Hurd’s edgy blog on food safety

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Geni Wren Do you want some real straight talk about food safety issues in animal agriculture from someone who has been at one of the highest levels in ag policy for our government?

Then check out the new blog Food Safety and Animal Health, from Scott Hurd, DVM, PhD, from Iowa State University's College of Veterinary Medicine.

You can find Hurd's blog here.

Hurd has been at the forefront as an expert on food safety topics such as antimicrobial use and resistance, among others. After serving until 2009 as the deputy and acting undersecretary for food safety of the USDA, where he was the country’s highest ranking food safety veterinarian and policy advisor to the Secretary of Agriculture, Hurd’s ability to spin down scientific and regulatory issues into understandable language is commendable.

A favorite source of information for Bovine Veterinarian on many topics, I asked Hurd about his new blog and why he decided to start it. “It seems every week a reporter is asking me about some food safety issue,” Hurd says. “The interviews never allow me to say my whole story. So this helps me to form my opinions and say what they may have missed.”

Hurd intends to write about “Anything that relates to the nexus of animals and food safety. There seem to be an endless stream of negative stories and misinformation.  I had decided to do it before ‘pink slime’, but that pushed me over the edge!”

A sample paragraph from Hurd’s April 19th blog, titled, “Do the science of food safety: booorrring!” tells it like it is and ended with: I strongly suggest that we listen to the flock of scientists employed by FSIS, FDA, universities, and the food industry; boring as it may be. We pay them! They have no desire to make anyone sick, nor incite unnecessary controversy. They don’t get extra funding to scare people. They desire to find answers, fix problems, and make a positive difference.

Hurd says his blog is intended for anyone who will listen, but mostly reporters. He believes his food safety peers “Will appreciate someone sticking their neck out” on complex and controversial topics, and says so far, his peers have given him positive feedback.

Visit Hurd’s blogspot and see what he has to say about some of our most important food-safety issues today – no holds barred.



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