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5@5: Scientists extract low-cost, high-quality CBD from yeast | New EU rule on organic meat to affect Jews, Muslims

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.

‘High’ tech: CBD can be made with genetically engineered microbes (AKA yeast)

Bioengineered microscopic fungi (AKA yeast) can produce both THC and CBD, meaning scientists can now grow—and engineer—cannabinoids in a lab. This has huge implications; firstly, extracting THC and CBD in this way is significantly cheaper than conventional methods by over 99 percent. Secondly, scientists can bioengineer THC and CBD to have specific, targeted effects, such as high levels of relaxation. Bioengineered yeast is also how scientists at cell-cultured milk company Perfect Day are producing dairy-free milk. Read more at The Spoon …

 

A new EU rule on organic meat will have an outsized impact on European Muslims and Jews

 

The Court of Justice of the European Union this week ruled that “unless a food animal has been stunned before undergoing a religious slaughtering, it cannot bear the EU’s ‘organic’ label.” This ruling, if passed definitively in France, will exclude many Muslims and Jews from the organic meat market as these communities typically follow religious rules regarding animal slaughter that do not incorporate prior stunning. However, the court ruling also raises another question—“how important are the final seconds of an animal’s life when thinking about its meat as organic,” as opposed to how the animal was treated during the course of its overall life? Read more at Quartz 

 

Martha Stewart is teaming up with the world’s largest legal marijuana producer to produce CBD products for pets

Today, Canopy Growth announced that Martha Stewart will be joining the company as an advisor. Specifically, Stewart will be developing and positioning a line of products that will explore hemp CBD’s uses for both pets and humans. Stewart’s long-held “status as a domestic icon reveals the massive mainstream potential of legalized marijuana, especially in the form of non-psychoactive CBD.” Read more at Business Insider …

 

Will an appeals court make the EPA ban a pesticide linked to serious health risks?

While glyphosate has gotten the bulk of attention in recent months, another popular pesticide is wreaking havoc on farmworkers and rural residents surrounding agricultural operations. Chlorpyrifos is still sprayed on crops such as apples, corn, soybeans and Christmas trees even though the EPA “decided to phase the popular pesticide out of household use back in 2000.” One study found that children with more chlorpyrifos in their blood at birth “scored lower on memory, verbal comprehension and reasoning tests.” Now the EPA is appealing a decision from a three-judge panel ruling that the organization had to ban the herbicide, and the full 9th Circuit is scheduled to hear oral arguments in the case against the EPA in late March. Read more at NPR …

 

Why food could be the best medicine of all

A growing number of medical programs have arisen in recent years that encourage patients to treat food as “medicine that can have as much power to heal as drugs.” Although this knowledge is a foundational belief in the natural products industry, widespread adoption has thus far been difficult because diet changes require abundant access to affordable fresh foods and the time to prepare them—certainly not as easy a task as popping a pill. Luckily, insurance companies such as Blue Cross Blue Shield are now joining doctors to cover tailored healthy meals to help patients avoid costly trips to the emergency room, and studies have shown that programs such as the Fresh Food Farmacy have drastically lowered patients' rates of serious diabetes complications. Read more at Time 

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