first_imgHome » News » All 33 London councils sign up to join Mayor’s new rogue agent database previous nextRegulation & LawAll 33 London councils sign up to join Mayor’s new rogue agent databaseExisting 12 boroughs who already supply names of errant landlords and agents will now be joined by rest of capital’s councils.Nigel Lewis24th May 20180821 Views The Mayor of London’s rogue agent and landlord list has gone live after all of London’s 32 boroughs and the City of London agreed to participate in the scheme.Mayor Sadiq Khan’s list includes landlords and letting agents who have been prosecuted, fined or expelled from the industry’s two redress schemes.But the list only includes records so far of landlords and agents in Brent, Camden, Greenwich, Islington, Kingston, Newham, Redbridge, Southwark, Sutton, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest and Westminster.The other councils will now add their ‘rogue data’ as soon as possible, the Mayor’s office says.The roll call currently includes some 260 names and businesses which will remain on the website for three years.Rogue onesExamples include a landlord instructed by City of Westminster to stop renting out a property because it was unsafe, but who continued to do so, and a letting agent who managed an HMO that did not comply with ‘safe and good condition’ rules.All the letting agents on the site are small, independent ones with the exception of one Strattons branch based in Stratford, which was convicted of a criminal offence in September last year for failing to secure a licence for an HMO, and fined £2,000.The most recent agent on the list is Kentish Town based Olivers Residential Ltd, which last month was fined £2,000, also for failing to obtain a licence for an HMO.“Importantly, it is also the first time renters have had a central online tool that should take some of the stress out of reporting potentially criminal housing conditions to their local authority,” says Richard Lambert, CEO of the National Landlords Association (pictured)Richard Lambert National Landlords Association London Mayor of London Rogue agent list Sadiq Khan May 24, 2018Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021last_img read more

first_imgThe JCR President of Pembroke has criticised The Times for its publication of its article, ‘Oxford’s value for money league table points way forward’. The newspaper has been accused of manipulating the findings of Oxford University’s Student Union college inequalities report in order “to widen the discrepancy between colleges.” Exeter College emerged at the top of a league table, published alongside The Times article, that ranks Oxford colleges according to the value they offer students. Harris Manchester and Pembroke were placed bottom for providing the least for students’ money. Ryan McGhee wrote to The Times, along with nine others who had compiled the Student Union study, claiming that the article fails “to compare like with like – your table compares the highest rent bands in the most expensive colleges with the lowest rent bands in the cheapest ones.” The table exposes a huge discrepancy between the wealthy colleges, which can afford to use cheap rents as an incentive for the brightest students, and those at the bottom which in general produce lower Norrington Table results for a far greater charge. Exeter is almost twice as good value as the bottom colleges according to the study, which compares colleges’ academic record with the cost of attending them. Robin Hopkins, JCR President at Exeter, said that any excitement about Exeter topping the table was overshadowed by current negotiations over rents and charges. However, he said students do currently feel happy that they are not overcharged and believe food and accommodation are good value. However, the decision to write to the Times was unpopular with some of those named as having signed the letter. One JCR President feared that the Student Union would be seen as petty and that the article as a whole reinforced the original report’s conclusions.ARCHIVE: 4th week TT 2003last_img read more

first_imgGrahams Bakery in Dromore, Northern Ireland, has announced a partnership with charity Barnardo’s. As part of the bakery’s corporate and social responsiblity programme it has launched promotion packs to raise funds for the charity and has involved staff by encouraging them to fund raise at events. “We are constantly looking at ways to improve as a business, and want to get the community involved with what we do, and the obvious choice was a charity,” explained sales and marketing manager, Alistair Toal. The bakery then invited interest from a number of charities, involving their staff in the decision, before deciding that Barnardo’s was perfect choice.last_img read more

first_imgEmployers can keep track of how hard their staff are working with the AccuTime Smart Card Time Recording System, which records what days an employee has worked, when they started and finished each day, if overtime was worked and their total salary. Accurate time sheets can be produced in seconds.Employees insert their card into a machine on arrival and departure, then a supervisor inserts the master card to transfer clockings to the PC. It can print daily, weekly, monthly and date range reports, plus information such as overtime, lateness, lunch break, off-site and business leave.AccuTime MD Tony Lucas said: “It is a reliable way of calculating your staff-worked hours and has proven popular with bakeries and many other UK firms.”last_img read more

first_imgThank you Mr President.The Security Council has long recognised that the situation in Yemen threatens international peace and security. It has caused the world’s largest humanitarian crisis, which gets worse by the day. The conflict creates ungoverned spaces in which terrorists can operate, poses security threats to countries in the region and international shipping, and fuels regional tensions. While international attention is rightly focussed on the horror that continues to unfold in Syria, this Council must not ignore the appalling situation in Yemen.We have a duty to respond using all the tools at our disposal. We must show unity of effort and purpose to put an end to this terrible and destabilising conflict. That is why we have tabled this resolution before us today.Mr President,The UN sanctions regime is a critical tool that we must use to pressurise the individuals and organisations bent on undermining peace and security in Yemen.We welcome the work of the Panel of Experts, who have played a key role in supporting the Sanctions Committee to carry out its mandate, including through the provision of recommendations regarding the implementation of measures decided upon in Security Council Resolutions 2140 and 2216. It is vital that this work, the work of the Panel of Experts, continues.Furthermore, we in this Council must not ignore the growing ballistic missile threat emanating from Yemen, which gravely threatens international peace and security. Attacks such as those launched on 22 July, 4 November and 19 December against civilian targets in Saudi Arabia are unacceptable. They undermine the prospects for peace, prolong the conflict, and put civilian lives at risk. This Council must speak out with a united voice against such attacks. We can do this by voting in favour of the resolution before us today, which strongly condemns these attacks.The United Kingdom is deeply concerned that Iran has failed to take the necessary measures to prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer of short-range ballistic missiles, missile propellant and unmanned aerial vehicles to the then Houthi-Saleh alliance, as reported by the Panel of Experts. We agree with the Panel’s assessment that in light of this, Iran is in non-compliance with paragraph 14 of Resolution 2216.Iran – and other states who violate the Security Council Resolutions – must be held accountable for this. This Council needs to stand firm in the face of state non-compliance and send a clear message that it will not be tolerated. This is what the UN Charter demands from us: to respect the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law.Mr President,We are also deeply concerned by the growing humanitarian crisis in Yemen. A record 22.2 million people are now in need of assistance – 3.4 million more than last year. Last year’s UN humanitarian appeal was only 70 per cent funded, and this year’s appeal stands at $2.96 billion. We encourage all member states to respond fully to this appeal. Restrictions on vital humanitarian access continue to be imposed by all parties to the conflict. The impact of access restrictions on the people of Yemen are made clear by the UN Panel of Experts and therefore this resolution before you calls for full and unfettered access for humanitarian and commercial cargo through all of Yemen’s ports, including Hodeidah and Saleef, and for supplies to be increased beyond pre-November levels.This year is an important year. With a new UN Special Envoy in place, it is vital that the international community redoubles its efforts to achieve a political solution to the conflict. We call upon all parties to the conflict to resolve their differences through dialogue and consultation and refrain from provocation. Until an enduring political settlement is reached, we must maintain the sanctions regime to deter those who would otherwise use violence to achieve their political aims.The United Kingdom has worked hard with all Council members in order to reach consensus on a resolution which responds to our concern at all the ongoing political, security, economic and humanitarian challenges in Yemen, and the threats arising from the illicit transfer and misuse of weapons. Today we have spent over five hours in detailed talks with delegations, and have proposed a number of compromises. I am personally grateful for all of your patience today. We have sought to agree a text which provides a balanced and impartial assessment of the situation in Yemen but which does not shy away from calling out those whose actions undermine international peace and security. Today we need to show that we in this Council are unified against the threats to Yemen’s future. We must also send a clear message that we support the independence and integrity of the UN Panel of Experts. We in this Council rely on these independent expert international panels. We may not always like all of their reports. We may find their conclusions politically inconvenient. But if we want the United Nations to function, we need to support them in their work.Those who do not vote in favour of this resolution today are preventing us from sending a clear message to those that seek to undermine the peace and security in Yemen and the region beyond. They are also failing in their duty to do all they can to uphold the international rules-based system and hold those states that violate resolutions agreed by this Council to account.With this in mind, I strongly urge now you now to vote in favour of the resolution before you.Thank you Mr President.last_img read more

first_img align the Direction with the requirements of the Value for Money Standard introduced in April 2018 to accommodate the legislative abolition of the Disposal Proceeds Fund to reflect wider changes in legislation and changes in accounting standards and recommended practice The Regulator of Social Housing has launched a 6-week consultation on proposals to make minor revisions to its Accounting Direction for private registered providers of social housing.Legislation permits the regulator to make directions to PRPs about the way providers prepare their accounts, and to profit-making PRPs in respect of social housing activities. The Accounting Direction ensures that PRPs report a common minimum set of disclosures within their accounts and that various aspects of compliance with the Regulatory Standards are disclosed and certified within the published accounts. It does not direct on the individual measures that providers choose to take.The proposed changes aim to: The Regulator of Social Housing promotes a viable, efficient and well-governed social housing sector able to deliver homes that meet a range of needs. It does this by undertaking robust economic regulation focusing on governance, financial viability and value for money that maintains lender confidence and protects the taxpayer. It also sets consumer standards and may take action if these standards are breached and there is a significant risk of serious detriment to tenants or potential tenants. For more information visit the RSH website. The Regulatory standards can be found on the RSH website.center_img Any changes made to the Accounting Direction will come into force for accounting periods commencing 1 January 2019.Alongside the publication of the consultation document the Regulator will engage in discussions with stakeholders, including providers and sector advisors.The consultation will remain open until 20 December 2018.Further information See our Media enquiries page for press office contact details. For general queries, please email [email protected] or call 0300 124 5225.last_img read more

first_imgRight now, Phish is playing their first of three shows on the beach in Riviera Maya, Mexico. The show is being webcast via LivePhish, but due to widespread issues being experienced by those who bought the webcast, the powers that be have moved the rest of tonight’s stream over to YouTube for free. Thanks, LivePhish!Get it while it’s hot! And this show has been hot so far. As Trey reminded during set one, “This still doesn’t suck.”Phish Mexico Free Live Stream[Video: Phish]last_img read more

first_img Analysis from Harvard Chan School’s Baicker amid rising worries over cost The confused future of health care The broadly revamped tax code that Congress passed in December repealed the individual mandate that has been considered a major pillar of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Since the change was approved, predictions have been mixed about the impact of the repeal, which doesn’t take effect until next year.Benjamin Sommers, associate professor of health policy and economics and associate professor of medicine, has conducted research on the ACA, including recent work showing that access to and quality of surgical care improved in states that expanded Medicaid to cover more of their low-income residents.Sommers spoke to the Gazette about upcoming changes to the ACA, which uses a complex combination of carrots and sticks in the form of subsidies and mandates to boost the number of people who have health insurance. Those affected by the law, and potentially by the latest changes, include:The poor now covered by Medicaid in states that expanded coverage;Those whose incomes are higher but who receive federal help — subsidies in the form of income tax credits — to pay for private insurance;People who receive no government help and, like everyone else, are required to get insurance by the ACA’s individual mandate, which will be repealed next year;Insurance companies, which receive federal funds to compensate them for ACA’s requirement that they subsidize out-of-pocket expenses, such as deductibles and copays, for lower-income people; andEmployers, who have a mandate under the ACA requiring businesses with 50 or more employees to offer insurance plans to their workers.Here are Sommers’ thoughts on what’s to come:Q&ABenjamin SommersGAZETTE: You have new research out on the Affordable Care Act and surgical care. What did you find?SOMMERS: This work, led by Andrew Loehrer [an associate at Massachusetts General Hospital’s Disparities Solutions Center], was looking at high-severity, very common surgical conditions — people with infected gallbladders, appendicitis, diverticulitis, peripheral artery disease [poor blood flow to the limbs], and aortic aneurysms, some of the most common but serious surgical conditions.We looked both before and after the ACA’s Medicaid expansion, comparing the states that accepted it versus those that did not expand. What we found was that patients with these conditions [in states that expanded] were much more likely to have Medicaid and less likely to be uninsured. More importantly, this change in coverage was associated with people coming in earlier. They were less likely to wait until they had complications or more advanced conditions. They also were getting higher-quality surgery, done laparoscopically when it could be, and saving limbs from being amputated, from poor blood flow, for instance. Those changes were consistent and primarily happening for the lower-income Medicaid and uninsured populations in those expansion states.GAZETTE: The most recent change to the Affordable Care Act came in the tax bill, with the repeal of the individual mandate. Is it likely that the trend you identified will change under the now-revised Affordable Care Act?SOMMERS: The repeal of the individual mandate is likely to have particular effects in the private health insurance marketplaces. Most notably we’ll probably see premiums going up as insurers brace themselves for a sicker risk pool, as some of the healthier people who might have been induced to buy insurance by the mandate don’t sign up. How that will play out in terms of the total number of people covered is not clear. The Congressional Budget Office thought the total might fall by more than 10 million. Other estimates are that the drop will be smaller than that. But it’s likely that at least some people won’t gain coverage.But it isn’t just those marketplaces that will likely be affected, because there’s this phenomenon with the Affordable Care Act that Medicaid coverage has increased not only among people who gained eligibility from the law, but also among people who were already eligible but not enrolled. This has been called the “welcome-mat effect” or the “woodwork effect” because a lot of people either didn’t know they were eligible for Medicaid or they maybe had enrolled once and dropped out, or they hadn’t completed the paperwork. So the mandate combined with other aspects of the law — better public relations, more outreach, more application assistance — boosted enrollment even in that group that was previously eligible. So eliminating the mandate could erode some of those additional Medicaid gains as well. We’ll have to wait and see before we can firmly conclude what the effects are.GAZETTE: What do you think the impact of repealing the individual mandate will be on the law’s overall stability? We’ve heard everything from “It’s effectively repealed now” to “It won’t have much impact.”SOMMERS: I think President Trump said at one point, “Well, we’ve got rid of the mandate so we basically repealed the Affordable Care Act.” That’s an exaggeration. The Medicaid expansion still remains in effect in more than 30 states. Marketplace subsidies [to help individuals afford private insurance] are still available in every state for those who qualify based on income.Now the loss of the mandate might affect the risk pool. It likely will affect premiums in the marketplace, and it may erode some prior coverage gains. But that’s different than saying we’re going back to 2009, pre-ACA. There are still millions of people who gained coverage through this law who will likely keep it, even without the mandate. It’s far from a total repeal of the law.GAZETTE: And when we talk about repealing the individual mandate, who does that affect most?SOMMERS: I would think it’s the higher-income earner in particular: people who maybe don’t particularly value the health insurance they’re getting and don’t get a subsidy for coverage. They’re trying to decide whether they’re going to pay the full cost for the plan or go without and hope they don’t get sick. And if the individual mandate’s penalty for not having insurance was one of the determining factors, taking that away makes a big difference.For middle- and lower-income people, the biggest inducement to get coverage is probably the premium subsidies, the big tax credit that subsidizes their premium and helps make the insurance more affordable. That part hasn’t gone away. For the working poor, if they’re near or under the federal poverty level, they’re eligible for Medicaid in expansion states. Related The costs of inequality: Money = quality health care = longer life Checking the pulse of Obamacare GAZETTE: President Trump has said he was not going to fund some subsidies, and Congress has been talking about legislation to ensure they’re paid, but those are a different subsidy from what we’re talking about here. They don’t go to individuals, but to insurance companies.SOMMERS: The way that these cost-sharing subsidies have gotten implemented has been somewhat confusing. What happened is that the law requires insurance companies to give discounted copays to lower-middle-income families with marketplace coverage. These are people whose incomes are below the level of 250 percent of the poverty level. When they go to the doctor, they might have a deductible, they might have a significant copay. Based on their income, the insurance company has to discount that for them. That’s the cost-sharing reduction. After the fact, the federal government is supposed to pay back the insurance company for that. That’s how the law was intended to be implemented. What the Trump administration did was freeze the reimbursement to the insurers. So the insurers still have to provide the discounts, but they’re not getting their money back. So what that means is that their only real option is to raise premiums to try to cover that extra cost.GAZETTE: How different is the ACA now versus when it was passed? There was the Supreme Court decision that made the Medicaid expansion voluntary in different states. There have been different things that have changed the law over time.SOMMERS: I recently co-authored a piece on the health affairs blog with John McDonough, who works here at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health [as professor of public health practice in the Department of Health Policy & Management ] and who was also involved in drafting the ACA when he was a staffer in the Senate. What he and I wrote was how the law hasn’t really hit a politically stable point yet. I think many people who worked on the law and who supported it envisioned that by 2018, if the law hadn’t been repealed, it was going to be well-entrenched. The public would have come to appreciate its benefits, and there would be little public debate about overhauling it. That’s clearly wrong.I have been surprised at how vigorous the push for repeal has remained, even as about 20 million Americans have gained coverage from the law. The most popular it’s ever been was the past year while the Republicans were trying to repeal it, but even then public opinion was pretty closely divided.The Supreme Court ruling had a huge impact on what the drafters of the law intended. They envisioned this universal expansion of Medicaid for which any poor American would qualify. That hasn’t materialized because 19 states still haven’t expanded, and many of those states have the largest uninsured populations in the country, along with very high poverty rates. You look at Texas, you look at Florida, you look at the Deep South — Mississippi, Alabama — these states that have a lot of uninsured, low-income families that simply have no way of affording coverage. The ACA was supposed to fix that, but the Supreme Court blocked it.As for the other aspects, enrollment in the marketplaces has been slightly less than anticipated, in terms of the overall change in the uninsured rate. And, of course, the changes under the Trump administration threaten to erode some of this enrollment. So I’d say it hasn’t reached what some would say is its full policy potential, but it has still accomplished a fair bit. It has slashed the uninsured rate to the lowest level it has been in all the years we’ve been tracking this statistic. So it’s been successful in important ways, but not as successful as its drafters envisioned.GAZETTE: Is it possible that the worst is still to come for the system? Does the individual mandate’s repeal create an unbalanced market that will cause premiums to rise rapidly?SOMMERS: It seems likely that the market will shrink somewhat and will get slightly riskier and slightly older with the current changes — the mandate repeal as well as the less aggressive attempts to enroll people. The Obama administration did advertising and outreach, and the Trump administration canceled advertising and basically is telling people that the law is dead, so that may have an impact. But we’re not really close to the catastrophic scenario some people have talked about — the so-called “death spiral” in insurance premiums — where the premiums rise so rapidly that everyone healthy drops out and the market kind of collapses. There were a bunch of safeguards in the law, some of which are no longer in effect. The mandate, of course, was one.But probably the most important safeguard involves the premium subsidies. As long as you still have a majority of the people in the marketplace qualifying for these tax credits, premium increases won’t affect them very much. That’s because the premiums they actually pay are calculated as a percent of their income, and everything above and beyond that is paid for by federal tax credits. As long as those tax credits remain the law of the land, there will be a stable group of people who want to be enrolled in this coverage, see it as a good deal, and try to take advantage of that and stay covered. That’s why I don’t think we’re in danger of the law imploding in the way that some suggest it will.GAZETTE: There was a recent article about a push to repeal the employer mandate as a next step in assaults on the law. So what’s next with the ACA?SOMMERS: I hesitate to make a lot of political predictions these days, but my sense is that there is probably not a lot of appetite in the Senate for any major effort to chop away further at the ACA this year. The House is a different story, and congressmen may decide they want to push forward. But in the Senate, those high-profile failures to repeal the ACA happened when they had a 52-48 majority. Now they’re down to 51-49 and midterm elections are coming up.The most popular parts of the ACA are still in effect, and the least popular part — the mandate — is gone. So the politics of that repeal conversation have actually gotten even worse for Senate Republicans. They have a narrower majority, and they already got rid of the part that many people agree they don’t like. What’s left are things that people mostly are happy with: the tax credits, Medicaid expansion, essential health benefits, guaranteed coverage regardless of pre-existing conditions.So I think some legislators are going to be reluctant to spend a lot of effort on what ultimately could be another high-profile failure. Instead they can let the administration do its work through executive orders, and wait until after the midterms to reassess.This interview was lightly edited for length and clarity. Analysts agree that a new national plan, if there is one, will take some time to create Federal insurance has helped many, but system’s holes limit gains, Harvard analysts say last_img read more

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Suffolk County police homicide detectives are investigating the shooting death of a Queens teenager whose body was found Friday afternoon in a Bay shore park, police said. The discovery was made at approximately 4:15 p.m. by a man who was walking his dog in Spur Drive Park, police said. The victim was identified as 17-year-old Jonathan Graff. His body was taken to the Suffolk County Medical Examiner’s office for an autopsy, police said. Detectives are asking anyone with information about the shooting to contact the Homicide Squad at 631-852-6392 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS.last_img read more

first_img Raymond acknowledged deep concern about the recent spate of foodborne disease outbreaks but said he had expanded the USDA’s inspection and testing program to combat it, according to the story. “The measures are a reflection of our concern about the Canadian inspection system based on the audit findings of May 1–June 6, 2007, and the circumstances related to the unsafe practices employed by Rancher’s Beef, Ltd.,” the Balzac, Alta., packing plant whose products were linked to the contaminated Topps ground beef, James wrote. The increased inspections, ground beef testing for E coli, and testing of ready-to-eat products “will be at the rate of approximately double that of the past year for Canada,” James’s letter states. Nov 8, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – Starting tomorrow, US inspection and testing of imported Canadian meat and poultry products will roughly double and will include a category of beef products that has not previously been subject to testing, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) said today. Begin E coli testing of raw beef trim, boxed beef, and “subprimals” (smaller cuts of meat from the major carcass components, such as loin, chuck, and round) normally sent for grinding See also: The expanded program will continue while two USDA teams finishing inspecting the Rancher’s Beef facility, seven other Canadian facilities that were flagged for problems in the last USDA audit, and some slaughter plants that are similar to the Alberta facility in their “start-up and operations,” James wrote. Raymond said the FSIS has adequate tools to ensure food safety and does not need legislation granting mandatory product recall authority, according to a CongressDaily report today. (In contrast, this week the Bush administration, in a new food protection plan prepared by the Food and Drug Administration, said the FDA needs the authority to compel food recalls.) The USDA announced Nov 3 it would increase inspections and testing of Canadian products this week, after beef trim from an Alberta meat producer was implicated in an E coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to ground beef sold by Topps Meat Co. of Elizabeth, N.J. But in the initial announcement the agency gave few details about the testing plan. The USDA released more information today in a letter from Dr. William James of the agency’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). The letter, published online by the FSIS, said the agency would: Testifying before the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy and Poultry, Raymond said, “We think our present system works well,” and added that meat processors have always cooperated with the USDA on recalls, the report said. “In two recent cases FSIS acted upon epidemiological evidence that linked illness to opened, FSIS-inspected product found in consumers’ freezers, where previously, we believed the agency needed a test result from an intact or unopened package because of the possibility of cross-contamination [from other foods],” he was quoted as saying. He said that product lots will be held at import houses until samples test negative for pathogens. If a sample tests positive, the lot it came from will be rejected. However, FSIS “will consider submitted alternatives to holding product at import houses pending test results,” the letter says.center_img Policy change revealedRaymond said the E coli outbreak traced to Topps Meat has prompted one particular change in the FSIS’s policies, according to a report today by Meatingplace.com. James also said the new precaution of testing beef trim, boxed beef, and subprimals normally destined for grinding will be permanent and will be extended to all exporting countries starting at the beginning of 2008. Oct 29 CIDRAP News story “E coli in Topps beef traced to Canadian firm”http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidrap/content/fs/food-disease/news/oct2907beef.html Increase testing of raw ground beef for E coli O157:H7 Increase testing of ready-to-eat products for Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella Raymond also said he didn’t believe “risk-based inspection” would have prevented the Topps outbreak, according to Meatingplace.com. Risk-based inspection is the name for a USDA proposal to focus more of its attention on meat and poultry plants that have weak safety records. FSIS letter about increased testing of Canadian productshttp://www.fsis.usda.gov/PDF/Canada_O157_Testing_Letter.pdf “I believe that we need to take additional time to strengthen our system and our data collection capabilities before moving forward” with risk-based inspection, Raymond was quoted as saying. Increase inspections of Canadian meat, poultry, and pasteurized egg products Nov 5 CIDRAP News story “USDA to increase testing of Canadian meat”http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidrap/content/fs/food-disease/news/nov0507beef.html Official defends FSIS recordIn related news, the FSIS’s handling of meat recalls was defended by USDA Under Secretary for Food Safety Dr. Richard Raymond in testimony before a congressional committee yesterday. E coli contamination has prompted 19 meat recalls so far this year, compared with eight for all of last year. The Topps recall involved more than 21 million pounds of ground beef and forced the company out of business.last_img read more