Missouri bill that would end local control of CAFOs heads to governor’s desk

A bill in Missouri that would eliminate local regulation of CAFOs has passed in the state Senate and House and is headed to the desk of Gov. Mike Parson, who is expected to sign it into law. Opponents of the bill say it favors the interests of the largest livestock farms while exposing communities to greater health and environmental risks.

While EPA ponders, California will ban insecticide chlorpyrifos

California environmental regulators announced on Wednesday that the state will prohibit use of the insecticide chlorpyrifos, a process that could take two years to complete. Even as California acted, the U.S. EPA was facing a court-imposed deadline of mid-July to decide on a federal ban of the pesticide.

Corn sweetener loses its luster, and its customers

A brawl between brewers over a Super Bowl ad last winter was not just a market-share battle between beer-making giants. It also offered a revealing look the reduced role corn sweeteners are playing in the food and beverage industry. (No paywall)

Bill would ban chlorpyrifos residues in school meals

New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee and a candidate for the Democratic nomination for president, announced a bill on Wednesday to effectively ban the pesticide chlorpyrifos from school food.

Congress moving slowly on child nutrition reauthorization

Although key lawmakers in the House and Senate support an update of U.S. child nutrition programs, headlined by school lunch and WIC, the timeline for those updates is unclear. “If we can’t go forward, we’ll wait,” said Sen. Debbie Stabenow on Thursday, in a reference to disputes over school food standards.

Breakfast in classrooms, universal access boost school breakfast count

Breakfast participation rates at U.S. schools rose in the 2017-18 school year, and a report issued Wednesday by the Food Research & Action Center attributed that increase to decisions by schools to serve breakfast in classrooms and to offer meals to all pupils free of charge.

Traceability a ‘critical piece’ of the food safety network, says the FDA

In a look back at last November’s recall of romaine lettuce, the FDA says that although “one farm cannot explain the entire outbreak,” it is now able to identify potential sources of E. coli contamination by using technology that can track foods from field to consumer.

As it opens more operations, USDA relies on staff to work without pay

Federal meat inspectors are reporting to work without pay during the partial government shutdown, said an industry trade group on Wednesday, as the USDA called on 9,700 furloughed FSA employees to reopen offices nationwide today to serve farmers and ranchers.

Atrazine spikes in drinking water often go unseen, says report

Nearly 30 million Americans in 28 states “have some level of atrazine in their tap water,” says the Environmental Working Group in a report on the second-most widely used weedkiller in the country.

Rural mothers are younger, have highest fertility rates

Nationwide, women are having fewer children and waiting longer to have them than a decade ago. But one pattern is unchanged: rural women, on average, are younger when they give birth and have more children than women living in metropolitan areas, says the CDC. Indeed, the gap between urban and rural fertility rates has widened even as overall fertility rates — the expected number of births per 1,000 women — have declined.