Product Recalls and Worker Conditions

Food safety returned to the spotlight when a series of recalls led to more than 50 million pounds of food being pulled from shelves. A recent report examining poultry plant working conditions raised concerns about the human impact of meat processing. Additionally, the FDA is re-evaluating some controversial labeling claims. Read about these topics and more in this edition of Influence Feed.

Earth Day in Food Policy

Prominent voices have been talking about the sustainability of agricultural practices in recent weeks. Earth Day brought with it new sets of commitments from major companies and organizations and a new report suggested a decrease in meat consumption. Read about these moves and more in this edition of Influence Feed.

Third Party Regulations on the Farm

Several recent moves reiterated the role of large corporations in setting food production standards. When Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., announced it would transition to cage-free eggs, prominent voices hailed it as a tipping point for egg sourcing policies. Additionally, a group of British investors urged major restaurant chains to change antibiotic use policies when sourcing meat products. See how other companies are shaping the market and more in this edition of Influence Feed.

Policy Pledges and Corporate Commitments

As antibiotic use and trade policies are seeing reform in the final year of the Obama Administration, the latter half of March brought with it an unmatched number of commitments from food companies changing their sourcing and labeling policies. Additionally, states have taken it upon themselves to raise wages for the nation’s lowest-earning workers. See how these changes are reshaping the market in this edition of Influence Feed.

Labeling Conversations Abound

GMO labeling continued to guide influencer discussions, often leading to further dialogue on the role of transparency in food labeling. Ag Day drew support for agriculture, with a strong showing on Twitter. A smattering of reports also prompted debate on policies ranging from food safety to food waste. Read about these topics and more in this edition of Influence Feed.

GMO Labeling Showdown

Influencers issued hundreds of comments on GMO labeling as legislators rushed to establish national standards and preempt a Vermont labeling law that goes into effect July 1. These events follow an unsuccessful effort by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to resolve the issue in talks with stakeholders. We outline the bills proposed to the Senate as well as influencer reactions to GMOs and more in this edition of Influence Feed.

Food Safety in the Spotlight

Food safety concerns drove influence discussions in recent weeks: USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) released new standards for pathogens in poultry products, and Chipotle Mexican Grill’s food safety saga continued. Additionally, concerns about technology in food production drew attention to GMO labeling, food dyes and pesticide residue. Read about these topics and more in this edition of Influence Feed.

2015 Year End Retrospective

This edition of Influence Feed ranks the most highly discussed topics from the past six months as well as recent insight from our influencers. GMO labeling took the spotlight, primarily following congressional debates about state and national labeling rules. Food safety grew in volume due to reports about the safety of organic foods as well as an E. coli outbreak at Chipotle Mexican Grill. Influencers also addressed the stewardship of farmland resources in the face of climate change and antibiotic use for food animals.

Additionally, this edition covers recent influencer discussions regarding dietary guidelines, Chipotle’s food safety scares, corporate commitments to cage-free eggs and country of origin labeling.

Chipotle Struggles, SmartLabels and Climate Talks

There is no shortage of influencer activity as 2015 draws to a close. Chipotle returned to the forefront of influencer conversations with a second round of foodborne illnesses. The Grocery Manufacturers Association’s SmartLabel and the Paris Climate Conference also garnered remarkable levels of attention. In addition, the “In Brief” section reflects a flurry of activity, covering an extra five topics.

GE Salmon and Antibiotic Awareness

The approval of a genetically engineered (GE) salmon reignited influencer discussions of genetically modified organisms and dominated influencer discussion in a week declared the World Antibiotics Awareness Week. Conversations about antibiotics and their role in both human health and animal agriculture spawned several large talking points — read about these topics and more inside this edition of Influence Feed.