white chickens in metal cage being shipped to market

California voters approve Prop 12: California voters overwhelmingly (by 61 percent) approved a measure Tuesday requiring that all eggs sold in the state come from cage-free hens by 2022. Proposition 12 also bans the sale of pork and veal in California from farm animals raised in cages that don’t meet the new minimum size requirements. That means the Golden State’s new rules will apply to farmers nationwide whose eggs, veal and pork are sold in California. Enforcement is estimated to cost up to $10 million annually. Read more HERE and HERE.

ANIMAL HEALTH

Animal activists face felony charges: Six animal activists arrested in September for stealing chickens during a protest at a Petaluma, Calif., poultry farm now face felony burglary, theft and trespassing charges. Members of the organization Direct Action Everywhere, which promotes a vegan lifestyle, live-streamed on Facebook what they called a “funeral procession” down a country road to the farm, then took some chickens they said needed medical attention. Read more HERE and HERE.

What to do with millions of dead animals? North Carolina officials are taking a cue from the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew in 2016 when it comes to dealing with the millions of animals killed in Hurricane Florence in September. State agricultural officials plan to compost the 5,500 hogs and 4.2 million turkeys and chickens that died from floodwaters sparked by Hurricane Florence throughout the state. READ MORE

FOOD SAFETY

Cake mix linked to Salmonella outbreak: Conagra Brands is collaborating with health officials in connection with a positive finding of Salmonella in a retail sample of Duncan Hines Classic White cake mix that is linked to a Salmonella outbreak currently being investigated by CDC and FDA. Food safety officials have confirmed that the cake mix was produced in the U.S. Conagra is voluntarily recalling the Classic White cake mix as well as Classic Butter Golden, Signature Confetti and Classic Yellow, made during the same time period. Read more HERE and HERE.

FDA considers treating sesame as an allergen: The FDA is looking into treating sesame as an allergen whose presence must be declared on food labels, the agency announced Oct. 29. The move would put sesame alongside the eight allergens (peanuts, fish, shellfish, milk, eggs, wheat, soy and tree nuts) named by the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004. READ MORE

FDA is publishing industry guidance on food recalls: Almost eight years after gaining statutory power to mandate food recalls, the FDA is officially publishing information to help industry understand when the agency will use its authority. In a guidance document scheduled for publication in the Federal Register, the Food and Drug Administration uses a question-answer format to explain how, when and why the government will force companies to recall food for people and animals. READ MORE

FOOD SECURITY

France bans metam sodium, farmers protest: France’s health safety watchdog Anses ordered a ban on products containing metam sodium, widely used in vegetable farming, on Monday after several people fell ill, saying it poses a risk to human health and the environment. Metam sodium is among the most widely used agricultural pesticides in the United States. France’s largest farm union, the FNSEA, condemned the decision, saying it was made before an alternative was found to provide solutions for farmers, who use the pesticide to fight fungi and worms. READ MORE

Top 10 issues facing dairies: Dairy producers face a myriad of challenges as they navigate low milk prices and shrinking margins. John Newton, director of market intelligence with the American Farm Bureau Federation, has compiled a list of the top 10 issues facing dairy producers based on his travels and conversations with producers from across the country.READ MORE

What’s eating American farmers? The last time the Farm Aid hotline rang like this, Ronald Reagan was president and Willie Nelson was playing a huge concert to raise money for hundreds of thousands of farmers across the country who were facing financial ruin. Three decades later, a call to 1-800-FARM-AID rings the cellphone of Joe Schroeder. Callers are in such dire straits that the father of two toddlers answers day and night. “I talk to suicidal farmers regularly,” he says. “Almost all of them are facing foreclosure.” READ MORE

Food stamp fraud: The father of the owner of a New Jersey grocery store admitted Tuesday he played a role in a six-year food stamp fraud scheme that cheated the government out of about $888,000. Manuel Venegas, 54, of Newark, pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefit fraud, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a statement. READ MORE

RESTAURANT & BAR SECURITY

Massacre at a country music bar: The gunman who massacred 12 people at a country music bar in southern California on Wednesday night has been identified as an highly decorated ex-Marine.  Ian Long, 28, opened fire on the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks at 11.20 p.m. Long had been cleared by mental health experts after an incident in his home in April, sheriffs said Thursday morning. READ MORE

And a robbery at McDonald’s: A San Antonio McDonald’s sent a young worker home for being late on his first day of work — so he robbed another McDonald’s, Texas cops say. According to an arrest affidavit, David Gomez-Beltran went to the second McDonald’s still dressed in an employee uniform and carrying a white backpack. He told the manager he was sent to the restaurant from another location to help. READ MORE

CYBER SECURITY

Experts share lessons learned: Critical infrastructure is under constant threat from both malicious actors and unintended mistakes. In these eBooks, seasoned cybersecurity experts share lessons learned in their efforts to ensure production runs continuously, safely, and securely. Areas of consideration include knowing and documenting what you have, controlling access to systems and devices, and converging OT and IT groups. READ MORE

HUMANITARIAN CRISES

Horse slaughtered for food: Rafael Toro, a student at Venezuela’s top veterinary school, suspected something was amiss when a beloved horse called Miss Congeniality didn’t greet him at the fence one recent morning. To his shock, Toro discovered the horse’s skin and dismembered bones hidden among trees in the corner pasture of the campus in the city of Maracay. Thieves overnight had hopped the fence, slaughtered the horse and made off with her meat — either to sell or to feed their hungry families. READ MORE

THE FUTURE

Will robots replace workers on farms? In the kale-filled facility at vertical farm startup Bowery Farming, it’s a piece of proprietary software that makes most of the critical decisions — like when to harvest and how much to water each plant. But it still takes humans to carry out many tasks around the farm. Katie Morich, 25, loves the work. But as roboticists make gains, will her employer need her forever? READ MORE

Impossible Burger plans to sell retail: In response to “overwhelming demand from consumers,” Impossible Foods has confirmed plans to sell its plant-based Impossible Burger in grocery stores next year, although it is not sharing details of the scope of the launch, pricing, merchandising tactics, or the names of potential retail partners. READ MORE

What happened to the butterflies? Every year thousands of monarch butterflies migrate between their breeding ground in Mexico and their regular homes along the U.S. Atlantic coastline. Every year, there have been fewer and fewer of them. A new University of Florida study — at 37 years, the longest of its kind — has found that the number of caterpillars and butterflies in North Florida have been declining steadily since 1985. Since 2005, the numbers have dropped by 80 percent.  READ MORE

WEIRD STUFF

Giant python captured in Florida: The largest Burmese python ever seen in South Florida wasn’t able to slither her way out of being captured earlier this week. A snake hunter captured the 17-foot female snake while on South Florida Water Management District property in Miami-Dade County Monday night. READ MORE