Category: Human Health

Washington and Wall Street Action

In this week’s edition, we are pleased to announce a new look and expanded content. New features include:

Issues Rank: Monthly ranking of animal agriculture topics as tracked by food and ag influencers will be featured every other issue.

Consumer Pulse: Monthly ranking of animal agriculture topics as tracked by activity among mainstream consumers will be featured on a rotating basis with Issue Rank.

Top 5 Influencer Topics: A quantitative snapshot of influencer conversations. Topics cover a wide range of issues, including business news, activism, legislation and more.

Trending News: Summary of the top headlines in trade media.

Topic Analysis: Consumer activity measured by keyword mentions in news and social media outlets.

Antibiotic Resistance and FDA Action

Worries about antibiotic resistance and its ties to livestock agriculture were intensified by the discovery of a strain of E. coli resistant to the “last-resort” drug colistin. And prominent voices debated new FDA policies after the agency announced a new Nutrition Facts panel and, later, issued new guidelines on sodium intake. See how these discussions and more played out 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.

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.

Chipotle, TPP and ‘Natural’ Food

Food safety and labeling drove recent influencer conversations, especially when news broke of an outbreak of Escherichia coli (E. coli) at northwestern Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc., restaurants. A U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) request for comments on the term “natural” and the carcinogenicity of meats and pesticides, too, stirred discussion. Read about these and more in this edition of Influence Feed.

Red and Processed Meats Face Scrutiny

Mainstream media coverage of food exploded when a World Health Organization (WHO) agency labeled processed meat “carcinogenic” and red meat “probably carcinogenic” to humans. The announcement dominated influencer discussions over the past week and even prompted The Late Show host Stephen Colbert to put bacon in his pipe and smoke it. Read about this story and more in this edition of Influence Feed.