food policy


ABC’s ‘Pink Slime’ Report Tied to $177 Million in Settlement Costs

Lane Hickenbottom/Reuters

On Beef Products ‘Pink Slime’ lawsuit….

The Walt Disney Company said in its latest quarterly financial statement that it had $177 million in costs related to settling litigation. The announcement came just weeks after ABC News, a Disney unit, reached a settlement with a meat producer that accused the network of defamation for its reports about so-called pink slime, a processed beef product used as low-cost filler.

The company’s statement, released on Aug. 8, said in a footnote that the $177 million charge was “incurred” in the nine-month period ending July 1, in addition to what was covered by insurance. It gave no details about whether that charge — or how much of it — was directly related to the processed beef product case.

Read on at The New York Times.

Egg Scandal Spirals Into Political Test for Belgium

Photo by GUIDO KIRCHNER/AFP/Getty Images

On the egg controversy in the EU…

A snowballing health scandal over a poisonous insecticide in eggs has revived the specter of a massive political crisis in 1999 that brought down the government.

Belgium will convene an emergency session of ministers in parliament Wednesday to determine whether it can still rely on the food safety apparatus created nearly 20 years ago to prevent a rerun of the dioxin crisis, which is now etched into Belgians’ memories.

Cluck on at Politico.

May Food Policy Round-Up: Obama Talks Agriculture, Sonny Perdue Gets Busy, and More

Via Evan El-Amin / Shutterstock.com


An update on the state of food policy in the U.S….

In one of his first public appearances since vacating the White House, Barack Obama stood before a crowd in Milan today and spoke on a topic he rarely touched as president: farming. While some media outlets were quick to comment on his tieless, unbuttoned shirt—not just one, but two buttons were undone (GQ scolded him for a “skin-to-seriousness ratio” more suited to Fabio than a former president)—we thought you’d be more interested in what he had to say about food policy.

Speaking at the Seeds and Chips Global Food Innovation Summit, essentially a forum on technology and the food system, Obama spent much of his 15-minute speech cracking jokes about life after the White House and touting his legacy on climate change. But afterwards, in a lengthier question-and-answer session with Sam Kass, Obama’s former Senior Policy Advisor on Nutrition and the first family’s one-time personal chef, he delved into a sophisticated conversation about why the agriculture industry, which is the second biggest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, is not a more central part of the conversation around climate change.

Read on at Modern Farmer.

M.F.K. Fisher: Poet of the Appetites | The New School

THE NEW SCHOOL | http://www.newschool.edu

Mary Frances Kennedy Fisher, master food writer, worked with many American food celebrities, including Julia Child, James Beard, and Alice Waters. In the year of the centennial of her birth, a panel of distinguished guests celebrate her life. http://www.newschool.edu/writing

Panelists include Amanda Hesser, editor, New York Times and author of the foreword to M.F.K. Fisher Among the Pots and Pans: Celebrating Her Kitchens; Judith Jones, author of The Tenth Muse: My Life in Food; Joan Reardon, author of M.F.K. Fisher, Julia Child, and Alice Waters: Celebrating the Pleasures of the Table; Poet of the Appetites: The Lives and Loves of M.F.K. Fisher, and M.F.K. Fisher Among the Pots and Pans: Celebrating Her Kitchens; and Kennedy Golden, Associate Dean, Mills College, and the daughter of M.F.K. Fisher. Andrew F. Smith, editor of the Oxford Companion to American Food and Drink, moderates.

Visit http://www.newschool.edu for more information.

*Location: Wollman Hall, Eugene Lang Building, 65 West 11th Street.
Monday, September 22, 2008 6:00 p.m.