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5@5: New Senate bill would support urban farmers | FDA asks public to weigh in on 'healthy' claims

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.

Stabenow bill aims to expand federal help for urban farming

U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow from Michigan introduced the Agriculture Act of 2016, a bill that calls for an expanded federal loan program, education, and research and risk management tools for urban farmers, as well as a new urban agriculture office within the USDA. The hope is that the bill would become part of the next national five-year farm bill in 2018. Read more at Detroit Free Press...


FDA takes step toward new 'healthy' labeling

The agency is asking for input from companies and consumers about how the term "healthy" should be used on food packaging. Currently, the criteria is based on low fat, saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium content, and inclusion of a certain amount of nutrients. "While we are working on the ‘healthy’ claim, we also will begin evaluating other label claims to determine how they might be modernized," an FDA spokesman said. Read more at The Wall Street Journal...


Hampton Creek's covert mayo buyback bigger than previously thought

During certain periods, spending on buybacks appears to have actually been higher than sales of Just Mayo. The SEC and Justice Department have launched probes into the food tech company's practices, and a new Bloomberg report suggests the company stretched the truth on certain environmental claims it's made. Read more at Silicon Valley Business Journal...


BrightFarms raises $30.1 million to set up futuristic greenhouses across the U.S.

On a mission to grow fresh produce locally near where it will be sold, BrightFarms has so far built high-tech greenhouses in Philadelphia, Washington D.C. and Chicago. With its new round of funding, led by Catalyst Investors, it hopes to build more and explore new crops. Read more at Tech Crunch...


More pantries adopt 'food as medicine' model

One-third of households that use food banks include a family member with diabetes, according to Feeding America, and more than half have a family member with high blood pressure. So food banks, which are on the front lines of fighting hunger, serve as an especially important place to encourage good nutrition. Across the country, some 30 food banks are working with health care providers to identify low-income patients who could benefit from fresh, healthy local foods. Read more at Herald & Review...

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