two Colorado farmers whose cantaloupes were tied to a 2011 listeria outbreak that killed 33 people pleaded guilty on Tuesday to misdemeanour charges. Eric and Ryan Jensen entered the pleas in federal court in Denver to six counts of introducing adulterated food into interstate commerce. Prosecutors say the brothers agreed to plead guilty without any concessions regarding sentencing. "These young men are stepping up because it happened on their watch," Forrest Lewis, a lawyer for Eric Jensen, said in court.

Colo. cantaloupe farmers charged in deadly listeria outbreak plan to plead guilty under deal

DENVER - Two Colorado cantaloupe farmers plan to plead guilty under a deal with federal prosecutors in connection with the 2011 listeria outbreak that killed 33 people in the nation's deadliest case of foodborne illness in a quarter century. Eric and Ryan Jensen filed documents Tuesday notifying the court that they would plead guilty to unspecified charges under the agreements. Details typically aren't disclosed until the hearing where defendants formally change their pleas.
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