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5@5: Farmers continue to declare bankruptcy | Legislators propose universal free school meals

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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.

More farmers declare bankruptcy despite record levels of federal aid

The long-term slump in America's agricultural economy coupled with food supply chain chaos due to COVID-19 have rendered all-time high levels of government aid to farmers useless. U.S. farm debt reached over $425 billion in 2020, and agricultural economists say more farms will file for Chapter 12 bankruptcy next year should trade aid and coronavirus-relief payments cease at the end of 2020. Read more at The Wall Street Journal

 

Legislators propose universal free school meals during COVID-19

Childhood hunger in the U.S. has been greatly exacerbated by the pandemic, and the federal government has had minimal success with its initiatives to help thus far. A new bill from Virginia congressman Bobby Scott, however, aims to solve the issue through universal free school meals. The Pandemic Child Hunger Prevention Act would allow every single district to provide free meals to any student who requests one, in addition to fully eliminating the obligation for schools to verify the eligibility of the child. Read more at Modern Farmer

 

Mexico state bans sale of sugary drinks and junk food to children

Oaxaca, a southern Mexican state, has officially banned the sale of high-calorie snack foods and sugary drinks to minors. Mexico's political leaders are more focused on health initiatives than ever in an attempt to minimize COVID-19 deaths, and Mexicans drink the most soft drinks per person per year than residents of any other country, making sugary drink taxes and bans a no-brainer for many. Read more at The Guardian

 

FDA issues final guidance for industry on action level for inorganic arsenic in infant rice cereals

New FDA guidance has identified an action level of 100 parts per billion of inorganic arsenic, which is associated with neurodevelopmental effects, in infant rice cereals. The agency stated that manufacturers have made significant progress in this regard over the past few decades, with 76% of tested samples in 2018 at or below the 100 ppb level compared to 36% tested between 2011-2013. Read more at FDA

 

KFC Canada makes permanent plant-based addition

The Plant-Based KFC Chicken Sandwich will remain on KFC Canada menus after a successful trial run with Lightlife in 2019. The company sold over a month's worth of sandwiches in six hours last year upon debuting the vegan option. Read more at MeatPoultry

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