Drones and bees: Drones deliver packages, assist on search-and-rescue missions, and gather weather data. Now, scientists are developing diminutive drones to perform an even more precise task: pollination. News of widespread declines in bee populations, including the onset of Colony Collapse Disorder (which triggered predictions of an Apis-apocalypse), led scientists to test high-tech alternatives. Drones emerged as the top contender to replace—or supplement—bee pollinators. In March, Walmart filed a patent for drone pollinators. READ MORE

THE FUTURE

What to call cell-based meat? The North American Meat Institute (NAMI) and cell-based meat developer Memphis Meats have sent a joint letter to President Trump asking for help clarifying the regulatory framework around cell-based meat and poultry products. The letter says both  share the desire to support innovation and feed the world, and suggest using the term “cell-based meat and poultry” to describe products that are the result of animal cell culture. READ MORE

The future of ‘clean meat’: When it comes to betting on startups, Y Combinator knows how to pick some winners. Since it launched in 2005, the accelerator has provided seed funding and advice to several companies that went on to become household names, including Airbnb, Reddit, and Dropbox. Now, the company is ready to sink its teeth into a new challenge: help make plant-based and clean meat — edible protein grown from animal stem cells — mainstream. READ MORE

Virtual-reality shopping: Walmart has filed two patents for virtual reality shopping, Forbes reports. The documents detail a system in which users wear a VR headset and sensory globes to have the ability to shop at home. Any orders that will be placed through the program would go to a fulfillment center and robots would then pull the items to submit for shipping.  READ MORE

FOOD SAFETY

More Cyclospora: People who consumed salads from McDonald’s restaurants continue to suffer from Cyclospora infections, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta reports.  As of Thursday (Aug. 23), CDC said there was a total of 507 laboratory-confirmed cases of Cyclospora infections in people who consumed salads from McDonald’s restaurants. The cases were reported by 15 states and New York City. READ MORE

Ground beef recall: Cargill Meat Solutions in Fort Morgan, Colo., late Thursday recalled nearly 13 tons of ground beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli O157: H7, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). There have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products. READ MORE

ANIMAL WELFARE

Animal rights groups file federal lawsuit seeking USDA info: Animal advocacy groups seeking to monitor allegations of farm animal abuses have filed a federal lawsuit in the Western District of New York demanding that the U.S. Department of Agriculture divulge information on compliance with federal laws governing humane slaughter and poultry production. READ MORE

WATER SAFETY

More on WOTUS: U.S. farmers thought they had seen the last of the beleaguered Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule in January when the Trump administration moved formally to rescind the regulation and start over with a new version. That broadening of federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act, however, became the law of the land in 26 states as the U.S. District Court for South Carolina ruled that the administration did not follow the proper rulemaking process in rescinding WOTUS. A Farm-Bureau-led coalition is asking the court to stay its ruling. Read more HEREand HERE.

Red tide and the economy: Red tide and toxic algae continue to pummel the west coast of Florida. In addition to the loss of sea life, the damage to the marine environment, and the health effects, there is a significant economic cost to the state. READ MORE

FOOD SECURITY

Missouri drought: Parts of Missouri are so dry that corn crops are suffering and hay for cattle is in short supply, with water becoming increasingly scarce, experts say. Missouri has had below-average rainfall since winter. The U.S. Drought Monitor map shows that nearly all of Missouri is experiencing drought, with several counties in the northwestern part of the state facing “exceptional” conditions – the most dire classification assigned by the monitor. READ MORE

PUBLIC SAFETY

The problem with militarized police: While proponents say militarized police units enhance officer safety and prevent violence, critics argue these tactics are targeted at racial minorities, and diminish trust between citizens and law enforcement. A recent study from Princeton University shows that militarized policing is ineffective in decreasing crime and protecting police and may actually weaken the public’s image of the police. READ MORE