Thinly sliced: Monsanto sues California, Senate tax bill could help citrus growers, and more

This is the web version of a list we publish twice-weekly in our newsletter. It comprises the most note-worthy food stories of the moment, selected by our editors. Get it first here.

1. Politico breaks down some unexpected carve-outs in the new Senate tax bill, which lowers federal excise taxes on craft beer, and allows citrus growers to deduct replanting expenses if their orange, lemon, or lime trees die. It’s something of a surprise, as the GOP said it wouldn’t give in to special interests, but maybe a moot one, since Republicans currently don’t have the votes to pass.

2. President Trump awkwardly slurped a Fiji water bottle during a press conference on Wednesday, the Daily News reports. The gaffe recalled Marco Rubio’s mid-speech swig, the water crisis in Flint—and a Mother Jones report on the military dictatorship’s beverage of choice.

3. Last week, Amazon announced the cancellation of its groceries-by-mail Amazon Fresh service in markets across the nine states (while maintaining operations in major markets like Los Angeles and New York). But Amazon doesn’t see the failure as its fault: Internally, the company has blamed the U.S. Postal Service, Recode reports. Apparently, Amazon executives are griping that missed and late deliveries made the service too unreliable to be appealing outside big cities.

4. Not your average political prisoner. Earlier this week, Sonny Perdue told Iowans to get a“Free Northey” campaign going to confirm their state’s secretary of agriculture for a top post at the USDA. He seemed a lock—until he ran into Ted Cruz, a staunch opponent of blending ethanol into the nation’s fuel supply. The Des Moines Register has the story.

5. Massachusetts will investigate liquor licensing practices in the city of Cambridge after theBoston Globe reported that a two-tiered system had emerged: Some restaurants paid hundreds of thousands for licenses, while others got them for free.

6. Pesticide giant Monsanto is now suing California for requiring that products containing glyphosate be labelled with cancer warnings, St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. Glyphosate is the main ingredient in Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup. This is yet another legal battle initiated by the pesticide giant, which is currently suing Arkansas for blocking its dicamba pesticide from next year’s growing season.

7. Now that American-style factory farms are sweeping the United Kingdom, the country’s environmental department, evidently more attuned to animal welfare, is set to make security cameras mandatory in all slaughterhouses. The move gives the agency access to three months of footage, Meatingplace reports.

8. Malk’s not just for Bart Simpson. A new Packaged Facts report finds Americans are drinking two fewer glasses of milk per week than 15 years ago, and plant-based alternatives are picking up the slack. No word yet on Vitamin R.

9. Pilgrim’s Pride, America’s largest chicken processor, is settling a water pollution suit brought in federal court. Under terms proposed by environmental activists, the KFC supplier will pay $1.43 million to clean Florida’s Suwannee River, after a plant dumped toxins there for five years, reports The Florida Times-Union.

10, After the New York Times and ProPublica found the USDA’s head deregulator had been illegally meeting with her former employer, a House Democrat is demanding she turn over her emails, reports CNBC. Before her federal appointment, Rebeckah Adcock had worked for CropLife America, a prominent pesticide lobby.

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