In Food Policy This Week: 5 News Bites
- Halloumi is one of the biggest growing industries on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, which exports about $70 million a year of the rubbery cheese. The Cypriot government recently declared that all halloumi cheese produced in the country must contain at least 51% sheep and goat's milk. This has angered the many producers of the cheese that use up to 90% cow's milk in their production. Many farmers are at odds and the issue has become so fraught that the government is reconsidering the regulation.
- In the aftermath of New York City's soda ban, which limits the size of soda sold in retailers to 16 ounces, the soda industry is suing the city's Department of Health. The plaintiffs in the case include the American Beverage Association, who poured millions of dollars into a campaign opposing the ban. Marion Nestle provides a look at the suit's claim - that the ban restricts personal freedom; the board of health doesn't have the legal power to implement the ban; and that New Yorkers are opposed to the ban - and provides her own commentary.
- As a result of the devastating drought last year, Texas lost over 306 million trees. More than 5 million of those trees were in urban areas. The state government is working on replanting trees that are more drought- and disease-resistant, anticipating future climate activity that may prove unfriendly to weaker trees. The total agricultural losses of the state topped $8 billion.
- The New York City Council implemented a rule last week that all business that employ bicycle deliverymen or women must pay for them to receive bike safety training. This measure is meant to improve the safety of both cyclists and pedestrians or drivers who have to compete with cyclists for the road. The Atlantic provides a deeper look at why bike deliverymen sometimes bike so aggressively, and how these safety precautions might help improve delivery safety.
Bloomberg Markets did an investigation into the FDA's approval process for food products. They found that in 2011, the agency only inspected 6% of domestic food producers and only 0.4% of importers. This low percentage is partially due to understaffing, but Bloomberg also found it fishy that inspectors often had investment connections to the corporations they were supposed to be inspecting without bias. The fallout from improper investigation could be increased sicknesses and even deaths among consumers who are exposed to bad product.
About the Author: A student in Providence, Rhode Island, Leah Douglas loves learning about, talking about, reading about, and consuming food. Her work has also been featured in Rhode Island Monthly Magazine.