Today’s quick hits, Feb. 18, 2020

It looks like pot, but it’s not (Harvest Public Media): Thieves are stealing thousands of dollars worth of industrial hemp, believing the crop is marijuana.

Trump sees China deal bolstering support (Politico): With the “phase one” trade agreement with China in effect, President Trump ” is clearly hoping for a steady stream of agricultural sales to China between now and November that will solidify his support among farmers.”

Cage-free drive in Maine (Associated Press): State Rep. Maggie O’Neil has proposed a state requirement for cage-free facilities for egg-laying hens by the end of 2024, banning the sale of eggs from farms that don’t meet the standard.

Food is not connected to coronavirus (FDA): Commissioner Stephen Hahn, in describing FDA actions to prevent transmission of coronavirus, said “there is no evidence that food or food packaging have been associated with transmission” nor are imported foods and drugs for humans or pets associated with the virus.

Petition to halt cod fishing (Cape Cod Times):  An environmental group petitioned the Commerce Department to prohibit commercial and recreational cod fishing until the government finds a way to stop overfishing.

GAO to review Trump tariff payments (New York Times): The Government Accountability Office, a congressional agency, said it will examine the administration’s system of trade-war payments. GAO will see if the aid is distributed equitably to all producers harmed by the Sino-U.S. trade war, rather than skewed toward large producers.