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5@5: World's first bee vaccine saves hives | 'Sustainable' palm oil does more damage

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.

World’s first insect vaccine could help bees fight off deadly disease

Finnish scientists have produced a vaccine for bees suffering from American foulbrood (AFB), a contagious disease that is essentially a death sentence for the infected hive or colony. The innovation provides a measure of hope for beekeepers worldwide, who hope that this same technology can be applied to prevent other infections such as European foulbrood and fungal diseases. Read more at NPR …

 

No such thing as sustainable palm oil—‘certified’ can destroy even more wildlife, say scientists

 

Experts have found that palm-oil forests that have been certified as sustainable are facing even worse destruction than non-certified land. The sustainability labels have allowed “even greater expansions of plantations that are driving orangutans towards extinction in southeast Asia and destroying natural carbon-absorbing rainforests.” Read more at Independent  …

 

Congress will likely legalize hemp in the Farm Bill. It should also heal the USDA’s history of discrimination.

The government’s plan to regulate the farming and production of hemp may also pave the way for discrimination against minorities, say organizations such as Minorities for Medical Marijuana and the Diasporic Alliance for Cannabis Opportunities. To combat this, the USDA should make sure the hemp certification program fee is affordable and make an effort to engage people of color when “writing regulations and implementing and overseeing programs,” among other inclusion-oriented steps. Read more at Civil Eats 

 

Ozark Natural Foods tells tale of survival

Mike Anzalone, general manager of Ozark Natural Foods in northwest Arkansas, saw the business survive a 40 percent drop in sales because of the opening of a nearby Whole Foods AND a Natural Grocers from 2014-15. What saved Ozark Natural Foods? The store’s lack of debt, as well as a new and improved location that ups the visibility and accessibility of the store. Read this article to learn more about the store’s tale of survival and its plans for the future.  Read more at Arkansas Business ...

 

Whole Foods rolls out more small stores under new brand; will Amazon replace the cashiers with robots?

Whole Foods Market Inc. has been steadily opening its smaller, more utilitarian “365” locations for a little over two years now. These stores emphasize the company’s lower-cost 365 Everyday Value brand and have less services than your average Whole Foods; for example, there is no in-house butcher. Parent company Amazon may be planning on using its emerging app-based checkout-free technology in these smaller, more manageable formats prior to moving onto larger store formats, despite insisting that the checkout-free technology will remain in the sphere of Amazon Go stores. Read more at Austin Business Journal …

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