5@5: Retailers pay workers to get COVID-19 vaccine | EPA to regulate PFAS in drinking water

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.

New Hope Network staff

January 21, 2021

2 Min Read
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Trader Joe's, Dollar General and others are paying workers to get vaccines

A rising number of grocers are providing employees with pay incentives to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Aldi even promised its workers they would not lose pay for missed hours at work in addition to the financial incentive. While some applaud this collective effort, others worry that paying employees to get vaccinated could reinforce skepticism about the vaccine by making it seem risky. The legality surrounding firing workers for not getting the vaccine is also a tricky matter. NPR has the full story.

EPA announces plan to regulate 'forever chemicals' in drinking water

The Environmental Protection Agency will begin incorporating so-called "forever chemicals" PFAS into water quality inspections, regulating the levels of at least two of these chemicals in drinking water. Environmental groups, however, maintain that this move isn't aggressive enough to protect consumers from the adverse health effects that result from long-term exposure to PFAS. Modern Farmer reports.

US unemployment claims remained elevated last week

Last week roughly 900,000 workers filed for unemployment benefits. Data shows employers slashed 140,000 jobs in December, and consumers have also cut back on purchases after several months of increased spending. The Wall Street Journal paints the bleak picture.

Amazon offers to help Biden with COVID-19 vaccine distribution

A number of states are quickly running out of their COVID-19 vaccine supply, which is why Amazon is asking President Biden to assist in getting the administration's upcoming vaccine distribution efforts off the ground. Dave Clark, CEO of Amazon's Worldwide Consumer division,also wrote in the open letter to the Biden administration that Amazon's workforce (including Whole Foods employees) should receive vaccine priority. Head to 10 News to read the letter.

This state-of-the-art indoor farm is transforming Appalachia into an agricultural powerhouse

Startup AppHarvest is creating a job market in a struggling region while building a new farming model that is more sustainable than conventional agricultural practices. Its indoor farms use less water and land than traditional farms (they implement hydroponics) and are free from pesticides. Founder and CEO Jonathan Webb believes that all fruit and vegetable production will occur in a controlled environment eventually. Fast Company dives into AppHarvest's mission and plans for expansion.

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