5@5: ESG standards needed | FDA getting burned | Synthetic 'shrooms

Getty Images FDA still waiting for sunscreen data
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.

Opinion: Taking a hard look at ESG standards

Like any hot, new idea, ESG investing is running wild. Without standards or any regulation, companies' investments in environmental, social and governance sectors could be perfectly valid, somewhat exaggerated or simply fraudulent, Grant Harrison, an analyst for the GreenBiz Group, writes in Greenbiz.com. The scrutiny shows, however, that ESG is becoming a significant effect—and shining some light on it is likely beneficial.

FDA still waiting for sunscreen data

The Food and Drug Administration today issued  another order requiring sunscreen manufacturers to address safety concerns about their ingredients. The agency wants to know how much of the products' chemicals enter users' bloodstream. The FDA first asked the businesses to study the issue in 2019, and recent studies have raised further concerns, according to the Environmental Working Group.

Synthetic 'shrooms could be made of sugar, one psychedelics company hopes

Psilocybin, whether natural or synthetic, is neither cheap nor sustainable. But sugar is. Forbes reports that Copenhagen, Denmark-based Octarine Bio is taking a wild trip with carbon-dioxide-negative sugar and biosynthetic machinery to make scalable, pharmaceutical-grade psilocybin without the hazardous waste that results from other synthetic methods.

'Whole muscle' alt-meat products are in the pipeline

As of now, the alt-meat products made by Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat resemble hamburger. But what about vegans who miss the flavor and texture of a chicken breast or a steak? That's a different challenge, but Impossible Foods is working on it. Meanwhile, Beyond Meat has applied for trademarks regarding fish, ham, lamb, shrimp, turkey, steak and more, Vegconomist.com reports.

Will robots work the farm?

Bill Gates' Breakthrough Energy Ventures fund has invested in a startup that uses robots to more efficiently grow produce through hydroponics, according to Reuters.com. Inside a 10,000-square-foot greenhouse in Gilroy, California, Iron Ox grows Genovese basil and strawberries with a robot name Grover doing all the heavy lifting, literally, and caring of the plants.

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