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5@5: Iowa's 'Ag-Gag' law struck down | FDA halts food inspections amid shutdown

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.

Court strikes down Iowa’s ‘Ag-Gag’ law that blocked undercover investigations

A federal judge in Iowa has ruled that it is no longer criminal to secretly film factory farms, slaughterhouses and other agricultural operations. The 2012 law banning such activity was, according to the judge, “a clear violation of the First Amendment.” This is not the first law of its kind to be struck down in recent years—similar ones cropped up in both Idaho and Utah and have also been overturned. Read more at NPR …

 

FDA says most food inspections halted amid shutdown

 

The agency that usually conducts 160 routine food inspections per week to investigate and prevent unsanitary conditions, bug infestations and harmful contaminations has officially “suspended all routine domestic food facility inspections amid the partial government shutdown.” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb is currently working to reinstate inspections in high-risk facilities, such as those that process seafood and cheese. Read more at The Hill 

 

Meet Caper, the AI self-checkout shopping cart

Competing with Amazon is a daunting prospect for many a small retailer, but what if the transition to autonomous shopping didn’t have to entail the cost and effort that installing cameras everywhere incurs? Enter Caper, the AI-based shopping cart with a built-in barcode scanner and credit card swiper that automatically scans all products placed in the cart. The startup has raised a total of $3 million so far, indicating that retailers that may not have stood a chance prior may end up surviving the shift to fully autonomous retail. Read more at Tech Crunch …

 

A Whole Foods exec thinks Amazon has finally stripped off the ‘Whole Paycheck’ label

Jim Sud, Whole Foods’ executive vice president of growth and business development, mentioned in a recent interview that the company’s “Whole Paycheck” moniker seems to have faded from the collective consumer psyche. Sud is relieved, arguing that the joke “was an unfair rap because high quality products sold at Whole Foods conform with such things as animal welfare and seafood sustainability certifications.” Sud also stated that another round of price cuts will soon be implemented in Whole Foods stores nationwide.  Read more at St. Louis Post-Dispatch  ...

 

Meet the former celebrity chef who is turning wasted salmon skin into high-protein chips

Fish skin is typically discarded in restaurants and manufacturing operations, but one successful UK-based chef has turned this waste into a buzzy new snack. Much like 4505 Chicharrones’ pork rinds, which are upcycled from wasted pig skin, Daniel Pawson’s Sea Chips fulfill the rising consumer demand for ethical, sustainable and healthy fare in the consumer packaged goods category. Read more at Forbes  

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