It seems apparent that the ChemChina / Syngenta deal should be a jump starter for more use of biotechnology in the world’s most populous nation. Time will tell how quickly wider acceptance takes hold; same with India. There’s also various news on the trade fronts included below, as TPP goes before individual nations for ratifications and the opening of the expansion for the Panama Canal is delayed again.
Reuters – China cracks down on illegal GM crops ahead of Syngenta deal (Feb 5 by Dominique Patton) – “As the world’s largest grain producer and consumer, China places heavy strain on its fragmented farm sector in order to feed its nearly 1.4 billion population.”
South China Morning Post / Reuters – ChemChina’s Syngenta bid could change China’s stance on GMO foods (Feb 5) – “The state-owned group’s near-$44 billion bid for Syngenta could thaw hostility towards genetically modified organisms…”
Yahoo! News / Reuters – India may decide on GM food as China makes big leap with Syngenta buy (Feb 4 by Krishna N. Das and Mayank Bhardwaj) – “Farmers are stuck with old technology, yields are at a fraction of global levels, cultivable land is shrinking and weather patterns have become less predictable.”
Reuters – China approves Monsanto GMO soybean variety for import (Feb 3) – “…received import approval from China for its new genetically modified Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans and that it will begin selling the seeds in the United States and Canada.”
BBC – TTIP trade talks: German judges oppose new investor courts (Feb 5) – “The role of commercial courts is one of the thorniest issues in the EU-US trade negotiations, known as TTIP.”
Wall Street Journal – Dozen Nations Sign Pacific Trade Deal, Kicking Off Battle for Ratification (Feb 3 by William Mauldin) – “Officials from 12 countries signed a sweeping Pacific trade agreement early Thursday in New Zealand, kicking off a bitter battle for approval in the U.S. Congress and other parliaments in the bloc.”
Los Angeles Times – Signing of Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal opens up tough battle in U.S. (Feb 4 by Don Lee) – “Major presidential candidates continue to pan the accord and even leaders of the GOP, the party of free traders, have shown only lukewarm support for what Obama has made his top economic priority in the second term.”
The Economic Times (India) – Australia hopeful of securing free-trade agreement with India: Minister (Feb 4) – Australia is hopeful of securing a free-trade agreement with India “sometime this year”, trade and investment minister said today after the country signed the historic Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement with 11 other nations.
AgWeb – Opening of Panama Canal Expansion Delayed (Feb 4 by Alison Rice) – “…expansion is 96% done, but officials this week said the estimated April opening for the $5 billion project would need to be pushed back again for several months.”
IRIN – Zika: Are mosquitoes the cure as well as the curse? (Feb 5 by Kristy Siegfried) – “At first, everyone found it weird, but once they understand how it works, they’re really excited about it; they’re really positive.”