Fresh, ripe summer strawberries in plastic cartons.

Latest case involves strawberries from Mexico: Commercial food and agriculture are increasingly encountering problems when illegal substances are being co-mingled with food shipments. This problem will have to be addressed, or eventually food corporations will encounter problems associated with contaminated foodstuffs, or be dragged into legal peril because their facilities or equipment were used unbeknownst to them in smuggling operations. In the most recent case, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized nearly a half-ton of methamphetamine estimated to be worth more than $12 million. The smuggler allegedly concealed the drugs within a commercial shipment of frozen strawberries from Mexico. READ MORE

THE FUTURE

What studying dead civilizations can tell us: Studying the demise of historic civilizations can tell us how much risk we face today, says collapse expert Luke Kemp. Worryingly, the signs are worsening. READ MORE

How to feed a world without sunlight? This scientist is preparing to feed a world without sunlight, and his inspiration comes from mushrooms. A sunless future is more possible than you might think; the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists calls the world’s current risk of nuclear war “urgent.” Massive supervolcano eruptions, though rare, have threatened life on earth before. In both scenarios, the biggest threat to human survival comes from the resulting blanket of soot that would cover the earth, blocking all or most sunlight. READ MORE

WATER

Where does all the water go? Recent storms have dumped an estimated 18 trillion gallons of rain — nearly half the volume of Lake Tahoe — on the state of California in February alone, increasing the snowpack but also causing extensive damage to roadways in Southern California. So how much of this water is being saved in a state prone to droughts and water shortages? Not much. READ MORE

ANIMAL FEED SAFETY

Pet owners file lawsuits: Pet owners have filed a total of three separate civil lawsuits in federal court against Hill’s Pet Nutrition Inc. following the company’s recent admission that some of its pet foods contained excessive levels of Vitamin D. The consumers are seeking class action status. READ MORE

ANIMAL HEALTH

ASF spreads to Vietnam: African Swine Fever is spreading in Asia, with Vietnam now reporting its first cases of the highly contagious disease that has been most prolific in China’s massive pig population since last August. READ MORE

FOOD SAFETY

Botulism and baby food: A Canadian company, Vivi and Tom Baby Food, is recalling various baby and toddler foods from the marketplace because they may permit the growth of Clostridium botulinum, the bacteria that causes botulism. READ MORE

CYBER SECURITY

Russian hackers move fast: It takes Russian state-sponsored hackers less than 20 minutes to start moving laterally within a targeted organization’s network after the initial breach, according to CrowdStrike’s 2019 Global Threat Report. READ MORE