- Hampton Creek announced that Kathleen Sebelius, former Kansas governor and five-year Health and Human Services secretary under President Obama, is now an adviser to the company reported Politico in its Morning Agriculture briefing.
- The announcement comes at a time when Hampton Creek is involving itself in more than just food manufacturing, but in changing food policy as well. Last week, the company's CEO Josh Tetrick met with lobbying group Heather Podesta + Partners on Capitol Hill, a group Hampton Creek recently hired.
- Hampton Creek has also been in the news as of late due to its plant-based egg substitute, which received orders for tens of thousands of pounds from companies like General Mills Inc., after the bird flu outbreak destroyed a portion of the country's egg supply. The flu has made eggs and egg byproducts difficult to obtain for some companies.
At a time when major policy changes are in play, Hampton Creek may be unique in being such a young company to establish influence.
“What I know is we can't change the food system in the most fundamental of ways unless policy leaders are with us — we can change it, but we can change it faster and in a more dramatic way if leaders are also behind it,” said Tetrick, according to Politico. “I couldn’t be a more fervent believer in capitalism’s ability to do positive things, but it can do even more positive things if policies are actually supporting it.”
As for food companies, Monsanto Co., along with other biotechnology companies, showed its support for a bill that would create new national standards for genetically-engineered crops. Establishing a policy for voluntary rather than mandatory GMO labeling, this bill could have significant effects on Monsanto and biotech companies, seed processors, and food manufacturers should it pass into law.
The Grocery Manufacturers Association, a major lobbying arm for the food industry, has most recently taken up weakening the FDA mandate or lengthening the time period required for food companies to phase out partially hydrogenated oils, which the GMA argues will reduce the shelf life of some foods. The GMA is also lobbying for certain exemptions to this rule.