Category: Organic Foods

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.

GMO Labeling: A National Policy

Labeling of GMOs eclipsed other discussions of food and ag as Senators took on what one calls “the most important vote for agriculture in the last 20 years.” In the background, a poultry processor set new animal care standards and startups marketed meat substitutes for Fourth of July barbecues. See how the labeling vote shook out 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.

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.

Limits of Legislation

Regulatory overseers are pushing back on rule-making bodies they say have gone too far. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans will not include sustainability, as the topic is beyond the purview of the Advisory Committee’s expertise. Additionally, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has deemed the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule of the Clean Water Act an overreach by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. These stories dominated conversations in a period that also saw the passage of a California law regarding antibiotics usage in livestock, settlement of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and more.

Trends in Transparency

The public interest in food — where it comes from and how it’s made — has created such a groundswell of demand for transparency, it’s spreading to all corners of the industry. Most recently, media interest in the people behind the food industry is putting academia in the spotlight. See why a series of emails has prompted scrutiny regarding the relationship between food industry groups and academics. You also can read more about the impact of the nation’s largest fast-food chain announcing its intentions to use eggs raised cage-free.

Congress Takes on GMO Labeling

Influencers weighed in on a mounting battle in Congress involving proposed legislation that would preempt states from GMO labels on foods. Meanwhile, Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. is taking some heat after naming a new overseas supplier of pork. Plus, see why influencers continue to discuss avian flu in this edition of Influence Feed.


This edition of Influence Feed ranks the most highly discussed topics from the past six months as well as recent insight from our influencers. Commitments from large food companies and analysis from various nongovernmental organizations drove influencer conversations of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and pesticides. Regulatory action enflamed debates about agricultural policies and practices. Meanwhile, drought in California served as a consistent backdrop for commentary on agriculture in the United States.

In recent events, influencers have turned to Washington to address concerns about the health of humans and of poultry: Poultry farmers aired grievances regarding the handling of the avian flu epidemic; a nutrition study called for a reduction in consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages; and the prepared food industry applauded a relaxed deadline on menu labeling.

N.C. “Ag-Gag” and S.F. Sugar Labels

Two pieces of legislation recently approved in different parts of the country are testing the boundaries of what is considered protection in the food and agriculture industry. And influencers are reacting. In North Carolina, a new law gives civil protection to companies when someone gains access to record and publicize information about its operations. In San Francisco, a health warning on sugary beverages aims to protect consumer health. See why influencers are speaking out about the measures in this edition of Influence Feed.

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