In pandemic, one in five children are not getting enough to eat, says report
An unprecedented number of U.S. children — 13.9 million — are experiencing food insecurity and did not have sufficient food in late June due to the coronavirus pandemic, said an analysis from the Hamilton Project on Thursday. “This level of need merits a substantial and immediate public investment,” said Lauren Bauer, author of the analysis.
Apples and potatoes will get coronavirus aid for lost sales
In a series of adjustments to its $16-billion coronavirus relief program, the USDA said on Thursday that apple, potato, and blueberry growers would now qualify for federal payments for sales lost to the pandemic. More than one-third of the money in the program has already been paid in cash to farmers and ranchers.
FDA may gain power to order drug recalls
The House Appropriations Committee voted on Thursday to give the Food and Drug Administration the power to order the recall of unsafe prescription and over-the-counter drugs rather than having to ask manufacturers to recall the products voluntarily. The language was added to the $153-billion USDA-FDA funding bill for fiscal 2021, which was approved by voice vote and now goes to the House floor for debate.
USDA accepts 1.2 million acres into grasslands program
The USDA accepted nearly 2 out of every 3 acres that were offered this spring for enrollment into the Conservation Reserve grasslands initiative, 1.2 million acres in all, said the Farm Service Agency on Thursday.
TODAY’S QUICK HITS
Bill would limit line speeds: Democratic Reps. Marcia Fudge, Rosa DeLauro, and Bennie Thompson filed a bill in the U.S. House that would block faster line speeds at meatpacking plants, whether by USDA waiver or through implementation of the New Swine Slaughter Inspection System. Democrat Cory Booker is expected to file a companion bill in the Senate. (Rep. Marcia Fudge)
Up the THC limit in hemp: Congress should raise the THC limit in industrial hemp to 1 percent from the current 0.3 percent, “so no more farmers will lose their crops,” said the advocacy group Vote Hemp in an online petition drive. (Let’s Talk Hemp)
Colony-level genetics for calmer bees: The hybrid African-European honeybees of Puerto Rico are less aggressive than other varieties because of colony-level genetics rather than the DNA of individual bees, say USDA researchers in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. (Agricultural Research Service)
Population growth stalls in rural America: A slowing birth rate and an aging population, with an attendant rise in death rates, is creating a major demographic challenge for rural America. When migration is included, rural areas show barely any change in population in recent years. (Amber Waves)
Moderate algal boom forecast: NOAA and its research partners forecast an algal bloom this summer in western Lake Erie at a moderate 4.5 on its severity scale, lower than the 7.3 recorded in 2019. The blooms consist of cyanobacteria, which can be harmful to humans and wildlife. (National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science)