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5@5: Trump makes USDA pick | California, Monsanto continue battle over glyphosate

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.

Trump picks Sonny Perdue for agriculture secretary

The president-elect's pick to lead the U.S. Department of Agriculture grew up on a farm and earned a doctorate in veterinary medicine. Perdue is a former Democrat who switched parties before becoming governor of Georgia in 2003. If confirmed, he'll lead an agency that employes almost 100,000 employees and has a $155 billion annual budget. Here's what else you need to know about him. Read more at The Washington Post...


Monsanto, California battle over listing glyphosate as a carcinogen

Back in 2015, the California EPA's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment issued a notice that it intended to list the herbicide glyphosate as a carcinogen under the state's Proposition 65. Monsanto fired back with a lawsuit in January 2016, arguing that the office delegated law-making to an unelected, non-transparent foreign body—the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer, which in 2015 concluded that glyphosate is "probably carcinogenic to humans." The OEHHA filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, and an upcoming hearing will decide whether the case will be dismissed or whether it will proceed. Read more at EcoWatch...


New research addresses gap between research and practice in sustainable agriculture

Large-scale production (as opposed to the small scale at which research is often done) presents special challenges for organic practices, according to new research out of Michigan State University. The labor-intensive work, such as cultivation of cover crops and rotary tilling, that's part of organic production is more difficult to perform consistently on big plots of land, the researchers say, which can lead to a lower yield for large-scale production versus production at a small scale or in test plots. Read more at


Clean, safe, humane—producers say lab meat is a triple win

The fledgling "clean meat" industry uses cells extracted from animals to grow meat in a lab. That means animals don't have to be killed, and resources used to raise them could be saved. But the industry also sees a food safety and human health play. Read more at Food Safety News...


Why America is growing the most sweet potatoes since WWII

The humble sweet potato has become the darling of the local food movement, because it's easy to grow and readily available year-round. U.S. farmers produced 3.1 billion pounds of sweet potatoes in 2015. Read more at NPR...

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