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5@5: Senator attacking organic standards? | Uncensored park service report released

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

2018 Farm Bill watch: A sneak attack on the organic standards?

Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kansas) seems to be ready to change the USDA’s organic standards to allow GMOs and toxic pesticides, essentially abolishing organic agriculture as American consumers understand it. Roberts chairs the Senate agriculture committee, which is writing that body’s version of the 2018 Farm Bill. He also appears to be remaking the National Organic Standards Board in favor of allowing more representatives from large-scale farms and companies. Read more at FoodTank …

Surprise! The Park Service can say “climate change” after all

A National Park Service report released Friday reports on the risks of climate change to national parks—and notes that human activity is causing the global problem. Maria Caffrey, a University of Colorado research assistant and the study’s lead scientist, said park service officials pressured her to avoid any information about humans’ affect on the climate. But a park service spokesman said discussions with the authors “resulted in agreement over the use of several terms.” Read more at Mother Jones …

Africa's green revolution stumbles at Congo project to solve food shortages

A 2014 plan to convert more than 17,900 square kilometers (11,122.544 square miles) of the Congo to agricultural use has failed after growing less than 5 percent of the maize it was touted to produce. The project’s collapse illustrates the hazards of seeking a quick fix to Africa’s food problems: little investor interest, weak infrastructure and complicated if not nonsensical land regulations. Read more at Reuters …

A building El Niño in 2018 signals more extreme weather for 2019

Hot enough for you? Get ready for more. The official outlook from the NOAA and Columbia University predicts another El Niño will form this year, creating higher temperatures and increasingly dangerous weather in 2019. It’s an early prediction, so don’t plan a bikini party for New Year’s Eve just yet. But be aware that the 2016 system created historic droughts in Ethiopia, an epidemic of wildfires around the world and the warmest year we know of. Read more in Grist …

This woman is taking on the $120 billion cheese industry

In the United States, nutrition industry sales surpassed $200 billion in 2017. That same year, more than $1.5 billion was invested in agtech. And plant-based foods sales are skyrocketing, as consumers choose innovation over conventional groceries. Miyoko’s Kitchen, a startup that brought vegan cheese and butter to consumers, is poised to tackle this year’s predicted No. 1 trend of “going vegan.” Read more at Forbes …

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