Glyphosate found in granola, crackers: U.S. government scientists have detected a weedkiller linked to cancer in an array of commonly consumed foods, emails obtained through a Freedom of Information request show. The Food and Drug Administration has been testing food samples for residues of glyphosate, the active ingredient in hundreds of widely used herbicide products, for two years, but has not yet released any official results. The internal documents obtained by the UK’s Guardian newspaper show the FDA has had trouble finding any food that does not carry traces of the pesticide. READ MORE


Diseases caused by insect bites triple: The number of people who get diseases transmitted by mosquito, tick and flea bites has more than tripled in the United States in recent years, federal health officials reported on Tuesday. Since 2004, at least nine such diseases have been newly discovered or introduced into the United States. Warmer weather is an important cause of the surge in cases reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to the lead author of a study in the agency’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. READ MORE

Pesticide suspecting of increasing Parkinson’s risk widely used in Israel: A pesticide that is suspected of increasing the risk of Parkinson’s disease is widely used in Israel despite the fact that the health and environmental protection ministries have recommended halting its use. In Israel the herbicide paraquat is widely used in vineyards and citrus groves, and in potato and cotton fields. The Israeli Ministry of Agriculture opposes a ban on paraquat because it views the pesticide as crucial to farming and says there is an absence of suitable alternatives. READ MORE

Hep A outbreak confirmed in Indiana: Following a recent, large outbreak of hepatitis A cases in Kentucky, the Indiana State Department of Health  reports there have been 77 confirmed cases of the virus statewide so far in 2018. Of those cases, 17 have been confirmed in the past month. Normally, fewer than 20 cases of hepatitis A are confirmed in Indiana per year, so the recent increase is concerning to public health officials. READ MORE 


Cyber attack could be ‘act of war’: A “massive” cyber attack against a NATO country that results in “very significant” fatal damages could constitute an act of war, U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis cautioned during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing last week. Mattis indicated that a cyber attack “that threatens life, that shuts off the power to hospitals and communities in the middle winter” could prompt a NATO country to declare war under the treaty’s collective defense principle known as Article 5, which means members treat an attack against one as an attack against all.


Black fly population explodes: Swarms of black flies are impacting livestock farmers in Arkansas this spring, reports University of Arkansas Extension. The population explosion is to blame for the deaths of a bull and cow in Arkansas County and the closure of a nature center. Black flies, part of the Simuliidae family, are also known as buffalo gnats or turkey gnats. They are blood-sucking feeders, and often fly around a person or animal’s heads, targeting eyes, ears and crawling in the hair. On cattle and horses, the ears are often a favored feeding location. READ MORE


Hay bales are economic lifeline: The hay began arriving before the fires were out. It came stacked on pickup trucks and strapped onto semis. From a few counties away. From halfway across the country. For ranchers whose grazing land was destroyed by wildfires that tore across western Oklahoma this month, the cylindrical bales were an economic lifeline, a way to feed cattle marooned on grassless patches of charred red soil. The hay was also free, provided not by lawmakers in Washington or Oklahoma City, but mostly by strangers in other corners of rural America. READ MORE

Less U.S. butter shipped north? A few years ago, Canada was experiencing a severe butter shortage, but that has changed. After increasing milk quota allotments, Canada today is facing a saturated milk market in which production is outpacing the country’s growing demand for butterfat. While that’s good news for Canada, it likely means less U.S. butter will be shipped north. READ MORE

Farmers’, ranchers’ support of Trump put to test: Montana rancher Fred Wacker had thousands of head of cattle fattening up along the Yellowstone River for export to China when President Donald Trump picked a trade fight with the Asian nation. The dispute threatens a $200 million deal that Wacker helped secure last year to ship Montana beef to China, yet the potential setback to his business plans hasn’t diminished his stalwart support for Trump. Deep in Montana’s ag country, ranchers’ and farmers’ support of Trump is being put to the test as the president’s bellicose threats of a trade war risk their livelihoods. READ MORE


Venezuela exodus tests Brazilians’ tolerance: Hundreds turn up each day, many arriving penniless and gaunt as they pass a tattered flag that signals they have reached the border. The scenes are reminiscent of the waves of desperate migrants who have escaped the wars in Syria and Afghanistan, spurring a backlash in Europe. Yet this is happening in Brazil, where a relentless tide of people fleeing the deepening economic crisis in Venezuela has begun to test the region’s tolerance for immigrants. READ MORE

Puerto Rican crisis spurs talk of independence: In 1950, in the struggle for sovereignty from American colonial rule, Puerto Rican independence fighters staged uprisings in nearly a dozen cities and later attempted to assassinate President Harry S. Truman. Now, the humanitarian crisis created by Hurricane Maria has added fuel to an ongoing power struggle for the island’s future: While Gov. Ricardo Rosselló advocates statehood as the solution to Puerto Rico’s ­second-class status, his opponents call for greater autonomy from the U.S. Some even advocate for eventual independence. READ MORE