The UC Food Observer chooses some important stories for you to read each work day.
On today’s menu, in no particular order:
1. ‘Just Label It’: GMO labeling proponents will get some star power on their side as actress Gwyneth Paltrow and her mom, actress Blythe Danner, are slated to visit Capitol Hill today (Aug. 5) to discuss GMO labeling with lawmakers. Emily Heil (@reliablesource) previews the visit and gets opponents’ reaction for The Washington Post; also see coverage by Today, while the National Journal highlights Paltrow and other celebs who have entered the political arena.
Paltrow’s visit follows the House of Representative’s July 23 passage of Rep. Mike Pompeo’s Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act. The act – nicknamed the Deny Americans the Right to Know (DARK) Act by critics – would pre-empt states from putting in place labeling requirements. The debate is scrambling partisan lines, writes Clare Leschin-Hoar (@c_leschin) for The Verge, and on big food’s radar. Environmental Working Group reports that the food and biotech industry spent $51.6 million pushing for issues including state GMO labeling pre-emption during the first half of 2015. The public? A new study finds no relationship between the desire for a GMO label and opposition to a label, reports (@ModFarm) Modern Farmer. If you’re wondering what the fuss is over GMOs (genetically modified organisms), read this primer in Bon Appetit.
2. ‘Ag-gag’ law ruled unconstitutional: Idaho’s so-called “ag-gag” law, which outlawed undercover investigations of farming operations, is no more. A federal judge in Idaho decided it was unconstitutional, citing First Amendment protections for free speech. Similar laws in other states also may be in danger. Read more by Luke Runyon (@LukeRunyon) for NPR, Josh Voorhees (@JoshVoorhees) for Slate and Matt Pearce (@mattdpearce) for the Los Angeles Times.
3. Kellogg axing artificial ingredients in cereals: Kellogg Co., the world’s biggest breakfast cereal maker, said it will no longer use artificial flavors and colors in its cereals and snack bars by the end of 2018. The maker of Corn Flakes and its rivals have been grappling with consumers’ shifting tastes for foods perceived as fresher and healthier, most notably hurting breakfast cereal. Kellogg also announced Tuesday that its second-quarter profit fell 24 percent from a year ago, with persistent weakness in its core U.S. cereal market. Read more in Reuters and The Wall Street Journal.
4. The scoop on sugar: Rebecca Rupp gives a short-but-sweet synopsis on health implications of sugar and artificial sweeteners for National Geographic’s The Plate. Visit UC San Francisco’s SugarScience website for additional scientific information about sugar and its impact on health.
5. Trending on Twitter: UC Food Observer (@ucfoodobserver) made Food Tank President Danielle Nierenberg’s (@DaniNierenberg) list of 250 Twitter accounts that every food activist should follow. View the list, with thumbnail descriptions of each feed, at The Huffington Post.
6. Bittman: ‘What’s the buzz about wild bees?’ Watch the latest in the California Matters video series from Mark Bittman, via the University of California’s Global Food Initiative and Berkeley Food Institute. He interviews UC Berkeley conservation biologist Claire Kremen about the importance of pollinators to the food system. Read Bittman’s column on the topic in The New York Times.