The Washington Post reported on gene editing technology.

The Los Angeles Times reported on Brazilian efforts to deregulate pesticides.

Food Safety News discussed FDA review of link between pet diet and heart disease.

Food Dive discussed a study on the cost of eliminating antibiotics in the beef industry.

Fresh Plaza reported on a USDA study estimating the costs to comply with the Food Safety Modernization Act.

 

AgWeb discussed current U.S. drought conditions.

The New York Times reported on the development of self-destructing plastic.

CNBC reported on rideshare technology aimed at reducing food waste.

The Economic Times discussed efforts by India and China to reduce farm subsidies of developed nations.

Reuters reported on the lifting of GMO ban for U.S. wildlife refuges.

 

Inside Retail discussed McDonald’s phase out of plastic straws.

Fortune reported on McDonalds and Starbucks joining to create a sustainable cup.

Food Business News discussed drought and hail impact on Kansas wheat crop.

Food Dive discussed a survey on consumer concern for animal welfare.

The New York Times reported on a new EPA rule on the use of scientific studies in rulemaking.

 

The Calgary Herald discussed McDonald’s decision to use certified sustainable beef.

The Seattle Times reported on a program to gather excess produce for those in need.

Forbes reported on the use of blockchain to track the global food supply chain.

AgCanada discussed hog and cattle future declines over trade war concerns.

Bloomberg discussed the impact of climate change on coffee beans.

 

On July 10, our Technology, Manufacturing and Transportation group blogged about the FAA approving a new UAS device for agricultural operations.

Agribusiness professionals are already proficient with a variety of federal regulations (USDA, EPA, etc.) but adding an unmanned aircraft system (“UAS”) into the business brings another agency into the mix – the Federal Aviation Administration – with its own set of regulations. In some scenarios this added regulatory burden may be worthwhile because UAS can be used to perform crop protection product (“CPP”) spraying operations (“spraying”) on crops more efficiently than manned aircraft, saving money for both farmers and consumers. Yamaha Motor Corporation, USA (“Yamaha”) recently announced it has been granted an FAA exemption for its FAZER unmanned aircraft system (“UAS”) to be used for agricultural spraying. To read the full blog post please click here.

 

Fresh Plaza discussed new technology aimed at calculating cost of food waste.

CNBC reported on the impact of pork tariffs imposed by Mexico and China.

AgAlert discussed the status of the new farm bill.

Farms.com reported on the differences between the Senate and House farm bill.

The Seattle Times discussed the current status of the U.S. – China trade war.

 

Recombinant bovine somatotropin (RBST) is an artificial growth hormone fed to cattle for the purpose of increasing their production of milk. The FDA has twice found that RBST is safe and effective for its intended uses and that the milk produced by such cattle is not significantly different from milk produced by untreated cattle.  The World Health Organization agrees.

In 2017, Arla Foods, a Danish food conglomerate, launched a $30 million ad campaign named “Live Unprocessed” intended to expand its market share for cheese in the United States. The ads affirmed that Arla cheese contained “no weird stuff” and “no ingredients you can’t pronounce.”

One 30-second TV ad opened with the question “Arla Cheese asked kids:  what is RBST”?  It then depicted a six-eyed monster while a seven-year-old girl announced that it has “sharp horns,” it is “so tall it could eat clouds,” and has “electric fur.”  In small print at the end of the commercial, Arla disclosed that there is no significant difference between milk from RBST cattle and untreated cattle.

The sole FDA-approved supplier of RBST in the United States is Elanco, a subsidiary of Eli Lilly & Co. For obvious reasons, Elanco was less than enthusiastic about Arla’s ad campaign and sued to enjoin it.  The District Court granted a preliminary injunction, which the Seventh Circuit recently affirmed.

Under the Lanham Act, there are two types of misleading statements.  The first is a literally false statement; the second is one that is literally true but misleading.  To establish the second kind of falsity, the plaintiff must present evidence of actual consumer confusion.  At trial, this evidence typically comes from consumer surveys.  Elanco produced no such surveys at the hearing on the preliminary injunction.

The Seventh Circuit held that such evidence was not essential to a showing of likelihood of success at the preliminary injunction stage.  Indeed, the Court thought that it was “not feasible to conduct full-blown consumer surveys” in the time before a preliminary injunction.  Rather, the District Court properly relied on the message communicated by the ad campaign:  that RBST milk was impure and unwholesome.  It also relied on evidence that a major customer for RBST milk stopped using it in response to the Arla campaign.

Arla’s campaign is all too typical of the ways that companies play on people’s fears about technology, even when all or virtually all regulatory agencies have determined that the technology is safe.

Bloomberg discussed new product designed to keep produce fresh.

Reuters discussed Pizza Hut pledge to drop chicken with antibiotics.

CNBC reported on immigration fight impact on agriculture.

The Portland Press Herald reported on FDA requirements for added sugar labeling.

Bloomberg discussed Canadian companies creating marijuana edibles for sale in U.S.