U.S. safety regulations for produce have been relegated to the far reaches of government bureaucracies, tucked into an under-funded combination of U.S. Food and Drug Administration oversight and state agriculture bureaucracies.
Taco Bell has hired a safety expert, tested its produce, eliminated green onions, changed suppliers, and hired a PR crisis-response firm, Penn, Schoen & Berland. The firm's advice: publicize safety, which the company has done in big market newspaper ads. Still, with 69 reported East Coast cases of E.
Bucking intense restaurant industry opposition, New York City has banned all added trans fats in restaurant food. The ban was passed by the city's Board of Health on December 6, 2006, and takes effect in July 2007. Donut makers get a one-year reprieve in order to find a substitute oil for the deep-fried dough. The board's action also included a requirement that restaurant chains post nutritional information.
The leader of the New Zealand National Party, Don Brash, has resigned in the wake of a party backlash over his attempt to ban a book by investigative journalist Nicky Hager. Last week Brash gained an injunction from the High Court of New Zealand banning anyone in the country from publishing the content of his emails. Hager's book, The Hollow Men: A Study in the Politics of Deception, was set to be released last Tuesday but was blocked by the injunction.
When PR Watch most recently caught a cell phone signal from Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation and the new Chew on This: Everything You Don't Want to Know About Fast Food, Schlosser was rushing from car to car in New York City, after London, which was just after Berkeley, where he was giving students a preview of the indie film version of "Fas