Daily Media Briefing

Daily Media Briefing


Posted in: Climate Change, Corporate Reputation, Daily Media Briefing, Ethics, Health & Nutrition, Supply Chain, Technology & Innovation

Top Stories

January 30, 2019

Sustainable Foods

UK department store, Selfridges, launches insect-based food range in response to demand

Selfridges, a UK department store, has unveiled plans to stock a range of insect-based snacks, in a bid to showcase the environmental and nutritional benefits of alternative proteins to UK customers. The company announced that a range of pasta, protein bars and granola snacks made using insect flour will be stocked in its food halls by February. Selfridges said in a statement that the move to stock these products was taken due to growing concerns around the sustainability of producing traditional protein such as beef, eggs, pork and poultry, compounded by consumer demands for new and innovative protein-heavy foods. The products will initially be offered on a trial basis through Selfridges’ pop-up “bug bars” but may be made a permanent offering if they prove popular with customers. The launch of the “bug bars” will follow on from its decision to stock chocolate-covered giant ants in its London food hall last year. (Edie)

Read more: A question of sustainability…Investors eye plant-based shift to alternative proteins

Ethics in Tech

YouTube to curb recommending conspiracy videos

Video network YouTube responded to critics who have long called on the Google company to clean up its recommendation engine and not offer conspiracy videos in suggested plays. In a blog post posted Friday, YouTube said it will begin to reduce recommending “borderline content and content that could misinform users in harmful ways – such as videos promoting a phony miracle cure for a serious illness, claiming the earth is flat, or making blatantly false claims about historic events like 9/11.” YouTube was responding to public backlash after its trending videos tab gave a wide platform to clips that shared false or misleading information about breaking national news events, like the high school shooting in Parkland, Florida, or the 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas. YouTube says this algorithm shift will apply to less than 1 percent of the content on YouTube, but that “limiting the recommendation of these types of videos will mean a better experience for the YouTube community.” (USA Today)


U.S. senator asks J&J for documents on safety of talc-based baby powder

U.S. Democratic Senator Patty Murray sent a letter to Johnson & Johnson on Tuesday seeking information related to allegations in a Reuters Special Report that the healthcare company knew about the presence of asbestos in its talc-based baby powder. The letter addressed to J&J Chief Executive Alex Gorsky asks for documents and information related to testing of its talc products for the presence of carcinogens and “how it presented that information to regulators and consumers.” Reuters on Dec. 14 published a Special Report claiming that the company knew that the talc in its raw and finished powders sometimes tested positive for cancer-causing asbestos from the 1970s into the early 2000s – test results the company did not disclose to regulators or consumers. Currently, J&J is facing more than 11,000 lawsuits alleging that use of its talc products, including baby powder, caused cancer. (Reuters)

Sustainable Fashion

Tommy Hilfiger unveils ‘world’s first’ 100 percent recycled jeans

Global fashion brand Tommy Hilfiger has unveiled plans to launch a range of 100 percent recycled jeans this spring, in what it claims is a first for the luxury fashion sector. The innovative jeans are made using cotton offcuts produced at a factory level, which are taken apart using a mechanical separation process before being woven into new material. The thread used to sew the jeans is spun from recycled plastic bottles and buttons, while recycled metal will be used to create the buttons and zips. In order to ensure the entire manufacturing process is energy-efficient and low-carbon, the garments will be finished using laser technology, rather than by hand. Once the jeans are finished, they will be fitted with 100 percent recyclable paper tags and displayed on aluminium hangers, to ensure the entire process is free from single-use plastic. “We have a responsibility to future generations to manufacture products in a more thoughtful way to protect our environment,” brand founder Tommy Hilfiger said. (Edie)

Climate Change

OECD urges Australia to step up carbon emissions cuts

Australia needs to cut carbon emissions more sharply to meet its 2030 Paris Climate accord target, the OECD warned on Wednesday, contradicting claims by the country’s conservative government that the goal will be easily met. Despite rapidly growing use of wind and solar power, Australia remains heavily dependent on coal and natural gas for energy, while emissions from the transport sector are growing. That will make it tough for Australia, one of the 10 worst greenhouse gas emitters in the OECD, to reduce emissions by 2030, as promised under the Paris agreement. “Australia needs to intensify mitigation efforts to reach its Paris Agreement goal: emissions are projected to increase by 2030,” the OECD said in a review of Australia’s environmental performance. The OECD urged Canberra to set an emission reduction goal for the power sector, use energy taxes and road pricing to better reflect the climate costs of fuel use, and increase investment in rail and public transport. (Reuters)


Image source: Johnson’s Baby Powder, Talc, Talcum Powder ingredients by Mike Mozart on FlickrCC BY 2.0.