Today’s quick hits, June 19, 2020

Trump: China decoupling an option (Twitter): A day after reports that he had asked Chinese president Xi Jinping to buy U.S. farm exports to help him win re-election, President Trump said on social media that “perhaps I didn’t make myself clear, but the U.S. certainly does maintain a policy option, under various conditions, of a complete decoupling from China.”

Racial rebranding in the grocery store (CBS News): The makers of Uncle Ben’s rice, Mrs. Butterworth’s syrup, and Cream of Wheat hot cereal said they are reviewing their products’ branding. The announcement follows the decision by Quaker Oats to rebrand its Aunt Jemima line of products, which includes syrup and pancake mixes.

‘Mostly right’ on dietary guidelines (CSPI): A panel of experts helping the government write the 2020 version of the Dietary Guidelines reaffirmed longstanding nutrition advice that diets rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, low- or non-fat dairy, and seafood are associated with a lower risk of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and some types of cancer.

Finding viruses before they infect (Smithsonian): Nearly two-thirds of human diseases originated in animals, and a small number of researchers believe epidemics can be prevented if they detect dangerous viruses before they make the fatal leap.

Bayer drops plant plans (Baton Rouge Advocate): Bayer has canceled a $975-million expansion of a chemical plant in Louisiana that was expected to produce the weedkiller dicamba. The company said the decision was made before an appellate court voided EPA registration of the herbicide.

‘Sting’ nabs bee thief (Capital Press): A sheriff’s office in western Washington State, aided by local beekeepers, used a “sting” operation to arrest a suspect in the theft of hundreds of beehives and bees worth more than $200,000.