Animal rights activists are full into their annual ritual of pressuring progressive Chinese corporations and “civilized” citizens to turn a collective back on one region of that country’s annual summer dog meat festival. Blaming the long-held cultural tradition for harming the country’s global image, fostering animal cruelty and risking human health, animal-protection associations and social-media activists are pressing to save the estimated 10 million to 20 million dogs harvested for meat each year in China.

“Psychologically and mentally, they have already died many times,” Peter J. Li, the Humane Society International’s China policy specialist, told the Associated Press, (although apparently they sometimes prove edible even short of dying.) Meanwhile, if you’re interested in spicy grilled Greyhound or soup du Spaniel, we have your sources. 

Now, salt is the new sugar (is the new fat is the new tobacco)

Hard on the heels of a new study showing all those years advising U.S. consumers to cut out whole milk not only were unnecessary but could actually have been harmful—which  itself followed a new study arguing no good evidence backed dietary guidelines limiting butter and cheese, the Obama administration now is lining up the next villain in its war against America’s dietary excess: Big Salt. A plan to “nudge” food companies to voluntarily cut the salt in processed foods, begun at the start of the President’s first term but hampered by that pesky lack of hard evidence it’s necessary, has now been given new life by a lawsuit by consumer group Center for Science in the Public Interest. The FDA’s February agreement to respond to CSPI by June "is the reason for my optimism" that something will break on salt regulation, Michael Landa, former director of the FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition and an advocate of government action to reduce sodium, told POLITICO. But what of the continual pattern of pronouncing dietary restrictions that are then proven unnecessary by better science? “I wish there were scientific facts,” Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack told the House Committee on Agriculture in late October. “But the reality is stuff changes, right? Stuff changes.” Which, in bureaucrat-speak, means "Sh*t Happens.”

Profit Tracker: Same old story

Cattle feeding margins gained only modestly, despite the fact feeder cattle factored into closeouts were $40 per head less than the previous week. That’s because cash fed cattle priced dipped $2 per cwt. Average feedyard losses totaled $175.72, about $10 less than the week before, according to the Sterling Beef Profit Tracker. USDA’s 5-area direct price last week was $133.63 per cwt., but breakeven averaged $147.15.

5 Minutes with Kendal Frazier

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association named Kendal Frazier its new CEO last week. Drovers columnist Chuck Jolley caught up with Frazier for one of his “5 Minutes With” columns. Frazier is an experienced hand at NCBA, and told Jolley, “I know as I take this position at NCBA that we have the right staff, a great partnership with state organizations and the strong support of our grassroots membership to push the priorities of cattle producers forward.”