Computer hacker working on a laptop to steal data.

Everybody talks about Russia, but what about China? The potential for cyber warfare between the U.S.and Russia is openly discussed, and well understood, but few people talk about China and cyberwar. The reason is simple. China is already engaged in its own form of cyber warfare, but one that does not readily fit into the West’s perception of war and peace. China is taking the long view. It has no interest in winning short-term battles; its focus is on winning the long-term war. READ MORE

TRADE

South American soybeans: All eyes are on South American soybeans as U.S. traders and farmers alike wait to see how many soybeans farmers in Brazil and Argentina will add to the world balance sheet. Soybeans there have reached a critical point in the growing season, and Mother Nature is using El Niño to throw farmers a curve ball. READ MORE

China buys rice: China is buying U.S. rice for the first time. The South China Morning Post reported that Chinese customs officials cleared American rice for import on Thursday. It’s not clear how much China will buy, but the U.S. rice industry calls China the 800 pound gorilla for the industry, and a market barrier it’s been trying to break for decades. READ MORE

Romaine growers still worried: The calendar has turned over to a new year, but the agriculture industry in southwestern Arizona’s Yuma area isn’t forgetting an E. coli outbreak last April that dealt financial setbacks to growers and distributors of romaine lettuce and other leafy greens. Research initiatives are being launched as efforts continue to identify precise vulnerabilities in their industry’s practices and infrastructure. READ MORE

FOOD SAFETY

Food inspections continue: As the third-longest government shutdown in U.S. history continues, businesses across industries are concerned about what resources are available. At USDA, FSIS will continue much of its food safety activities. Field inspection of meat, poultry and egg products will continue, as well as regulatory enforcement and product testing in labs. The agency will also continue its enforcement and food safety surveillance and investigations, which includes recall initiation, traceback/trace-forward investigations. READ MORE

Digital tracking can help prevent recalls: Recalls are something that food brands plan for but hope to never experience. One of the easiest ways to prevent recalls associated with perishable foods is to ensure that food and beverage products are safely produced and continually kept at the right temperatures. Gaining end-to-end supply chain “visibility” with digital data can help prevent costly recalls altogether. READ MORE

Don’t eat those chicken tenders! In what could be a first for the nation, an Alabama Emergency Management Agency issued a public service warning this week telling people not to eat hundreds of chicken tenders spilled across a state highway. It happened Sunday in Cherokee County, and the sheriff’s office went so far as threatening to charge any sticky-fingered people caught in the act. READ MORE

FOOD TECHNOLOGY

Introducing the mooo app: With its goal of increasing the livelihoods of 1m Indian dairy farmers by 2022, an Australian agri-tech company believes gamifying data analytics is the way to help achieve this goal. READ MORE

PUBLIC HEALTH

Worst measles outbreak in decades: Cases of measles have reached a 20-year high in several New York counties amid an outbreak that threatens to reach epidemic proportions, experts say. The worst affected areas so far are Rockland County and an Orthodox Jewish neighborhood in Brooklyn, where at least 55 have been infected. A hundred and five cases have been reported in Rockland County, also home to a large Orthodox Jewish population. Meanwhile, 25 other states have reported outbreaks, with numbers climbing particularly high in Oregon and Washington. Read more HERE and HERE.

ANIMAL HEALTH

City-living increases cancer in animals: Animals living in cities may be more likely to get cancer – just like humans, a study suggests. Light, chemical and noise pollution, food high in sugars, and viruses have all been found to increase the chances of humans getting cancer. Now researchers suggest the same factors could be raising the risk of cancers in wild animals living in cities such as birds, squirrels, rats, mice and hedgehogs. READ MORE

HUMANITARIAN CRISES

Coup fears: Amid fears of military coups and assassination plots, the Venezuelan government has increasingly been detaining and torturing military personnel and their families, a new report finds. The report by Human Rights Watch and Venezuela’s Foro Penal documented almost three dozen cases where military officers, their family, spouses or acquaintances were arbitrarily detained and often tortured as the government reacted to suspected coup plots. READ MORE

RESTAURANT SECURITY

McDonald’s melee: Teenage girls were caught on camera hurling heavy objects at McDonald’s employees in Moreno Valley, Calif., after being asked to leave a children’s play area – causing thousand dollars worth of damage, according to police. READ MORE

MISCELLANEOUS

Impossible Foods reformulates burger: Impossible Foods launched a new version of its Impossible Burger Tuesday at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The recipe now uses soy protein instead of wheat protein and some new ingredients—namely, methylcellulose and sunflower oil. Impossible Foods says the addition of methylcellulose makes the burger juicier and easier to handle, while the sunflower oil cuts total and saturated fat levels. READ MORE