Walmart, welcome to our world

Inside DC copy

Walmart announced May 22 a “new” position on animal welfare.  Perhaps the position is new to Walmart; it reflects business as usual for U.S. animal agriculture. In any case, I commend the company.  In addition, Walmart publicly stated this week its policy on the use of antibiotics in animal agriculture.  Again, nothing game-changing in the… Read more »

MARC potentially endangered by rash Hill actions

Inside DC copy

A single New York Times article alleging animal mishandling at the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center (MARC) in Clay Center, Nebraska, continues to threaten the future of invaluable U.S. meat research.   Inspired by the allegations of a disgruntled former researcher, and despite a USDA third-party independent committee finding of no animal mistreatment, there are those… Read more »

Give the customer what you think they want

Inside DC copy

First, the terminally cynical Chipotle says “no GMOs on our menu” – not exactly accurate, but that’s how the media reported it – then this week, Panera Bread announces it’s taking artificial colors, flavorings, etc., out of its products.  Science says both of these moves are unwarranted from a health or safety standpoint, but these… Read more »

I’ll have the GM burrito, please

Inside DC copy

It’s rare I agree with just about anything on the Washington Post’s editorial page.  However, this week I found myself in total sync with an editorial headlined: “Chipotle’s GMO Gimmick is Hard to Swallow.”  The Post’s editorial board took on the fast food chain’s latest feel-good marketing ploy this week as Chipotle announced its menu… Read more »

Activists deny reality, attack the messengers

Inside DC copy

Why are some “consumer protection” groups deaf, dumb and blind to the opinions of the folks they purport to protect?  In the case of those seeking labeling of foods containing genetically modified (GM) ingredients, this triple affliction seems particularly severe and chronic, complicated by paranoia, petulance and an apparent compulsion to speak out of both… Read more »

Food labeling needs to be “natural”

Inside DC copy

The issue of whether a consumer has the “right” to know if a food product contains a genetically modified (GM) ingredient by mandating GM labeling of foods is consuming a lot of newsprint and electrodes these days.  Opponents contend such a label “demonizes” a food by implying there’s something unsafe about biotech; proponents contend the… Read more »

Does WOTUS need reworking, or is it all about “legacy?”

Inside DC copy

It’s the height of understatement to call “controversial” EPA’s rule making extending its Clean Water Act (CWA) authority – and that of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – to all “waters of the U.S. (WOTUS).”  From the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) making WOTUS its number on regulatory priority, to the federal Small Business Administration… Read more »

White House Plays Catch-Up on Antibiotics in Ag

Inside DC copy

The White House is set to release today (March 27) a report called by Reuters “ambitious,” a 60-page plan to “slow the growing and deadly problem of antibiotic resistance.”  While the report focuses on taking down so-called “superbug” infection rates over five years, one chunk of the report contains instructions to FDA and USDA to… Read more »

Reinvent the RFS

Inside DC copy

Depending on whom you believe, the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is either the savior of the fuel industry, key to U.S. jobs creation and will end this nation’s dependency on foreign oil, or it’s the single reason the developing world will go hungry for the next 10-15 years, while the cost of your taco shells… Read more »

McDonald’s “Antibiotics” Play Follows FDA Plan

Inside DC copy

McDonald’s USA’s recent announcement it’s modifying its “menu sourcing initiative” to buy chicken only from farms which don’t use antibiotics important in human medicine created more of frenzy among the activist community than it did in any other quarter, including the poultry industry.  The beleaguered fast food giant’s two-year “phase-out” isn’t catastrophic to a poultry… Read more »