Global Farmer Network board member Ted Sheely from California has a column “Regulators shouldn’t deprive farmers of a safe pesticide” in today’s Sacramento Bee.

As Ted says, California farmers have been going through a tough stretch, and it doesn’t help that state bureaucrats are now taking their cues from an unaccountable French-based unit of the UN that has a history of needlessly creating alarmism, and looking to ban glyphosate despite a long track record of safety.

Farmers like me devote themselves to growing healthy and nutritious food, not spreading sickness and disease. That’s one of the reasons we prefer glyphosate. It’s one of the most scrutinized chemicals on the planet. Researchers have studied it for 40 years and they’ve consistently determined that it’s safe for ordinary use, not just by farmers but by gardeners.

Ted’s right, bet if most people look in the garages around their neighborhood they’ll notice they and their neighbors have been using it for years around their lawns, just like many farmers have for weed control as well.
Read more here at the Sacramento Bee, and below are some other recent news items of interest, including the government of Zimbabwe stubbornly saying it will continue to not allow biotech imports despite expected widespread need for food this year.  Is humankind not supposed to learn from history?…
TRADE:
DG Azevêdo kick-starts discussion on post-Nairobi work – World Trade Organization (Feb 10)
“Director-General Roberto Azevêdo convened a meeting of all WTO members today (10 February) to discuss the future work of the organization. It was the first meeting of the full membership since the WTO’s Ministerial Conference in Nairobi.”
Is Free Trade Really Free? Why Protectionism Is Alive and Well – Knowledge@Wharton (Feb 8)
“[I]t appears that protectionism is by no means dead, according to Abraham as well as Ann Harrison, a Wharton management professor, and Tarun Khanna, a professor at Harvard Business School and a colleague of Abraham’s on the World Economic Forum Council on Emerging Multinationals. They say that protectionism, while certainly not as overt as it was 50 or 60 years ago, still exists in subtle and varied forms.”
Ryan says trade deal short on votes in Congress – The Hill – Feb 9
” The deal faces opposition from a majority Democrats on Capitol Hill and from presidential candidates in both parties.”
Obama trade deal taking a hit in presidential race – The Hill -Feb 9
BIOTECH:
By Blocking Agricultural Innovation, Anti-GMO Campaigns Could Cost African Farmers $1.5 Trillion Through 2050, New ITIF Report Concludes – The Marvi Post (Malawi) – Feb 9
Genetically modified crops: the way forward – Livemint (India) – Feb 8
“The government must be transparent and address understandable fears.”
‘Govt. should encourage biotechnology to boost food production,’ expert says – Pulse (Nigeria)- Feb 7
“The scientist stressed the need for the government to encourage cultivation of lima bean, which is used in producing daddawa, because of its health and economic benefits.”
Genetically Modified Rice Could Withstand The Ravages of Climate Change – Newsweek – Feb 10
“Researchers at the International Rice Research Institute in Los Banos, Philippines have the world’s main repository of seeds, genes and other information about rice. Now, they are working to develop a new strain of hyperefficient, drought-­resistant rice known as C4.”
FOOD SAFETY/SECURITY:
Government says no to GMO imports despite 3 million in need of food assistance – New Zimbabwe – Feb 10
Zimbabwe Says It Won’t Accept GMO Corn for Drought Relief – Bloomberg – Feb 10
“About 2.4 million Zimbabweans are likely to need emergency food aid this year…”
GMO labeling gets another look in two New England states – Food Safety News – Feb 9