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[email protected]: Bumblebees, virus benefit tomatoes | Organic farmers blasting weeds

Each day at 5 p.m. we collect the five top natural news headlines of the day, making it easy for you to catch up on today's most important natural products industry news.

The curious case of the bumblebee, the virus and the tomato

Bumblebees are more attracted to tomato plants infected with cucumber mosaic virus. And while tomato plants can self-pollinate, they produce more seeds when a bumblebee does their dirty work. Turns out that viruses can benefit their hosts, says the author of a new study. Read more at National Geographic ...

Organic farmers learning that grit can obliterate weeds

Can weeds be killed with a sand blaster? “[The idea] sounded too silly initially,” Frank Forcella says. But he and a colleague at the USDA North Central Soil Conservation Research Laboratory in Morris, Minnesota, kept batting it around. “Eventually, we bought a cheapo sand blaster and started some simple experiments in a greenhouse.” Read more at Modern Farmer ...

Working 'the chain,' slaughterhouse workers face lifelong injuries

Slaughterhouse workers kill and process hundreds of animals an hour, performing repetitive tasks at high speeds in cold conditions, with few breaks. Occupational Safety and Health Administration 2014 data showed repetitive motion injuries among beef and pork processing workers were nearly seven times that of other private industries. Read more at National Public Radio ...

350,000 people call on Gov. Brown to stop irrigating crops with oil wastewater

Concerned Californians are urging Gov. Brown and the California Water Resources Control Board to prohibit the potentially dangerous practice of using wastewater from oil drilling to irrigate California's crops. "Californians want to know what is in the water and the soil that is used to grow their food," Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles) said. Read more at EcoWatch ...

Dangerous levels of industrial chemicals found in 6 million Americans' drinking water

Drinking water supplies serving more than six million Americans contain unsafe levels of a widely used class of industrial chemicals linked to potentially serious health problems, according to a new study from Harvard University researchers. “Virtually all Americans are exposed to these compounds,” said the study’s lead author. Read more at The Washington Post ...

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