A roundup of news, reports, and research on agribusiness and related issues.

In 2018, 3M agreed to pay Minnesota $850 million to settle a case alleging the manufacturer damaged natural resources and contaminated groundwater by disposing of the chemicals over decades. Studies have associated certain PFAS chemicals with increased risk of cancer and damage to organs such as the liver and thyroid. The suit alleges that the defendants knew or should have known that the chemicals persist in the environment and do not degrade, that they would inevitably accumulate and build up in humans and animals, and that it is a potential or confirm carcinogen.

KIND is reducing calorie counts on its nut bars to reflect USDA research suggesting that traditional methods for calculating energy have “grossly miscalculated” the metabolizable energy from whole nuts, the core ingredients in its snacks.

In a press release, Walmart said it’s opening the facility to process Angus beef steaks and roasts, which it will sell in 500 stores throughout the Southeast. While the grocer says that controlling its supply chain will meet customers’ demands for transparency, there may be other factors in play as well. This summer, Walmart U.S. Chief Greg Foran told CNN Business that concerns over industry consolidation were one factor that led the company to look into regaining some control over its supply. 

The area around the Salton Sea already has some of the worst air quality in the country, caused by particulate matter swept up from farms and the desert. Locals have some of the highest rates of asthma and respiratory issues in the state.

The most visible impact has been at homeless missions and food pantries, which saw a big spike in demand that has never receded. But the policy change was barely noticeable in the work force.

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