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“Americans, especially children, eat too much sugar,” according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. And, no, not just sugar from corn. We also eat too much cane and beet sugars, honey and molasses. Most of that sugar comes from soft drinks and fruit drinks.

Sugar makes us fatter, and so the USDA wondered what would happen if a 20% tax was slapped on soft drinks. The result, researchers estimated, would be that people would drink more water and milk. And the average adult would lose 3.8 pounds in a year; the average child would lose 4.5 pounds in 12 months.

• Democrats had better watch out, according to stories in the Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post. The Rs are looking good. The political climate is “highly in their favor,” according to the Post’s Dan Balz.

Yonder will be most affected by the Senate race in Arkansas, where Senate Ag Committee Chair Blanche Lincoln (the Democrat) is falling way behind Rep. John Boozman. Check out the 30-point spread here.

• “Organic gardens are the latest amenity on college campuses,” reports Tracy Jan in the Boston Globe. Yep, pay $50,000 a year for the Harvard education and your kid will learn how to pull suckers off a tomato plant.

The paper notes that students all over Massachusetts are raising gardens. Now, if only these kids will consider living in a rural area.

• Dan Eggen in the Washington Post recounts the egg industry’s fight against those who want chickens to roam free.

Cage limits are being implemented all over the country. Burger King and Subway are increasing their use of cage-free eggs. The egg industry says there is no difference between an egg from a cage free hen and one crammed into a cage.

•North Dakota bars pharmacies that aren’t owned by pharmacists. That means Wal-Mart and Walgreen can’t have pharmacists. (Some chains have pharmacist-owned pharmacies within the store.) North Dakota is the only state that requires pharmacies to be owned by pharmacists.

Some in the state want that provision in state law overturned and have begun an initiative to place the issue on the ballot. They say allowing the big chains into the state will lower drug costs. Rural residents say the measure would drive rural pharmacies out of business.

There is a lot of legal wrangling over the propriety of the ballot initiative, which you can read here.

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