Sankt-Petersburg Russia, March 6, 2018: Apple iPhone X on office desk with icons of social media facebook, instagram, twitter, snapchat application on screen. Social network. Starting social media app. Photo taken at company office

Without their permission: According to a New York Times report, Facebook gave companies like Spotify, Netflix and Microsoft access to users’ private data, sometimes without their knowledge. The report alleged that Russian search engine Yandex and China’s Huawei also had access to data through partnership agreements as late as 2017. READ MORE

FOOD SAFETY

Pesticide on food kills 15: A toxic pesticide that a U.N. agency wanted India to ban a decade ago contaminated food that killed at least 15 people at a temple last week, police said on Tuesday. More than 100 also had to go to hospital after devotees consumed portions of tomato rice blessed at the Hindu temple in the southern Indian state of Karnataka. A senior police officer told Reuters laboratory tests showed the presence of monocrotophos – a pesticide which attacks the nerves – in food and vomit samples. READ MORE

ANIMAL HEALTH

A feral pig roundup: Nearly 500 wild pigs have been eradicated in a targeted aerial shoot in New South Wales, Australia, to control escalating numbers of feral pigs, which are a pest for farmers, damage the environment and spread disease. Aerial surveys of the area indicated there were as many as 170 feral pigs per square kilometer.

Swine virus may be boon to U.S.: An outbreak of a deadly virus threatening pork production in China may be a boon to Brazilian and U.S. exporters, meat processor JBS SA’s chief executive said in a live webcast on Tuesday. Gilberto Tomazoni said the swine fever outbreak could change the overall landscape for protein trade, affecting not only pork markets but potentially other meat types like poultry and beef. READ MORE

PUBLIC HEALTH

Major stakeholders create framework for antibiotics in food animals: A group of major food companies, retailers, livestock producers, and trade and professional associations today announced a comprehensive framework to strengthen the stewardship of antibiotic use in food animals. The structure is the product of a two-year dialogue among stakeholders, moderated by Farm Foundation and The Pew Charitable Trusts, to ensure that antibiotics are used judiciously throughout production to protect animal and public health. READ MORE

SUSTAINABILITY

Dairy farmers get some help: The USDA announced this week that U.S. dairy farmers received $253 million in dairy Margin Protection Program (MPP) payments in 2018. More than 21,400 dairy farmers received the payments, up by more than 2,000 over 2017 participation. READ MORE

THE FUTURE

Driverless grocery delivery: The nation’s largest grocery chain stepped into the driverless delivery market Tuesday, bringing milk, eggs and other items to a customer’s home in a vehicle with nobody at the wheel. Although limited to delivering within about a mile of one Arizona supermarket owned by Kroger Co., it represents the latest step for industries trying to lower delivery costs of everyday items and those trying to launch self-driving cars on public roads. READ MORE

Another roadblock for insect foods: A bill proposing to tackle government waste, which stipulates that “no federal funds may be used for the development of insect-based foods for human consumption,” will make it even harder for the embryonic U.S. edible insects industry to compete versus other alternative protein sources, say bug farmers and processors. READ MORE

Chick-fil-A a growing threat to McD’s: Privately held Chick-fil-A is not just growing fast, it’s becoming a growing threat to a number of large publicly held chains, including the biggest of them all, McDonald’s Corp. According to Kalinowski Equity Research, Chick-fil-A could move into the number three spot on the list of largest U.S. restaurant concepts in 2018, which was held by Subway, the privately held sandwich chain, in 2017. READ MORE

MISCELLANEOUS

Class action lawsuits: Worried about being at the receiving end of a class action lawsuit over what’s on your food label in 2019? Checkout what 14 attorneys defending food and beverage clients told Food Navigator you should be paying attention to as we head into the New Year. Cell-cultured meats, CBD and trace contaminants are on the list. READ MORE

Did you know? In 2011, the USDA officially changed their recommendation for cooking whole muscle pork cuts from a final end-point temperature of 160 degrees F (medium degree of doneness) to 145 degrees F with a three-minute rest (medium-rare). U.S. pork has been free from the trichinae parasite for years. Sadly, the fear of this parasite caused our grandmothers to worry about eating undercooked pork and teach our mothers (who then taught us) to overcook pork. READ MORE