CDC chief, entangled in ‘complex financial interests,’ resigns

Two days after he was sworn into office, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar accepted the resignation of CDC director Brenda Fitzgerald, whose six-month tenure at the agency ended in a warren of “complex financial interests” that prevented her from doing her job, said the HHS.

CDC director bought tobacco shares after taking office

Brenda Fitzgerald, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “bought shares in a tobacco company one month into her leadership of the agency charged with reducing tobacco use,” reported Politico.

Study finds obesity may be contagious

Two researchers who studied Army families say that those assigned to communities with higher rates of obesity were more likely to be overweight or obese than those assigned to bases where obesity was less common.

Tom Colicchio, co-founder of Food Policy Action, resigns from its board

Celebrity chef Tom Colicchio has resigned from the board of Food Policy Action, which he co-founded in 2012 as the lobbying arm of the food movement on U.S. food and ag policy. Colicchio said on Instagram that he would “continue to do the work of championing a more just and equitable food system in everything I do and from every platform available to me.”

Iowa residents petition for better manure regulation

Four Iowa residents have petitioned the state to better regulate airborne waste from hog farms. Currently, Iowa requires farmers to retain manure until it is applied as fertilizer. But the residents argue that farmers aren’t retaining all the manure — that some is being spread to nearby homes by blowers and air vents.

USDA again rejects Maine request to limit food stamp purchases

Maine Gov. Paul LePage said it was “extremely disappointing” that the USDA denied his request to ban the purchase of candy and sugary drinks with food stamps on grounds it would help prevent obesity, reported the Bangor Daily News.

Glyphosate not likely to cause cancer in people, says EPA

A draft human health risk assessment of the most widely used weedkiller in the world concludes that glyphosate is not likely to be a human cancer agent, says the Environmental Protection Agency.

Would a meat tax bring better health and environmental benefits?

An investment network, Farm Animal Investment Risk and Return, says in a report that countries could begin taxing meat to drive down consumption and meet their goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, reports Civil Eats.

U.S. gives short shrift to agro-defense and the risk of zoonotic diseases

The average American consumes more than a half-pound of meat each day, yet the country devotes limited thought or funding to protecting its livestock from diseases that could disrupt production or infect humans, said former Sen. Joe Lieberman during a Senate Agriculture Committee hearing.

When salt and sugar go out, fat comes in

A USDA report says that when food companies reformulate their products to reduce the salt and sugar content, the fat content, which can raise blood cholesterol, tends to go up, says the Washington Post.