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Category Archives: Food and Nutrition

Number of food recalls and costs to business and society are rising

Swiss Re:

  • “Publication finds that the number of recalls per year in the US has almost doubled since 2002
  • Food contamination costs US health authorities USD 15.6 billion per year; nearly 9 million Americans became sick from contaminated food in 2013 alone
  • Half of all food recalls cost the affected companies more than USD 10 million – highlighting the value of risk transfer through insurance
  • A globalised food supply chain is making risk management for food recalls more difficult

Food manufacturers operate in a vast, globalised supply chain, where one mislabelled product or contaminated ingredient can cause sickness, death, multi-million dollar losses and massive reputational damage for the affected companies. Swiss Re’s Food Safety in a Globalised World examines how the increasing number food recalls is impacting consumers public health services, governments and companies globally. The report describes how risk mitigation and risk transfer through insurance can protect food manufacturers operating in a highly globalised, often fragmented, supply chain. Swiss Re’s analysis of publically available food recall data in the US shows that since 2002, the number of food recalls have nearly doubled. The increase has been influenced by regulatory changes and an increasingly globalised food supply chain… A single food recall can lead to severe financial loss and reputational damage for food producers. 52% of all food recalls cost the affected US companies more than USD 10 million each and losses of more than USD 100 million are possible. This figure excludes the reputational damage that may take a company years to recover from. The public sector is also heavily affected by contaminated food. According to the US Department of Agriculture, costs for the US public health system from hospitalised patients and lost wages in 2013 alone was USD 15.6 billion. In total 8.9 million people fell ill from the 15 pathogens tracked, with over 50,000 hospitalised and 2377 fatalities.”

CDC – Americans not eating anywhere near enough fruits vegetables

Oh my and what a surprise – not! via the CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) July 10, 2015 – Adults Meeting Fruit and Vegetable Intake Recommendations — United States, 2013 “Eating more fruits and vegetables adds nutrients to diets, reduces the risk for heart disease, stroke, and some cancers, and helps manage body weightContinue Reading

GAO Reports – Afghanistan, Buy Indian Act, Debt Limit, Diplomatic Security, FEMA, International Food Assistance

Afghanistan: Embassy Construction Cost and Schedule Have Increased, and Further Facilities Planning Is Needed, GAO-15-755T: Published: Jul 9, 2015. Publicly Released: Jul 9, 2015. Buy Indian Act: Bureau of Indian Affairs and Indian Health Service Need Greater Insight into Implementation at Regional Offices, GAO-15-588: Published: Jul 9, 2015. Publicly Released: Jul 9, 2015. Debt Limit:Continue Reading

Spread the Word About Free Summer Meals For Kids

“Don’t let kids go hungry this summer. Just because school is out doesn’t mean they can’t get the same free or reduced-cost meals they rely on during the school year. In fact, any kid or teen 18 and under can eat for free at designated summer meals sites across the country. But too many families don’tContinue Reading

Bee Survey: Lower Winter Losses, Higher Summer Losses, Increased Total Annual Losses

USDA – “Losses of managed honey bee colonies were 23.1 percent for the 2014-2015 winter but summer losses exceeded winter numbers for the first time, making annual losses for the year 42.1 percent, according to preliminary results of the annual survey conducted by the Bee Informed Partnership (, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) andContinue Reading

21.3 Percent of U.S. Population Participates in Government Assistance Programs Each Month

“Approximately 52.2 million (or 21.3 percent) people in the U.S. participated in major means-tested government assistance programs each month in 2012, according to a U.S. Census Bureau report released today. Participation rates were highest for Medicaid (15.3 percent) and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as the food stamp program (13.4 percent). The averageContinue Reading

State of Senior Hunger in America 2013: An Annual Report

“The National Foundation to End Senior Hunger (NFESH) has released a study, entitled State of Senior Hunger in America 2013: An Annual Report, conducted by Dr. James P. Ziliak and Dr. Craig G. Gundersen. Commissioned by NFESH, this report reveals that 15.5 percent of seniors or 9.6 million individuals age 60 or older in theContinue Reading

New GAO Reports – Airport Finance, Domestic Food Assistance, Federal Employees Compensation, Older Adults, Surface Ships

Airport Finance: Information on Funding Sources and Planned Capital Development, GAO-15-306: Published: Apr 28, 2015. Publicly Released: May 20, 2015. Army Force Structure: Observations about Aviation Restructuring and Other Relevant Force Structure Challenges, D10389: May 20, 2015 Contingent Workforce: Size, Characteristics, Earnings, and Benefits, GAO-15-168R: Published: Apr 20, 2015. Publicly Released: May 20, 2015. DomesticContinue Reading

New GAO Reports – Afghanistan, Nutrition Assistance, Rural Housing, School Meals, Aviation Safety, Defense Contracting, Regulatory Guidance Process

Afghanistan: Embassy Construction Cost and Schedule Have Increased, and Further Facilities Planning Is Needed, GAO-15-410: Published: May 19, 2015. Publicly Released: May 19, 2015. Nutrition Assistance: Actions Needed to Address Potential Online Sales of Infant Formula, GAO-15-605T: Published: May 19, 2015. Publicly Released: May 19, 2015. Rural Housing Service: Progress on GAO Recommendations and PreliminaryContinue Reading

Why Do We Throw Away So Much Food in the United States?

“In an e360 video, filmmaker Karim Chrobog looks at the staggering amount of food wasted in the U.S. – a problem with major human and environmental costs. The video focuses on Washington, D.C., which has taken steps to see that food ends up with those who need it rather than in landfills. First in aContinue Reading

World Happiness Report 2015

“Since it was first published in 2012, the World Happiness Report demonstrated that well-being and happiness are critical indicators of a nation’s economic and social development, and should be a key aim of policy. This year’s report looks at the changes in happiness levels in 158 countries, and examines the reasons behind the statistics. The WorldContinue Reading

State of the World’s Mothers 2015

“In commemoration of Mother’s Day, Save the Children is publishing its 16th annual State of the World’s Mothers report with a special focus on our rapidly urbanizing world and the poorest mothers and children who must struggle to survive despite overall urban progress. Every day, 17,000 children die before reaching their fifth birthday. Increasingly, theseContinue Reading