ACDC News – Issue 13-02

Four common assumptions about foods and feeds with GM ingredients

A January report from the Food Standards Agency (UK government food agency) identified need to inform consumers about four assumptions that arise from labeling of foods and feeds with genetically modified ingredients. The report suggests that these assumptions—identified through consumer research—need to be addressed:

  • Foods with GM ingredients are poorer quality—for example, made of cheaper ingredients, signifying lower interest in animal welfare or non-standard feed practices.
  • GM foods have had extra chemicals “added” or “injected” in some way—for example, the use of chemical additives or hormones.
  • GM animal feed intentionally or unintentionally alters animals in some ways—for example, accelerated growth patterns, fattening, or deformity.
  • Foods claiming to be absent of GMs are of higher than standard quality with associated health, nutrition, and/or taste benefits.

You can read more about information needs—and what UK consumers are thinking these days about GM food and labeling—at: . See research findings about information needs on pages 125-126.

Concerns about safeguarding “digital afterlives”

“Virtually no law regulates what happens to a person’s online existence after his or her death,” according to Prof. Jason Mazzone, an expert in intellectual property law. “This is true even though individuals have privacy and copyright interests in materials they post to social networking sites.”

His paper, “Facebook’s afterlife,” was published recently in the North Carolina Law Review . “It’s really pretty astonishing that there is no way for individual users to say, ‘When I die, this is what happens to my account.'”

You can read the article via the Social Science Research Network at:

Communications—a key to coexistence among diverse ag production systems.

We are adding to the ACDC collection a new committee report to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It offered advice about how to bolster or facilitate coexistence among different agricultural production systems—conventional, organic, identity preserved, and genetically engineered.

One of the three recommendations called for a broad-based, comprehensive education and outreach initiative among agricultural stakeholders to strengthen understanding of coexistence.

That is a huge communications agenda.

And who are the stakeholders? Technology providers, seed companies, commodity and farmers’ organizations, agricultural trade and marketing companies and organizations, education and extension services, public organizations, and state and local governments were among the stakeholders identified for attention.

You can read the report, “Enhancing coexistence,” at:

Africa’s first farmer video-audio website

A new website permits sharing of agricultural training videos between research and development agencies, extension service providers and agribusinesses, as well as farmers and their organizations. Access Agriculture, a newly-inaugurated non-governmental, not-for-profit organization based in Nairobi, Kenya, provides this platform through initial program funding from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).

Dr. Paul Van Mele, chairman of Access Agriculture, explained recently at the inauguration:

“The reason why the majority if farmers do not believe, accept, or act upon information passed on to them is because they prefer practical demos shown and explained by fellow farmers facing similar challenges, irrespective of where they come from.”

  • Training programs in video format are streamed in international and local languages for clarity and easy comprehension.
  • Content focuses on improved food security, natural resource management and market development.
  • Organizations that wish to place their training videos on the website are encouraged to contact Access Agriculture.

You can learn more at:

Would you expect anything rural in Television’s Top 100?

Wesley Hyatt’s new book that identifies the 100 most-watched American telecasts between 1960 and 2010, prompts us to ask this question.

  1. What share (percent) of those most-watched broadcasts would you expect to feature rural settings, people, or activities?
  2. What specific television programs with rural flavor would you expect to find in that Top 100 list?

Please send your responses to us at . We will provide answers and announce winners in your next issue of ACDC News.

Many communicator activities approaching.

  • February 28, 2013
    Annual meeting of the Agricultural Relations Council (ARC) in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Information:
  • March 14, 2013
    National annual meeting of the British Guild of Agricultural Journalists in London, UK. Information:
  • April 7-9, 2013
    Annual meeting of the North American Agricultural Journalists (NAAJ) in Washington, D.C. Information:
  • April 17-18, 2013
    “Forging New Frontiers.” Annual conference of the National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA) in Kansas City, Missouri. Information:
  • May 7-9, 2013
    Annual meeting of the Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association (TOCA) in Portland, Oregon. Information:
  • May 19-22, 2013
    “Building capacity through international agricultural and extension education.” Annual conference of the Association for International Agricultural and Extension Education in Fort Worth, Texas. Information:
  • June 1-5, 2013
    “Sound ideas: the stage is set.” Annual Institute of the Cooperative Communicators Association (CCA) in Nashville, Tennessee. Information:
  • June 17-21, 2013
    Conference of the International Communication Association (ICA) in London, UK. Information:
  • July 22-24, 2013
    “Emerging priorities for scientific and agricultural information.” 14th World Congress of the International Association of Agricultural Information Specialists in Ithaca, New York. Information:
  • August 26-28, 2013
    “Transformative change: chosen or unchosen – pathways to innovation, resilience and prosperity.” International conference of the Australasian-Pacific Extension Network (APEN) in Christchurch, New Zealand. Information:
  • September 1-5, 2013
    Annual Congress of the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ) in Buenos Aires and Rosario, Argentina. Information:

A reminder from 2012 NAFB President Tom Steever.

We end this issue of ACDC News with a thought from Tom Steever of Brownfield Ag News. He expressed it during a “passing of the gavel” occasion as he ended his service as president of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB):

Remember the listeners we serve and who need us

Are those who nurture the world and who feed us.

Best wishes and good searching.

Please pass along your reactions, suggestions and ideas. Feel free to invite our help as you search for information. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @ACDCUIUC .  And please suggest (or send) agricultural communications documents we might add to this unique collection. We welcome them in hard copy (sent to Ag Comm Documentation Center, 510 LIAC, 1101 S. Goodwin Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801) or in electronic format sent to