Fresh, ripe summer strawberries in plastic cartons.

Strawberries were a wake-up call: Food contamination has been a regular feature in Australian news headlines over the past fortnight. The discovery of needles in strawberries and other fruit has been the main cause of concern, with incidents spreading across the country and overseas. The food industry has long focused on food safety and assuring the quality of its products, primarily using  Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) principles. Food safety practices, however, are not enough to protect the food chain from deliberate contamination. INTERPOL and the FBI have said that “insider threats” are one of the biggest challenges in preventing intentional tampering and contamination of food systems, and HACCP won’t do the job. READ MORE

FOOD SAFETY

FDA may release names of retailers: FDA is considering a policy of releasing the names of retailers who have products involved in outbreaks that could result in illness or deaths. The FDA has already tested the practice, for a fresh-cut cantaloupe, honeydew and watermelon recall linked to Salmonella cases this year, releasing hundreds of locations in 23 states who received the products. READ MORE

Food safety advocate wants answers: A top food safety advocate in Congress, Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-CT, is demanding more information from USDA about the a recent outbreak of E. coli O26 that has caused 18 illnesses and one death. A week ago, Cargill Meat Solutions recalled 66 tons of ground beef, a month after FSIS had been notified of an investigation and two weeks after Publix supermarkets had already initiated a recall. DeLauro is asking, for one thing, why traceback took so long. READ MORE

USDA sets goals for animal disease traceability: USDA has announced four goals for increasing animal disease traceability to protect the long-term health, marketability and economic viability of the U.S. livestock industry. The goals focus on increased electronic sharing of data and the use of electronic tags to trace data from specific animals. The system would protect against a potentially devastating outbreak like foot-and-mouth disease. READ MORE

WATER

The WOTUS fight continues: The American Farm Bureau Federation and a broad coalition of business groups has asked a federal district court in Georgia to expand its prior order delaying implementation of the controversial 2015 Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule in 11 states. The coalition asked that the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia extend its previous injunction to block the WOTUS rule in the remaining 22 states that are currently subject to WOTUS. READ MORE

GLYPHOSATE CONTROVERSY

Bayer rejects bee argument: Bayer’s Crop Science division rejects interpretations that a recent study has found a link between glyphosate herbicide and honey bee health issues. Glyphosate is sold as Roundup, manufactured by Bayer subsidiary Monsanto. Bayer scientists say no large-scale study has ever found a link between glyphosate and honey bee health and raise several other questions. READ MORE

PUBLIC HEALTH

Another case of monkeypox: A third person has been diagnosed with monkeypox in England, Public Health England have confirmed. The latest case is a health care worker who had cared for a patient at Blackpool Victoria Hospital in the north of England before that person was diagnosed. Monkeypox is a rare viral infection, similar to human smallpox, that typically occurs in remote parts of central and West Africa, according to the World Health Organization. READ MORE

A new way to ID dangerous mosquito: A new device out of the University of Texas is expected to make surveillance of a mosquito species known for carrying deadly diseases quick and easy. Researchers have created a tool with which users can crush a dead mosquito and add a mixture of chemicals to determine whether it belongs to the Aedes aegypti species, which can carry the Zika virus, dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever. READ MORE

Mosquitos now a problem in areas hit by hurricane: Hurricane Florence exited Robeson County, N.C., a week and a half ago, but the hurricane still has some bite. The record rainfall has created pools of water that are perfect breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Bill Smith, county health department director, calls them “nuisance” mosquitoes, and not generally a threat to a person’s health, such as mosquitoes that carry bacteria that can make people sick and even kill them. READ MORE

WEIRD STUFF

Haitian trash on NC beaches: Hurricane Florence is being blamed for piles of trash from Haiti and the Dominican Republic found strewn across miles of North Carolina beaches. That’s an 1,100 mile trip across the Atlantic. Residents began posting photos of the mysterious trash on Facebook over the weekend, noting brightly colored products labeled in Spanish and French were now lodged in the sand. READ MORE