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Many Recommend Teaching Mental Health in Schools. Now Two States Will Require It.

Amid sharply rising rates of teen suicide and adolescent mental illness, two states have enacted laws that for the first time require public schools to include mental health education in their basic curriculum.Most states require health education in all public schools, and state laws have been enacted in many states to require health teachers to include lessons on tobacco, drugs and alcohol, cancer detection and safe sex.Two states are going further: New York’s new law adds mental health instruction to the list in kindergarten through 12th grade; Virginia requires it in ninth and 10th grade

Ag Groups Tweet #TradeNotTariffs

Farm groups took to social media on Thursday as part of a last-ditch effort to get the Trump administration to back off trade tariffs the administration is expected to implement against China on Friday. The groups fear China could bounce right back with tariffs against U.S. agricultural commodities. The farm groups, led by the American Soybean Association, started tweeting out with other business groups under the hashtag #TradeNotTariffs.

Groups Press Pruitt

Pruitt met with a coalition of Nebraska farm groups called Common Sense Nebraska as part of a trip this week through the Midwest that included stops in Kansas and South Dakota. Pruitt may have wanted to focus on waters of the U.S., but Pruitt spent most of the Nebraska meeting answering questions about the Renewable Fuels Standard, E15 and small refinery waivers. The themes were similar with the events in South Dakota and Kansas.

High-protein corn also resistant to parasitic weed

In sub-Saharan Africa, 20 to 80% of corn yields may be lost because of a semi-parasitic plant, Striga. In areas infested with Striga, farmers may even lose their entire crops. In a new study, researchers from southern Africa identified several varieties of corn resistant or tolerant to Striga. Importantly, these varieties also have improved nutritional content, particularly protein.

Chief ag negotiator expects $20 billion in trade retaliation

The Chief Agricultural Negotiator in the Office of the United States Trade Representative Gregg Doud was also at the World Pork Expo, he says there will be consequences before a deal is struck. "There is, or will be, retaliation against U.S. agricultural exports because of what we're doing in other areas unrelated to agriculture. That retaliation is going to be somewhere in the neighborhood, depending on how you slice it and dice it, over $20 billion of our $140 billion in ag exports."

Engineered cotton uses weed-suppression chemical as nutrient

A newly developed fertilizer system will provide nutrition to engineered cotton crops worldwide and a deadly dose to weeds that are increasingly herbicide resistant, according to a new study. The new system applies phosphite to cotton crops engineered to express a certain gene -- a gene that makes cotton able to process the phosphite into nutrition while the same compound suppresses weeds that are unable to use it, researchers said.

Progress and Potential Hurdles for the 2018 Farm Bill

The odds for a farm bill in 2018 have improved considerably. On Wednesday the Senate Ag Committee moved its version of a farm bill with a strong bipartisan vote (20 to 1). House leadership is attempting to resolve the immigration issue that contributed to the House Ag Committee's farm bill defeat on the floor. This may pave the way for a House vote reconsidering the farm bill, but success remains uncertain.

FDA’s advice to footnote ‘added sugars’ gets tart replies

The Food and Drug Administration has been flooded this month with sour comments about its plan to require honey, maple syrup and cranberry products to include “added sugars” on nutrition labels.Remarks from New England maple syrup makers have been particularly bitter. They say they don’t “add” sugar to their naturally sugary product. “The only thing the producers do is evaporate water from the sap of this liquid gold,” one commented.The FDA counters that consumers should know how much “added sugar” maple syrup adds to pancakes.

H7N9 could be next deadly pandemic

A deadly new strain of bird flu threatens to become a worldwide pandemic, health officials warn. Britain’s deputy chief medical officer Jonathan Van-Tam says the strain, which has already killed one-third of infected patients in China, could be the feared Disease X, an unknown pathogen that could cause an international health crisis. The H7N9 avian flu virus has infected 1,600 people and killed more than 600 in China since October 2016. Most of the infected came in contact with contaminated poultry, the World Health Organization said.

Human activity is causing more and more animals to embrace the night

As humans encroach more and more on wildlife habitats, animals are finding that the best way to survive isn’t to pack up and move—it’s to embrace the night life. That’s the conclusion of a new study, which shows that a variety of previously diurnal animals such as foxes, deer, and boars have become nocturnal to avoid human activity out of fear. But this nighttime switch comes with its own risks.

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