Boost shown with instant, ground and decaffeinated: Go ahead and have that cup of coffee, maybe even several more. New research shows it may boost chances for a longer life, even for those who down at least eight cups daily. In a study of nearly half-a-million British adults, coffee drinkers had a slightly lower risk of death over 10 years than abstainers. The apparent longevity boost was seen with instant, ground and decaffeinated, results that echo U.S. research. READ MORE

FOOD SAFETY

Cyclosporiasis in Texas, too: Texas officials warned the public Monday about a seasonal increase in infections from Cyclospora parasites, reporting there have been 56 confirmed cases since the beginning of May. An ongoing cyclosporiasis outbreak in four other states, which is associated with trays of pre-cut fresh vegetables from Del Monte, has sickened at least 185 people. READ MORE

Kratom ‘not worth the risk’: Users of kratom supplements are putting themselves at risk for Salmonella infections from a product that has no nutritional or medical benefits. FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb made that announcement this week after a months-long investigation provoked by numerous recalls of kratom-containing products tainted by Salmonella. Kratom, from a Southeast Asian tree,  is claimed by some to have psychoactive or mind-altering effects and is sometimes consumed as a tea. READ MORE

PUBLIC HEALTH

Soda tax battles: Soda companies got a respite last week from battling local taxes on sugary beverages, after California lawmakers grudgingly passed a 12-year ban on cities and counties imposing the levies. That reprieve might be short-lived. Major healthcare groups announced Monday they would pursue a statewide soda tax initiative on the 2020 ballot to pay for public health programs. READ MORE

FOOD SECURITY

Environmentalists question lab-grown animal products: A new report from Friends of the Earth calls into question the environmental benefits attributed to meat analogs and lab-grown animal products, and emphasizes the need for more research. While plant-based meat analogs or lab-grown tissue may mean fewer animals slaughtered, the organization pointed out that their complicated make-up (more than a dozen ingredients); the need for additional crops, such as sugar cane, to provide necessary inputs; and the use of genetically modified ingredients in some cases are cause for concern. READ MORE

Smithfield loses again: A North Carolina jury has awarded more than $25 million to a couple in the eastern part of the state who filed a nuisance lawsuit against Smithfield Foods, the world’s largest pork producer, for the swarms of flies, stench, rumbling trucks and other downsides of the hog farm next door. It is the second verdict for hog farm neighbors in a series filed against Smithfield Foods. READ MORE

Quebec premier urges Canada to reconsider new milk policy: Canada’s largest dairy-producing province said the nation should reconsider its new milk price policy to ease tensions with the U.S. The perception is that Canada’s new class 7 milk pricing was enacted to hurt the competitiveness of American products, which seems to be the main sticking point with the U.S., said Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard. The milk policy, rolled out last year,  makes it cheaper for Canadian processors to buy domestic supplies of ultra-filtered milk, a concentrated ingredient used to boost protein content in cheese and yogurt. U.S. farmers complain it effectively blocks imports. READ MORE

Maine’s wild blueberry biz struggles: The per pound price of Maine’s wild blueberries sank to its lowest point in more than three decades last year, as growers struggled with competition from cheaper Canadian producers and a thriving cultivated blueberry industry. Maine berries fetched 26 cents per pound last year, the lowest price since 1985, according to University of Maine data. The estimated value of the harvest was $17.6 million, a 37 percent fall from 2016 and the lowest value in a decade, according to recently released USDA data. READ MORE

WATER SAFETY

Mountaire again sued over wastewater: Mountaire Farms’ legal troubles mounted last week when Millsboro, Del., residents filed a new lawsuit blaming environmental and health hazards on the company’s local chicken processing plant. The latest complaint follows a class-action lawsuit filed in June with similar claims. READ MORE

JUST INTERESTING

Marijuanapocalypse: Call it the California Marijuanapocalypse of 2018. For the first six months of the year, California has allowed dispensaries to sell product that isn’t yet up to new code so manufacturers could adjust to the changes. The grace period is over; noncompliant concentrates, edibles or simple flowers left on store shelves as of July 1 were to be destroyed. By one estimate, that could total $350 million in lost product. READ MORE

Specialty meat markets carve out niche: While many Americans still drop into the nearest Publix or Walmart to snag their burgers and hotdogs, an increasing number of conscious eaters are going old school by shopping at carnicerias and specialty butcher shops. Specialty meat markets have carved out a niche by offering personalized customer service and products that aren’t widely available. New shops are opening as well, spurred by a younger, more health-conscious generation seeking meats sans antibiotics and hormones — and craft beer to wash it all down. READ MORE

Farm Bill legalizes hemp: The new Farm Bill legalizes the growing of commercial hemp on U.S. soil, meaning that hemp will now be removed from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act, clearly separating it from marijuana, and will become a domestic agricultural crop. Hemp is also the source of the phytocannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD), an ingredient of growing interest in the dietary supplements industry. READ MORE

Discussion of WTO withdrawal ‘premature’: Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said it’s a “little premature” to discuss the U.S. withdrawing from the World Trade Organization as the Trump administration continues to look at ways to improve the global trade body. Axios reported on Sunday that the White House has drafted a bill that would allow President Donald Trump to ignore fundamental WTO rules and let him adjust tariff rates for different countries. READ MORE